Chapter 8—From Raga to Bollywood: Developments and Intercultural Crossings in Indian Music
The following audiovisual items are of particular relevance to this chapter. Portions or complete versions of these productions may be available via VOD (Video on Demand) providers as well as in their conventional DVD or VHS formats. Please see the Chapter 2 “Audiovisual Resources” section of this Online Learning Center for an extensive list of VOD providers.
Indian Classical Music. 1994. Films for the Humanities & Sciences. VHS. 85 mins.
Compilation of performances featuring Ali Akbar Khan on sarod, Alla Rakha on tabla, Amjad Khan on sitar, Harisprasad Chaurasia on bansuri, and Ravi Shankar on sitar.
The Instrumental Artistry of Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. 1997. Vestapol Productions, Rounder Records, distributor. VHS. 90 mins.
A performance video of Indian classical music (including Rag Yaman) by guitarist Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, accompanied by Sukhvinder Singh Namadhari on tabla. Bhatt performs on a modified archtop lap-style slide guitar (Mohan vina). He introduces each performance with detailed commentary about his musical life, as well as remarks about his guitar, its tunings, and his playing technique.
JVC Video Anthology of World Music and Dance: South Asia I-V. 1990. Vols. 11-15. Distributed by Rounder Records. VHS.
These materials include several different styles of classical dance and dance-drama (Vol. 11), examples of bhajan (Vol. 12), a sitar performance (Vol. 13), and qawwali (Vol. 14). Accompanying guide provides contextual information.
Khandan: The Musical Heritage of Shujaat Khan. 1998. India Performing Arts. VHS. 43 mins.
The sitarist Shujaat Khan uses stories, anecdotes, and musical examples to explain what is means to be a khandani musician (one born into a musician’s lineage). Includes footage of sitar master Vilayat Khan and other members of his distinguished family. This film was produced by Arundhati Sen and Daniel Neuman.
Raga: Ravi Shankar. 1991. Mystic Fire Video. VHS. 95 mins.
Filmed in 1969 and first released in 1971 by Apple Films (the Beatles’ production company), this documentary is narrated by Ravi Shankar himself. In it, we witness an emotional reunion of Shankar and his guru, Allaudin Khan (Baba); Shankar performing with Alla Rakha and Yehudi Menuhin; and a George Harrison sitar lesson with Shankar. An amazing film with integral ties to this chapter.
Ravi Shankar in Portrait. 2002. BBC. 2 DVDs. 190 mins.
Biographical portrait of Ravi Shankar including footage of key performances from the 1930s to to 2002. The second DVD includes performances of Anandi Kalyan and Rangeela Piloo in London with his daughter Anoushka Shankar and tabla players Bikram Ghosh and Tanmoy Bose.
Singing between Two Worlds: Learning Traditional Music in the Heart of Modern India. 2002. Directed by Ian Hardy. Distributed by Filmakers Library. DVD, 26 min.
An in-depth look at the approach to the musical training fundamental to the classical music of India. Introduces the dhrupad singing of the Dagar brothers, who are members of a family that has been passing on the tradition orally for generations.
Straight from the Heart. 2005. Bansali Films; Pathfinder Home Entertainment. DVD. 188 mins.
This Bollywood musical-comedy-romance from 1999 features the reigning Queen of Bollywood, Aishwarya Rai. The plot involves a love triangle. Rai’s love interest (played by Salman Khan) is Sameer, a half-Indian, half-Italian man who has come to India to learn classical music.