Reality shows good to popularise music: Vishwa Mohan Bhatt

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Kochi, Dec 31 (UNI) Noted musician and Grammy award winner Vishwa Mohan Bhatt today backed television reality shows, asserting that these were serving the purpose of popularising music.

Addressing a press conference here along with musician Ravi Kiran, Pandit Bhatt, known for improvising the guitar into the 'Mohan Veena', said though the selection of winners through 'SMS' was debatable, the concept of reality shows was a good one.

''These shows are enhancing the popularity of music. Youngsters are gaining popularity. This is good for music,'' he added.

Talking about the popularity of film music vis-a-vis classical music, he said ''Bollywood music will not harm classical music.'' The two had their separate audiences. While the lay person wanted instant entertainment and was more inclined to film music, those with greater mental maturity were drawn to classical music. ''Indian classical music has very deep roots and provides food for the soul,'' he added.

Pandit Ravi Kiran said the past two to three decades had been good for classical music with corporate sponsorships, cultural festivals and overseas tours helping to spread awareness about Indian classical music.

Pandit Bhatt, however, felt that the media could play a bigger role in popularising classical music. While 'Bollywood' and Hollywood stars got daily coverage in newspapers and television channels, classical musicians were seldom written about.

Stressing the need for a television channel for classical music, he quipped, ''there are two to three channels even for animal-based programmes. Let us have one channel for classical music also.'' Talking of their seven-year-old partnership, the two innovative musicians said both had branched off from traditional instruments to fashion their own versions. While Pandit Bhatt had come up with the 'Mohan Veena', Pandit Ravi Kiran had modified the 'Ghotu vadyam' into the 'Chitra Veena'.

''However, more than a meeting of music, a successful jugalbandi is a meeting of minds. When two musicians come together, dropping their egos, then it results in a concert and not a contest,'' Pandit Ravi Kiran added.

The two would be bringing down the curtains at the Kerala Tourism Department sponsored 'Vasantholsavam' with a 'jugalbandi' here this evening, providing a 'grand finale' for the year-end.

UNI

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