Showered by the multi-cultural system, Dehradun is among those cities which have its roots and vibrancy hidden in music. From western to the folk music of Uttarakhand, Doon is blessed with colourful culture of acceptance for any genre. Though, youngster likes loud music, most of the groups started introducing independent music. Few groups like Doon drum circle are a part of it but, even in twenty-first century there are few problems in intrusion of music.
Since when Doon was referred as “Sudhnagar” in Ashokan manuscripts, Katyuri’s were reigning all over Kumaon. “Dhol” was the first musical instrument which is the archaeological part of India. There were two pitches at which each rhythm and pattern of ancient Utarakhand music is based on i.e. the bass and the treble. The bass was produced by Dhols and Hurkas whereas the treble was produced by Cymbals or the metal sheets. No matter what the situation of music is today however, in ancient era, Garhwali and Kumauni music is the only genre that existed. The early folk music having spiritualistic and religious approach, some people claim that instruments like Dhol and Damaum were used during exorcism of people obsessed by Kuldevtas in remote Himalayas. Uttarakhand music made a huge impact on Doon as well, farmers induced these music patterns while sowing seeds and reaping the crops. Jaunsaari music became an extract of ancient music of Uttarakhand and grabbed its roots from Chakrata and Kalsi.
Post capitalization of Doon exposed this city to various type of music. Many of them consist of rock and fusion band. In early 21st century, young people were exposed to Spanish guitars and other instruments. As a result there was a rat race towards these genre and institutions like Bhatkhandey in Doon, Pauri and Almora got abandoned. Bands like Bhairvas, Keechad, Crystal head, Kartavya are few of those bands which came up with a new music culture in this region. Members of these bands were college dropouts wanted to establish a change in our society. Perusing passion became the priority after this silent revolution in town.
Along with excess of rock and roll genre related bands in the valley few independent music bands like “Bhairvas” were also coming up. As Vivek a band member of Bhairvas said that most of his band members were B.tech aspirants and left their career for this genre of music.
These bands are not getting any kind of funds or sponsors to meet their requirements; the only support they get is from their audience and listeners. A member from Keechad band quotes, “Malls pay us 3k per hour for performance, art centres takes performers for granted and sometimes the café in which we perform have drunk audience with low quality of music taste”. Such problems led bands like Kartavya to shift to Bombay previous year, and as a result they are being segregated. There are many bands who don’t find their place to revive and survive and their graph is going down.
The same degradation happened in folk genre of Uttarakhand too. The milestone of Uttarakhand music “Gopal Babu Goswami” was the last legend that took the cassette industry of state beyond imagination which any investor would have ever thought. Though many singers are still trying to revive his legacy, many have already introduced the fast disco music to the hills. Well! This has ruined the existing state of folk music even more. The music which was comprised of Dhol, Cymbals and flute is now based on EDM.
The bigger image came forward when the drastic fall in figures of music production companies were surveyed. The regional music companies like RAMA and HIMAL, which were gaining profit during initial stage of this millennium, faced a fall after the era of famous personalities like Kalpana Chauhan, Lalit Mohan Joshi, Preetam Bharatwan. According to the localities of Doon, this may be due to bad quality of lyrics and music systems.
People have high acceptance to Punjabi and Bollywood songs and our folk culture is being neglected. When residents were asked by our team, they supposed that the quality of music and its ability to revive one’s soul is not there in folk music anymore. Songs like “Kile baje muruli” and “Bedu pako” which were released three decades ago are still invigorated by many singers whereas new songs die just after a few days of release. The blame of the loop holes to the failure of folk music of Uttarakhand cannot be put on government solely, some failures are due to lack of availability of quality based audience in the state. If singers like “Narendra Singh Negi” sing songs based on “Bhojpuri” music and composition, then there arises a question, that who will rejuvenate the real culture of Uttarakhand, is it all about making Money?