Scheduling Madness

5 May

As promised, here are two polls related to the studying and taking of our final exam.

Review session?

Final Exam Date?

Once we settle on a date for the exam, we can schedule a two-hour chunk. Please submit your answer ASAP.


Tokyo Boogie Woogie

27 Apr

Here is the listening we discussed today in class. If you are interested in some of the jazz musicians we referenced, such as Lester Young or Clifford Brown, there is a panoply of recordings by them on Youtube and Spotify.

A final word on Mumbai

25 Apr

Here is a link to the listening from the last class on Mumbai where we discussed scenes from three different films that drew on “Light” classical styles as a way of indexing various aspects of the past or the weight of tradition.

As we discussed in class, there are many versions of “Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein” from Kabhie Kabhie (1976). Here is the video featuring the voice of playback singer Mukesh (he won a big award for his playback performance in this song).

Here is a link to the entirety of Umrao Jaan (1981). The scene we discussed occurs around 40-minute mark. Don’t forget to select the “cc” to see the English subtitles. The song/scene we covered from that film, “In Aankhon Ki Masti,” was recorded by playback singer Asha Bhosle:

There are many versions of “Radha Kaise Na Jale” on youtube. The one below has the option of English subtitles if you want (select “cc” and then “English” for it to work). However, if the choreography and colors are what excite you about this example, feel free to hunt around for something better.

As you prepare for Friday’s quiz, note that track names and movie titles are more important than the names of the playback singers or composers when discussing Bollywood. When there is both visual and musical material to consider, the video is most important for how it relates to the conventions (i.e. the “context) of bollywood music clips. For example, with “Yunh Hi Chala Chal” from Swades, the video was really important to that discussion because it was such a departure from convention. For “Radha Kaise Na Jale” (Lagaan), the scene and music are about equally as important. The conventions are important to DDLJ as is the “situational” setting for “Yeh Dosti Hum Nahim” from Sholay. For all of the Bollywood material, the readings can really help to elaborate on the content and issues we discussed, such as the relationship of industry and modernity to the music or differing ways of referring to the past.

If any of you are especially invested in the material we covered in this unit and want to learn more about it, I am willing to share additional resources, including books, articles, and other film recommendations.

This Week’s Schedule

23 Apr

Tomorrow we will be closing our Mumbai unit with Light Classical and Ghazal.

For Friday we will be having a quiz on the music we covered in Dakar and Mumbai. We will also be starting our final unit — Tokyo.

ETA: Here is a link to the reading for Friday, E. Taylor Atkins’s “Bop, Funk, Junk, and That Old Democracy Boogie: The Jazz Tribes of Post-War Japan” from Blue Nippon: Authenticating Jazz in Japan (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001).

Listening for Bollywood

20 Apr

Here is the listening for this week. You will notice that I’ve included everything we discussed except for the N. Indian Classical examples. If you would like them, please email me privately, and I’ll send you a link.

Here is the reading for Tuesday by Peter Manuel.

Bollywood and Mumbai

18 Apr

Here is the reading for Friday. Both essays are from the book, Global Bollywood: Travels of Hindi Song and Dance, an interdisciplinary collection with contributors ranging from music, literature, and communication studies.

For those of you who couldn’t get enough of the Tata-AIG “Tree of Life” ad, here it is:

The first song we covered in Tuesday’s class, “Tere Sang Pyar Main” by Lata Mangeshkar, has an accompanying video clip from the film Nagin (1976). Mangeshkar is one of the major playback singers of the 20th century and held the world record for most recordings for many years.

The second song we covered in class, “Aap Jaise Koi” by Nazia Hassan, has a pretty amazing clip from the film Qurbani (1980):

An interesting thing about Hassan is that her popularity had much to do with the transnational reality of people from South Asia during the second half of the 20th century. She met the director forĀ Qurbani, her playback singing debut, while she was in Britain. She was originally from Pakistan and, despite that background, she was a huge success in India. Many people credit her for invigorating the Pakistani pop scene. She was popular enough to often release personal albums in addition to releasing songs for films.

The final film song we covered in class was the title song from the 2000 film Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani by Udit Narayan. The video below features Shah Rukh Khan, one of the biggest stars in Bollywood. An interesting aside about Shah Rukh Khan (also known as “SRK” among his fans) is that he frequently has difficulty getting through U.S. customs. Just this last week, U.S. Customs held him up on his way to give a speech at Yale University.

Reading for Tuesday: Introduction to Mumbai

14 Apr

In addition to the chapter from Planet of Slums, I have asked you to read an article by Jayson Beaster-Jones about music and advertising in Mumbai.

Here is the optional reading, “Mumbai: Squatter Class Culture” from Shadow Cities by Robert Neuwirth.

I know that it can be tricky shifting musical cultures so radically, so my goal is to spend Tuesday exposing you to some of the musical values in North India. If you are a fan of Hindustani music or North Indian folk music, please feel free to email me or post a comment with specific requests. Otherwise, I look forward to starting a new unit!