The dearth of written material of quality and authenticity on contemporary music performance, musicians and related issues to be considered seriously in the context of preservation and propagation of Indian classical music.
The reading material available today on Indian music is mainly by theoreticians and not practicing musicians. In general, one observes lack of objectivity and scientific approach in the work by Indians and the absence of cultural perspective in the work by non-Indians. A professional Indian woman performer is still a rarity in this field.
‘Along the Path of Music’ is not a biographical work. It is a journey in and of a noted musician Dr. Prabha Atre who can not dissociate herself from music even in her personal life. A first hand account of her musical journey, observations, experiences, reactions, in her own words makes reading of this book credibility.
Padmashri, Padmabhushan, Tagore Akademi Fellow, Kalidas Samman and Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee Dr. Prabha Atre is an eminent personality in the field of music. She is revered as a brilliant thinker, performer, academician, composer and guru. The Various positions she held as Assistant Producer at the All India Radio, Professor and Head of the Department of Post-Graduate Studies & Research in Music at SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai and Producer-Director of the recording company ‘Swarashree’ have enriched her personality. Dr. Atre has a rare blend of skill and insight and has displayed constant innovation and creative endeavour which distinguishes her both in the classical and light-classical idioms.
A senior vocalist rpresnting the Kirana gharaanaa, Dr. Atre, was trained under Pt Sureshbabu Mane, Pta Hirabai Badodekar and drew much inspiration from the styles of Ustad Amir Khan and Ustad Babu Ghulam Ali Khan – renowned maestros of Indian classical music.
Dr. Atre been teaching in the traditional guru-shishya style for more than 45 years and is an acclaimed guru in India and abroad, both in performance and research. ‘Dr. Prabha Atre Foundation’ set up by her aims to promote the cause of Indian culture and performing arts. She has also established ‘Swaramayee Gurukul’ at Pune has to bridge the prevailing gap between the acadmic institutions and the traditional guru-shishya paramparaa by nurturing talented students into all-round professionals.
Dr. Atre has authored several academic books on the various aspects of music that are especially relevant to the present day performance. Her Doctoral thesis on ‘Sargam’ or the use of sol-fa names as musical material and her books ‘Swaramayee’, Suswaraalee’, Swaraanginee’, ‘Swarajanee’, Swararangee’, Antahswar’, ‘enlightening the Listener’ bear testimony to her various accomplishments. Her books have been well received by both lay knowledgeable listeners. They have also been translated into other Indian languages.
At the age of 83 when I look back, I realise that all my thinking, experiences, actions, reactions are associated with music directly, indirectly; especially when music became my life’s goal and also a full time profession.
But along with that musician Prabha Atre, there was another Prabha who tried to lives as an ordinary human being away from public and publicity.
Knowledge and creativity open up many avenues. I have forever been tempted to stroll into every one of those that I came across. Not every such trip has been success. But the experience so gained has been meaningful. The person in me successively got enriched.
There have been many occasions when people wanted to know about Prabha Atre as a person, her personal life, her grooming, her education, her family, her relationships, etc.
I have never aspired to seek recognition as a writer. That certainly has been my dream. I am a singer and I feel thoroughly fulfilled as a musician. I took to writing because I felt the need to communicate with my listeners.
The first edition of this book was published in 2005. During the last ten years, so much has happened in my life and music which has changed my outlook, my perception. This has made me go for the revised edition of ‘Along the Path of Music’. My other book ‘Enlightening the Listener’ has also been revised and published alongwith.
I do not know when my notes joined hands with words. I am not a poet. It is just an extension of my musical expression. I thank Prof. Susheela Ambike for translating some of my poems from Marathi to Rnglish. I am aware how difficult it is to translate a musical thought from one medium to another. Prof. Ambike has captured essence and from adding novelty and variety to the content. I also thank her for going through the script of the first edition.
My student Prof. Tazim Kassam from Syracuse University, USA, helped me in editing the revised edition. Dr. Bharathi M.D. my close associate took all the responsibility from typing. Formatting to final production. My best wishes to both.
I thank renowned painter-illustrator Sri. Ravi Paranjape and his student Sri. Rhul Deshpande for the illustrations which have not only beautified the book but have also made the contents more meaningful and edition of this book beautifully.
North Indian Music (291)
Original Texts (60)
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