Indian ragas are quite complicated and require years of training before ears can decipher the kind of raga being rendered. It is quite uncommon nowadays to see youngsters flocking to a Carnatic or a Hindustani music concert because it does not appeal to the pop western-influenced audiences.
Even for a listener it takes several years of familiarity with the classical rendering to appreciate its nuances or else it just sounds like repetition of a line and can get very monotonous for an untrained ear. Obviously nobody has so much time to invest in the art form, considering there are several forms of entertainment that are quick-fixes.
Also amongst most youngsters in India, western music holds a ‘cool’ image and Indian classical music holds a ‘boring’ image, so even if a youngster is naturally inclined to Indian classical music, s/he would rather not display their love for it in public. In spite of this, several communities encourage their children to learn these art forms. Their effort is highly commendable as those are the people that help keep these beautiful forms of music alive. A huge credit for this could be given to the east and south of India for continuing to encourage the Indian classical art forms.
But the credit should also be equally shared by musicians and Indian artists settled in various western countries, because they have taken the art forms with them far and wide. A lot of Indians abroad, send their children to learn these art forms, to keep their culture alive. It is interesting to note that the teachers abroad, teach the traditional forms but also depart from it to include popular forms of music to make the art forms relevant to today’s times.
Obviously, it passes on to the younger generations and here is one such example of an Indian raga merging into an Eminem song! Did Eminem ever think this was possible, we surely didn’t! Great job, Sparsh!
Photo Credit: Lollapalooza 2011