Raga Reality

SPIC MACAY’s first ever reality show on Doordarshan will bring together Carnatic and Hindustani music on the same stage.

Written by Debjani Paul | Published: April 27, 2013 11:38:27 pm

SPIC MACAY’s first ever reality show on Doordarshan will bring together Carnatic and Hindustani music on the same stage.

Thirty-odd years ago,when the Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth (SPIC MACAY) was first set up,no one could imagine it would grow to have 500 chapters across the world and over 5,000 events annually. But Kiran Seth,its founder,says,“I had an intuition that this would become a big movement.” It is with equal conviction that SPIC MACAY is now launching Naad Bhed,its first reality show on national TV.

“This will be a game changer for classical music in India. In the West,even a garbage collector knows who Beethoven is,but here,even educated people are unaware of classical legends. The show will bring classical music to the people,” says Seth.

The show’s biggest USP is perhaps that it will bring together Carnatic and Hindustani music,rarely seen in competitive shows. “People are generally exposed to one or the other. But here,both styles will be in the forefront and the viewers will begin to appreciate and understand both,” says Seth.

Legendary Carnatic violinist T N Krishnan,reportedly one of the judges on the show,says,“This will not only give exposure to a lot of artistes,but also lead the audience to participate in the music,learn about it,and enjoy it. And if it is aired nationally,it is even better.”

The competition will cover six categories,with awards for vocalists,instrumentalists and accompanists. The organisation hopes to rope in maestros in each category as judges,with legends such as Professor Krishnan,Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia,Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. Actor Shabana Azmi is set to anchor the show.

Entries are invited from all musicians who have been training with a guru for at least four years,a restriction that,Seth says,is a must to maintain the show’s ethos. “This is not a search for talent or a voice. This is a search for good classical musicians who are committed to learning the art,” he explains.

The decision to partner with Doordarshan instead of more popular private channels was made to keep the show’s spirit intact. “With Doordarshan,there is no pressure of TRPs or staging dramatic scenes. It will only be about the music,” he says.

Naad Bhed will travel to 20 centres across the country for regional competitions. One hundred contestants will be picked for the national rounds and will then be whittled down to 35 finalists. The stakes are raised even higher with cash prizes ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 10 lakh. “Participants will be given four minutes to prove their mettle,” says Seth.

Ask him whether Naad Bhed can compete with other music shows,he says,“It’s unfair to compare popular music to classical music.”

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