Welcome to the world of music!

“Do you want to catch this ‘Purusha Sukta’ at Ranga Shankara?

After a long hiatus, the spouse was finally trying to get our social life in gear.

“What is it? A play? A concert?”

While I always briefly scanned the daily listing of classical concerts in Bangalore, having two teens meant we had little time to catch the performing arts. Now with both the kids in college, we’ve finally re-awakened to the arts scene in Bangalore.

Bangalore’s messy and seemingly chaotic growth has seen it evolve a more cosmopolitan cultural milieu. Avante-garde theatre and art, Mediterranean food and music of nearly every kind are just some of the signs of a city growing and experimenting culturally. Amidst the chaos, there are still areas that cling to some age-old traditions and culture that makes the city and state so unique.

Carnatic classical music, with its history so closely tied to the Kaveri and Karnataka is one such tradition. Turn the pages of any daily on a Friday or the weekend and one reads about not just the upcoming DJs but also a plethora of other events involving the classical arts.

The keepers of the flame of classical music in Bangalore range from the Bangalore Gayana Samaja one of the oldest cultural institutions in the city through Ananya in Malleswaram or the eponymously named BTM Cultural Academy to the recently started Center for Indian Music Experience in JP Nagar.

In fact every major neighborhood now from Indiranagar to Girinagar has a sabha of their own that hosts classical music and dance events. Given India’s proclivity for festivals practically every month, the music lover is never short of opportunities. Whether its Navaratri in September/October, Shankaranthi in January, Ramanavami in March/April sabhas across Bangalore keep a busy schedule.

The monthly or annual music programmes hosted by these sabhas are an additional bonus.

Despite the roads around it being dug up for the Metro, the Bangalore Gayana Samaja holds its own adhering to its long history of hosting classical music and dance programs for its members and the public. Over the next few columns I’ll be reviewing concerts and other musical events in the city.

Avoid the traffic jams and join in the conversation here as we follow the music and musicians.

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