An unplugged interview with sarod exponent Amaan Ali Bangash

Updated: 30 November, 2017 10:20 IST | Soumya Vajpayee Tiwari | Mumbai

Ahead of sharing stage with legends like Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia for the 41st Gunidas Sangeet Sammelan, sarod exponent Amaan Ali Bangash speaks about the new-age Indian classical musician

According to you, what's the one trait that the younger generation of Indian classical musicians can learn from their seniors?
Indian classical music is all about being disciplined - about the riyaaz and your general behaviour. If you aren't, you can't find your feet in this tradition of music. But the sad part is that nowadays, the younger musicians feel that they have arrived; they have started challenging their seniors and have stopped respecting them.

How have musical sensibilities and behaviour of musicians changed over the years?
Earlier, radio and Doordarshan were the only media for classical musicians to express themselves. But today, there are over 900 platforms for artistes to showcase their work. Earlier, things were quality-oriented, but now the focus is more on quantity. For success as a musician, you need to follow tehzeeb (culture) and tameez (manners).

Since you started out, have you noticed a change in the number of young attendees at your shows?
The level of interest has increased. There is so much exposure to Indian classical music these days, thanks to print, electronic and social media. The number of young members in the audience has risen. But yes, people are selective (about musicians). I wouldn't say that it (a large number of young people attending classical concerts) happens for everybody.

Do you think classical musicians are required to tweak their approach to stay relevant and sustain their craft?
Hundred per cent, and that's been happening forever. The style of presentation changes every 10 years. Great musicians like my father Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Ravi Shankarji, Ustad Vilayat Khan saab and Ustad Zakir Hussain have changed the way of presenting music to make it more relevant.

Do social media and platforms like YouTube help classical musicians gain recognition?
Definitely. So many of them get opportunities to perform in India and abroad when their work gets recognised on these platforms.

On: November 30, December 1 and 2
At: Nehru Centre Auditorium, Worli.
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First Published: 30 November, 2017 10:05 IST

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