Aug 18, 2002


For a music system so well developed, I find the notation schemes of carnatic music, quite lacking. Is there a common, defined way of representing say, anya swaram or a particular gamakam? This makes an accurate rendering of a carnatic piece, in terms of what the composer intended, without having heard it, somewhat difficult, however skilled one maybe.

At the risk of sounding like one of those conspiracy nuts, I think this dependence on guru-sishya, oral tradition learning is actually to preserve an elitist, casteist, patriarchal process. The fact that we have the knowledge but not the means to make it accesible is one of our greatest failings.

August 18, 2002