You are here: Home >> English News & Features >> Art & Culture

Is the magic of classical music fading?

DNAHM41054 | 2/25/2011 | Author : Devika Chaturvedi | WC :408

Dr Seth, founder of SPICMACAY, talks to After Hrs

He is an associate professor in the department of mechanical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. But he clearly displays a passion for the ‘mechanics of music’ as well. For, when you talk to Dr Kiran Seth, founder of Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth (SPICMACAY), his passion for classical music overwhelms you.
Dr Seth was in the city to participate in the ongoing SPICMACAY Virasat 2011, a ten-day music and cultural extravaganza.  
The 2009 Padma Shri winner is deeply concerned about the way classical music is fading with time.
He says, “It depresses me to think that our country's musicians who have such a brilliant inheritance of music fail to imbibe the same interest in the youth of this country. A Bryan Adams concert getting cancelled is big news but when someone like Ustad Bismillah Khan or Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma performs, it's not given any relevance whatsoever.”
Talking about his rendezvous with great maestros like Kishori Amonkar and Bismillah Khan, he says, “Kishori once told me jab yeh thode gine chune log chale jaenge tab shastritya sangeet ka kya hoga? And it makes me think; rather it makes me sad when I think about the state of classical music in our country today.”
“Similarly, Ustad Bismillah Khan once told me, waah waah karne waale bahaut hain par, aah! Karne wala koi nahi. Which is in a way true as in today's times, people do not understand classical music.” He says that best of world's heritage is being lost in India.  
When asked about his tryst with classical music, he says, “During the late sixties, as students of IIT, Kharagpur, many of us were into western music and everything that is western. Later, while doing my PhD at Columbia University in New York in the early seventies, I came across a small advertisement about an upcoming concert by Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar and Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York. A group of us said Chalo dekhen.” He says none of them knew what dhrupad was or who the Dagars were.
“I went into the concert walking on the ground but came out walking an inch above it. A seed that was planted during my IIT days has emerged as a wondrous plant now,” he says. It's just my wish to see classical music reach new heights and see it grow, he concludes.

Copyright restricted. Under license from
Add To Lightbox
Calculate Price