Nicolas Magriel

Musical Osmosis: Growing into Music in North India

Children who grow up in oral musical contexts such as the families of hereditary musical specialists commonly learn the body-language of music before they learn music itself. Throughout infancy and childhood, they absorb the mannerisms of performance practice and the physical and social graces befitting of musicians. Learning music is accomplished by osmosis and imitation, largely without conscious intent. Children develop an unselfconscious musical confidence born of inherited or deeply-nurtured
authority. Growing into Music is a three-year project funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Board. This largely video-based project focuses on musical enculturation in the oral traditions of Mali, Senegal, Cuba, Venezuela, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and India. Today Nicolas Magriel will be showing exciting films about children of the Rajasthani (manganiyar and langa) and Hindustani (classical) musical cultures of North India—films which summarise 90 hours of video filmed in the winter of 2009.

Dr. Magriel, based at the School of Oriental and African Studies, is a player of the North Indian sarangi as well as a psychotherapist and a scholar who has written extensively on various aspects of Indian music.