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Indian Rhythm in World Music -
International Online Music Seminar

Indian Rhythm in World Music was an online international seminar organised by the School of Kalayoga, Chinmaya Naada Bindu Gurukula (CNBG) on 27 May 2022. The live guest panel had the renowned Tabla maestro, Pt. Kumar Bose (Faculty and Director of World Music Performance), Prof. Randy Gloss (Specialisations, CalArts), Dr. Pravin Uddhav (Prof. at Faculty of Performing Art, BHU) and Pt. Abhijit Banerjee (Guru and Professor at CVV). The seminar was not for a particular kind of musician but beneficial to many tabla students, percussionists, musicians as well as experts in music.

Starting with prayers, Dr. Swapnil Chaphekar (Asst. Professor of Hindustani Vocal, CVV) briefly introduced the panellists. He then passed the baton to Ms. Pramodini Rao (Head, School of Kalayoga) who welcomed the panellists and participants and requested Pt. Abhijit Banerjee to take the seminar further.

Pt. Abhijit Banerjee talked about the School of Kalayoga and the contribution of Indian rhythm to the world of Music. He mentioned how proud he is to be a tabla player. Introducing Prof. Randy Gloss as the disciple of the tabla maestro, Pt. Swapan Chaudhuri for more than 25 years. He further added that Prof. Gloss is an educator as well. 

The Uniqueness of Indian Rhythm in World Music: 

Prof. Randy Gloss shared his musical journey with the participants – how he started to play the drums and how he came to know about the tabla. He also spoke about his relationship with his Guru Pt. Swapan Chaudhuri. Later, he spoke about how he looks at rhythm with a western eye. He also compared the thought process of western with Indian classical about the rhythm, citing an example.

In the context of rhythm, he concluded by saying, “It is less about memorising a book but sharing your own thoughts and then see them getting vibrant and rich”.

Pt. Abhijit Banerjee next invited Dr. Praveen Uddhhav to present his topic, Concept of Rhythm in Indian Music. Dr. Praveen Uddhav specifically spoke about the source of Indian Rhythm and the language of tabla. He particularly touched upon points from texts like Natyashastra, Sangeet Ratnakara, etc. In the end, Dr. Praveen Uddhhav and his son Shrutisheel Uddhav gave a demonstrative video presentation on Indian rhythm.

Finally, Pt. Abhijit Banerjee invited the famed tabla maestro Pt. Kumar Bose to speak. His very first words were, “These two speakers are very knowledgeable and I don’t have much to add”, indicating his greatness and simplicity. Instead of speaking on a topic, he preferred to answer questions. 

He said, “From my point of view, silence is the best music in the world”. He mentioned the beauty of tabla and baaya, and how the moods of ragas influence the thoughts of artists when they are on stage. He also shared his memories and experiences with Pt. Ravi Shankar and other stalwarts of those times.

The vote of thanks was given by Dr. Atul Kamble (Asst. Professor. of Tabla, School of Kalayoga). The seminar ended with a shanti mantra.