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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Indian musicians tie in tradition with the contemporary

    Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and Zakir Hussain are classical Indian music gurus.

    Both musicians are arguably the most accomplished musicians of their kind, not just India, but the world. On April 7 at 7:30p.m., UApresents introduces the acclaimed performance “”Maestros in Concert”” featuring Sharma and Hussain, in Centennial Hall. Ticket prices range from 17 to 40 dollars.

    Sharma is an Indian classical musician of Hindustani classical music tradition. He is a master of the santoor, a trapezoid-shaped hammered dulcimer often made of walnut, with 70 strings. The santoor was primarily used for folk music until Shivkumar’s father convinced his son to be the first musician to play Indian classical music on a santoor.

    Hussain is a Grammy Award winning, Indian tabla player. A tabla is a pair of drums, which consists of a small right hand drum called dayan and a larger metal one called bayan. Hussain is widely considered as the world’s best tabla player.

    Despite differences in both the instruments, the sounds cross over into one another’s territories with undeniable grace.

    “”We are both from the same part of India so our folk influences are similar to us,”” said Hussain. “”He understands my world very well and I understand his world very well. We can support each other and know fully well the values that we carry from our roots.””

    Like western classical music, Indian classical music is played on the same 12 tone scale. The main difference listeners will notice is how the musician addresses the scale and the patterns they use. Where a musician lives, where they come from, and the folk and religious elements come into play as a major role in how classical music is shaped.

    “”The main visible difference is that western classical music is pre-composed and written out on a piece of paper and then played. In Indian music however, the scales were invented thousands of years ago, but were not written down and do have a compositional value. Therefore, the performer has much more of an input on the stage and in the music,”” said Hussain.

    Since the 1970s, both musicians have collaborated and performed together on stage displaying their incredible talents, making them the living masters of Indian music.

    “”I think the most memorable was a concert in Bombay in the 1970s and the piece just developed in such a manner that at every little high point the audience would rise and fall with us. An hour and 15 minutes had become three hours and we did not even know it. This concert became our first album appropriately entitled, “”When Time Stood Still,”” said Hussain.

    Audiences will be exposed to two instruments that are played in a way that best projects Indian culture.

    “”This is quite the history in the making in the sense that Sharma brought this instrument to the world,”” said Hussain. “”When you listen to these two instruments together you see how they come together in a modern world.””

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