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What is Baul?

with Dr Uttara Chousalkar

The Baul songs of Bengal are based on the love and longing of Radha and Krishna

- Dr Uttara Chousalkar

Dr Uttara Chousalkar

Dr. Uttara Chousalkar is trained Hindustani classical vocalist and in passionate pursuit of aesthetics in music, She has also been following the Baul music of Bengal. After doing her graduation in English Literature, she acquired the master’s degree in music in 1992. A U.G.C. fellow, Uttara was awarded a doctorate degree in music by S.N.D.T. Women’s University Mumbai in 2003. On the traditional side, she has been trained under, the able tutelage of the renowned vocalist, Late Dr. Smt.Sushilaji Pohankar for more than two decades. To find out all about her you can visit http://www.uttarachousalkar.com This audiogyan is mainly to unravel the baul side of her work and explore this brilliant tradition which has it’s roots in Bengal.

Gyan session

1. What is Baul and whats the history behind it? How does it fit in the over all scheme of musical art forms in India?

2. Traditionally most of the folk arts are group activity, how come then Baul evolved into a solo act?

3. Since it’s a solo activity, how does improvisation take place? Is it similar to Classical music where the artist tries to achieve a trance in the raag and it’s exploration? How do Baul musicians improvise? On which thread? Is there any discipline in it?

4. In past few years of taking interviews and learning, I see a pattern where a lot of art forms have evolved from folk art. Why hasn’t the folk art got it’s recognition or flourished the way other art forms based on it have flourished?

5. Whats the future if Baul? How can we preserve it? What are steps taken by other Indians to keep it alive?