The Sarojini Naidu School of Arts and Communication, University of Hyderabad organised a lecture on “Technology, Creation, Performance and Experience: Perspectives from Indian Music Culture” by Gregory D. Booth on 4th February, 2020 at the Department of Fine Arts.

Professor Gregory teaches ethnomusicology at the University of Auckland and has been engaged in the study of Indian music culture for more than 35 years. He is the author of two books: Making Music in Mumbai’s Film Studios (2008) and Brass Baja: Stories from the World of Indian Wedding Bands (2005). He is currently studying India’s music and culture industries, focusing on a wide range of factors including intellectual property, technology, industrial structure and the music-film relationship.

Highlighting the landmarks in the history of Indian music industry, Prof Booth said, “In India, HMV was undoubtedly the biggest record company in all the formats of vinyl, but later it was taken over by RGP group. Besides, Polydor Records became a popular music label in 1946 and especially after Bollywood evergreens like Sholay. Then, in the early 80s came Trishul Series (or T-Series)┬áby Gulshan Kumar. T-Series entered into film production in 2001 with the film Tum Bin, and the first original film soundtrack released by it was for film Lallu Ram in 1984, with music scored by Ravindra Jain.”

Talking about technology and music, Prof Booth said, “Technology has definitely made things easier. Today, you sit with your computers, collect and listen to various samples and generate ideas and put everything together as one. But 50 years back, the composition of music was different. Physical realities of making music without using technology required more efforts.”

He added, “Technology offers both a means of control and a means of opposition. Control of technology sometimes leads to attempts to control the construction or representation of culture. With advent of technology, we are losing control of knowledge and creativity as
well.”

The lecture concluded with an interactive session by the students and the professors of SN School of Arts & Communication.

– Soumya Sharma, Department of Communication.