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A smart way to enjoy Hindustani classical music

Pandit Satyasheel Deshpande creates a Five Minute Classical Music (FMCM) khayal piece for Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation (PDAF), to help listeners appreciate Hindustani classical music on their smartphones

Three months ago, Dilip Dahanukar, founder trustee of Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation (PDAF), a non-profit organisation that promotes Art in India, made an unusual request to Pandit Satyasheel Deshpande to compose a 'khayal' in a Five Minute Classical Music (FMCM) format, which would appeal to the younger audience.

Khayal singer Pandit Satyasheel Deshpande
Khayal singer Pandit Satyasheel Deshpande 

"It is scientifically proven that classical music has healing and soothing capacities. While Mozart is recommended for prenatal mothers, and morning ragas have proved to spread positive vibes in a listener, the young generation is impatient. To introduce them to Hindustani classical music, we thought it was a great idea to create a mobile version," says Dahanukar, who has packaged this piece as Brain Yoga Music.

Excerpts from an interview with Pandit Satyasheel Deshpande:

Q. What is a khayal? Tell us about the Five Minute Classical Music (FMCM)format.
A.  A Khayal is a form of North Indian classical vocal music that provides greater scope for improv-isation. The duration doesn't decide the superiority of a piece. The beauty of Hindustani classical music is that it is not pre-composed, it is left to the artiste's interpretation. I created the piece in a faster tempo, which has a rhythmic cycle, depending on the raga.

Q. What is the purpose of this format?
A.  Usually, a classical music composition ranges from 20 to 45 minutes. The five-minute format has been created for people who don't have any prior experience of listening to Indian classical music. It is like introducing them to classical music in small doses. I have reduced the khayal into a compact theorem without changing its traditional heritage.

Q. What does the piece comprise?
A. The piece comprises 10 compositions in seven ragas, including Darbari, Todi and Vyjayanthi. The supporting instrumentals are tanpura and tabla.

The piece that will be launched today at Veer Savarkar Auditorium, Shivaji Park can be downloaded for free on your smartphone on www.prafullafoundation.com

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