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Letters

Know of this vintage music site?

About a year ago I discovered a major website dedicated to the preservation of early recordings of Indian music. Unfortunately, I did not make a note of it at the time, and am now unable to find it. Does anyone know about such a website?

If this website for vintage recordings can be located, it may well prove to be of immense help in the preparation of a major discography of early recordings of Indian music that a fellow discographer is currently working on.

My discography is of European recordings of Jewish music on 78s and although my following query does not strictly fall within the confines of my research, I would be interested to find an answer to it. It is, I am afraid, rather obscure.

Fred Gaisberg, the famous pioneer recording engineer who worked for the Gramophone Company was in India in 1902. While there, among many other artists, he recorded Goura Jan, an "Armenian Jewess" who sang in twenty languages.

I would be extremely interested to learn more about this singer and am curious to know what languages she sang in. For example, was Ladino one of them? Ladino was the language spoken by the Sephardic Jews of medieval Spain and which they took with them all over the world (but particularly North Africa, the Balkans, Greece and Turkey) after their expulsion from Spain in 1492.

As I said, rather obscure and going back in time somewhat, but, as I have learnt, there is often someone out there somewhere that has the answer.

As there are small communities of Sephardic Jews in India, mainly, I believe, in the Bombay area, I wonder if it is possible that recordings have been made of their music. If so, I'd love to find out the details.

Finally, perhaps your readers would be interested in an account of Fred Gaisberg's early recording expedition to India. If so, perhaps I could provide a summary for you some time.

Mike Aylward
United Kingdom

Informative site

I was searching for an article on tabla artiste Rajgopal Kallurkar. I really appreciate this place where so much information about music is available. Please keep up the excellent work.

Hareesh Prabhu
Bangalore

Thanks for Sethu

Thank you for the Sethu review.

Nithin Sreedevan
on e-mail

Manufacturing 'common sense'

I read your piece on classical musicians in south Indian cinema.

Don't you think that even in popular perception classical musicians enjoy a special, if not divine, stature. Balamurli Krishna is "a venerable genius" but Mohammed Rafi is only "competent". Cinema, I think, quite faithfully reflects these beliefs and perceptions. This, like many other beliefs, is so deeply embedded in the minds of people that it is impossible to question and correct it. By the way, various 'ideas' such as this can be linked to the way in which 'common sense' is manufactured in a class society, and can be part of a detailed study.

Nandagopal Menon

Chennai

Raagsangeet is back

Shubha's album 'Ab ke Sawan' We are working hard on Raagsangeet which is not the old site you had visited, but a section on north Indian classical music on a much larger site called Induslive.

My husband Aneesh and I are the editors for this section which we decided to call Raagsangeet as the name was associated with us. We are also doing some recordings for this section, and the Music Room will be up in a day or two so do visit and let us have your suggestions.

I'll keep in touch and have no hesitation in repeating that The Music Magazine is definitely one of my favourites!

Shubha Mudgal
Delhi

Enjoyable site

Very enjoyable. I'm adding yours to my list of favourite sites. It would be nice, though, if you would provide a search device. I was looking for A R Rahman reviews and had to plough through each issue.

Stevan Davies
on e-mail

Classier by the year!

Many many congratulations on completing one year of themusicmagazine.com. It definitely has been worth the sacrifice, hard work and sleepless nights you have put in... and it shows. Since I came to know about it, themusicmagazine.com has improved by leaps and bounds becoming classier if not glossier! No doubt your magazine would probably be ranked first if anybody conducts a survey of music websites.

The articles published these days are very neatly written... no exaggeration if I say that I have finally started enjoying reading a magazine again! Reading the letters section impressed me -- readers are so actively involved in discussions and debates. I really loved the article Why I hate MTV. Wondered why I couldn't write it myself before! I surely subscribe to the author's point of view.

Keep up the good work and faith.

Raghu Dixit
Bangalore


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