Musicophilia in Mumbai

Tejaswini Niranjana

This research has been published in the 2020 monograph by Tejaswini Niranjana, entitled Musicophilia in Mumbai: Performing Subjects and the Metropolitan Unconscious (Duke University Press), and in the documentary film, Returning to the First Beat (dir. Surabhi Sharma, 2017).
The study traces the place of Hindustani classical music in Mumbai throughout the long twentieth century as the city moved from being a seat of British colonial power to a vibrant postcolonial metropolis. Drawing on historical archives, newspapers, oral histories, and interviews with musicians, critics, students, and instrument makers as well as her own personal experiences as a student of Hindustani classical music, Niranjana shows how the widespread love of music throughout the city created a culture of collective listening that brought together people of diverse social and linguistic backgrounds, resulting in a new public culture. This culture produced modern subjects Niranjana calls musicophiliacs, whose subjectivity was grounded in a social rather than an individualistic context. By attending concerts, learning instruments, and performing at home and in various urban environments, musicophiliacs embodied forms of modernity that were distinct from those found in the West. In tracing the relationship between musical practices and the formation of the social subject, the study opens up new ways to think about urbanity, subjectivity, culture, and multiple modernities.

See also :
mumbaimusicophilia.wordpress.com

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