Prof. Greg Booth is a teacher, author & musician. In his book Brass Baja: Stories From The World of Indian Wedding Bands he takes us behind the scene into the world of the Indian brass band musicians, whose rich musical traditions and history has been largely ignored. It was way back back in the 17th century that the first wedding brass band made their appearance in India. Today, Indian wedding brass bands are an integral part of Indian popular culture and cinema. Most of all they are a big part of Indian wedding celebrations.
We spoke to Prof Booth about the evolution of Indian wedding brass bands and the introdution of western musical instruments into Indian music. For instance, the clarinet and violin were introduced from the west into traditional Indian classical music. And, the harmonium, which is such a large part of Indian music was introduced to India by European missionaries points out Prof. Booth.
LISTEN: Prof. Greg Booth on Indian Wedding Brass Bands
He trained in western classical music and then learnt to play the tabla from Ustad Zakir Hussain and Ustad Alla Rakha.
This is part one of a 3-part interivew on Indian Wedding Brass Bands, Indian film music and Bollywood. In part 2 and 3 Prof. Booth talks about the influence of western music into Bollywood and takes us behind the curtain into the world of Bollywood musicians.
Song Credit: Sheila Ki Jawani by Sunidhi Chauhan and Vishal Dadlani from Tees Maar Khan
Photo Credit: Greg Booth