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The Data Speaks: Pop Music Is Too Loud and It All Sounds The Same (The Echo Nest Corporation, 08/20/2012)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on August 20, 2012

It’s common knowledge in musical circles that a “loudness war” is underway, wherein producers compress ever more volume into their productions to make them sound as loud as possible. You know how television commercials tend to sound louder than shows? Most music released today is compressed in much the same way as those advertisements, so it all sounds loud, with little dynamic range.

Many of us already suspected as much, but that’s just one of the interesting findings from a pop music study published in Nature that is garnering a lot of attention this summer: “Measuring the Evolution of Contemporary Western Popular Music.”

The study relied on data from the Million Song Dataset, “a freely-available collection of audio features and metadata for a million contemporary popular music tracks” provided by The Echo Nest. We released it in March 2011 to help commercial and academic researchers conduct important experiments without having to build their own datasets. It’s nice to see another use of these valuable data, which we made available to the world under an open-source license.

In addition to the finding that pop music has grown louder, the study unearthed two less-intuitive trends. Not only are the timbres of pop music instruments (i.e. their innate sonic characteristics) becoming standardized, but so their chord progressions are growing more similar too. In other words, the study claims, all pop music sort of sounds the same in three significant ways.

Some of this uniformity might be chalked up to professional studios being involved with so many hit artists. Or maybe it’s just the nature of cultural evolution that pop music wants to sound somewhat the same.

Whatever the cultural reasons behind these scientific findings, we’re excited to see another use of these data, released by The Echo Nest in collaboration with Columbia University’s LabROSA.

More on the Million Song Dataset:

(Source: 08/20/2012 – The Echo Nest Corporation | Blog)


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Bangalore: Carnatic Music app gets popular on Android

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on January 5, 2012

Indu Nandakumar, ET Bureau Jan 5, 2012, 08.19PM IST

Carnatic-Raga-App-1BANGALORE: A recently launched mobile application ‘Caranatic Raga‘, developed by Sivakumar Loganathan, a graduate student in Entertainment Technology at the Carnigie Mellon University is gaining popularity in the Android app market. Carnatic Raga provides reference to about 968 ragas used in carnatic music and lets you search for a raga from a single note.

The app provides the Arohanam (ascending scale) and Avarohanam (descending scale) of each raga. In the past one year, there has been rise in the number of genre-specific mobile applications, most of them free for download, helping traditional music aficionado’s stay connected to rare raga’s and their favourite performances.

English: Melakarta is a collection of fundamen...

English: Melakarta is a collection of fundamental ragas in Carnatic music.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Carnatic music system is very rich. It is important to preserve our cultural heritage and spread knowledge through technology. Even though there are so many books and Internet resources available for Carnatic Raga reference, I have seen people making phone calls to carnati

c experts to identify a particular raga. This is because there is no single, simple interface available to search Ragas,” says Shivakumar who believes mobile apps can get a better shape if the development is driven by its users.

Interestingly, the Carnatic Raga app is being downloaded from all over the world — India with 48.5% followed by United States with 30% downloads. “Last month (December) saw 100% increase over the average monthly downloads for this application. Since the launch in April 2011, the app has been downloaded 3090 times”, Sivakumar said.


Free Download at Amazaon

Free Download at Ollap

Free Download at ANDROID.Informer

Free Download at AndroidPIT

(Source: 01/2012 – ET – The Economic Times | Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd.)

Related Articles…

Posted in Culture (news), Education (news), Medias, Music Paedagogic Work | Leave a Comment »

India in Cuba ??? – Indian Musical Instruments in Havanna now

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on May 15, 2010

May 15, 2010

Indian Musical Instruments in Cuba – Musical instruments from India at Havana’s Asia Museum.

By Yusimi Rodriguez

HAVANA TIMES, May 15 — My plans for last Thursday afternoon consisted of going to a Vedado Cinema to see the movie “Fifty Dead Men,” starring Ben Kingsley. However, a few days prior I found out that at 3:00 that same afternoon an exhibition of traditional musical instruments of India was going to open at the Asia Museum here in Havana.

(Exhebition: Musical instruments from India at Havana’s Asia Museum. photo: Irina Echarry)

(Exhebition: Musical instruments from India at Havana’s Asia Museum. photo: Irina Echarry)

It was a difficult choice. On one hand there was the only showing of this movie based on a literary work and in which was performing one of my favorite actors; on the other hand was my interest in eastern philosophies and cultures, especially those of India, with its history, its traditions and its food.

Then too there was its music, which along with that country’s dance constitutes one of the most important elements and attractions in many of that country’s cinematographic productions, such as in the movie Lagaan, which I’ve seen four times.

Logic pointed to going to the cinema that afternoon and seeing the exhibition later, since it would be at the Asia Museum for the whole month of May. However, had I not gone to the opening I wouldn’t have found out that this exhibit commemorates two important anniversaries: the 50th annual celebration of the establishment of diplomat relations between Cuba and India, and the 149th birthday of Indian national poet Rabindranath Tagore, who is also the author of the words of that country’s national anthem.


(Exhebition: Musical instruments from India at Havana’s Asia Museum. photo: Irina Echarry)

Another interesting detail I found out during that opening was that Tagore, in addition to being a great poet, had deep musical knowledge and founded a school of music in India.

Once inside and among the instruments, I could appreciate flutes of different sizes and styles; the Sitar, an instrument of traditional strings; and the harmonium, an instrument possessing a sound similar to that of the accordion and which was introduced by the British during the colonization of northern India.

This center, located on Mercaderes St., in Old Havana, was founded 1997 with the aim of promoting the cultures of Asian countries through exhibitions, courses, conferences and workshops.

I visited this institution for the first time in 1999. It was here that I attended a conference on spiritual leader Jiddu Krishnamurti, a seminar on Yoga and another one on Mahatma Gandhi during the India Week, which took place in January of that year.

Coincidently, the very same day I attended the conference on Gandhi, they showed the movie about him on television that evening; in fact, it too starred Ben Kingsley.

In this facility exists the Rabindranath Tagore Specialized Library, and courses are taught on Hindi, Japanese and Persian languages.

(Source: 05/2010 – Havanna Times)

Click on the tumbnails below to view all the photos in this gallery (photos: Irina Echarry)

Anjuman: Indian/Afro-Cuban Ensemble | Rumba meets Raga | CD Baby Music Store.


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SAA-uk’s Annual Community Music Summer School (27th-31st July 2009)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on July 11, 2009

Start Time: Monday, July 27, 2009 at 9:30am
End Time: Friday, July 31, 2009 at 4:10pm
Chapeltown Sikh Centre
Street: Chapeltown Road
City/Town: Leeds, United Kingdom
Phone: 01132445523

SAA-uk is delighted to present its Annual Community Music Summer School, which will offer tuition in Gurbani Vocals, Sitar, Santoor and Tabla. The Summer School will give participants the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of traditional raags and improve musicianship skills, a chance to make new friends or to catch-up with old ones.

SAA-UK-Music-Summer-School-2009-1 SAA-UK-Music-Summer-School-2009-2

Music leaders will include:

Ustad Dharambir Singh, renowned International Sitarist and Educationalist
Ustad Harjinderpal Singh, Santoor and Tabla maestro
Smt Gunwant Kaur, an esteemed Hindustani Vocalist
Surmeet Singh, talented Sitarist
Upneet Singh, a young and upcoming Tabla player

The Summer School is open to any age and covers novice to advanced levels.

1) Continuing from last year’s successful theme will be a focus on ‘Solidifying the Foundations’. This will include sessions on helping to improve riyaz discipline and how to structure a riyaz session. The ten Thaat Raags (parent scales) will be used as base raags for riyaz exercises with compositions to follow as well as focusing on technique to improve musicianship. Tabla players will use the eight basic taals as a basis and learn tabla riyaz techniques and also learn new compositions.

In addition, this year we will be looking in depth at:

2) ‘Raag Rang’ – Worlds of Colour, Emotion and Rhythm. Continuing from last year’s focus on ‘Navarasa’ – the nine emotions that provide the basis for Hindustani music – ‘Raag Rang’ shall explore the visualisation of music. The theme will examine the links that can be drawn between individual colours and musical notes, why a particular note can express and correspond to a particular colour and/or emotion, and what this means. This will aim to engage the participants in viewing their music from a different angle – regular riyaz and technique study will remain a large part of the Summer School, but there will be a renewed focus on being aware of the emotional and visual content of Hindustani music.

Fees (all 5 days, 9:30 – 4:00):

£65 Individual
£55 each for 2 or more siblings
£50 each for 4 siblings

1 FREE adult place is offered to help support your children in their learning and development.

Discounts are available for family groups and those on benefits. Contact us to discuss requirements.

Supported by The Sikh Centre, Chapeltown & Swara-Sangeet

(Source: 07/2009 – Facebook)

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News: Registration opens for 3rd IMC World Forum on Music

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on July 10, 2009

Registration opens for 3rd IMC World Forum on Music

The International Music Council (IMC) is a global network of expert organisations and individuals working in the field of music. Founded in 1949 by UNESCO, IMC is mandated to promote musical diversity and support cultural rights for all.

imc_logo-International-Music-Council IMC-newslogo_200_200-1

Paris, July 10, 2009 – The International Music Council (IMC) is pleased to announced that registration has opened for its 3rd IMC World Forum on Music and 33rd General Assembly to be held in Tunis, October 17-22, 2009 under the title “Access to musical diversity”. It will be organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Heritage Preservation of the Tunisian Republic.


The 2009 World Forum on Music will focus on five areas which IMC considers being of crucial importance to the world of music:

  • Cultural diversity: where do we stand?
  • Music as a vector for dialogue
  • Creativity and innovation in music distribution
  • New approaches to music education
  • Changing audiences: challenges for art music around the world

To access GENERAL INFORMATION and the REGISTRATION FORM, please go to the Forum section on the IMC website.

Information: International Music Council, Silja Fischer
1 rue Miollis, 75732 PARIS cedex 15, France
Tel. +33 1 45 68 48 50 – Fax +33 1 45 68 48 66

(Source: 07/10/2009 – IMC – | contact: )

Posted in Music Paedagogic Work | 2 Comments »

Hamburg: Sitar & Sarod Jugalbandhi – KEDIA Brothers (07/10-12/2009)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on July 3, 2009

Kedia-Brothers-Sitar-and-Sarode-052009-1The Kedia BrothersMormukut & Manoj Kedia , the gifted torch bearers of the Senia Maihar Gharana ( School ) , are a frequently mentioned name in the contemporary technical expertiseand spontaneous aesthestic sparkle have enable them to spread wings and soar the heights of splendour. Recipent of the National Award Mormukut and Manoj the son of Nationally acclaimed Tabla Player Pt. Sanbhu Dayal Kedia took to SITAR & SAROD at the age of Seven ( 07) and Nine (09) under the guidence of Shree Praja Nandy Jee, Acharya Raja Ram Sukhla & their father Pt. Shambhu Dayal Kedia. There after they were nutured by Mr. S.D. David.

Ustad-Ali-Akbar-Khan-Saheb-making-disciple-052009-1Padma Bibhusan Ustad Ali Akbar Ali Khan impressed with the enormous talents and wonderful acumen of Mormukut & Manoj to grasp the intricacies of Ragas , formally baptisedhim as his discipline in 1975.They also started to take taleem from Guru Maa Annapurna jee daughter of great wizard of Indian classical music ustad Allaudin Khan Saheb of maihar. Presently they are under the guidence of Pt. Sunil Mukherjee , Sarod Meastro of Delhi .

Today they are taking the breath away from the listeners by their glistering musical performances around the country.


10th July 2009 – 02:00 pm: Workshop – music school Universum Altona
11th July 2009 – 08:00 pm: 1st concert – musik school Universum Altona
12th July 2009 – 07:00 pm: 2nd concertSt. Pauli church (Hamburg, Altona)

More Info: Swapan Bhattacharya (Tabla Maestro) – (eMail:

concert and discussion moderated by Partha Bose and Esha Bandyopadhyay. Recorded at Weaver’s Studio (part 1 & 2)

part 1…

part 2…

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Bonn/Berlin: Global Music Academy – kulturelle Vielfalt konkret

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on May 30, 2009

Interview mit den Gründern der Global Music Academy Berlin

Die Global Music Academy ist eine Initiative internationaler Musiker in Berlin. Sie bietet ein ambitioniertes internationales Programm für Musikausbildung, Forschung und Austausch. unesco heute sprach mit zwei der Initiatoren, dem südafrikanischen Saxofonisten und Komponisten William Ramsay, Artistic Director, und Andreas Freudenberg, dem ehemaligen Geschäftsführer der Werkstatt der Kulturen und Managing Director des Projekts.

unesco heute: Was motiviert Sie, die Global Music Academy zu gründen?

Ramsay: Wir sind davon überzeugt, dass junge Musikerinnen und Musiker in Europa langfristig die Chance haben sollten, eine fundierte transkulturelle Ausbildung zu erhalten. Im Lauf der Jahrhunderte haben sich in allen Kontinenten einzigartige Musikkulturen entwickelt. Dieser Reichtum wird noch nicht hinreichend erkannt. Es gibt aber viele Anzeichen dafür, dass gerade der globale Dialog auch in der Musikausbildung eine enorme Kreativität freisetzen kann.

Freudenberg: Junge Menschen, die heute in der hybriden Umwelt moderner Großstädte aufwachsen, suchen nach Wegen, ihre eigene musikalische Sprache zu finden. Sie kombinieren sie mit den Klangwelten, die sie in ihrem Umfeld und in den Medien erleben. Für diese Generationen ist Musik daher immer mehr ein Experimentierfeld: Junge Musiker überschreiten kulturelle Grenzen, sie setzen sich mit Identität und Zugehörigkeit auseinander, sie beschäftigen sich mit Ein- und Ausgrenzungen. Und das tun sie weltweit – in Berlin und Sao Paolo, Jakarta und Johannesburg.

unesco heute: Wie konkret ist das Projekt zu diesem Zeitpunkt?

Ramsay: Die Senatverwaltung für Wissenschaft und Forschung in Berlin hat unsere Unterlagen bereits geprüft und die vorläufige staatliche Anerkennung in Aussicht gestellt. Die Studiengänge könnten schon 2010/2011 beginnen. Wir haben ein anspruchsvolles Konzept für ein Grund- und Aufbaustudium entwickelt. Es berücksichtigt zum Beispiel die Lehrmethoden, Techniken und Kenntnisse vieler Musikkulturen, es ermöglicht aber auch, sich in Musikproduktion und transkulturellem Musikmanagement zu spezialisieren.

unesco heute: Mit welchen Partnern kooperieren Sie?

Freudenberg: Es gibt eine enge Kooperation mit der Rotterdam World Music Academy in Codarts und der Hochschule der Künste in Rotterdam. Wir planen auch, mit Music Crossroads im Bereich Teachers Training zusammenarbeiten. Diese Initiative wurde 1996 von der UNESCO gegründet und unterstützt junge Musiker in Mosambik, Simbabwe, Malawi, Sambia und Tansania. Wir möchten mit Music Crossroads und weiteren Partnern auf dem afrikanischen Kontinent schrittweise das Global Music Network aufbauen. Es soll ein Netzwerk aus kompetenten Musikeinrichtungen und Bildungsinitiativen werden.

unesco heute: Wo sehen Sie besondere Herausforderungen?

Freudenberg: Musikproduktion und Musikmarketing haben sich durch die schnellen technischen Entwicklungen weltweit tiefgreifend verändert. Allein die Entwicklung der digitalen Aufnahmetechnik bietet inzwischen sehr viele Möglichkeiten. Allerdings wird es auch immer schwieriger, nachhaltige Modelle der Musikproduktion und Musikindustrie zu finden – heute kann alles kopiert und über das Internet getauscht werden. Auch die Vielfalt der Klangkulturen steht unter Druck. In vielen Teilen der Erde gibt es herausragende Musikkulturen, die zunehmend an den Rand gedrängt werden. Oft beherrschen auch nur noch wenige Menschen traditionelle Instrumente und Spielweisen.

Ramsay: Wir können hier allerdings unseren Beitrag leisten, indem wir diese Schätze fördern und damit sichern. Deutschland hat 2007 die UNESCO-Konvention zum Schutz und zur Förderung der Vielfalt kultureller Ausdrucksformen ratifiziert. Mit der Global Music Academy wollen wir diese Konvention unterstützen. Sieht man sich die dort formulierten Zielvorstellungen an, dann wird deutlich, dass derzeit die Bedingungen und Möglichkeiten für junge Musiker in vielen Ländern unzureichend sind. Hier wollen wir durch die Kooperation mit unseren Partnern ansetzen.

Die Fragen stellte Christine M. Merkel, Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission.

(Quelle: 05/2009 – Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission e.V., Bonn –

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The AACM Audio Project (30th April 2009)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on April 30, 2009

(AACM Youtube Channel -04/30/09) – The Ali Akbar College of Music has been working towards creating a public library to maintain our ongoing collection of music in order to make it accessible to students, scholars, researchers, and music lovers. People throughout the San Francisco Bay Area have attended concerts, classes, and films, at our college campus and are very familiar with our work. Now, we are looking forward to extending the life of Indian Classical music through this unique library that will be open to the public right here at our campus in Marin County.

Our founder and principal teacher, Ali Akbar Khan, known affectionately as Khansahib, is now 87 years of age. He first came to the U.S. in 1955 at the request of the late Yehudi Menuhin. During his 44 years of teaching and performing in the U.S. he has received: a MacArthur (Genius) Award, a National Heritage Fellowship Award, he was inducted into the Library of Congress National Recording Registry, and has received 5 Grammy nominations. Khansahib continues to teach master classes at his college as he has been for the past forty years. Hopefully, he will continue in this capacity for many years to come.

Our immediate concern is to preserve the archives of his classes, concerts, photographs, newspaper articles, etc. This collection is comprised of the personal library of Ali Akbar Khan as well as the archives of his non-profit music college. It is an unbroken line of music dating back to the 16th century court of Emperor Akbar. Between Khansahib and his father, Baba Allauddin Khan, it spans over one hundred years of musical compositions and concerts. It is by far the largest single collection of Indian classical music. The collection emphasizes the teaching of the music as well as concerts. The teaching is the future of Indian classical music, and Khansahib has taken great care to make sure it survives by teaching 4-6 classes weekly, nine months of the year for the past forty years. His daily teaching is part fixed composition with the majority of the class focusing on his composing music on the spot as he would put it. This method has left behind a treasure trove of new compositions specifically designed to help the student better understand the movement of the ragas.

Our largest need is to transfer and reference over 4,500 hours of audio tapes of Ali Akbar Khans classes spanning from 1980-2001, and approximately 1,000 of his concerts. This does not include the 15 years of video tapes of his classes. In 2007, we were finally able to begin to work on this exciting project with the help of a very generous grant from the James Irvine Foundation of $150,000. The award was intended to partially fund this project for a 2 year period. We have also received a very generous $10,000 award from the Rex Foundation, and $15,000 from individual donations totaling $175,000. Our budget for this crucial phase of the library is $375,000. We are still $200,000 short of our goal.

It is of the utmost importance to us to have Khansahibs input on all aspects of the library. As an example, when we have transferred older concerts we have discovered that many of the tapes have nothing written on them. Khansahib has been instrumental in telling us who was accompanying him on tabla, drums, and has identified obscure ragas. Sometimes he has been able to recall an interesting event that took place around the concert, all of which will not be possible in the future. It is vital that we continue to preserve this great body of work that Khansahib has so lovingly passed on. We need help from the community to ensure that this tradition is carried on to our children, and our grandchildren.

For a full description and to donate to this project, visit

AACM Audio Project…

Posted in Music Paedagogic Work | 1 Comment »

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on December 22, 2008


Posted in Carnatic (ICM), Culture (news), DE (German), Economics (news), Education (news), ENG (English), FestivalReport, Hindustani (ICM), IMC OnAir - News, Indian Classical Music, Live around the globe, Music Paedagogic Work, News from India, Politics (news), Raga CDs of the months, Religion (news), StudioTalks, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Chicago Tyagaraja Utsavam: Vocal Violin Camp 2008

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 1, 2008

Chicago Tyagaraja Utsavam announces the Vocal and Violin Music Camp to be conducted by B.U.Ganesh Prasad from India at Savitha and Prasad Ramachandran’s residence in Naperville.

Camp Schedule

Conductor: B.U. Ganesh Prasad
Dates: 1st Apr 2008 to 31st May 2008
Hours: 9 AM to 7 PM
Session Duration: 1 hour

Fees will be communicated directly by the Camp Conductor to interested parties. There will be a minimum charge for each session with no proration.
If you are interested in attending, please respond to with the following information:
  • Your email address and phone number
  • Your availability to attend the camp
  • The top three choices for the time periods that would be most suitable to you for attending
  • Number of students from your family who would be attending
  • Total number of sessions you are planning on attending during this period

Please note:

  • Dates are subject to change based on the Camp Conductor’s schedule and convenience.
  • Payment for each session is due in cash made out to the Camp Conductor at the end of each session.
  • Sessions will be scheduled on a first come first serve basis.
  • All sessions start and end on the hour.
  • Please contact if you have any questions.
  • Please register your latest contact information here if you would like to be informed of such events in the future

Contact: Chicago Tyagaraja Utsavam, 129 N. Ardmore – Villa Park, IL 60181

(Source: | )

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