Carnatic and Hindustani Music in Schools and the University System

Miscellaneous topics on Carnatic music
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SrinathK
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#1 Carnatic and Hindustani Music in Schools and the University System

Post by SrinathK » 09 Jan 2019, 18:03

Ok. First up let me admit I pulled this topic out of the air because I was feeling jobless today and had a thought wave. You are free to ignore what comes next.

If you've ever wanted to know how Schools Universities and Colleges have their coursework set out for a graded study of both Carnatic and Hindustani music - there's in fact a full fledged syllabus out there offered by the Government and education boards.

First up, School :
ICSE Performing arts syllabus 9th and 10th - http://www.cisce.org/pdf/ICSE-Class-X-S ... 20Arts.pdf - CM, HM and WM

ICSE XI and XII : http://www.cisce.org/pdf/ISC-Class-XII- ... 0Music.pdf - CM, HM and WM

CBSE 9th and 10th music syllabus :
First CM
http://cbseacademic.nic.in/web_material ... vocal).pdf
http://cbseacademic.nic.in/web_material ... rument.pdf
http://cbseacademic.nic.in/web_material ... ussion.pdf

HM
http://cbseacademic.nic.in/web_material ... _VOCAL.pdf
http://cbseacademic.nic.in/web_material ... uments.pdf
http://cbseacademic.nic.in/web_material ... uments.pdf

CBSE XI and XII : http://cbseacademic.nic.in/web_material ... lume-3.pdf - Applicable to CM, HM and WM

These 2 boards take their courses seriously, and given Chennai, CBSE schools are all the rage. And I know some of you might surely be having kids studying music in school. Therefore....

Ok, then let's move on to college and university.

Here's the syllabus of Delhi University for BA (Hons.)
http://music.du.ac.in/pdf/B.A.(Hons.)-K ... Music-.pdf - Carnatic
http://music.du.ac.in/pdf/B.A.%20Hons.% ... 0Music.pdf - Hindustani
http://music.du.ac.in/pdf/B.A.-(Hons.)- ... Music-.pdf - Percussion


The complete BA (Hons.) with additions as per the University Grants Commission :
https://www.ugc.ac.in/pdfnews/1659249_B ... -Music.pdf - Carnatic

https://www.ugc.ac.in/pdfnews/5784730_B ... mental.pdf - Hindustani

Why I posted this one is : -- this covers instrumental music, percussion, sound engineering and instrument repair as well (who knows how up to date they are, but hey, at least universities talk about this stuff).

To cap it off, here's an actual music examination syllabus from Karnataka : https://www.scribd.com/doc/219195606/Ka ... n-Syllabus

And here's DU's MA course for the MA
http://music.du.ac.in/pdf/M.A.-Karnatak-Music.pdf - CM
http://music.du.ac.in/pdf/M.A.-Hindustani-Music.pdf - HM
http://music.du.ac.in/pdf/M.A.-Percussion-Music.pdf - Percussion


The M.Phil and Ph.D coursework syllabus (other than research)
http://music.du.ac.in/pdf/M.Phil-Karnatak-Music-.pdf - CM
http://music.du.ac.in/pdf/M.Phil.-Hindustani-Music.pdf - HM
http://music.du.ac.in/pdf/M.Phil.-Percussion-Music-.pdf - Percussion

http://music.du.ac.in/pdf/Ph.D-EXS.pdf

Any wannabe Indian musician would do well to at least familiarize themselves with these topics over the long course of their musical journey.
Last edited by SrinathK on 09 Jan 2019, 19:13, edited 6 times in total.
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SrinathK
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#2 Re: Structured Studies of Carnatic and Hindustani Music in Schools and the University System

Post by SrinathK » 09 Jan 2019, 18:38

On a side note, You might ask me how is this of any importance at all to a rasika because obviously rasikas cannot be subjected to any of the above tyranny. Students yes. Especially if they're studying music in school. See Western Music has graded exams, so why not Indian?

Well, my 2 cents, and these are very elementary expectations. Simply based on just knowing that these topics exist at all - they need not even read them, just remember a few of the topic names would help. For e.g.

1) It'll be good if they know a few more raga names at least. If they knew what was a vakra or a bhashanga raga, it might inspire them enough to attend a lec dem.
2) Knowing what a laghu, dhrutam or a jAti or naDai and a few tALA names can't hurt can it?
3) They ought to know at least the names of some composers and some songs in tunes by them. I know that composers like OVK and his compositions are not in the official syllabus. Still, it will not leave one wondering when the artiste announces something over the mike. Yes, a new song a day will make you a genius down the road.
4) Knowing the parts of a tani and where they occur could help curb at least a few walkouts? I don't know if the BA or MA mentioned that in their syllabus, but hey, it's worth knowing at least when a mridangist is going to end the tani.
5) Maybe they should see how a tambura is played. Or what is a violin bow? Or what is that thing called 'toppi' on a mridangam?
6) Knowing what the 12 swaras are and that there is something called melakartha surely might help at announcement time
7) Well, knowing that varnams can be sung in 2 speeds is reasonable
8) Shyama Sastri made something called swarajathi, can you recognize one?
9) You know those Pancharatna krithis they keep singing at Thyagaraja Aradhana every year? They're good.
10) Knowing a few names of musicians and some stories can help if you're at the Academy and you see all those old pics.
11) In India, there is Hindustani Music and Carnatic Music. Knowing that much is enough.
12) You know that musician singing Aaaaa aaaa and ta da ri na? That is an alApana.
13) If you like visiting temples and places, you know there is a Dikshitar krithi for just about every one?
14) Some people talk about Ragam Tanam Pallavi and they do some complicated stuff there. Why this kolaveri?
15) You know Vedavalli mami? Yeah, her, very scholarly person. She released recordings of Sarali Varsai to Geetam also.

16) My son or granddaughter is learning music, and he / she wants to learn more and give concerts. What topics can I make them know along the way? Trust your teacher. But let them know this stuff exists.
17) What is that slow thing they're singing? ZZZZ... Oh, a padam. You know Brinda Mukta?

18) I want to write a review in the Hindu. Well, you've got to be more serious than 1-17 for that.
19) I have signed up on rasikas.org. But I don't know anything, so I am just reading, but I cannot follow often - suddenly someone says this raga that tala, I am confused saar. So I just read interesting stories of musicians or listen to some links. Ok, that's most of the membership.

That reminds me, I was a long time lurker here for like 6 years you know before finally signing up. It took me that long to think I could actually write anything about music at all. And I did exactly the above.

20) My child / grandchild is in CBSE / ICSE and is studying music as elective subject. Ok, so that must mean your ward's learnt the basics and might have even participated in school functions / competitions. Then the first few links are for you!!

On a side note, I regret I never studied music as an elective in school. Can't be helped, In class 9, I just learnt to play my first kriti.

21) I am going to study BA or MA in Indian Music - know the syllabus up there!
22) I am an NRI or have Indian roots. We don't have any school curriculum to help our child learn Indian Music. I want to know how Indian schools cover a course in music. Ok, you got it up there.

Ok, point is, a small amount of structured and graded listening and at least knowing the existence of a few topics, a few ragas, talas, varnams or kritis - it'll be helpful for any listener who wants to know about CM. And in case your kids are in school learning music as part of their curriculum - those links will be helpful.

I know I know, there are rasikas who without knowing any of the above can totally enjoy the music purely as an experience. Totally agree. I have been there and become one myself when I don't think about the music but simply feel it.
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#3 Re: Structured Studies of Carnatic and Hindustani Music in Schools and the University System

Post by SrinathK » 09 Jan 2019, 19:25

If these links go dead down the road, just google ICSE curriculum or CBSE curriculum, go to their websites and get the syllabus for music / performing arts. For BA, MA, M.Phil, just visit Delhi University's site or search on the University Grants Commission website. Good enough.
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SrinathK
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#4 Re: Structured Studies of Carnatic and Hindustani Music in Schools and the University System

Post by SrinathK » 10 Jan 2019, 09:47

I had a look at the school section of the curriculum for IX-XII - while the CBSE itself is moderate to quite hard in difficulty (and believe me, it includes a tambura tuning, full fledged manodharma and RTP singing assignment as well), the ICSE requirements are absolutely insane (you are expected to be a performing artiste singing for the MA by class XII apparently and handle anything they are sadistic enough to throw at you :twisted: ) - I don't think anyone can clear them excellently without at least 3-4 years of solid work - whoever can must have the sole aim of making it as a musician, all other things secondary.

Well, at least on paper.

Now the practical realities are another matter altogether - students are burdened down with all sorts of academic pressures at this stage and quit everything else at that time, most schools don't ever bother with these "extra subjects", and who knows if the actual teaching and passing standards for music in schools and music colleges are really anywhere near the theoretical drafted requirements - clearing them would simply be an internal customary formality in the event they are offered at all.

But this gives a fair idea of what standards music teachers have to set and expect from their students when they come to an advanced level. The students also should make themselves equipped enough to be at this level by the time they're in college, or else pursuing music as a potential career is not possible. Virtually all successful musicians today started out very early as prodigies.

@rajeshnat, I wonder what TRS mama would have to say about all this.
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shankarank
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#5 Re: Structured Studies of Carnatic and Hindustani Music in Schools and the University System

Post by shankarank » 18 Jan 2019, 09:42

SrinathK wrote:
10 Jan 2019, 09:47
students are burdened down with all sorts of academic pressures at this stage and quit everything else at that time, most schools don't ever bother with these "extra subjects",
By the time of College , students are so burdened by lot of stuff and lot of turn offs even if you are a studious one, that even main subjects are a challenge!

As Prof V. Balakrishnan once said, neither we the professors , nor the buildings , nor the syllabus make any difference. It is you the students who have the basis for learning that make all the difference.

If it is currently same as my time in College, you could replace all those links with standard Math texts of various high school levels.

The class was a quantum mechanics course that he offered to the M.Sc. Physics students - yes IITM has a masters degree in pure sciences. I guess to get in to that stream, you must have been some top of the class from good "arts" colleges like Loyola, Vivekananda, Ethiraj, Stella , Queen marys, St. Josephs in Trichy , may be American from Madurai.

We engineering guys were "auditing" the course.

All was well until the first quiz! Then he dashed into the class tempers running high. He started teaching high school algebra and some calculus, along with Taylor's series and expansions.

And then here is the kicker line: Towards the end he rued "Any rational being should be able to learn Math!!"

Now go figure what the UGC system established by the Secular, Socialist , constitutional Republic of India had done to the education!

By the way how do the English "texts" - yeah they are "texts" look like? The English honors program needs a thorough revamp it seems all across the country. Very subversive. If you offer music with that , good luck.

I cannot believe the amount of British literature and Post colonial literature in this syllabus. http://www.du.ac.in/du/uploads/12102017_English.pdf

At least American can pass for Anti-colonial. The former two are colonial and marxist - something that destroys people for good! Unless those are studied as "the Other" and not with any acceptance and critiqued heavily!

There is only a lip service to Indian writings in there!
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shankarank
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#6 Re: Structured Studies of Carnatic and Hindustani Music in Schools and the University System

Post by shankarank » 20 Jan 2019, 08:42

SrinathK wrote:
10 Jan 2019, 09:47
I wonder what TRS mama would have to say about all this
I happened to know a teacher who is a student of his in my engagement with things musical. An old lady who used to teach music in a city where I lived earlier in the U.S and she did her diploma under him. I redact the location, to avoid giving away too much, though some familiar people can guess who she is.

Many kids studied under her, some were the initial pioneers ( I think so - though I did not keep track of everybody)of pallavi singing in the Junior slot at Cleveland around the years 2001-2004. I use to play Ganjira(rudimentry!) for her annual day to support the kids and I can vouch for the integrity of the tALam - but in melodic sphere it was not as advanced as it is today, what with vidvans emerging.

One of her students has an audio-phonic memory , would render kritis like SrI mUladhAra, jambhUpatE, gItArtamu very well , all by intuition in her words.

She did give an idea of the challenges as a student at Delhi university. Prof. TRS was a great teacher she affirmed. But the student fraternity was not so friendly. It sounded like there was a coterie around him. She would persevere to get things clarified and probably she was too persistent a student. There were times, when people would create hurdles, silly at times, telling her that he is not there when he was there, available actually! Sounded like the worst of Indian Metro competitive mediocre culture in play!

A visiting young musician who was also an academic in music, did mention that he had read her teaching methods dissertation that she did as part of her diploma. When I asked her about that, she laughed it off as some childish blabber.

She was the best teacher in that city. But the general talk among some chennaite mamis in the know of things musical ( they were not teaching - but mylaporeans for sure), is how this lady whom they have never listened to sing a song ever, would produce such quality students, that too NRI kids that could hold Sruti! Her voice was already broken! And many other musically socialite Women who sang in the tyAgaraja utsavam and such could not get their students to sing in Sruti.

In my years of interaction, I had helped a student or two to try some naDai variations in a triSra pallavi and I remember a conference call she had with Prof. TRS where he did get ebullient and told that student that if she did that , the judges will be in awe! Well it was not anything complex, but it was a good thing we liked doing at that time.

Prof. TRS was generous with some taped lessons for her , I sort of know, but I don't think that was any reason for her success. I would say it is him the Colossus of tradition and her perseverance. A differentiator for her , I think is the laya vidvAn TRS , mystically working through her into the students.

Her presence in the city, gave us an opportunity to host a lecdem by Prof. TRS. I remember him demonstrating in the student day celebration how to do svarams in dhanyAsi.

We accompanists also sang a song or two in front of him and I almost fooled him to believe that I can do kutcheris and I did not render anything that goes by manOdharmam, like a svara or neraval. Well now I am crossing the virtue of non-self-flattery.

She was nominated and awarded best teacher in Cleveland in one of those years. In her brief remarks (amidst the din in Waetjen hall which only silences for VVS), she did not talk about her diploma or Delhi university, rather she used a normal cultural expression and characterized Prof TRS as the river Ganga and she, just a tap to the students here!

Her generation valued the Gurutvam more than university or degree even in that setting!
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shankarank
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#7 Re: Structured Studies of Carnatic and Hindustani Music in Schools and the University System

Post by shankarank » 24 Apr 2019, 08:00

Will this count as a good material for (un)structured study:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFIKb-x01rQ - CharukESi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_fxgmHiOJE - kalavati ( valaji's equivalent?) - but handling is more closer sounding to mahati.

Channel features lots of others as well.

vINA sahasrabuddhE's student.

I have not listened to HM otherwise with any bit of patience. It is very monotonous, only variation being introduction of skill based forms. Laya variation and subtlety is missing. Language as music is missing. The gist of the ragas seeking refuge into movie songs which seemed to adequately display the rAgAm.

But rAgAs having mood or causing a particular mood is possible in that music as it plays with svaras exclusively.
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