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Bonnie C. Wade and Inderjit N. Kaur

(b Kurundwad, 1872; d 1931). North Indian (Hindustani) classical music vocalist. He was the son of a kīrtankār (performer of religious discourses) in Kurundwad and was educated in an English-medium school. In 1887 his eyesight was damaged by firecrackers and he was removed from school to begin musical training with Balkrishna Buwa of the Gwalior gharānā. He became sensitized to the difference between his social status and that of his teacher and was determined to improve the status of musicians.

In 1897 Paluskar advocated public performance in order to make classical music widely accessible and to provide a means for musicians to earn a livelihood independent of rich patrons. In 1901 he founded the Gandharva Mahāvidyālaya in Lahore, the first Indian music institution underwritten by public sources. To support it Paluskar lectured and gave concerts, tailoring performances to include patriotic songs, folksongs, and devotional compositions, along with classical vocal music. As part of his educational endeavors he wrote ...

Article

Armineh Grigorian

revised by Robert Atayan and Aram Kerovpyan

[Gomidas Vartabed; Soghomonian, Soghomon]

(b Kütahya, Turkey, Oct 8, 1869; d Paris, Oct 22, 1935). Armenian composer, ethnomusicologist, choral conductor, singer and teacher. One of the first Armenians to have a classical Western musical education, as well as instruction in the music of his own people, he laid the foundations for a distinctive national style in his many songs and choruses, all of which are deeply influenced by the folk and church traditions of Armenia. His work on Armenian folksong is also of musicological importance.

Robert Atayan, revised by Aram Kerovpyan

Both of his parents (his father Gevorg Soghomonian was a cobbler) had gifts for music and poetry; in 1881, however, the boy was orphaned and sent to Armenia to study at the Gevork’ian Theological Seminary in Vagharshapat (now Edjmiadzine), and was ordained as a celibate priest in 1894, being given the name Komitas (a 7th-century Catholicos who was also a hymn composer). There his beautiful voice and his musical talents attracted notice, and under Sahak Amatuni’s guidance he mastered the theory and practice of Armenian liturgical singing. He also made decisive contact with folksong, to the collection and study of which he gave himself wholeheartedly. When he had only just learnt Armenian modern notation he set about recording the songs of the Ararat valley peasants and immigrant Armenians of other regions. Although he had no knowledge of European music theory, he harmonized these songs for performance with a student choir at the academy. His earliest surviving collection of folk melodies dates from ...

Article

Matthew Harp Allen

(b Madras [now Chennai], India, Aug 13, 1927; d Hartford, CT, Sept 10, 2002). flutist, vocalist, and ethnomusicologist of Indian birth. Born into a family of musicians and dancers, he received his musical training from his mother T. Jayammal and from flutist T.N. Swaminatha Pillai, an MA in economics from Annamalai University (1951), and a PhD in ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University (1975).

He first came to the United States as a Fulbright scholar at UCLA (1958–60), was reader and head of the department of Indian music at the University of Madras (1961–6), and returned to the United States, where he studied ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University (1967–1970), taught at the California Institute of the Arts (1970–5), and then worked in the faculty of Wesleyan University (1975–2002).

He was honored in India with the Kalaimamani Award by the government of Tamil Nadu (...