The following are excerpts from the keynote address and some papers presented at the conference. Keynote address Lalgudi G. Jayaraman Social values and aspirations play a definite role in the shaping as well as nurturing of art. Perhaps an analogy would help explain this. If we imagine the institutions serving music as a lamp, the social values and aspirations as the oil, the social context as the wick, the artist's self-expression is the spark that lights the lamp which bathes the artist and the rasika-s in the light. Thus, our artistic experience is a product of interplay among a number of mutually dependent factors the society, its values, its goals and its institutions and the artist's own experience of these.

When the theme of this seminar is viewed in the above light, it becomes clear that Carnatic music in the 21st century would be as we want it to be. Automatically a question arises how should we want it to be? Classical Carnatic music is still moored in the human quest for union with the godhead. The great savants and divine composers who were born in this blessed land of ours had faith in music as an effective medium to liberate the soul and attain final beatitude. It is this aspect of Carnatic music which makes the singer and the listeners both to converge in bliss.

The state of Carnatic music in the future will depend on whether we preserve this aspect or look upon it as a means of entertainment. Crucial to this is the interaction between artists, cultural institutions that promote the art, sponsors who have taken the role of the royal philanthropists of yesteryears in giving deserving encouragement, the printed, visual and aural media and last but never the least, the rasika-s. The contemporary scenario is pregnant with a variety of possibilities: cinema music, pop music, devotional music, fusion music, jugalbandi-s and even ghazal-s which have become popular. It is in our hands to let Carnatic music to be, one amongst these, or be ovewhelmed by these, or be the one classic art with its essential divinity vigorously alive and inspiring. Senior vidwans and connoisseurs are therefore concerned whether there will be continuity in upholding traditional values or in the name of evolution, the whole system will become unrecognisable in the years to come....

The ideal musician is one whose idiom is a happy blend of lakshana and lakshya. One cannot exist without the other. Awareness of solpha placings in a raga delineation or a kriti rendering is secondary, while other characteristics such as subtle nuances, gamaka-s, slow and fast phrases are of greater significance. It is true that mere stringing of swara-s one after another will not portray the full fledged beauty and swaroopa of the raga. In my opinion it is essential that one should have keen swara gnana; but even more important is a clear awareness of the swara sthana and swaroopa.... Just as there are different levels among performing artists, so are there different levels of appreciation among rasika-s. Some are likely to get swayed by the crowds who throng to listen to particular artists, irrespective of the quality of the fare that is offered. It is at this juncture that we need to look into the responsibilities of a performer. It is his bounden duty to raise the level of appreciation among the audience by first trying to widen his own horizons in a healthy positive fashion, keeping an open mind and being receptive to constructive criticism. In the traditional kutcheri format, if he were to introduce welcome, fresh ideas that enhance the classical appeal of the music, it would most certainly prove to be educative and gradually elevate the standards of appreciation among listeners....

Carnatic music is an art-form that caters to the taste of only a culturally discerning section of society and it is almost impossible to make it reach the masses. But several attempts have been made in the form of fusion music, jugalbandi-s in different disciplines, concerts with film songs based on Carnatic music and so on. The question is not whether these forms should subsist or be encouraged or discouraged. So long as any form is an authentic expression of the artistic experiences of the performer, it is legitimate. But the question is whether

Who's afraid of the 21st century T.R. Subramanyam

 We cannot now say exactly how music would be in the next century. One method of approaching the job is to analyze what and how things have happened in the past, at least in the nearby centuries, and try to find a logical extension of the process, subject, of course, to unexpected turn of events that are common in any history. It will consume a whole seminar to examine all that happened to music in the past centuries.

Assuring ourselves that music has existed since time immemorial, we will now take up only certain more prominent happenings.

• The adhara sruti for instance. It is almost impossible for a present-day musician to think of a music without some sort of tuning to a common pitch called adhara sruti. But, this was not in vogue in the days of the yazh in which the pann-s were played as per the range of the strings available in a particular instrument. The tesituna of compositions was hardly one octave because of the limitations of the yazh. Only raga-s practicable in the modal shift process were handled. Even the shadja, madhyama gandhara grama-s do not seem to have a clear base of adhara sruti or the panchama which is a strong non-variant note today. What the grama-s were, is itself obscure till today and only dry musicologists speak about them, leaving the practical musicians confused as ever. It is said that invention of the wheel is a major milestone in the evolution of human civilisation and technological advancement. In the history of music the realisation of the adhara shadja has been such a hallmark....

• The very concert format has taken a lot of centuries to reach the comfortable level it is in today. The sangeeta sabha-s have played a vital role in consolidating the such artistic experiences are consistent with the spirit of Carnatic music or of entertainment or mere variety. The individual characteristics of each art-form should be maintained and its integrity should not be sacrificed. That is to say its basic character and purpose should not be violated. It is here that discerning criticism could be of great help....

We are fortunate holders of a very rich musical heritage developed over the centuries. It is therefore our responsibility to see that it is handed on to the next generation with the purity as intact as possible. If the directions we may be taking in the 21st century are likely to distort the values, still later generations will hold us responsible for allowing this to happen. Hence, we must take appropriate measures. The future is something we cannot dictate. But, if the future as we can foresee is going to pave the way to undo the manysplendoured thing that Carnatic music is today, we should not sit passively and watch. For this, the effort of an individual or two will not help. A movement is necessary.

 vocal-violin-mridanga concert pattern. Formerly, listening to music was in a non-standardised form, not intended for big audiences. The emergence of sabha-s in the 20th century is a major event in history. Even within this century, the concert environment has undergone many changes in the past decade or two. The duration of the concerts for instance, and the predominance of kriti-s over the pallavi. The consolidation of the kriti form itself is a major turning point. The musician community is perennially indebted to the Trinity but for whose immortal compositions so many hundreds of artists and thousands of listeners will have nothing to do.

• Many other aspects can be pointed out as important evolutions in the field of music. From a study of them we can come to certain conclusions. The first is that changes are sure to be there in a dynamic system of music. Next, we must note that the changes have more often been gradual, as if by divine dispensation, not necessarily human achievement entirely. It must have been only god's choice to have brought the Trinity into the world in one and the same period. It was also the period when Beethovan and his illustrious contemporaries existed in Europe. Man-made changes have also contributed significantly. The introduction of electronic gadgets is an epoch-making development....

Politicians and other dignitaries who give speeches on musical occasions go eloquent on the divinity of music. But the festivals they inaugurate indulge in mere concert music which is mainly for the purpose of entertainment and satisfying the curiosities of the layman. Music of the divine level cannot sustain in the frivolous amusement and fun-seeking ambience of today's concerts. Tyagaraja said about it in the words: 'Yeelagani vivarimpalenu, chala svanubhava vedyamey' asserting that music meant to elevate man is far above mere entertainment. It should be experienced and realised. It is not indulged in just to please or titillate the listeners. Even at this entertainment level music is far apart and above the various other kinds of entertainment available. Therefore the concert music provided by sabha-s and other organisations must continue for all time to come. Sabha music may not be commanding the awe and respect thay did in past decades. But still they are needed to draw the attention of the people at large towards this great art of music. Lord Almighty will see to it that concert presentation of music in the present form or in a more sophisticated form will thrive in future too. Musicians and sabha-s have a big responsibility in developing and retaining the right taste for music. The main reason for poor attendance in music concerts today is the onslaught of the various other modern [means] of entertainment available to people in their very bedrooms. This is sure to be available even more in the coming century. Classical music will, however, continue to have its clientele in some strength or other in future too.

 If we observe the trend in the changes in the music field in this century, we can first notice the shortened duration of music concerts.... Presenting rich variety in concerts is a must. This trend initiated by Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar and popularised by Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar has today outlived its utility and the purpose can be achieved in more judicious choice of manner and matter in the concert pattern. Performers of the present are and those of the future will be competent enough in arriving at the apt formula, which will call for even more versatility and virtuosity from them than what was obtained in the past.

It is common for the elderly listeners to complain about the lack of classical depth in today's concerts. This need not be totally true. It is more because of the generation gap and refusal of the older patrons to grow with the times. As Kalidasa said: Anything need not always be taken as good, just because it is old can be applied here.

Thanks to ready availability of books, broadcasts and telecasts, the audiences today are well informed and will be even better-informed in the coming decades. The performers must equip themselves adequately to impress educated audiences, instead of beating the hackneyed track under the cover of sampradaya and tradition. A pleasing and powerful voice only can sustain audience interest and this factor was overlooked often in Carnatic music by providing platforms to veterans without a good voice but claiming to be a person of vidwat. This must go out of vogue in the coming century. One reason for the wide popularity of film music is that the lyric is given due care, enabling even uninitiated persons to understand it. Our classical musicians today are not equipped enough in this aspect. One would hope that this will be given due attention atleast from now. Adjusting to the time constraint is another matter that should be possible for performers of the future. Every alapana in a concert need not be done by both the vocalist and violinist. Some of the raga-s can be presented only by the latter. Even in kalpana swara-s, the long bouts need to be gone through by both. The 38 Hindustani performers take liberties in allowing time for the accompanists, unlike the Carnatic vocalists who leave chances to others in the platform as a ritual. Percussion ensembles can be encouraged and the ritualistic tani avartanam in concerts can be pruned to the minimum. Experiments in the vocal-violin-mridanga combination has not been done effectively in this century. The gottuvadyam (chitraveena) is a welcome alternative to violin. Mridanga artistry has grown enormously in laya calculations but it is miles behind tabla in captivating melody. Percussionists with the expertise of South Indian laya and ability to produce the tabla's sweet sound must be encouraged to be in the lead in the 21st century. Four hour concerts, ragam-tanam-pallavi concerts, and other programmes exclusively presenting chosen items are in vogue today. This must continue in the coming decades also to cater to listeners of varying levels of interest and knowledge in music. One lacuna here is the improper choice of artists and accompanists for such exclusive programmes. It is a sad fact that both in Hindustani and Carnatic fields the knowledge in music among organisers is not upto the desired level. Many of them are guided only by the fame and name of the performers many of whom are shallow in real knowledge. Music has already been brought down from the level of divinity to a mere commercial commodity and this tendency is sure to go further in the 21st century. There will still be pockets here and there with concern for the glory of genuine classical music. The very term classical music suggests that it is intended for the classy people and to make it survive among the overwhelming and powerful masses is a job possible only by a dedicated clan. This tribe should toil in the mission of proper preservation and documentation of the best traits in our music for the benefit of the future artists and patrons. The good, bad and the indifferent have existed in all fields throughout history as we have around today. Panini has rightly said: "All said and done, the world has never been much different from what it is today.'' Righteous people must never stop striving towards truth and excellence. Future of Carnatic music O.S. Thiagarajan

• Unfortunately due to mechanised world, the concert is made into a capsule form. Audience are presented with a capsule of 1-1/2 to 2 hours, barring a few sabha-s which extend upto 2-1/2 hours. The main reason is nobody has free time to relax and listen. Most of us spend time in travelling to and fro with our work schedule.

• Every one of us knows tha t there are 72 melakarta-s and 22 sruti-s and 12 swarasthana-s. One cannot dwell on a certain swara continuously because it won't be pleasing to the ear. Our forefathers, the Trinity, Sangeeta Pitamaha Dasarwal, Annamcharya, the Tamil Moovar, Alwar-s, Nayanmar-s and other vaggeyakara-s though they handled light raga-s that was only to show that it can be done. Their mainstay was in ghana raga-s, which are pleasing to the ear. Commercialised motives to be discouraged, singing with proportion is beauty, balance is elegance and restraint is power. One must remember that whether it is the Tamil Moovar, the Trinity, Purandaradasa, Annamacharya, Ramadas or any vaggeyakara, Carnatic music was used as a vehicle for intense bhakti.

• Understanding the meaning and singing with aesthetic sense will carry both singer and listener far away. If the words are mispronounced or the syllabic bifurcation is done wrongly the entire charm is lost. Knowing 100 songs, 200 tillanas, etc., is not the credentials but singing every song correctly is the credit.

• The art of singing viruttam and sloka-s has been slowly fading away which I feel, personally, will gain popularity.

• The influence of Hindustani music was there in the beginning itself. Raga-s like Behag, Hindolam, Mohanam, Hamsanandi, Des, Tilang to mention a few, were/are well received. Young musicians have become scholars both in Carnatic and Hindustani [idioms]. Judicious mixing without spoiling the grammar is welcome and this trend will continue. One can see Western infiltration even during the Trinity period.

 • A concert is judged as best, good or so-so by the audience attendance. What is the scale? An artist's calibreis judged by the mere gate crash or what? Stalwarts like Ramnad Krishnan, M.D. Ramanathan attracted only a small audience. Can we doubt their knowledge?

To conclude, barring the two small negative points of unnecessary fireworks and handing of light raga-s, the future of Carnatic music is fine. When someone learns cycling for that matter any vehicle he or she has the tendency to speed up. But once he or she realises that the vehicle is his or hers and only he or she is going to use it, enjoy the pleasure of a slow speed drive. Similarly the days are not for this change in Carnatic music also.

 Laya in music & beyond

Allepey Venkatesan Carnatic music as a classical art-form has not been designed for direct consumption by the masses who mainly look for entertainment in music. Sruti and laya as the basic ingredients of Carnatic music are for the discerning rasika-s and are capable of elevating the knowledgeable listener to spiritual heights. This basic strength of Carnatic music will successfully pilot it through the future as humanity will use all means to attain that oneness with the Supreme Consciousness that our Vedas proclaim.

 Modern C-music concerts form & content

 Radha Bhaskar Concerts which were earlier meant only to be heard by a selected few at the courts of kings have now become an open commodity. Thus, this social change has had a major role in influencing the contents and format of the kutcheri.

A Carnatic music concert as seen today, is a mixture of several items packed together in a manner which is aesthetically pleasing to the listener.

The typical concert is a display of different raga-s, tala-s and kalapramana-s. Any concert of Indian music has raga as its central concept. A raga is a musical entity in which the intonation of notes as well as their relative duration and order is defined. By principle, every raga stands for a definite and independent musical idea. Though this is what a raga roughly is, it should be remembered that a performance is a continuous effort to bring life to a raga. So any elaboration or extension should be proportionate and coherent in the context of the whole concert format.

 The format as seen today is highly scientific and aesthetic in approach. The various means of exploring a raga, that is, manodharma and kalpita, complement each other harmoniously. It gives a balanced and contrasting picture of music as a passage from the merely mnemoni c to the verbally meaningful and from contemplation of limitlessness to that of a manifest form (kriti).

The trend over the years suggests that the format will remain similar in the years to come, perhaps giving room for a few cosmetic changes.

 Past will shape the future

Aruna Sayeeram Sahitya bhava (involvement) has lost its due importance. To take almost an extreme stand, it can be stated that if today we are apprehending erosion of the traditional values in Carnatic music, it is because of the loss of importance to the students of today.

If sahitya bhava is allowed to be neglected, the listening public may continue to enjoy music without thematic involvement. The degradation process which started in the 20th century will continue during the 21st century. It is quite possible that one of the key pillars of Carnatic music, namely sahitya bhava, would become meaningless. This would change the face of Carnatic music.

Hence, every effort should be made to bring back the glory of sahitya bhava. For this, programmed effort is necessary to ensure that, as the students learn the kriti-s, they simultaneously learn the meaning as well as the context in which the kriti-s were sung in the first instance. Further, the students must be encouraged to read about the composer's lives.

 Future cannot be very different Geetha Raja

Carnatic music has been enriched through the compositions of the musical Trinity so far. In future also these time-tested compositions will contribute to the characteristic flavour of Carnatic music and help preserve its identity. The changes that may take place due to the influence of Hindustani music, etc., will only affect the overall form but not the content of this great music tradition.

The year 2047 AD - what lies ahead Maitreyi Ramadurai

Let me just briefly place before you the state of Carnatic music in 1997. There are any number of sabha-s offering monthly and seasonal programmes, chamber music groups, sponsored programmes and private trusts that offer a wide variety of classical music that include both the up-and-coming and established artists, the popular and the connoisseur's artists, the light classical to heavy ragam-tanam-pallavi content....

With the spectacular developments in this electronic age, one must hope that the individual and not the robot will decide what is to be chosen for hearing/listening pleasure. If that premise is accepted, the next step would be to know what would be available to be heard on CD's, cassettes (audio & video), international relays of concerts from all over the world, audio centres offering listening facilities for a nominal charge, etc.

Carnatic music will, I feel, absorb all this and yet offer concerts on a regular basis but perhaps of shorter duration. Further, holidays are getting to be of short duration and some concerts, if too long, may have to be given up to accommodate other priorities. But in short, they will still attract audiences and become popular. If we can accept that a concert of 1-1/2 hours on All India Radio is well planned and executed, then it should be possible for the concerts at sabha-s on similar lines to be rewarding experiences. The only snag is that the present distinction of junior or senior concerts based on time duration will disappear and a uniform pattern may be established. With all the difficulties for transport and time taken in commuting, short concerts may be a boon to many.

What is of even greater interest to me is the wondrous possibility of musicians, musicologists and composers working out, with or without the help of the computer, new raga-s. We are all aware that, under the 72-inelakarta-s raga scheme, the permutation and combination of the notes (swara-s) could lead to creation of innumerable raga-s. But while that may be technically feasible, not all are likely to be pleasing to the ear and may be shelved or dropped. But there are bound to be a few that may catch the imagination of the artists and the ear of the listener and become popular without any reduction in the enduring demand for Todi, Kambhoji, Sankarabharanam, Bhairavi, Kharaharapriya + janya raga-s like Mohanam, Bilahari and Hamsadhwani. Such developments and changes mark the healthy growth of Carnatic music and Venkatamakhi, Tyagaraja, Muthiah Bhagavatar who created the scheme and new raga-s would not have toiled in vain. The trend will continue. There are bound to be many such raga-s in the years to come, as the present group of musicians are capable of growing to such heights.

A likely scenario

V. Subramanian

 Improved communications, increased material prosperity, cross-culture breeding, etc. have already made a mark in the expectations of people all over the world. The field of Carnatic music is no exception to the above. Consequently, the audience, specially the younger ones who are simultaneously exposed to popular music, will respond to the changing conditions by demanding changes to the current Carnatic music content. The audience may opt for shorter and more lively concerts and further prefer to listen to structured performances for easy and pleasant listening without much emphasis on depth or nuances.

The older generation, who are used to the earlier values will, however, continue to spread Carnatic music education as it is today. Similar to the religious renaissance that came up with idol-breaking, more centres for music education may appear in the face of an onslaught from popular music (through cinema, tv, cassettes and CD's). This will create a better student spread and go well beyond the brahmin community. Carnatic music exponents and listeners will polarise during the next 50 years into four streams as detailed below:

Stream 1 - Vidwat Sangeetam: This will be similar to the Carnatic classical concert style in the early 20th century with a concert duration of 3 to 3-1/2 hours. In content, these Carnatic classical music concerts will be 'vidwat sangeetam' in which the pieces rendered will start with a complicated varnam in 3 tempos (kala), followed by ragam-tanam-pallavi in a major raga lasting 1-1/2 to 2 hours, and the concluding piece being a viruttam (ragamalika). This type of rendering will be outside the scope of the average musicians (including those who perform regularly).

Stream 2 - Kalpita Sangeetam: This will be largest of the streams. This will comprise musicians/performing artists who will perform more or less what we hear on the concert stage today with kriti-s dominating, with structured ragam-tanam-pallavi, and finishing with tukada-s.

Stream 3 - Bharatiya Classical Music: This will be what the author will term as Bharatiya Classical Music. This will be basically a kriti-oriented concert in which the accompaniments would be the violin, harmonium, mridanga as well as tabla. The rendering however will be in South Indian raga-s heavily admixtured with Hindustani music. (This type of concert presentation will spell the end of jugalbandi-s). These concerts will end up with bhajan-s and abhang-s.

Stream 4 - Miscellaneous: This will be a motley of improvisations, experiments to satiate the needs of a certain type of audience who are looking for novelties and a change from the norm. During the second half of the 21st century, Stream 1 may slowly disappear, and Stream 2 may lose audience to streams 3 & 4. However, it has to be expected, the development process in Carnatic music will, in a way, be also responsive to the development process in Hindustani music a higher plane. Teachers, sabha organisers and other promoters of music should strive to revive the true classicism of Carnatic music.

And finally a word about critics. In the Sixties, Prof. B.R. Deodhar: wrote "Many newspaper critics have a good vocabulary and perhaps know some grammar of music. But to talk or write about music, it requires a great deal more."

Gearing up for the 21st century & beyond Vasumathi Badrinathan

 Using the media: To preserve Carnatic music, efforts have to be taken to propagate it. The wider the net is cast, the bigger the catch. In this the role of the media is fathomless. There has to be a greater attempt at demystifying Carnatic music, making known its elements of profound beauty, highlighting the many aspects that set it apart and bringing its unparalleled virtues to the fore. In this angle, the print media is very effective in bringing to the fore Carnatic music, its musicians and elevating their media status....

Television needs to exploit classical music itself in a better way. While privatisation has given way to programmes with mass appeal, on channels where it exists, the dawn or dusk timings would hardly serve to heighten the status of classical music. Programme-makers need to reshuffle priorities or essay to dish out classical fare in a more palatable and educative form. After all, the entire visual medium is one of the largest information carrier systems in the world.

Lecdems are invaluable: This moment demands more of light thrown on Carnatic music. As people listen less, they are getting more estranged from the form. The more alien it becomes, the less they associate with it. Lecture-demonstrations on a regular basis by cultural organisers on the global aspects as well as on the intricacies of Carnatic music could dissipate a lot of fears concerning the complexity of the form and would serve in creating a more elite and conscious listener.

Catch 'em young: Classical music, leave alone Carnatic music, is certainly not the 'in thing' among the young today. It would be a shame to not allow them to taste the grandeur of this legacy. If they make few attempts, then the motivated lot needs to do it. There is no point in it shifting the blame. If Dil to Pagal Hai infiltrates the air and subsequently the mind, then logically Carnatic music should be able to do that. Therefore lure the young with an enhanced music atmosphere at home, induce them to attend kutcheri-s and lecdems, provide them reading material on the subject. After all, they need to be tomorrow's audience.