One man destiny to whom the highest credit goes for rescuing Indian Classical music from decadance, decline and extinction is Vishnu Narayan Bhatkande. At a great personal sacrifice and suffering and inspired by only one aim, Bhatkande throughout his life undertook the herculean task of reviving Indian Classical music.
In the last few decades of the nineteenth century Bhatkande found that the Indian Classical music, although it had glorious history, had reached the boottom of degredation and was looked down upon as unworthy, superflous and Vulgar- a subject fit for laofers and vagabonds. Bhatkande radically altered the scene and put music once again on his high pedestal. Sobhana Nayar has attempted in this book an objective evaluation of Bhatkande's work in reviving Indian classical music.
Vishnu Narayan Bhatkande was a unique personality endowed with scholarship, creativity, poetic sensibilities, capacity for patience and hard work and devotion for the Indian musical tradition and above all humility. Bhatkande began his work with collection of hundreds of compositions from different gharanas, analysed them and formulated the theory of Indian music underlying these compositions. He also formulated an easy and expressive notation system for Hindustani music and introduced a new method of collective education in music and wrote textbooks and gave music the form and shape of an academic subject. Pandit Bhatkande's contribution to Indian music is so great that anyone interested in Indian Classical music must read this book.
Late Dr. Sobhana Nayar had her early education in North Bengal; she did English honours from Calcutta University in 1942; Sangeet Vishard from Marris College, Lucknow M.A. Vocal musci from Punjab University and PhdD. Music from University of Delhi. Dr. Nayar had a long music career as a performer, musicologist and teacher. She had her training from eminent Ustads as Mushtaq Hussain Khan ( Rampur Gharana) and Sarfaraz Hussein Khan ( Sahasawan Gharana) and Siddheshwari Devi Allauddin Khan of Maihar and Kumar Birendra Kishore Roychowdhury of Gauirpur.
The author used to regularly broadcast from the All India Radio for nearly 30 years during her lifetime and after teaching in a number of institutions, she eventually joined the All India Radio as a music producer. A principal investigator in a major project for studying the changes in Hindustani Calssical music under the UGC Scheme for assisting research in Social Sciences and Humanities, she also showed interest in the allied arts; painting, dancing etc. She received mush acclaim for her two exhibitions ' Art from Scrap' in the late seventies form art critics as well as general public.