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Sunday, June 19, 2016

All India Radio seeks to preserve Indian heritage, records 20,000 folk songs

To preserve the Indian cultural heritage of folk music, All India Radio (AIR) has recorded as many as 20,000 folk songs, including ceremonial songs of different castes and religions, sung across the country.Public service broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) operates 415 stations and all of them are currently busy trying to preserve the Indian cultural heritage by collecting folk music of the nation for its archives. The broadcaster recently concluded the recording of as many as 20,000 folk songs, including ceremonial songs of different castes and religions, sung across the country. These songs will be stored in the AIR sound archives to help researchers in future.

“We want to collect music from all the nooks and corners of India—the music that has been forgotten over the passage of time. There are over 5,500 castes and mainly seven religions in our country and we want to preserve all of these. It is one of the largest projects in AIR programming,” said a senior AIR official, who declined to be named.The songs are recorded in natural surroundings instead of studios and the locals are engaged from different regions to sing these songs. “We have not hired any graded artistes for this because we want to capture the accents of the locals pertaining to a particular caste or a region for that matter,” the official said.

Once recorded, the broadcaster also engages representatives from specific communities to certify the authenticity of these songs. These recordings are shot by AIR station officials and then a compilation of audios, videos, pictures and translations of the songs are stored.The sound archives of AIR are possibly the largest audio library of Indian music recordings by the government of India. The library preserves voice recordings of eminent personalities, freedom fighters, national leaders, award-winning radio dramas, features, documentaries and memorial lectures.

AIR started this mega project to collect and record traditional songs from all over the country in November 2014. The initial plan was to record over 9 lakh such songs. “The actual number may be different as a lot of castes and religions share the same music and lyrics. Our estimates may vary but we are determined to cover the entire nation,” said the official.So far, the broadcaster has spent over Rs.2 crore on the project and has set aside Rs.3 crore from the annual budget of 2016-17. The information and broadcasting ministry has allocated Rs.75 crore to AIR for the development of new content for the year 2016-17.

On 8 June, AIR which started as the Indian State Broadcasting Service, completed 80 years. It currently covers about 92% of the area and 99.19% of the Indian population with its services in 23 languages. AIR also extends to over 108 countries.


Forwarded By: Jainender Nigam,PB NewsDesk ,news.prasarbharati@gmail.com

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