The Anchor: 7 reasons why we should have a 24-hour classical music channel

08 Jun,2012

By Jaahnavi Paal


Being a TV buff I have watched everything from soaps, news, sports, wild life, marine life, reality shows, travel, food, music on TV …but my thirst for classical music still remains unquenched. Though there are so many music channels there is no single classical music channel (CMC). Doordarshan occasionally airs classical music concerts but there are no other channels that do even that. Considering that the country has so many classical music lovers it’s about time we had a dedicated classical music channel on Indian television.


1. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, there was huge audience base for music channels and one saw so many music channels spring up on TV. But nobody thought that there was a need for a channel dedicated to classical music. TV ‘businessmen’ felt that it was not a viable proposition. Since the audiences would be small in number compared to those interested in other forms of music they believed it would be difficult to make it a commercial success. But I beg to differ. Having seen various classical music festivals packed to full houses and the number of audiences that throng music concerts growing by the day it is difficult to believe that a classical music channel (CMC) will not do well. And mind you most of them do buy tickets to watch these concerts.


2. Classical music is part of India’s rich tradition and culture. Unfortunately not much is done to promote this on a mass platform like TV. Time and again music maestros have lamented this fact and appealed publicly for the need of a CMC. In 2010, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan pleaded that he would like to see a 24-hour classical music television channel that would play classical music as well as documentary films on creative people. Unfortunately, things remain unchanged.


3. Indian classical music should become part of daily life because it is proved to be a great therapy besides meditation and relaxation. If we can channelize this through a popular medium like a TV channel, more people will understand and enjoy classical music and reap its benefits as well.


4. In today’s times where commercialization is the only answer I see no wrong if classical music too was turned into a business venture and marketed on television. If a music reality show on a GEC attracts lakhs of talented people I have no doubt in my mind that a similar show on a CMC would also get the required numbers. Reality shows have been promoting classical music and musicians. Audiences are understanding sur and taal and ragas too. If this is not a positive sign of initiating our young audiences to our rich heritage and culture then so much more can be achieved on a channel that would be dedicated to classical music alone.


5. When Grammy award winner Pt Vishwamohan Bhatt moaned the fact that there were over 500 TV channels across the country and dozens of music channels but not one channel dedicated to classical music his pain was evident. There have been various other musicians who too have felt the same. In fact Pr Rajan and Sajan Mishra have gone a step further in voicing their agony. They have said that there are channels on animals but not one on classical music!


6. If the government does not have the will nor the capital to do this on their own I am sure there are many corporate giants and industrialists who can make a business out of this venture. Indian Classical music has crossed Indian shores and is recognized and appreciated across the globe. Sadly in our own country we do not have a platform to initiate it to our youth. A dedicated music channel for this rich form of music would not just help musicians and artistes but also offer unseen opportunities to many looking at making a career of it. When one sees lakhs throng venues of reality shows in order to participate in them how many of them even know that the base for all music is classical music?


7. Young people are increasingly drawn to sports because it is competitive. The government has to bring that spirit into classical music. We build grand stadiums, but we do not have a concert hall of the calibre of London’s Royal Albert Hall or Sydney’s Opera House. And it is the same with a CMC. A channel like this would encourage youngsters to take up classical music and even attract them to it. And for those cynics who often say that classical music is dying I beg to differ. Classical music is far from being a dying art. It was never meant to be entertainment for the masses anyway. I end with a note of optimism in my heart….hope someone soon invites us for a launch of such a channel.


Jaahnavi Paal is a columnist and TV analyst



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9 responses to “The Anchor: 7 reasons why we should have a 24-hour classical music channel”

  1. Shyamala Gaitonde says:

    Agree with you absolutely. Even youngsters will appreciate it. I am amazed at the knowledge little ones have of classical music at the reality music shows. Besides it will do a world of good if such things fall on their ears, albeit while browsing!

  2. Urvipal says:

    totally agree…hope this reaches the right people and very soon we have atleast one CMC, if not more to choose from!! it would be the gratest legacy we can leave for future generations!

  3. Umang says:

    Congratulations to Insyncmusik. Jaahnavi Paal, hope we have more journalists like you who take up this cause.

  4. Aparna says:

    Great piece Ms Paal…..fully agree with you!

  5. Insyncmusik says:

    Hi Jaahnavi Paal..I fully agree with you. This is to inform you that I am starting a fully dedicated TV Channel on various non-bollywood music genres like Indian Classical Music, Sufi, Fusion, dances, music education etc. This channel will be on air by Oct 2012. All top maestros are associated with our channel. Even DD and Ministry of Culture are extending support.

  6. Guest says:

    Your mailer headline says Upen Rai…