(Last Updated on : 28-09-2012)
Ancient history of Thanjavur under Nayakas and Marathas brings to the fore the historical richness of the place. India was colonized by the British for close to two hundred years. Aspects of Indian society, namely, law, education, medicine, literature and art bear varying shades of influence from the colonial masters and their culture. The one art-form which might have offered some resistance during the nineteenth century was probably Indian classical music
. That is because music was performed mainly in courts and temples and did not receive any patronage from the colonial and imperialist state. The reconstruction of classical music was an integral part of a self-conscious cultural project that helped frame the contours of a national heritage with all its material and symbolic artefacts. History has not treated music as having played critical role in the development of Indian cultural nationalism. If one traces the history of music in any region, particularly peninsular India by the end of the nineteenth century music, dance and theatre assume great importance in the cultural life of the people.
In the twentieth century, music and musicians move into the larger cultural public sphere to give ticketed entry performances in modern auditoriums. Music gradually evolved into a high art-form that occupied pride of place in the national imagination. It is difficult to identify this change from private sphere to public sphere with a particular ideology, or a religious group and to then assign an ethnic identity. In the case of north India, the credit for this transformation is given to Vishnu Narayan Bathkande and Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the shift from temple to court 'would be appropriate to track the change in the pattern of patronage that took place at Tanjore.
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