ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Unequal Music

Any discussion about the Carnatic music world’s social composition must focus on the concert, which is the art form’s central and most influential manifestation.

In “Crossing the Vindhyas” (EPW, 13 January 2018), Kamala Ganesh has rightly pointed out that we should not be surprised that a caste-based society’s art forms are also caste-based. But does this mean that we should not examine or question the specific manifestation that caste has taken in different social spheres, such as Carnatic music? I also welcome the article’s aim to introduce nuances into discussions about Carnatic music’s aesthetic, social, economic and political dimensions. Nuance is essential to any discussion, but intelligent debate is always about whether this or that nuance is empirically valid and accurately represents the phenomenon in question. My effort is to represent the ground reality as I have experienced, observed and studied it, not to achieve a “balanced” view for the sake of it. It is in this spirit that I would like to respond to several of Ganesh’s contentions.

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Updated On : 24th Mar, 2018
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