South Asia

Organized Panel Session

1 - Technological Conversations with the Past: Archives of Hindustani Khyal Music

Saturday, July 7
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: Willow, First Floor

This paper attends to ‘listening’ as a sensory practice, casting an ear to music archives in the present moment. It is interested in the symbolic and pedagogic roles that repositories centered Hindustani khyal music that may play for its listeners. The classical genre has invited public and popular discourse that, at least for the past century and a half, has been preoccupied with its past and its future. On the one hand are nostalgia about the music’s rich history, anxiety about its sustenance, and perceptions of the gradual dilution of musical practice and connoisseurship. On the other hand, attempt to contemporize it, whether through performance innovations or through conscious cultivation of younger and newer audiences. One expression of such sensibilities is the proliferation of online and offline archives of audio/video and documentary records dedicated to the genre. The processes of curating and listening to these archives generate discussions about the definitions of what is canonical in khyal, the structures of its knowledge, as well as modes of musical innovations and continuities. This paper unpacks these processes through ethnographic study with khyal musicians and archivists engaged in translating records of the past to aesthetic ideas and musical practices in the present.

Aditi Deo

Ahmedabad University

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1 - Technological Conversations with the Past: Archives of Hindustani Khyal Music



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