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The Lost World Of Hindustani Music

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Kumar Prasad Mukherji's elegy to a vanishing age of musical giants comprises many shared experiences between performer and audience, between recital and applause. It is his salute to a world receding into the shadows of history, peopled by ustads, pandits, the rich and the famous, the sacred and the profane. He traces the origins of their schools, from folk traditions to t Kumar Prasad Mukherji's elegy to a vanishing age of musical giants comprises many shared experiences between performer and audience, between recital and applause. It is his salute to a world receding into the shadows of history, peopled by ustads, pandits, the rich and the famous, the sacred and the profane. He traces the origins of their schools, from folk traditions to the courts of ancient emperors to the sound of the ankle-bells of dancing girls. He points to the time when notation crept into classical music, horrifying old masters accustomed to an art form that celebrated spontaneity and improvisation, but resulting in the preservation of ragas that would otherwise have been lost to time. While Mukherji's beloved 'Khansahebs', 'Panditjis' and 'Buwas' may have been inspired by the divine, his recounting from legends and from personal memory shows us those greats as intensely human creatures. They are driven by appetites not always noble and their intrigues and jealousies are universal. Humour, too, abounds in these pages, as do characters who will remain forever etched in the mind of the reader.


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Kumar Prasad Mukherji's elegy to a vanishing age of musical giants comprises many shared experiences between performer and audience, between recital and applause. It is his salute to a world receding into the shadows of history, peopled by ustads, pandits, the rich and the famous, the sacred and the profane. He traces the origins of their schools, from folk traditions to t Kumar Prasad Mukherji's elegy to a vanishing age of musical giants comprises many shared experiences between performer and audience, between recital and applause. It is his salute to a world receding into the shadows of history, peopled by ustads, pandits, the rich and the famous, the sacred and the profane. He traces the origins of their schools, from folk traditions to the courts of ancient emperors to the sound of the ankle-bells of dancing girls. He points to the time when notation crept into classical music, horrifying old masters accustomed to an art form that celebrated spontaneity and improvisation, but resulting in the preservation of ragas that would otherwise have been lost to time. While Mukherji's beloved 'Khansahebs', 'Panditjis' and 'Buwas' may have been inspired by the divine, his recounting from legends and from personal memory shows us those greats as intensely human creatures. They are driven by appetites not always noble and their intrigues and jealousies are universal. Humour, too, abounds in these pages, as do characters who will remain forever etched in the mind of the reader.

30 review for The Lost World Of Hindustani Music

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ram

    Just finished reading “The Lost World of Hindustani Music” by Kumar Prasad Mukherjee, an eminent musician himself – this book is a veritable storehouse of information about the giants of Hindustani music from Ustad Alladiya Khan to Ustad Faiyaz Khan, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Mallikarjun Mansur, Bhimsen Joshi, Hirabai Barodekar, Mogubai Kurdekar – all absolutely brilliant vocalists and creators or followers of the various gharana system of music in vogue in Hindustani classic Just finished reading “The Lost World of Hindustani Music” by Kumar Prasad Mukherjee, an eminent musician himself – this book is a veritable storehouse of information about the giants of Hindustani music from Ustad Alladiya Khan to Ustad Faiyaz Khan, Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Mallikarjun Mansur, Bhimsen Joshi, Hirabai Barodekar, Mogubai Kurdekar – all absolutely brilliant vocalists and creators or followers of the various gharana system of music in vogue in Hindustani classical music. The narration is most of time technical with music terms, but otherwise it is very fluid, delving into the lives of these giants and their whimsicalities, family histories and personal lives with liberal doses of anecdotes.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sankarshan

    If you can read Bengali I'd recommend the original text. However, that does in no way take anything away from this highly entertaining book on the evolution and exponents of Hindustani classical, especially vocal, music. Sprinkled generously with anecdotes capturing the various moods of the legends, this is a highly recommended read that is not a tome (even though, at the end you realize it is such). If you can read Bengali I'd recommend the original text. However, that does in no way take anything away from this highly entertaining book on the evolution and exponents of Hindustani classical, especially vocal, music. Sprinkled generously with anecdotes capturing the various moods of the legends, this is a highly recommended read that is not a tome (even though, at the end you realize it is such).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shyamanuja

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sunil

  5. 4 out of 5

    Siddharth Bhardwaj

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nishant Panicker

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anand Ganapathy

  8. 5 out of 5

    Swarup Gupta

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rajneesh Atre

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alan

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tanjina Tamanna

  12. 5 out of 5

    Pankaj

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ayyalasomayajula Vivek

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nalin Thakur

  15. 5 out of 5

    Abhijat Mitra

  16. 4 out of 5

    Salma Omar

  17. 5 out of 5

    Raghu Kakumanu

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mustafa Dewji

  19. 4 out of 5

    Arvind Venkatadri

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sayan Sikdar

  21. 5 out of 5

    Neel

  22. 5 out of 5

    Siddartha Sikdar

  23. 4 out of 5

    Guri Singh

  24. 5 out of 5

    Subrata Chakrabortu

  25. 5 out of 5

    Srimanta Banerjee

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ramaswamy.M

  27. 5 out of 5

    Vaibhav Jain

  28. 5 out of 5

    Malay Ghosh

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mrugesh

  30. 5 out of 5

    Keshav Koratkar

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