Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, the man who made santoor classical, is remembered.

Hindustani music enthusiasts harbor profound prejudices that cause us to draw irrelevant comparisons between genres, styles, styles, styles . Despite a dogma that treats tradition as an unchanging and monolithic unit, it has evolved as a result of the creative urge of many path-breakers, writes Ashamed Khan .

The study of science is brimming with examples of experiments that have shaped its course.In the fields of performance theory, pedagogy, dissemination, and many other fields, these experiments have been conducted.There is also evidence that experiments in music were not always encouraged and, in some cases, even mocked when they were successful.Many Hindustani music enthusiasts who pride themselves on their diverse repertoires and the diversity of genres, styles, styles, are actually harboring profound prejudices that cause us to draw irrelevant comparisons between these elements: Dhrupad against Khayal, Dhrupad and Khayal against Thumri, rudra veena and surbahar against sitar and santoor, all melodic instruments against percussion instruments, etc.The list goes on.

Among them was a man who faced obstacles in his attempts to use the santoor as a solo recital instrument at a time when the sitar and the sarod reigned supreme.He addressed these challenges with ferocious determination, and santoor has acclaim in the instrument pantheon thanks to his persistent efforts.I had the pleasure of not only accompanying the maestro in performances and recordings, but also speaking to him in person on several occasions.In these and other interviews, he has narrated several stories about the uphill battle he faced and the determination he displayed.

Instead, he believed that his music would be proof of his achievements.Born in Jammu, he was not part of a clan of musicians.Pandit Santramji, his grandfather, was the raj purohit (chief priest) for the Maharaja of Kashmir's private temple.His uncle Pandit Umadutt started playing music in the family, a versatile musician who had studied tabla from Ustad Harnam Singh and vocal music from Varanasi's Bade Ramdasji.

Sharma began learning tabla and vocal music from his father.Though he tried his hand at various instruments, he mainly focused on the tabla and would often accompany famous musicians like Hirabai Barodekar on their radio performances.Sharma's father, who was a music supervisor, was moved to Radio Srinagar and there he heard the santoor perform in Sufiana mausiqui.He had solid ideas about the way the instrument could be tuned, the way to perform and use both kalams and wooden mallets to help facilitate the production of raagdari music.

Sharma built on his experience and experimented until he discovered a style that was synonymous with him, especially if the santoor had been enhanced by amplification system.Sharma was historically in a good position to use this technique to market his instrument.Before amplification was introduced, the basic feel of the guitar had to be worked on.Sharma continued his quest in this direction in several ways: He was convinced that in order to make the santoor a distinct tonal character and technique, he needed to give it a distinct tonal form and technique to make it into a distinct concert instrument.

He explained that he would record his experiments on a Grundig spool recorder he had obtained from a friend.He would play these elements in concerts if he was confident that he was on the right track.He attempted to replicate the effect of the meend by sliding the wooden mallets over the strings, thereby supplying sustenance to the notes, which otherwise would be impossible if the strings were struck.He also worked on the repertoire and the way of musical elaboration, which was aided by his training in vocal music and tabla.

He also explored gats in several popular and seldom heard taals, and used cross-rhythms in a way that was unheard of in Hindustani instrumental music until then.His extended excursions into this area of cross-rhythmic improvisation with tabla accompaniment became an integral part of his technique, and he was admired not only by his disciples but also by other instrumentalists.In addition, he relied on Khayal compositions that he had read.He was not averse to presenting compositions that were inspired by the Thumri-Dadra traditions, which many puritans today consider light or semi-classical without understanding their syntax and improvisatory nature.

His attempts to find a distinct tonal shape for the instrument were guided by its size, the way in which the sound was created with the assistance of the kalams, their weight, and many other characteristics.Sharma covered each of these subjects and tailored them to his personality.Although the trapezoid shape continued, he increased the number of bridges to explore more octaves and reduced the number of strings to avoid excess vibration.In order to obtain a higher tonal quality, he placed the instrument on his lap instead of placing it on a wooden stand.

He looked carefully at the way to strike the strings, among other things.Those who have read the book would have recalled his delicacy in incorporating the striking pattern.He never struck the kalams from a far place because doing so would have resulted in an agressive and distorted tone.He started the notes by balancing the kalams between two fingers without using the thumb, which is normally used as a lever, to start a hammered stroke.

He was offered a film to film for the film Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje, directed by V Shantaram, during this trip.This was the first film to have santoor as background music.He made his own recording.Following this, he received other invitations to work for Hindi films, not only as a music director but also as an actor, but he continued to pursue the path that his father had arranged for him.

The santoor's sound was unknown to recording engineers, musicianship designers, and arrangers, and everyone had to figure out how to express the instruments' volume and tone relative to the rest of the group.The guitar became a part of film music ensembles soon, and this was due to his diligence.For a record titled Call of the Valley in 1967, he collaborated with his close associates Brijbhushan Kabra, a well-known guitarist, and bansuri maestro Hariprasad Chaurasia.It was a huge success, and some music lovers got their first taste of Hindustani music with this compilation.

They kept this name when they began to compose as music directors for Hindi cinema, and their music for films such as Silsila (1981), Chandni (1989), Lamhe (1991), and Darr (1993) became hugely well-received soon after.Despite an active career as a music director, he continued to give solo recitals at prestigious venues around the world.His appearances with the band continue to be cherished by music lovers in particular.Sharma has produced many disciples who continue to promote his musical style over the years.

They should ask themselves whether Hindustani music has a singular, dynamic idea or is it a constantly evolving and dynamic one.There are as many ways to listen to Hindustani music as there are ways to appreciate Indian culture's diversity.Sharma succeeded in establishing a distinct identity for the guitar and making it part of Hindustani music, according to several interviews, including those published in the All India Radio archives, an organization that, ironically, refused to host a complete santoor program for its coveted 90-minute National Programme because it felt that the instrument would not be accepted by music lovers.(A leading tabla exponent, Aneesh Pradhan, is a teacher, composer, and scholar of Hindu