Watch and Listen: North Indian Classical Music Performed by Sitarist Allyn Miner on WRTI
It's classical music of a different kind. Allyn Miner, a scholar and performer of North Indian classical music, plays her sitar in our performance studio and chats with host Debra Lew Harder.
North Indian classical music is a highly developed, complex art form which was first described in Sanskrit literature from ancient times. It came to wide attention in the West in the late 1960s when George Harrison of The Beatles met master Indian classical musician and sitarist Ravi Shankar.
Deeply moved by the power of the music and its roots in spirituality, Harrison became a student of Shankar's and introduced the sound of the sitar to Western pop music in The Beatles' song "Norwegian Wood."
Allyn plays and talks about India’s classical music, its origins, and its influence in the world today. She'll also discuss the recently re-released best-selling albums that George Harrison produced, featuring the playing of Shankar and another virtuoso Indian classical musician, Ali Akbar Khan, with whom she studied.
Allyn has served on the faculty in the Department of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania since 1983. Prior to teaching at UPenn, she lived in India for ten years, where she studied sitar with Thakur Raj Bhan Singh in Varanasi.
Allyn has a Ph.D. in Indian Musicology from Banaras Hindu University and a Ph.D. in Sanskrit from the University of Pennsylvania. She writes on the history of North Indian music based on Hindi, Urdu, and Sanskrit sources, and has performed in India and Pakistan, and all over the U.S.
Allyn will play three different ragas (improvisations based on a short musical framework) particularly suited to noontime:
Raga Gaur Sarang - alap (non-metered improvisation)
Raga Brindavani Sarang - gat (short composition) and improvisations
Raga Kafi - a springtime raga