Analysing a Legendary Voice
Ashwini Deshpande
LATA MANGESHKAR: A BIOGRAPHICAL AND SCIENTIFIC STUDY by By Soubhik Chakraborty and Ranjan Sengupta (with co-authors: Anirban Patranabis, Vidhi Salla, Apoorva Chakraborty, Pranjala Shukla, Lopamudra Dutta, Sudakshina Bhattacharjee, Moupali Mitra and Sulochana Lamichaney) Sanctum Books, 2024, 151 pp., INR 1795.00
July 2024, volume 48, No 7

I am passionate about Hindi film music and especially venerate Lata Mangeshkar’s music. I also teach statistics to undergraduates and very recently, I dipped my toes into the vast ocean of machine learning (ML) techniques to analyse data from a household survey. Therefore, the description of this book was fascinating, as it appeared to sit snugly at the intersection of the three fields I have been dabbling with—music, statistics and ML.

The opening sentence of the preface sums up the problem with the rest of the book: ‘Writing a book on Lata Mangeshkar is always a challenge for any author.’ (Millions of Lata fans who have hopelessly tried to emulate her extraordinary musical prowess would add one more phrase to this … and trying to replicate the minutiae in her singing that distinguish the great from the outstanding… is a challenge for any singer.) However, I digress.

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