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The Musical Journey of Kumar Gandharva
Raghava R. Menon The Musical Journey of Kumar Gandharva : Raghava R. Menon : Vision Books : Book (ISBN: 8170949807)
Pages: 124
Price: Rs. 495
Format: Paperback
ISBN13/10: 9788170949800 / 8170949807
Availability: Yes
Published in 2017
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Table of Contents

It was like a meteor that he passed across the Indian sky and cut in his wake the body of Hindustani classical music into two neat halves; one half before Kumar Gandharva and one half after him, a kind of a B.C. and an A.D. in Indian music. This book examines the magical opening up of a man from one tradition to the building of another.

Kumar sang out of the Bandish and not out of the Raga — a complete turnaround in the culture of Hindustani classical music. And of course the passion and intensity with which Kumar invested his performance.

It could be said without the slightest exaggeration that it was Kumar Gandharva who brought Bhakti Sangeet back into Indian Classical music. Bhajan singing is not Bhakti singing, Kumar used to say. It is not the subject of God in the lyrics of the Bhajan that makes it into Bhakti Sangeet — but the man singing it.

This book has taken a lifetime to get written. Over the years, randomly the material for this book got collected. Not because any of us who knew Kumar and felt the epochal implications of the art that his life presented thought that it needed necessarily to be documented in a book; but that it needed to be understood for its own sake.

Raghava R. Menon

Raghava R. Menon studied music in the Guru-Shishya tradition under Pandit V.A. Kashalkar, one of the oldest students of Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. For many years he worked as a public relations executive and was subsequently associated with the University of the State of New York. He had also been a visiting professor at several european universities.

Mr Menon had written and published numerous book- reviews, short stories and articles on music in several newspapers and magazines both in India and abroad. He had also published several books on music including Discovering Indian Music, A Journey into Raga (which has been translated into German, French and Russian), The Pilgrim of the Swara, a biography of the singer K.L. Saigal and Indian Classical Music: An Initiation. He was a music critic for Indian music in the Times of India and for Western music in the Hindustan Times.

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