R. C. Mehta
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Ramanlal C. Mehta was born on October 31, 1918 at Surat in the state of Gujarat. An eminent musician and musicologist, he retired in 1978, from the MS University of Baroda, after serving as Principal of the College of Indian Music, Dance & Dramatics / Faculty of Performing Arts ), for several years.
He was trained in Hindustani classical vocal music by the late Kanchalal Manawala and later followed the Kirana style of the Late Ustad Abdul Waheed Khan. He was with All India Radio for 9 years ( 1945–1953 ) prior to his taking up principal-ship of the Baroda Music College. A distinguished vocalist of the Kirana Gharana Style, he has developed his own style in Khyal and Thumri, and given several vocal concerts of Hindustani Classical Music in music circles, music conferences and over All India Radio. He composed and produced above fifty musical dramas and features over A.I.R., Bombay, Ahmedabad and Baroda (1945–1953).
A purist by training, he is a modernist by outlook, appreciating all schools and synthesis thereof.
As an academician he has served the cause of music education in India for over 45 years. He has served as Expert member on national as well as State Institutions and Universities. Musicians & academician, author and editor of several books in Indian Music, Prof. Mehta founded in 1970, the Indian Musicological Society and continues to serve the society has honorary General Secretary. He has served as Editor of the Journal of the Indian Musicological Society, since its inception, in 1970, retiring in 2005. He has served as an expert member on the Central Music Audition Board ( MAB ) of All India Radio. Padmabhushan Prof. R. C. Mehta has always been associated with innovations in field of music. On his suggestion, the first ever conference on distance education in Indian Classical Music was organized by Ustad Alauddin Khan Sangeet Academy. He published a collection of papers presented s Distance Education in Music. Almost all significant conferences, seminars, workshops have benefited by his presence. He travels only when necessary these days, but assists organizers, scholars, students over phone and through e-mail.
Author and critic
He has written and published extensively on various aspects of music. His publications include :
- (1) Agra-Parampara, Gayaki Aur Chizen (Hindi) Pub. By the M.S. University,
- (2) Sangeet Charcha 1963 (Guj.) (Music Criticism)
- (3) Guajarati Geya Kavita (Guj.) 1954 (Song Form in Gujarati Literature)
Mehta has published several research papers in scholarly journals.
He has published, under his editorship, some twenty two books, all devoted to research aspects of music. These include:
- Music and Mythology (1989) -- Pub. by Indian Musicological Society
- Thumri-Traditions and Trends (1990)
- Composition in Indian Music (1993)
- Music Research – Perspectives and Prospects – Reference Indian Music (1993)
- A Directory of Doctoral Theses in Music (1994)
- Perspectives on Dhrupad (1999)
- Indian Music - Eminent Thinkers On Core Issues (2002) -- Pub. by Indian Musicological Society
- Indian Classical Music & Gharana Tradition (2008) -- Pub. by Readworthy Publications (P) Ltd.
Awards and honors
Prof. Mehta is the recipient of many awards, which include :
- An honorary degree of Doctor of Music by the Akhil Bharatiya Ghandarva Mahavidyalaya Mandal (1967)
- State Award for Music by the Govt. of Gujarat (1978)
- Emeritus Fellowship of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Govt. of India (1983)
- Sarangadeva Fellowship – by Sursingar Samsad, (1988)
- SRA – ITC award for Distinguished and lifelong services to the cause of Hindustani Music (1990)
- “Shrestha Sangeeracharya” Award by Pt. Bhatkhande Institute of Music and Musicology, Raipur (M.P.)( 1993 )
- Swar Sadhna Ratna award by Swar Sadhana Samiti - Bombay (1995 )
- Kaka Hathrasi Sangeet Sanmaan by Kaka Hathrasi Puraskar Trust – Hathras (U.P.) (2001)
- Centenary Celebration honour for Life Time Contribution to Music by Bangalore Gayana Samaja – Bangalore (2005)
- Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (2008)
- Padma Bhushan (2009)
- Pt. Omkar Nath Thakur Award (2010) by Govt. of Gujrat
- Sangeetvikas Award (2011) instituted by Samakalika Sangeetham, a Journal dedicated for Indian Classical Music, for the book, Indian Classical Music & Gharana Tradition (Read Worthy Publications (P) Ltd, New Delhi)
- An honorary degree of Doctor of Literature awarded by Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, Khairagarh. (2014)
He is busy with several projects; almost all resulting into a book. Eminent Musicians of Yester Years is a book remembering some hundreds of our musicians who enriched Hindustani Music, several of them now forgotten, some still living and continuing the legacy. Preface to this book can be viewed on omenad as also of his latest book Indian Classical Music and Gharana Traditions
- The latest biographical note on R. C. Mehta written by Dr. Bhalchandra Panchakshari, Retired Reader, Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, Khairagarh was published in Hindi periodical “Sangeet Kala Vihar”, July 2006 issue, pages 13, 14, 15 & 16.
- "Introducing The Indian Musicological Society, Bombay & Baroda". DoveSong. RisingWorld Entertainment. 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- More about Music Education on Omenad.Net
- Works by R.C. Mehta
- Bhatkhande Memorial Lecture Series - Edited by R.C. Mehta