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Indian Classical Music Concert at the Embassy of India in Berlin

Music as a form of Cultural Diplomacy

August 10th, 2016
Georgi Zografov, News from Berlin

In the twenty-first century, cultural diplomacy is connected to music through its ability to create inter-cultural connections between nations. This form of “soft power” can be used to create and foster communication channels at the international level.

On August 23rd,  2016, the Embassy of India to Germany will hold an Indian classical concert called "Unfolding evening melodies on Sitar". Attendees experience the performance of Dr. Shubhrodeep Pathak - a young generation Sitirist (sitar player) of the Senia Gharana. The word "Senia" is related to Tansen, the father of Indian Classical Music while the word "Gharana" implies a style of music and Yatziv Kaspi playing the table, a membranophone percussion instrument similar to bongos.

Dr. Shubhrodeep Pathak will unfold the beauty of this enchanting melody with dhrupad style alaap-jor-jhala, typical of his gharana. He will complement this with gayaki (Indian vocal music) inspired compositions set to slow and fast rhythmic cycles. Thereafter, he will go on to play Raga Desh, a melody of homecoming with flavours of Indian Folk. Shubhrodeep will conclude his recital with a medley of Tagore songs played on the Sitar (a plucked stringed instrument used mainly in Hindustani music and Indian classical music).

Yatziv Kaspiwas first introduced to the Tabla at the age of 17 by his teacher Sanjay Sharma, from who he learned Tabla and classical Indian music for 6 years. In 2001,Yatziv expanded his studies during his 6 month stay in north India. Yatziv lives in Berlin and works as a musician and teacher in both drumming and Tabla playing. Since his return from India, Yatziv has been active as a professional drummer and a percussionist as well as a master in the art of the Tabla drum and Indian music.

The musical heritage of India is unique as Indian music is melodic in nature as opposed to Western music which is harmonic. The traditional rhythms are a mirror of society and a nation’s cultural values.

The most important point is that the movements in the Indian classical music are on a one note at a time basis. This progression of sound patterns along time is the most significant contributor to the tune and rhythm of the presentation, and hence to the melody.

The multicultural exchange through the art of the music is very important because music is a fundamental aspect of every culture. Music can be used as a multidisciplinary approach for building and enhancing the relationships between the countries and providing solid and common ground for the conducting of cultural diplomacy. It has played and continues to play a significant role in contemporary international relations.


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