Rag Madhuvanti and Rag Misra Tilang

One of the most interesting developments in Indian music of the last few decades has been the solo context or at all, in the concert hall. One of these instruments is the Santūr, which Shivkumar Sharma has established as a classical instrument. A feature of the Santūr is that it can play the fixed pitches of Indian music but not what lies between. Thus it cannot reproduce the fluid slides and other graces of vocal music. Because Indian music is vocal in conception, and most of the instrumental repertoire is derived from vocal music, this would seem to place the Santūr, and instruments like it, at a severe disadvantage. Yet one of the most interesting features of Shivkumar Sharma’s playing is the way that he has developed his technique to such an extent that he can create the illusion of vocal music and thereby magnificently overcome the problem. No wonder then, that he has become one of India’s most acclaimed performers, both at home and abroad.



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