Over 10,000 people have visited the Indian Music Experience, the music museum, ever since its soft launch in November last year. It was founded, according to the museum’s director, acclaimed classical singer Dr Manasi Prasad, to “provide a unique experience to visitors about India’s rich cultural heritage.” Divided into eight thematic galleries, IME takes visitors through the tenets of classical music, indie music, folk traditions and an instruments gallery, featuring memorabilia from musical legends like Bismillah Khan, M.S. Subbalakshmi and Bhimsen Joshi, writes Ramesh S Kebbehundi
Jana Gana Mana, the Indian national anthem, was largely unknown at the turn of the 20th century, except to the readers of the Tattwabodhini Patrika, the Adi Brahmo Samaj journal. It had been recited, in 2912, at the annual event of the Adi Brahmo Samaj, recited publicly for the second time.
The poem had made its public debut at the annual session of the Indian National Congress in Kolkata on December 27, 1912, when it was sung by the author himself, Rabindranath Tagore. This historic recording is available now, to visitors at the Indian Music Experience in JP Nagar, which is the first experiential museum of music in the country. The museum boasts a vast archive, from Mahatma Gandhi’s freedom call to indie rock music in India, to mini theatres that simulate autorickshaws.
Over 10,000 people have already visited since the soft official launch in November, 2018. The ‘grand launch’ took place on July 27 this year, with a concert by Ustad Zakir Hussain.
At the entrance to the museum stands the Sound Garden, a series of art installations. All of them are ‘playable’ and are meant to acquaint people with the philosophy of sound. Inside, the museum is divided into a number of different sections, paying tribute to classical schools, contemporary and film music and folk tradaitions. There are eight thematic galleries, including an instruments gallery with over 100 musical instruments, three mini theatres and several computer-based interactive installations that allow visitors to experience the process of making music.
“It’s the country’s first exclusive, interactive, digital-oriented virtual music museum,” says Dr Aditi Gudi, Administrator, IME. “It gives visitors an insight into all genres of music. The main aim is to educate the younger generation besides preserving and promoting the country’s rich, cultural legacy.”
Q&A: With Dr Adithi Gudi , Administrator, IME Music Museum
Introducing the interactive music museum
How is Indian Music Experience Interactive unique when compared to other music museums in the world?
Of course, IME is entirely different from other museums in the world. It is India’s first exclusive, interactive digital oriented virtual music museum. It introduces visitors to all genres of music right from classical, traditional, tribal, folk and all forms of contemporary music in the world. We have displayed over 100 musical instruments used across the country. One can learn the basic concepts of Hindustani and carnatic music, raga tala and sruti here. Appreciating our works, eminent musicians like Sudha Ragunathan among others have donated their musical instruments for display.
What is the intention behind establishing this museum in metropolitan city like Bengaluru?
The main aim is to educate younger generation, besides preserving and promoting country’s rich cultural legacy. The other idea is to train younger generation about various forms of music.
How is the response to IME after its launch?
IME was established two years ago in city. It had its soft official launch in November 2018. It had its grand launch on July 27 this year. After its launch, more than 10,000 visitors paid visit and appreciated our works. Apart from visitors from Bengaluru, school and college-going students, architecture students, music lovers across the country and overseas over have been visiting in large numbers.
What are IME’s future plans?
Presently, IME is offering five-year Diploma in music for students. Over 150 students have been studying in IME learning Centre. In addition, IME is regularly conducting monthly music concerts, cultural programmes like dance. Recently, musicians like Raghu Dixit and other bands had performed here. It also hosts variety of public programmes such as talks, workshops, seminars, summer camps and others.