India Today - - LEISURE - —Prachi Sibal

The much talked about In­dian Mu­sic Ex­pe­ri­ence (IME), a first-of-its-kind in­ter­ac­tive mu­sic mu­seum in Ben­galuru, has opened its doors to the pub­lic. The mu­seum, which is plan­ning a for­mal in­au­gu­ra­tion later this month, is spread over three floors with sound ex­hibits, full of mem­o­ra­bilia and his­tory. While one sec­tion houses Us­tad Bis­mil­lah Khan’s paan box within a glass case, an­other dis­plays Daler Mehndi’s shim­mery vel­vet gown. How­ever, the phys­i­cal ex­hibits and the abun­dance of tex­tual in­for­ma­tion pale in com­par­i­son

to the ac­tual mu­sic at IME. Each ex­hibit al­lows you to lis­ten to mu­sic, un­der­stand notes, forms and gha­ranas with real recorded ex­am­ples.

Quite sur­pris­ingly, the tour be­gins with a sec­tion on con­tem­po­rary In­die mu­sic, with an ex­hibit of bands like In­dian Ocean, Eu­pho­ria and Pen­ta­gram. Here, au­torick­shaws are turned into lis­ten­ing booths and the sound of Swarathama’s Topi­wale re­ver­ber­ates through the room.

An arched en­try­way with chim­ing tem­ple bells leads you to the ex­hibits ded­i­cated to Hin­dus­tani, Car­natic and devo­tional mu­sic. Each is ex­haus­tive and takes you through fa­mous fam­i­lies and match­ing the var­i­ous ra­gas with times of the day and sea­sons. An in­stru­ments gallery, with a fas­ci­nat­ing dis­play of 108 mu­si­cal in­stru­ments, al­lows you to see rare ones from folk tra­di­tions.

A floor ded­i­cated to songs of re­sis­tance from the free­dom strug­gle and Bol­ly­wood, com­plete with posters of films, like 3 Id­iots, is as kitschy as you could imag­ine.

IME also tips its hat to its home city and takes you through the his­tory of Kan­nada mu­sic.

The tour ends in a hall of fame with names of artists etched on a wall and mem­o­ra­bilia on dis­play. Dif­fer­ent from any other In­dian mu­seum, IME is a unique col­lec­tion of mu­sic and legacy oth­er­wise stored and for­got­ten in archives.

Rhythm city The in­stru­ments gallery at the IME (left); the en­trance to the mu­seum

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