Why Carnatic Music Matters More Than Ever

by Ludwig Pesch

Published by Shankar Ramchandran on behalf of Dhvani Ohio

https://dhvaniohio.org/why-carnatic-music-matters-more-than-ever-by-ludwig-pesch/

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 License

For this musicologist and author, there are good reasons to believe that Carnatic music matters, perhaps more than ever and almost anywhere in the world. So why not perform and teach it in the service of better education for all, for ecological awareness or in order to promote mutual respect in spite of all our differences? And in the process, get “invigorated and better equipped to tackle the larger issues at hand”.

Sruti Magazine (October 2018)

Integrated Music Education – Challenges of Teaching and Teacher Training – Book release during ISME 2018 world conference for music education

“Thinking and learning in South Indian Music” by Ludwig Pesch, chapter 4 in:

Markus Cslovjecsek, Madeleine Zulauf (eds.)
Integrated Music Education – Challenges of Teaching and Teacher Training
Peter Lang Publishers, Bern, 2018. 418 pp., 29 fig. b/w, 2 tables
MOUSIKÆ PAIDEIA Music and Education/Musik und Bildung/Musique et Pédagogie. Vol. 1 pb.
ISBN 978-3-0343-0388-0

This book was presented  during the 33rd ISME World Conference for Music Education (isme2018.org) on Wednesday 18 July 2018.

About this book

Schools are generally oriented towards discipline-based programmes and therefore students often accumulate fragmented knowledge, disconnected from real life concerns. The eighteen contributors to this work suggest that music offers a highway to developing a more appropriate integrated education. They present a range of views on Integrated Music Education rooted in various cultural traditions, based on several interdisciplinary models and integrated arts curricula, inspired by psychological concepts and referenced to recent teaching experiments as well as original research.

In this innovative book, the reader is invited to go beyond the dichotomy between ‘education in music’ and ‘education through music’, exploring the opportunities put forward by Integrated Music Education thanks to a constant movement from the theoretical roots through a precise description of teaching activities to the benefits for students in terms of integration of knowledge, personal development, and social and cultural belonging. Lastly, there are some new and interesting ideas for training teachers.

https://www.peterlang.com/view/title/34993

Exploring a wealth of rhythmic and melodic motifs: Interactive music session for and with Montessori teachers – Zurich

At the invitation of Christine Urand (Director, Rietberg Montessori School) Ludwig Pesch took the full assembly of teachers on a musical journey across South India: exploring a wealth of rhythmic and melodic motifs suitable for young learners while enabling parents, teachers and care-givers to enjoy music making themselves (even as “lay people”, musically speaking).

This event was also an occasion to explore and discuss the scope for actively participating in an intercultural dialogue, something the presenter has long been known for, while paying homage to Maria Montessori (*): be it as contributor to ISME World Conferences or in association with educational and cultural institutions across the entire spectrum: teacher training, kindergarten, schools, rehabilitation just as staff integration programmes; conservatoria and universities in several countries; and creative projects developed in association with the Goethe Institute and exhibition makers at internationally renowned museums.

Date: 1 March 2018. Events on similar lines have been developed in conjunction with Museum Rietberg (Zurich) on the occasion of exhibitions of rare Indian art (in collaboration with art education staff).

Deutsch: Eine musikalische Reise für alle >>


* From 1939 until 1947 Dr. Maria Montessori worked closely with Rukmini Devi, founder of Kalakshetra (est. in 1936 in Adyar/Madras, now part of Chennai), an institution established for the integration of India’s cultural heritage and learning. Kalakshetra stands for an integrated approach to education all realms education – social, economic, crafts and performing arts, being both inspired and guided by India’s first Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore whose  pioneering concept for informal learning was first tested and further developed at Santiniketan (“abode of peace”).

These pioneering efforts remain as relevant today as in the early 20th century when Maria Montessori and her associates realized that true education is more than a tool for succeeding in life as an individual or member of one’s own society: it is the very key to world peace and social justice (see, for example, her 1932 “Peace and Education” lecture published by the International Bureau of Education, Geneva).

Dealing with life’s challenges with the help of music – and understanding it better, to begin with: “Why we love music”, a book by John Powell

“The effect of music on our body chemistry is particularly fascinating to me. Our bodies effectively contain an internal pharmacy that dispenses various chemicals to help us deal with life’s challenges.” – John Powell

More about this book

In “Why You Love Music,” John Powell, a physicist who has also studied musical composition, offers an array of answers that mainly reflect his scientific background. He conveys some basic musical information painlessly, including tuning and scales, the construction of melodies, and elements of timbre and key. His writing is chatty and unpretentious; he is informal and down-home, at times quite funny. If you have ever felt intimidated by music and its terminology of whole and half steps, scales and chords, this book will put you at ease. – Peter Pesic, Wall Street Journal (£)Buy the book

Why We Love Music is published byJohn Murray at £9.99 and is available from the Guardian Bookshop for £8.49

Source: The science of songs: how does music affect your body chemistry? | Books | The Guardian
Address: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/16/the-science-of-songs-how-does-music-effect-your-body-chemistry
Date Visited: Wed Oct 25 2017 17:39:52 GMT+0200 (CEST)

With chapters on music and emotions, music as medicine, music and intelligence and much more, Why We Love Music will entertain through to the very last minute. A delightful journey through the psychology and science of music, Why We Love Music is the perfect audiobook for anyone who loves a tune.

Source: Why We Love Music: From Mozart to Metallica – the Emotional Power of Beautiful Sounds (Audio Download): Amazon.co.uk: John Powell, Phil Fox, John Murray: Books
Address: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Why-Love-Music-Metallica-Emotional/dp/B01BW3SYDI
Date Visited: Wed Oct 25 2017 17:45:28 GMT+0200 (CEST)

“Eine kleine Weltmusik: die Musik der Santal” in Klangkörper. Saiteninstrumente aus Indien – Rezension in ASIEN 139

Johannes Beltz; Marie Eve Celio-Scheurer (Hgg.): Klangkörper. Saiteninstrumente aus Indien.
Zürich: Museum Rietberg, 2015. 81 S., 23 EUR | Zur Ausstellung in Indien und über die Englische AusgabeCadence and Counterpoint, Documenting Santal Musical Traditions by Johannes Beltz, Ruchira Ghose and Maria-Eve Celio-Scheurer (eds.) >>

Eine einzigartige Würdigung der visuellen Attraktivität und künstlerischen Qualität der Musikinstrumente der Santal in Indien. Mit einem Text von Bengt Fosshag über seine Passion als Sammler dieser Instrumente und einem kurzen Essay von Ludwig Pesch zur Musik der Santal.

ASIEN 139 (April 2016) in print – Rezension von Heinz Werner Wessler (Professor für Indologie an der Universität Uppsala, Schweden) , S. 138-139 | Mehr über den Rezensenten | LinkedIn >>

Der Band ist Ausstellungskatalog (Ausstellung „Klang/Körper“ im Musum Rietberg), Nachschlagewerk und zugleich ein Beitrag zur Erforschung der Saiteninstrumente der indischen Adivasis (Ureinwohner), insbesondere der im östlichen Indien ansässigen Santals. Die hier dokumentierten Instrumente, die zum größten Teil auf eine aktuelle Schenkung an das Museum Rietberg zurückgehen (einige wenige Exemplare wurden vom Rietberg-Kreis aus der Sammlung Fosshag angekauft), wurden im berühmten Zürcher Museum für asiatische Kunst zum ersten Mal ausgestellt und hier im Rahmen des vorliegenden Kataloges dokumentiert.

Die Sammlung geht zurück auf den Designer und Illustrator Bengt Fosshag, der über viele Jahre Indien bereiste und dabei über Jahrzehnte diese einzigartige Sammlung aufbaute. Dies in einer Zeit, in der lokale Traditionen mehr und mehr gefährdet sind und untergehen, wie das auch mit den Musikinstrumenten der Santals und ihrer Musik der Fall ist (vgl. den Beitrag „Eine Instrumentensammlung für ein Kunstmuseum“ von Johannes Beltz).

Das Museum, das als ein Ort für asiatische hohe Kunst eingerichtet wurde, öffnet sich mit der Annahme der Sammlung damit weiter in Richtung Volks- und Stammeskunst. Ursprünglich hatte sich das berühmte Museum Rietberg vor allem als V ermittler und Bewahrer der klassischen hochkulturellen Kunsttraditionen Indiens etabliert. Das Anliegen, klassische Kunstwerke aus Südasien als Exponate der Weltkunst zu etablieren, hat sich durchgesetzt. Inzwischen gibt es andere Prioritäten, die zu programmatischen Annäherungen zwischen der Weltkunst gewidmeten Museen und den modernen Völkerkundemuseen führten.

Ludwig Pesch macht in seinem Beitrag „Eine kleine Weltmusik: die Musik der Santal“ deutlich, dass die Santal und ihre Musik einerseits völlig eigenständig sind, andererseits aber in einem „Dialog im Flüsterton“ ihren Einfluss auf die indische Moderne hatten, vor allem über Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941), der seine berühmte Universität Vishvabharati in Santal-Gebiet gründete. In diesem Sinn versteht sich der Katalog, wie Johannes Beltz schreibt, als „ eine spielerische, poetische Annäherung an die Instrumente“ (S.31) als „Klang/Körper“, das heißt als Klang erzeugende Kunstwerke der Santals.

Die Sammlung Fosshag besteht aus 92 Instrumenten aus der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts, fast alles Streichinstrumente, deren Saiten entweder mit einem Bogen gestrichen oder gezupft werden. Ihr Formsprache nimmt die Körperteile des menschlichen Körpers auf, so auch in der Bezeichnung der einzelnen Teile des Instruments in der Santal-Sprache. Auch die ornamentalen V erzierungen sind meistens anthropomorph. Leider sind die Instrumentenbauer und ihre konkrete Herkunft bisher weitgehend unbekannt.

Der kleine Band enthält außerdem einige der von Martin Kämpchen in deutscher Übersetzung herausgegebenen Lieder der Santal sowie hochaufgelöste Bilder aller Instrumente der Sammlung.

Heinz Werner Wessler

Video | Chor@Berlin 2017: Ode an die Nacht (Ausschnitt)

Chor@Berlin 2017: Ode an die Nacht (Ausschnitt) from Deutscher Chorverband on Vimeo.

Mit „Ode an die Nacht“ gelangte im Rahmen von Chor@Berlin am 24. Februar 2017 im Radialsystem V das letzte Werk von Harald Weiss’ „Darkness Project“ zur Uraufführung.

Kammerchor Berlin (Einstudierung: Stefan Rauh)
Concentus Neukölln – Ensemble der Musikschule Paul-Hindemith, Neukölln (Einstudierung: Thomas Hennig)
Berliner Mädchenchor (Einstudierung: Sabine Wüsthoff)

Indischer Gesang und Tambura: Manickam Yogeswaran
Blues-Gesang: Hanno Bruhn
Bajan: Mateja Zenzerovic
Klavier und Synthesizer: Peter Müller
Violine: Kinneret Sieradzki
Kontrabass: Guy Tuneh
Schlagzeug: Viorel Chiriacescu, Daniel Eichholz und Alexandros Giovanos
Elektro-akustische Vorproduktion: Harald Weiss
Stimme: Andrea Gubisch
Gesamtleitung: Thomas Hennig

Rhythmic patterns and sound that came before sense

why_birds_sing-david_rothenberg_2005

Sanskrit is among the oldest languages, of all our Indo-European tongues. Now [Frits] Staal* says mantras, rhythms of sound that do not quite make sense, may lie at the roots of Sanskrit. Here’s an ancient song from the Vedas to be sung in the forest: Ayamayamayamayamayamayamauhova. Literally all it means is “thisonethisonethisonethisonethisonnnnnne …”

You are supposed to sing it when you consecrate an altar out of doors. Staal believes such resonating, repeating measures of sound may be older than human language itself. It may have worked like this: Our ancestors chanted rhythmic patterns of sound long before we ever thought that sounds should signify specific things. Sound came before sense, before we had history, back in the time of birds. Language came out of ritual rather than the other way around.

Why birds sing : a journey through the mystery of bird song by David Rothenberg. New York: Basic Books, ©2005, p. 185.

http://www.worldcat.org/title/why-birds-sing-a-journey-through-the-mystery-of-bird-song/oclc/57557354&referer=brief_results

* Frits Staal. Ritual and mantras: rules without meaning. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1996, 1993. [For the above quote, see other ed., New York: Peter Lang, 1990, p. 305]

http://www.worldcat.org/title/ritual-and-mantras-rules-without-meaning/oclc/38058450&referer=brief_results

No complacency in the search for creativity: Manickam Yogeswaran (The Hindu)

Review by Garimella Subramaniam, The Hindu, January 05, 2017 | Read the full review >>

“The many dimensions of the musical persona of Berlin-based Manickam Yogeswaran of Sri Lankan origin are not easy to fathom just from hearing him sing at one recital. […]

However, a conversation over coffee at Chamiers, days after a performance for Tamil Isai Sangam at Raja Annamalai Mandram, gave a glimpse of the different facets of the disciple of T.V. Gopalakrishnan and his exposure to Hollywood. […]

Yogeswaran’s forays into western classical ensembles, and his key role in global music forums for nearly three decades is a career graph, perhaps, typical of the wider scene in the performing arts these days. At the same time, it is the emotional need to stay anchored to the cultural milieu of one’s roots that probably explains Yogeswaran’s crucial engagement with Carnatic music. […] The challenge now, he says, is to nudge current generation of South Asians from a false sense of security about the future of this traditional art form. The conveniences afforded by technology, in terms of access to the treasure trove of recordings of great masters, ought not to breed complacency in the search for creativity, he argues. The key lies in continued reliance on the rigours of relentless individual ‘sadhana,’ a hallmark of classical music.”

http://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/Revelling-in-his-classical-roots/article16992760.ece