A Contemporary Survey
by Mohan Nadkarni , , pp.,
August 2006, volume 30, No 8

Some years ago Mohan Nadkarni pub- lished The Great Masters: Profiles in Hindustani Classical Vocal Music (Harper Collins, 1999), a compendium of pen portraits of past masters that he had heard in the half century as a practising music critic in Bombay. Music to Thy Ears is a kind of companion volume which gives us a peep into the world of instrumental music. Although reams have been written about stars like Ravi Shankar and the late Vilayat Khan, a contemporary survey of instrumentalists is hard to find, and Nadkarni’s book goes a long way in filling this gap. There have been critics before Nadkarni who published fine pioneering accounts of instrumentalists, but that was decades ago. S.K.Chaubey’s Musicians I have Met (Information Department, Uttar Pradesh, 1958) has interesting profiles of forgotten musicians like Ajodhya Prasad (Pakhawaj), Sakhawat Khan (sarod), Yusuf Ali Khan (sitar) and Sadiq Ali Khan (rudra veena). Chetan Karnani’s informed criticism in Listening to Hindustani Music (Sangam Books, 1976) of Nikhil Bannerjee, Ram Narayan and Pannalal Ghosh is still unsurpassed.

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