The Embassy of India in Berlin Hosts a Traditional Bansuri Concert

Exploring the Richness of Indian Classical Music

March 13th, 2023
Alexandre Antierens, News from Berlin
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The Embassy of India in Berlin recently hosted a concert of traditional Indian music on March 13th, 2023, at the Indian Embassy, Tiergartenstr. 17, 10785 Berlin. The event was a remarkable celebration of the rich Indian cultural heritage and was open to a maximum of 200 guests with valid Indian, German, or other acceptable ID cards/passports having German stay permits. EU citizens were allowed to carry copies of their local registration certificates to attend the concert.

The event featured a group of talented musicians who enthralled the audience with their captivating performance. Among them were three renowned artists - S. Hariharan on the drums, Madan Mohan on the violin, and Shantala Subramaniam on the bansuri. The bansuri, an ancient side-blown flute with its origins in the Indian subcontinent, is a cherished musical instrument in Indian classical music. It is made from bamboo and metal materials and has widespread usage in Hindustani classical music. In Hindu Vedic texts, the bansuri is referred to as nadi and tunava.

The bansuri has a unique design that involves a single hollow bamboo shaft with six or seven finger holes. The traditional design of the instrument is relatively simple, but contemporary models are obtainable in diverse materials. The flute produces notes by covering and uncovering finger holes, with a range spanning two and a half octaves. The bansuri-like flute frequently appears in ancient temple paintings and reliefs and is intimately linked to the love story of Krishna and Radha in Hindu mythology. The bansuri is sometimes referred to as the murali, and it holds significant value in Indian music and culture. It is designated as vaṃśi in early medieval Indian texts and wangsi or bangsi in medieval Indonesian Hindu and Buddhist arts.

The concert provided a wonderful opportunity for the audience to experience the mesmerizing rhythms and soulful melodies of traditional Indian music. It was an excellent showcase of India's rich cultural heritage and the significance of the bansuri in Indian classical music. The concert also highlighted the strong cultural ties between India and Germany and the importance of promoting intercultural understanding and appreciation through music and the arts.

Overall, the concert was a resounding success and left a lasting impression on the attendees, who left with a newfound appreciation for the beauty and significance of Indian classical music and the bansuri.


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