european musical instruments in India

Srinivasan Pichumani srini at engin.umich.edu
Fri Mar 28 10:46:59 EST 1997


	Akbar College. Pandit Subramaniam, who I have had the happy opportunity to
	experience in concert, is obviously well-trained in a Western style and
	very able in every technical and musical way--the method of bowing always
	tells the tale. For him, such a manner of playing represents an adaptation
	of Western training to Indian performance ways. That is not true for many,
	if not most of, Indian violinists. Indian-trained violinists tend to have
	a wild and raspy wound, not vocal at all, and rather like home-grown
	fiddlers everywhere, even if they are in a formidable possession of
	musical knowledge. 

What a <prefix>load of nonsense !  You *obviously* have little 
exposure to the breadth/depth of Carnatic "violinistry" and the 
requirements, expectations of Carnatic music.  

	It is not really comfortable to play the violin sitting down, if comfort 
	were the determining factor--which in the case of Indian violin-playing 
	it is not. There is not a feeling of rightness with the instrument that 
	is the case with sarod, sitar, and probably srangi. I cannot speak for 
	the vina. I sense that Indian instrumental playing is
	related to the lap as a center of weight and balance. The violin was not
	designed with that orientation in mind. Pandit Subramanian, of course,
	plays well and has adapted his exquisite musicianship to the tradional
	requirements of Carnatic music....Max Langley

The give-away in your entire article is that you hold "Pandit" 
Subramaniam as a yardstick for Carnatic "violinistry" and Carnatic 
music.  L.Subramaniam may sound wonderful to you from your specific 
perspective of looking for Western violin technique from Indian 
violinists... but he is a very average Carnatic musician, who
nevertheless has had a lot of exposure in the West.  And as regards 
violin technique needed for Carnatic music, many others are/were
better.

-Srini.




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