Home | Music | What Kind of Music Is This? An Exploration of Khayal as a Modernist Form

What Kind of Music Is This? An Exploration of Khayal as a Modernist Form


Jun 30 2022 to Jun 30 2022 6:30 p.m.


Bangalore International Centre

7 4th Main Rd, Stage 2, Domlur 560071

Event Description

This session is part of the Infosys Prize Lecture Series Khayal has been the dominant form of Hindustani classical vocal music for well over a century. Its execution involves complex varieties of improvisation in melody and rhythm. It can also be estranging to the lay listener, leading them to conflate khayal with something called ‘classical music’, and puzzle: ‘What kind of music is this?’ In this unique lecture and performance, Infosys Prize laureate Amit Chaudhuri will explore how the raga gives us a way of thinking about Indian music’s relationship to the world that is strikingly different from European music. He will also try to account for the khayal’s strangeness and imaginative richness. The talk will include visual elements as well as a performance of khayal and other facets of music, like laya, accompanied by commentary. Amit Chaudhuri will be accompanied by Vyasmurti Katti on the harmonium and Yogeesh Bhat on the tabla. Award-winning novelist and scholar Amit Chaudhuri is also a musician and composer who received the Sangeet Samman from the West Bengal government for his contribution to classical music. His version of ‘Summertime’ is included in BBC 4’s documentary Gershwin’s Summertime: The Song that Conquered the World. Over the years he has performed khayal in Delhi, Pune, London, New York, San Francisco, and Oxford. Classics of the Kunwar Shyam Gharana, Classical Compositions 1992, and Live at the NCPA are among the various recordings available of his classical singing. Finding the Raga, his book on his relationship to Hindustani classical music, was published in April 2021, and has been shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize.

Upcoming events in Bangalore International Centre