Bandish Antaakshari

Bandish, loosely translated as composition, acts as the seed-idea for melodic and rhythmic elaboration in various genres of vocal and instrumental Hindustani music.  It is one of the tangible elements that not only represents the aesthetics of different gharanas (literally household) or traditional schools of music, but in fact forms a vital part of the body of knowledge handed down through generations in an essentially oral tradition.  For these reasons, a rich collection of such compositions is crucial in Hindustani music pedagogy and performance, and has always been considered an important inheritance for those seeking to pursue music as a profession. Bandish Antaakshari, a performance-based game, portrays compositions from the Hindustani art music tradition using Antaakshari, a popular and engaging recreational pastime that has usually revolved round Indian film songs.  Typically, a player in this game has to present a few lines of a song challenging the next player to sing another song with its text beginning with the final syllable of the line that was sung last.  Bandish Antaakshari will not only follow this conventional format, but will also highlight Hindustani musical forms like khayal, thumri, and dadra, composed in various raags or melodic structures and set to different taals or rhythmic cycles.  The game will, thus, make traditional repertoire accessible to uninitiated audiences.  The participating vocalists are well-known performers and their training and musicianship promise to make the game a stimulating experience.