S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Buddhadev Das Gupta

Birthdays & Anniversaries
1.2.1933 -15.1.2018

Veteran sarod maestro Buddhadev Das Gupta has the unique distinction of balancing a successful career in engineering along with Hindustani classical music. A recipient of the Padma Bhushan award from the Government of India in 2012, he is one of the artists featured in The Raga Guide CD collection (Nimbus Records), an important learning resource for students of Hindustani music.

Well into his mid-eighties, the maestro, aided by his son and disciple Anirban Das Gupta, conducted a three-day workshop on Hindustani music for students at the LearnQuest Academy in Waltham, Massachusetts on 19, 22 and 24 July. He guided students of vocal music, sarod, sitar and electronic guitar on aspects of riyaz (regular music practice), the correct method of holding the instrument and spacing fingers while playing musical notes, and techniques for creating taans (quick melodic passages) in several ragas such as Jaijaivanti, Kedar, Malkauns, Chhaya Nat and Khamaj.

In the workshop sessions, Pandit Buddhadev Das Gupta stressed on the importance of learning the key phrases that define Indian ragas and bring out their essence. “Riyaz is not performance. Isolate yourself to a quiet spot and practice few phrases relentlessly until you feel happy with the results. Play what you have practiced in front of someone who understands music and has got it right. Aim to deliver musical phrases well, without any mistakes. Devote a small portion of each day for riyaz – continuity is important,” he advised students. His sincere love for classical music (particularly the sarod), his willingness to share his knowledge, and his sense of humour touched the hearts of the workshop attendees.

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