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date: 29 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the musical lives of children in urban and rural India. It focuses on three groups of children in North India: one in an urban area on the outskirts of Delhi—India’s capital city region of over 18 million people; one in a rural village in Bihar—India’s poorest and most illiterate state; and a child of a domestic servant. It addresses questions such as: what might a North Indian urban child’s musical repertoire look like? How might the repertoire differ from their rural counterpart? What is the impact of the media on traditional repertoires? It is shown that middle class children in urban and rural India enjoy rich musical lives, as schools and social rituals provide musical experiences and repertoires with both traditional and modern influences. While classical, folk, and national songs form the core of the public and private school canon, the deeply entrenched traditional and regional music survive alongside a cultural shift towards popular music.

Keywords: Indian, children, music, culture, identity, popular music, influence

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