Education About Asia

A Tour of Music Cultures in South Asia: Classical and Devotional Music

Download PDF

An audience of about 3,000 descends on the open-air Nazrul Manch Theater in South Kolkata (Calcutta) every winter at the Dover Lane Music Festival to hear the senior legends and the emerging stars of North Indian classical (or Hindustani) music. The crowd, made up of the urbane intellectuals of Kolkata and a good number of foreigners, is lively. Audience members move in and out of the hall for tea and snacks between performances, but every seat is filled for the senior artists who perform between midnight and seven in the morning. In January 2012, senior representatives of the most well-known vocal and instrumental lineages are the headliners: Pandit Jasraj, Rashid Khan, Shahid Parvez, Aashis Khan, and Ba’uddin Dagar. Performers are both Hindu and Muslim. Their disciples and followers come from every religious and cultural group of South Asia.