“We want to change the concept of tribal songs”: Reaching out to present-day music buffs – Jharkhand

Call it the sounds of change. Love it or hate it, folk musicians of Jharkhand are using non-tribal instruments such as the keyboard along with traditional ones such as dhol, mandar and nagada to jazz up their ageless repertoire.

Chutia-based Arun Nayak Mukund, with 10 more tribal musicians, is trying to fuse “modern elements” into indigenous numbers and woo the youth. He claims he does not care if purists scoff at him as the end result is “very melodious”. […]

“For the past one month, I started using the keyboard to showcase Nagpuri folk songs. It brings out the rhythm in vocals and tunes. The lyrics sound appealing and melodious. At the same time, we aren’t abandoning tribal musical instruments that are our mainstays,” Mukund said, calling himself the first tribal to do so. […]

“Something new need not be something bad. Now, I’m using the keyboard in all the events I am invited to, within the state and outside, in my recent concerts in Delhi and Himachal Pradesh,” he said.

Flautist Kamlesh Kacchap added that there was no harm if new elements were added to tribal folk music.

“Unless some changes are made, we will lose our place among the present-day music buffs,” he added.

He admitted that only using tribal instruments had no mass appeal. […]

The group has come out with 10 Nagpuri albums in fusion form as well. “We are getting a good response from music lovers. The music arrangement, beats and rhythms are different,” said another flautist Madhu Mansuri Hasmukh.

He also placed popularity over generic purity. […]

However Dilip Toppo, a well-known tribal artist associated with folk art groups, begs to differ. “These musicians are hurrying the process of change. They are interfering with tribal music by tampering with its roots,” he said. […]

Source: “Tribal music keys in fuse fare” by ARTI S. SAHULIYAR, The Telegraph (Calcutta), 15 December 2011
Address: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1111215/jsp/odisha/story_14882797.jsp#.WDtMdzVaFAz
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