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Encouraging Amature Musicians

Music has played a significant role in India’s cultural heritage for thousands of years. It is an integral part of the country’s social fabric, with a rich tradition that encompasses a wide range of musical styles and instruments. This is a great area of opportunity for corporates to spend their CSR funds. Notes And Sargam, and independent venture, has been promoting instrumental music in a unique way. It encourages amateur instrumental musicians to come up with their talent and mesmerize the audience with their fine instrumental performances. Notes And Sargam has been organizing online instrumental music contest since 2020. In its third season which concluded recently in 2022, they had collaborated with CSR TIMES to reach out to a larger audience. 

The idea behind giving participation eligibility only to amateur and non-professional instrumental musicians in this contest is to encourage them as well as to motivate younger generation to take up some musical instrument as a hobby, “who might one day give priority to a musical instrument over their mobile phone”, says Tanmay Roy of Brandmark Media – the organisers of this online event. This season, the contest saw a great pool of talented amateur musicians, youngest being the 15- year old Violinist and the oldest being 86-year old Flautist. The judges, including renowned Flautist Santakshat, percussion maestro Nilanjan Sengupta and self-taught Flautist Prashant Das, had a tough time in selecting the 10 best out of over 200 participants through three stages of the contest. The top-10 performances were superlatively impressive. “Considering the fact that they were not professionals, for us, every participant in contest is a winner,” said Santakshat, “because, competing in Notes & Sargam’s Instrumental Music Contest is challenging. Contestants hardly get time to prepare and present thei r performances”. 

But, since it was a ‘contest’, “so, we had to select the winners, and hence, based on their abilities to play in Sur, Taal and Laya we gave them the final ranking”, said Prashant Das. The decision making was so tough for the judges that they had to split the 3rd position between two finalists Mihika Nakhe who played “Mere Dholna…” on Violin and Rishabh Bamniya who played, “Bachna Aye Haseeno…” on Keyboard. While Mihika Ganguli who played “Puchho na kaise maine…” on Sitar, was adjudged Runner-up, Spondon Mukherjee who played “Dil ne kaha chupke se…” on Violin was declared the winner of the 3rd Season of Notes And Sargam’s Instrumental Music Contest. Winners were given cash prizes, certificates and trophies.

“I’m 85 years old and have taken up Flute sometime back and this is my life’s first ever participation in any contest and I’m so glad to have participated in it and learnt some great lessons” said one of the contestants, A R Bhave. Another finalist, Sajal Dhir who plays Harmonica commented, “The format of this contest – ‘Notes And Sargam Instrumental Music Contest’ is fairly simple and interesting.” Contestants have to play songs of their choice, record and digitally upload those for judges’ reviews in the first few rounds and, in the final round they are given songs by the Judges to perform in a set time frame. Based on how well the artists performed on those judges’- choice-songs on their instruments, the final decisions are made. Prashant Das, whose brainchild this contest is, said, “The kind of attention this contest is getting is overwhelming and we see a bright future for this contest as well as for these extremely talented amateur instrumental musicians. We are expecting even larger number of musicians participating in our next editions of Notes And Sargam Instrumental Music Contests. “And yes, sponsors as well”, quipped Tanmay.

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