Music society


Music is for the soul; it is the oldest language of feeling and passion that transcends barriers like language, religion, region, etc. It unites people from all walks of life. It beguiles the senses, sets your mind free from the innate practicalities of life and creates a little space of escape where you can let the music empower, inspire and relax your mind.

For generations, people have used this medium to not only express themselves, but also to reach out to millions of other people. From the elusive folk music passed down from generations, to the emerging underground hip-hop music—it is dynamic and constantly evolving.

The recent trend of remixing old classic songs has garnered a lot of criticism for being lazy, showcasing lack of imagination, and being an easy alternative to earning quick money rather than by producing original music. However, India is not short of music or ideas. This diverse country has countless genres, instruments, and musicians with their unique music style still holding the power to enthrall the senses.

In a candid conversation, Sayani Rakshit, a member of Sangeetika, the Indian music society of Kamala Nehru College elaborates on classical music. She considers classical music to be permutations and combinations of ragas. These ragas are based on fixed set of seven notes which are combined in various ways to create countless melodies and compositions.

She further says, “Classical music is the deepest form of music that exists. There is no end to it, it has countless ragas. You have the most amount of scope here for creativity. For example, if am singing a composition, a bandish, I cannot tamper with the boundaries—but within the boundaries set by the raga, there is a lot of scope for creativity.”

Sayani mentions,“Beauty of classical music is in its routine. Ragas are sung at a particular time of the day. This is done because the notes have certain moods associated with them, which when sung at the right time are more impactful.”

She also adds, “I used to hate classical music when I first started out, but with a lot of practice and understanding, I am now an admirer of classical music. You need to understand the music in its various nuances and subtleties to appreciate it fully. This is why it is not very popular, because a person needs to understand various intricacies involved with this music to truly appreciate it.”

The underground hip-hop scene is rife with music that is politically and socially impactful. It is inspired and imaginative, hitting their audience with clean precision. Mcfreezak, a Delhi-based artist who is part of the Khirkee collective considers commercial hip-hop to be scripted. It feels artificial, highly constructed and fake, which loses the appeal of everything that real hip-hop aspires to be. Since it is not real, it is not able to connect with the real masses. Whereas their rap is grounded with the people and connects with their issues.

Mahima Dayal, famously known as Bawari Basanti, is a Hindustani classical and folk singer with a debut album “Underwater”. In a conversation with her, she shares her thoughts on folk music and considers it to be all about story telling and sharing wisdom. It’s one of the few art forms that cannot be taught, but is gained through osmosis.

She elaborates, “When I listen to manganihars, I can feel the sand falling through my fingers. Similarly, listening to bhangra and gidda music instantly puts an ecstatic smile on my face. This happens because folk music is a rustic reflection of our society and listening to it makes us feel more real. There is no pretence in the sound.”

Murshidabadi Project collaborates with musicians from all across the globe and specialises in simple yet peaceful Sufi music. He says, “Sufism talks about love and knowing the self to meet the divine. Its music is ideally raw and doesn’t require much accompaniment.”

According to him, Sufism is relevant in the present socio-political situation as it talks about love, peace and harmony. However, the mainstream audience is not in touch with it, as they do not have any choice as to the content that they choose to consume. The internet and television is so overpowered by the filmy music, that other genres do not get a platform.

As various classical genres of music struggle to gain ground in the contemporary demand trends of the music industry, a certain shift in the tastes and preferences of the audiences also can be easily observed in the subcontinent. Independent pop-rock band The Local Train or Indie artist Prateek Kuhad’s rise to fame is a testament to the previously mentioned shift in consumption. As new genres are on the rise, the idea of striking a balance between the contemporary and classical demands acknowledgement in the music industry.

Feature Image Credits: Vaibhav Tekchandani for DU Beat

Antriksha Pathania
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A thing that brings all the aspirants of the University of Delhi in this country to a sense of fascination is the University’s engagement with the performing arts. With a plethora of opportunities in fields like dance, music, dramatic, students are exposed to the discipline and the adventure of the arts that interest them. DU Beat brings to you the first of the six installations of its analysis of the top society in DU. The hard work was persistent, and the competition heartening. Let’s delve into who made the cut and how.


The best college society in each category was selected by creating a tally of the top 3 positions that could be won at various events. The society that secured the 1st position was awarded 3 points, the society that secured the 2nd position was awarded 2 points, and finally, the society securing the 3rd position was awarded 1 point.

34 college fests were considered in the making of the tally. The selection of these 34 colleges was based upon an analysis done by speaking with members of numerous college societies, and tracking the fests they considered most prestigious. The considered colleges are:

Atma Ram Sanatan Dharma College
Aurobindo College (Morning)
Aryabhatta College
College of Vocational Studies
Dyal Singh College
Daulat Ram College
Delhi College of Arts and Commerce
Gargi College
Guru Gobind Singh College
Hansraj College
Hindu College
Indraprastha College for Women
Jesus and Mary College
Kamala Nehru College
Keshav Mahavidyalaya College
Kirori Mal College
Lady Irwin College
Lady Shri Ram College
Mata Sundri College
Maitreyi College
Miranda House
Moti Lal Nehru College (Morning)
PGDAV College (Morning)
Ramjas College
Ramanaujan College
Ram Lal Anand College
Satyawati College
Shaheed Bhagat Singh College
Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies
SGTB Khalsa College
SGND Khalsa College
Sri Venkateswara College
Shivaji College
Shri Ram College of Commerce

Top Three Positions

Alahyaa, the Indian music society of Daulat Ram College, bagged the first position with a robust lead of 39 points. Alaap (Sri Venkateswara College) followed at the second position with 17 points, while Miranda House and Hansraj College tied at the third position with 16 points.

Points Tally: Indian Music

The Winning Society at a Glance

The winning society, Alahyaa, shared its joy with DU Beat-

“Alahyaa is a group of people who relish music and more than that, understand it together. In togetherness and in unity, is how our society has functioned all these years.
This year we wanted to try something really unique and decided to create an amalgamation of two raags: Shankara and Chandrakauns. We begin with a Bandish in Shankara set in Ektaal, Jhoolna Jhulao which includes vivd taans which brings out the valour which Raag Shankara portrays.
Further ahead we sing a Tarana again in Shankara and set to Teental. We then enter Raag Chandrakuns through a Taan which begins in Shankara and then blends into Chandrakuns using the Nishad used in both these ragas. In Chandrakuns we sang a Tarana in Adachautal representing the fierceness in this raag. Finally, we recite a Ganesh Paran, in teental as we end our composition with a Sitar and Vocal Jugalbandi coupled with every instrument coming in sync at the end.
The incredible teamwork by every member helped consolidate something as soulful as this piece.
Starting from the raw ideas, the scattered Taans, the putting together, learning like absolute newbies, introducing modifications every other day,  learning from scratch again,  exercising our throats early morning, pushing each other,  preparing rigorously, feeling electric onstage , winning and lunching together is what we basically live out. It’s kept us adaptive and resilient. Our love for this legacy we’ve had  is what brought us here. We would like to take this opportunity to thank every person who has directly or indirectly contributed to Alahyaa’s growth.”
Performing Members
Mareelina Tamang (President)
Vasudha Prakash (General Secretary)
Aanchal Singh
Navya Whig
Shreya Sharma
Samiksha Srivastava
Rashim Anand
Jullee Akham
Vandana Rohilla
Ishita Sabharwal
Sahitya (Co President) – Keyboards
Ashutosh Verma- Tabla
Antara Bhattacharya- Sitar

Winners Tally:

Out of the colleges included in the tally, Alahyaa secured victorious positions at the following college fests:

1st: Dyal Singh College, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, Hansraj College, Miranda House, Ram Lal Anand College, SGTB Khalsa College

2nd: Sri Aurobindo College (Morning), Gargi College, Maitreyi College, Kirori Mal College, Hansraj College, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Moti Lal Nehru College (Morning), Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies

3rd: Kamala Nehru College, Lady Irwin College

Data Analysis and Compilation by:

Shivani Dadhwal

[email protected]

Anushree Joshi

[email protected]

Feature Image Designed by:

Palak Mittal for DU Beat

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  • Building Bonds that go beyond Verbal Communication:  As is rightly said by Henry Longfellow, “music is the universal language of Mankind” and the music society is the perfect example of this statement. We all hail from different states, eat different food, have different cultural backgrounds and speak different languages which at times becomes a barrier in initiating a conversation and befriending each other. For that matter, A Punjabi girl (trained in Jazz guitar) might have some troubles bonding with a Keralite guy (a trained Carnatic vocalist) and won’t have many things in common when it comes to having a verbal communication. But both of them would be equally enchanted and amused when the jazz guitarist jams to the Carnatic Symphonies establishing a bond that transcends the cultural divide.
  • Team work: This notion might not sound as exclusive to the music society as the previous one, but trust me, it is. Music forms like acapella performances which include a group of 10-20 vocalists performing together without any instrumental aid, requires immense coordination. Unlike a pyramidal structure which has its base as the most crucial part, an acapella has a musical structure as dynamic and fragile as a house of cards where every singer has an equally important role to play to maintain the overall balance. ( One mistake and, Pffftt!)
  • What you do is also your means of recreation:  Unlike certain societies where people, after hours of working, take breaks to relax, we do something we’ve been doing for hours already. We play more. So it’s very common for musicians to break into random jamming sessions and have a small fling, playing their favourite melodies when they wish to take a break.
  • You may also find your Alter Ego:  We tend to like and connect with people with similar tastes in literature, sports etc. Every musician has his or her unique way of composing and improvising. But the moment you realize that the person you’re jamming with has a similar composing / improvising sense, you tend to have an inexplicable chemistry, an instant connection which often, later establishes and compliments strong friendships.
  • Altercation regarding grants and equipment:  An integral part of the music society is pleading for grants and permission to use college’s sound equipment, auditorium etc. You’re really lucky if you have cooperative cultural secretaries but if not, boy! you’re going to have a tough time!
  • Being a part of the music society demands commitment in terms of practice routines. It demands discipline and often causes discomfort at times, as you have to practice in public places, in the scorching heat even when colleges are closed. (And also Because A/C Jampads charge money.) But what it gives you in return is much more than it asks for. A family like experience, great musical minds to work with and friendships that go beyond cultural barriers.   Feature Image Credits- http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_29172264/employers-bend-over-backward-shower-their-workers-unusual Aditya Narang [email protected]]]>

    The society activities at St. Stephen’s college came to a closure with its famous Informal Discussion Group aka IDG hosting an interactive session on student politics in India. Its Music Society celebrated the first edition of its annual ‘Milestones in Music’ and Sabha (the college’s multilingual dramatics society) presented an interesting play, ‘No One Killed Mr Malik’.
    The IDG hosted Dr. Rajarshi Dasgupta who works as an assistant professor at the JNU, New Delhi. He spoke on the topic ‘Theological Turn of Political Rationality’. The lecture was dense and technical enough to keep students involved. Dr. Dasgupta theorised the dimensions of growing authoritarianism in the country and its growing acceptance. He also talked about and interacted with students regarding the sacrifices that students of different backgrounds are seen making. Numerous questions were raised regarding the recent rows at Hyderabad Central University and Jawaharlal Nehru University.
    The Music Society of the college came up with the first edition of its annual ‘Milestones in Music’ which witnessed a jam-packed audience. Milestones was the last society event this year in the college. The event started with Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D and then went on covering several genres and paying tributes to eminent Indian singers like Asha Bhonsle. Though the audience looked captivated throughout the event, the electrifying Sweet Child O’ Mine guitar performance and the Bow Band/Girl Group Face Off gathered most of the shouts. The event ended with a huge round of applause.
    Sabha’s annual production, ‘No One Killed Mr Malik’ brought together college’s well known faces in acting. The play was a thriller, full of mystery, and attracted a huge crowd as well.

    Featured image credits: PhotoSoc, St Stephen’s College