Sharad Sathe and the Gwalior voice

Published in Scroll, March 24, 2017, as “Why Gwalior gharana vocalist Sharad Sathe occupies a remarkable position in Hindustani music”.

Sharad Sathe_2
First Edition Arts

Modern Hindustani classical music is the product of a continuous process of assimilation, cross-pollination, and experimentation. These processes operate not just across traditional stylistic schools, or gharanas, but also within individual schools. If we tease apart the tangled threads of pedagogy and influence, we find a rich narrative of a living and changing art form.

The vocal master Sharad Sathe personifies the complex development of a singing style within a single gharana — Gwalior — and largely within the musical community of a single small region, Mumbai and Pune. Sathe, who turned 85 in February, is appearing in concert in Mumbai this Sunday as the fourth musician in First Edition Arts’ Secret Masters Sessions, a series featuring phenomenal musicians who have remained hidden from mainstream view. Sathe, who lived in Mumbai for most of his adult life, moved to Pune two years ago. His performance will bring the first year of the series — which has already featured Arun Kashalkar, Narayanrao Bodas and Jayashree Patnekar — to a close.

To convey Sathe’s remarkable position in contemporary music, it is necessary to provide some historical context. The Gwalior school, the oldest pedagogical tradition of khayal, traces its roots to the court of Mohammad Shah “Rangile” of Delhi. … more in Scroll

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