The next time you visit Delhi University’s Indraprastha College for Women in Civil Lines, you can sit in a room and engage in the solitary pursuit of listening to rare musical recordings. The college — the oldest women’s institute in the university — will, on Friday, inaugurate Music Archives and Listening Room (MALR), which aims to revive the ‘Baithak’ culture that has been vanishing slowly.
A brainchild of the college principal, Babli Moitra Saraf, the MALR is an unique centre where youngsters will be made aware of the nuances of music, especially Hindustani classical. “Our country has a rich musical heritage and we cannot just let it go into oblivion. So MALR is a dedicated centre where rare recordings have been digitised for the informed and those appreciating the art form to learn and enjoy it,” said Saraf.
Kanav Gupta, a teacher in the Department of English, has helped Saraf in the project by identifying donors — mostly music lovers and practitioners who have given their recordings in different embodiment and manifestations. An elaborate catalogue of the digitised music has been maintained and students can sit and listen to them in the listening room, which can accommodate at least 25 people. There is also a studio and a recording room at MALR. The centre also plans to translate musical treatise, which are available in other Indian languages.