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Articles on Carnatic Music

Carnatic Music in Your Community

What is it like to perform Carnatic music where you live? Do you get a chance to hear music regularly? To you have concerts? Or are you limited to your car? Do the people around you know what Indian music sounds like?

The world is getting smaller, and Carnatic music may or may not be a part of your community. But here are ten things you can do to promote Carnatic music where you live.

1. Learn and practice and perform. If you're a student of music, go to a teacher. As demand increases, teachers will stand up to teach students, and make their presence known in the area.

2. If you're a teacher, teach. Don't be too shy to advertise yourself in local newspapers and newsletters. Someone may be just waiting for an available teacher nearby!

3. Play it. Have it playing in the car, at work, and wherever you are. It's a good conversation starter ("what is this music?" "what raga is that?"). Give friends sample tapes of Carnatic music as gifts.

4. Start a music club. If your area doesn't have a music club or organization, gather a couple of friends and start one. Host house concerts and theory classes. Sing pancaratna kritis together. Share notes and listen to tapes.

5. Participate locally. If you have access to a local radio or television station, ask to play some Carnatic music, even if it's only one song. Every bit counts. You can also offer to sing or play at Indian Independence Day events, or any other cultural event.

6. Find out about local organizations that might be interested in music: yoga centers, meditation classes, South Asian groups, temples, mosques, churches. Offer to perform for them or lend them tapes to play.

7. Find a Carnatic performer for South Indian weddings and get children together to perform songs.

8. Practice your traditional holidays and customs, and include a singing/performing session. Invite people from different backgrounds who can contribute different styles of music. You'll learn, too.

9. Tell people. Mention to people at work and socially that you are interested in Carnatic music. Tell them what it is. Let them listen, and explain. Take someone along to a concert with you.

10. Finally, avoid being possessive or judgmental. Yes, the Carnatic music tradition originated in India, but it belongs to all those who enjoy it. Yes, it requires some knowledge, but it originated years ago, and even those who are not trained in music can enjoy it.

Spread it freely, and you'll find a group of people to share your interest with, while building your own knowledge, experiences, and enjoyment.

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updated on 08/01/2005