Friday Review » Music

Updated: July 31, 2013 16:18 IST

Rare Indian music archive launched online

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Vikram Sampath
The Hindu
Vikram Sampath

Music lovers can now access the voices of a bygone era in digital format through an online archive of old and rare gramophone recordings.

The website,, the brainchild of author-singer Vikram Sampath, was formally launched at a function in New Delhi Tuesday evening. It went online on pilot basis in January this year.

Mr. Sampath collected these gramophone recordings from flea markets and scrap dealers, digitised them, and made them available on the website.

“It is a moment of celebration for music lovers who now have access to legendary voices. It should become movement and more youngsters should participate,” External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, who launched the website, said.

Aimed at saving vintage recordings for future generations, the archive is an online museum of sorts with gramophone recordings spanning from 1902 to 1952 of legendry singers like Bhimsen Joshi, Devika Rani, Abdul Karim Khan, Hirabai Barodekar and Madurai Mani Iyer.

“It is an attempt to democratise the cultural heritage,” said Mr. Sampath.

Also present at the launch function was Padma Vibhshan recipient classical dancer Sonal Mansingh, who said the country needed more such initiatives. “Our cultural heritage is slipping away from our hands. I hope our younger generation addresses this problem and protects the tangible heritage,” she said.

“Someone who is passionate about dancing should do something similar to what he (Sampath) has done,” she added.

Mr. Sampath was supported by T.V. Mohandas Pai, chairman of Manipal Global Education, in this endeavour.


Done for posterityAugust 2, 2013

commendable effort

from:  B Natrajan
Posted on: Jul 31, 2013 at 21:52 IST

Thank you Sir.. You are a genius....

from:  Chandramouli Mettapalli
Posted on: Jul 31, 2013 at 21:37 IST

Good initiative. I really liked it.
Good work..

from:  N.R.K. kalyan
Posted on: Jul 31, 2013 at 21:24 IST

Commendable effort.

from:  M. Radhakrishan
Posted on: Jul 31, 2013 at 18:50 IST

While the attempt is in a noble cause , we south Indians would like to listen to legendary singers like Chembai Vaidhyanatha Bagavathar, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, G.N.Balasubramanyam, Alathur Bros. apart from solo performances of Chowdaiya, T.N.Krishnan,Lalgudi Jayaraman on Violin, Palghat Mani and Palani Subramania Pillai on Mridangam and T.N.Rajarathnam on Nagaswaram. There should be enough old gramophone records on above as well as by M.S. and N.C.Vasanthagokilam when they were quite young.

from:  Nanjundeswaran
Posted on: Jul 31, 2013 at 18:26 IST

Wonderful work. You should be commended.

from:  Ramesh
Posted on: Jul 31, 2013 at 18:11 IST

A really wonderful efforts.Cograts Mr.Sampath.You are the real sampath
of this beautiful nation.

from:  Shivaram
Posted on: Jul 31, 2013 at 16:35 IST
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