As one who is first a passionate rasika and then a performer and pedagogue of both vocal and instrumental music (and also as one who has composed for both), I have always been fascinated by the complementary roles of these in our wonderful system as well as other systems such as Hindustani, Jazz or Western classical.
While vocal music strikes a chord with most listeners familiar with a system, it is the abstract instrumental music that draws people from outside to it. For instance, in Western classical music, orchestras are heard much more universally, while vocal-centric operas attract a decidedly smaller subset. Hindustani music (which is ‘Indian’ music to most people on this planet) is to this day, symbolised by the sitar and tabla, a sway that their greatest vocalists are yet to match. But then in north India, high quality instrumental music attracts excellent crowds even today… read more