Taking folk music to a global audience - Fusion - WeRIndia

Taking folk music to a global audience with PCs

Taking folk music to a global audience with PCs

Rajasthan folk musicians have found a technological way to increase their audience. These musicians have learned to use a PC to use a PC to digitize and immortalize their music. The usage of technology is helping them expand their listener base.

Yusuf Khan, a 34 year old folk musician says that his ancestry was full of many bhapang players (a stringed percussion instrument said to be unique to South Asia).

He says that these players mainly sing about heroes from mythology and compose odes to the Gods. Their traditional music has about 40 folk tales with each of them having 800 to 900 couplets. These tales were passed down orally for generations. These days, there are many people choosing a different career other than folk music. This increased the chance of them losing their heritage.

A solution to this started in 2010 when a friend of Khan’s father suggested the use of a computer to preserve music. Yusuf was sent to the free computer training classes conducted by an NGO.

He learned to use a computer well. He even started teaching it to others. He operated his first computer at the age of 16 and there has been no stopping since then.

Soon, he discovered social media platforms like Facebook. Khan set up accounts for himself and his father. This caught the attention of an event organizer who invited them to perform at a private function.

Initially, they performed in government functions. But now, they are receiving invitations from across the world. The family gets invitations from social media.

They even created Facebook and WhatsApp groups where they share information regarding upcoming events for other artists.

Yusuf also started preserving his musical heritage. The folk tales are narrated by his father and musician uncle. Yusuf records them and transfers them to his PC. He transcribes these tales into Microsoft Word. He uploads these files onto Google Drive.

Image Reference: TheBetterIndia

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