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The Music Room: A Memoir (2007)

by Namita Devidayal(Favorite Author)
3.87 of 5 Votes: 5
031253664X (ISBN13: 9780312536640)
Thomas Dunne Books
review 1: I am incredibly fond of this book. I didn't just read it. I was in it. The book traces the journey of Hindustani classical music as it filtered through the sieves of social segmentation, patronage and religious agendas. Yet, I was all the while gently reminded of its universality. And because it is mostly anecdotal, it drew me in easily. Please read it if you're - like me - a student of or enthusiastic about Hindustani Classical Music!
review 2: Having trained in classical music myself, I can relate to the author's deep reverence for her guru. There is nothing quite like the Indian guru-sishya parampara outside the realm of Indian classical art forms and it really is an unparalleled experience. This sentiment is echoed throughout the book. The relationship she
... moreshares with her teacher is endearing and poignant. The book is mostly about the author's own personal experiences but there are liberal doses of anecdotes about great musicians and their inevitable quirkiness. I loved reading about Kesarbai Kerkar's crass personality and her contrasting divine khayal singing style. The taunts she faced, having been born into the devdasi community and the hypocrisy of men/patrons who supported artists like her are all quite unfortunate. The author's teacher, Dhondutai (Dhondu = stone, in Marathi! She was thus named to ward off evil spirits!), was someone who dedicated her entire life to the pursuit of khayal singing but failed to become a prominent performer. There are hundreds of singers and artists like her who doggedly pursue their art forms for the sake of art itself, even though their talents go unrecognized. They may simply fade away without making a significant mark in the musical history of the world, but they manage to touch many lives and inspire the uninspired. This is what the author gets at. Her Princeton-trained mind questions her teacher's archaic beliefs but she revers them nevertheless and eventually seeks solace in the divinity of the musical notes she was taught as a child. Read it to get a glimpse of the complex world of Indian classical musicians. less
Reviews (see all)
One of the best books I have ever read. I enjoyed it thoroughly!
Inspiring novel. set in midst of bombay. nostalgia unloaded.
Gives a good insight into the life of an Indian musician.
Awesome book for both music as well as non music lovers
Great book.
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