A University is conceptualized to be a fountain Head of Knowledge, from which knowledge and wisdom are believed to flow and reach out to the widest possible public. In this context it is worth recalling the motto “Nahi Jnanena sadrusam” (knowledge is incomparable). Knowledge is the tool of empowering people and make them better beings.
Similarly music is conceived to be celestial which has an ennobling effect both on practitioners and listeners alike. It is capable of removing angularities and elevating human soul to a higher plan. It is widely believed that music has beneficial effects not only on human beings but also on plants and animals as well. Achieving mastery over a given genre of music could be a lifelong dedicated practice with total devotion. It is called ‘Upaasana’/ ‘saadhana’, seeking highest perfection and the person who undertakes it is called ‘Upaasaka’ / ‘Saadhaka’, the seeker of ultimate truth. The objective of learning music is the realization of three ethereal virtues i.e., truth, beauty and divinity / sublimity. This is also true of other forms of performing arts, be it dance, drama, gamaka, puppet show, Yakshagana etc., All these forms of art not only give an opportunity for the performers to showcase their talents, skills and accomplishments but also provide entertainment to the common people and make their lives worth living.
Ours is a repository of diversity in several respects. This is also true of music and other performing arts.
Broadly, two forms of music are well known. One is Hindustani or Uttaradi and the other is Dakshinaadi or Karnatak. Without going into the technical details or other finer aspects of these two forms, it could be said that each one of them is matchless in its own right.
Karnataka has the rare distinction of being a confluence of both these two prominent forms of music. The late Dr. Gangubai Hangal was an exponent of Hindustani music who had attained dizzy heights as a singer and earned highest acclaim from music lovers not only in Karnataka but also throughout the length and breadth of the country and also in many countries of the world.
It is to perpetuate and immortalize her signal contribution to the world of music, Karnataka Govt. thought it appropriate to establish a University exclusively for Music and Performing Arts and name it after Dr. Gangubai Hangal as a worthy tribute to that great musician.
Accordingly, Karnataka State Dr. Gangubai Hangal Music and Performing Arts University came in to being in 2008-2009 through a separate Act of State Legislature. Since its inception, the University has been striving for the realization of the lofty ideals which prompted its founding and is, making steady progress. Another important point needs to be noted here. In the life of an individual, a period of 8-9 years is very short to make any discernible impact and it is more so in the life of an organization such as a University, to leave its imprint in the society in a profound way.
Keeping these facts at the back of the mind, one has to make an appraisal of the University.
The basic objectives of the University are:
- To revive learning and teaching of music in its pristine forms.
- To create awareness among the general public about the ennobling effect of music and other forms of performing arts and making the life of citizen worth living.
- To redesign or reformulate the learning, teaching process to be in tune with the expectations of the present times without sacrificing its ‘core’ values.
- To make use of the modern technology to facilitate dissemination of the knowledge of music and other art forms and make them easily accessible and acceptable to the society.
- To create adequate infrastructure for the promotion and propagation of music and other allied art forms in an orderly and scientific manner through institutional arrangement.
In pursuance of these objectives, the University is providing academic training through well-designed courses such as B.A.Music, B.A.Drama, B.A.Dance, M.A.Music, M.A.Drama M.A.Dance and other forms of Folk Art as well. Diploma Courses in some of the above disciplines are being held to enable more numbers of students to seek admission and be benefitted by the programmes offered by the University.
India has been a treasure house of Music and various other Art forms. The greatest of greats like Tansen, Sadanand Buva, Mallikarjun Mansoor, Pt. Basavaraj Rajguru, Pt. Panchakshara Gavayi, Pt. Bhimasen Joshi, Dr. Gangubai Hangal, Smt. M.S.Subbalakshmi were iconic musicians in their own right. Similarly, Dr. Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh, Hemant Kumar, Manna De, Kishore Kumar were well-known in the field of film music. So far as instrumental music is concerned, one can recall the likes of Ustad Bismillah Khan, Pt. Ravishankar, Ustad Amzed Ali Khan, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Pt.Shivakumar Sharma, Dr. U. Srinivas, Veena Sheshanna, Violinist T. Chowdaiah, Pt.Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pt. Pannalal Ghosh, Pt. T.R. Mahalingam and many others who have taken music – vocal and instrumental to the pinnacle.
Our vision is to resurrect the past glory of India in the field of music and other forms of performing arts. With the onslaught of globalization many of these art forms appear to have become somewhat superficial, devoid of their original depth and infinite fineness. Our task is to restore the heights that music and other performing arts had all attained in the past with forms on both modern and Gurukula systems.
The University has made an impressive beginning moving in the direction of lofty goals it has set for itself.