Singing Bhakti Music: From Saints to Synthesizers
Devotional music (bhajan, abhang, kirtan, kriti, dhun) has been an entry point into Sanatana Dharma through the centuries. This timeless tradition is kept alive today in Hindu homes, temples and concert halls across the globe. In that spirit, this course will provide students a practical introduction to the musical tapestry of Bharat through instruction of songs and a glimpse into the inspiring lives of great bhakti saints. Songs covered will range from namasankirtan bhajans to compositions by Tulsidas, Mirabai, Purandaradasa, etc. Techniques and best practices on how to create modern musical interpretations of these songs, keeping their underlying bhakti essence intact, will also be explored.
To fully appreciate the nuances of the Hindu devotional music tradition, one has to dynamically engage with these songs. In this course, this is done by learning bhajans in Sanskrit and various Indian regional languages. Students who play instruments are also welcome, as creative adaptations of the songs will be explored. Along with training students to sing, the importance of Namasankirtan in Hindu Dharma, as well as the inspiring lives of composer-saints will be explored.
Course Learning Objectives:
After taking this course, students will be able to:
a) Develop musical and literary appreciation of the Hindu Bhakti tradition through songs in various Indian languages
b) Analyze and discuss the spirit of the composer-saints’ Bhakti alongside translations of their songs
c) Sing soulful and energetic creations of great Hindu poets
d) Explore the relevance of the songs in their personal lives; learning how to make them “their own” through modern production, singing style, etc.
The classes will meet virtually for 2 consecutive weekends in March. Each session will be of 3 hours totaling 12 hours of instruction.
Area of Study: Hindu Studies Foundation
Core/ Elective: Elective
Prerequisites: Admission into program of study
Days: Saturday and Sunday
Time: 07:00 pm EST – 10:00 pm EST
Start Date: March 4, 2023
End Date: March 12, 2023
Quarter Offered: Winter 2023