Music is an integral part of social life and social interaction. Having this idea in mind, the Literary Society, Ramjas College decided to hold a two day seminar, Music in Context on the 22nd and 23rd of October, 2009. Incorporating various genres of music, some members of the society made presentations on the type of music that appealed to them and its larger social connotations.
On the first day, proceedings began with Anubhav Pradhan and Rhea Srivastava making a presentation on the Bollywood music of the 1950’s and 60’s. Their presentation made the Natya Shastra’s theory of the ‘Navarasa’ the basis of exploring emotion in this genre of music. They supplemented the evolution and transition of music during this era by showing clips of the songs they had chosen for investigation. The next presentation of the day was made by Mihir Kumar Jha on contemporary Bollywood music. Picking up recent songs such as ‘Jiggy Wiggy’, ‘Tinka Tinka’, ‘Haddipa’ etc, Mihir tried to explore why these songs have such a huge following.
The second day started with a presentation by Ammu Sanyal on western folk music, ranging from the 1960's to the 80's, with special reference to Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen. She focussed upon the story-like quality of this music, which is embedded with various social reflections and messages, and the centrality of lyrics in it. Abhimanyu Pandey introduced the audience to the music of the Tibetan flutist Nawang Khechog, while also explaining this musician’s contribution to the contemporary Tibetan society and to world music at large. The third presentation of the day was by Isha Banerjee, who spoke on the development of Goth Music in the 1980s. She gave a multimedia Power-Point presentation to demonstrate the 'gloomy, melancholic nature of the genre' and its focus on the darker side of the human psyche. The final presentation of the day and for the seminar was made by Kriti Sharma and Arpit Kumar on the Rock Music of the 1980's and its various sub-genres. The two elaborated upon the evolution of Rock with a sociological analysis of representative songs from its various sub-genres.
The seminar ended with a vote of thanks by the society’s president, Anubhav Pradhan, to all the participants, volunteers and the audience.