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Pandit Ram Sahai Sangit Vidyalaya | Saturday, 28 February 2009
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Prayag Sangit Samiti

(A brief introduction)

The year 1926 is a memorable year in the cultural history of the Prayag Sangit Samiti, when it was founded. The Samiti is an Organisation registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act of 1860 and was founded with the sole aim of propagating and popularising the cause of Indian Classical Music in the country. Prayag Sangit Samiti is located in Uttar Pradesh, India.

The founders of the Prayag Sangit Samiti had the vision and most sensitive social consciousness. It was their awareness as to the social aspects of music and the then prevailing low social status of music and musicians that made tnem determined to revolt against such social odds and evils and to reform and give an honourable status to music and musicians in the society. Since its very inception the Samiti has Leon striving hard for the propagation and elevation of the status of music, bringing about a new change in the activities relating to music and giving it an identity and feeling of self-realisation to musicians and students of music. The establishment of Prayag Sangit Samiti was a valiant attempt towards rescuing music from disrepute to which it had come during the period from 15th to 17th century. Moreover the trained musicians were till then the exclusive pre- princes, noblemen and big landlords the common man had no access except The vast change in the public attitude towards music and musicians which we witness these days, when musicians are honoured by Government and patrons of music, is in no way small attainment due to the untiring efforts of the Prayag Sangit Samiti.

On a reviewing of and scanning the past stages of change in the History of Indian music, patrons of music, considering the dimensions and intensity of the change, will realize that prominently Prayag Sangit Samiti helped and struggled throughout its existence to bring about this renaissance. This was really a major change and there are very few parallels to it in the entire history of music.

The growth and development of the Samiti in U. P. and other States of the country has been a continuous process, like other features of modern India, covering over 6 decades and should be treated in terms of its emergence under various stimulations. It was susceptible both to time and place. No objective lover of music will deny, that like in several other spheres, this development was a singular contribution of the organisers of Prayag Sangit Samiti Since its inception this premier institution has been rendering yeomen services to the noble Art of music.

All through its span of over 60 years of existence, the Samiti has been playing the role of a torch bearer in the world of classical music and it can legitimately pride itself in having ,achieved high reputation for consistently upholding the highest and richest traditions of this sublime art. It can be rightly claimed that it has fulfilled its object in popularising the great art and raising its status throughout the length and breadth of the country. It was on account of intensive enthusiastic efforts of the Sangit Samiti that all old prejudices have died away and now every respectable house has developed a rare 1ove and attachment for music.

The Samiti is housed in two imposing buildings of its own, one situated in the heart of the city in South Malaka and the other in the sylvan surroundings of the Alfyed Park, The Samiti has one of the biggest auditoriums in its new palatial building built at a cost of rupees seven lakhs. The Central Government and the general public contributed generously to the cost of the new building. It is no exaggeration to say that it has grandeur of its own.

Vishnu Digamber Academy of Music

The Samiti runs an Academy of Music for imparting instruction to boys and girls of respectable families in vocal and instrumental music and dance. It has its own courses of systematic coaching ranging from two to eight years. The following degrees and diplomas are awarded. The Academy imparts education and conducts examinations in the following courses :-

A. Junior diploma - 2 years' course.
B. Senior diploma - 4 years' course.
C. Sangit Prabhakar - 6 years' course.
D. Sangit Pravin - 8 years' course.
E. Sangit Acharya - Research degree.

It stands exclusively to the credit of the Samiti that music in the country now stands recognised as a subject of study by the U. P. Government and other State Governments of the country. Its diplomas and degrees are recognised by a number of State Governments, educational bodies and Universities.

The Samiti besides imparting regular instruction in two imposing buildings located at Allahabad to about 803 student-, on its rolf, conducts examinations and awards diplomas and degrees in the various branches of music through its affiliated institutions which adopt its courses of systematic studies and net examinations conducted at their respective contras. Till now the Samiti has affiliated more then 1352 Examination Centers scattered in all the States of the country and other neighbouring countries. The Samiti awards Junior Diplomas, Senior Diplomas and Sangit Prabhakar, Sangit Pravin and Sangit acharya degrees. Samiti's attainment of responsible working brought into this field a powerful factor adding urgency to formulating clear, definite and comprehensive rules regarding conditions and control of examinations with a view to safeguarding the interest of the examinees.

The work of the examinations of the Prayag Sangit Samiti is watched and manned by qualified, efficient experts and advisers. Last year the number of examinees who appeared in the various examinations of the Samiti was about 95090 and this number is gradually going up year after year. Its alumni are holding responsible posts in various branches of music in the Universities and Educational Institutions and other organizations and concerns.

The Academy has a strength of about 800 regular students with a teaching staff of 40 qualified teachers.


The new building in the Alfred Park has a grandeur of its own. Recently dazzling improvements have been made in the hall and adjoining foyers mainly due to the magnificent donation of over six lacs of rupees by Sri G. L. Mehta, a patron of Music and Art and an eminent industrialist of Calcutta. The Management of the Samiti has expressed its gratitude to Sri Mahta for his munificence and generosity by naming the Auditorium as 'Mehta Hall.'

The Auditorium has a seating capacity of 3000 spectators. Besides Convocations, Music Competitions and Conferences of the Samiti, several important functions of the city are held in the Auditorium.

The Muktangan
(Open Air Theatre)

Visions have far fetched wings. The Samiti has constructed a beautiful Muktangan, a cultural dream land, with its terraces, grassy beds, flowers and innumerable water fountains in varied. hues in the promises of Alfred Park Building.

The 'Muktangan' consists of a half moon shaped vast opera stage, synchronising with the crescent moon, having cubistic cultural designs on the front outer walls of the pulpit and the back wall carved with stony uniform patterns, not providing gravert images, but symbols of artistry. The Oren Air Theatre has also anti-chambers as greenroom. There are a few other stage doors as well. The platform is also fitted with lights, Brilliant and mellow, and small fountains play around them, casting a spell of tender soothing impact.

The Muktangan occupying nearly half of an acre of land, neatly turfed as a soft green carpet, colonnade in several expansive galleries, with flower beds an all sides and having small bridges over the watery tunnels,, is not only a beauty spot where greenness of the earth merges into the infinite ethereal blue canopy of the starlit night sky but also a sanctified place, where people forget their worries, sorrows, sufferings and the mundane humdrum living. The low railinged bridges as it, bridge the gulf between the ancient and modern. The foreigners proclaim the Muktangan as the first of its kind in the East.

Competitions and Conferences

Coming to other important activities the Samiti has to its credit the unique distinction of organising competitions and Conferences, annually on an All India basis, wherein competitors and artists from all corners of the country and other countries are invited to give their inspiring performances.

The main objective of the management of Prayag Sangit Samiti in holding the Conferences is to create and maintain the highest professional standards in performance and production and to afford an opportunity to students of music to witness and hear the practical demonstration of the art by great masters of music. In order to save music from deteriorating both in repute and creative development the Prayag Sang t Samiti considered this step to be most essential and proper. To rescue the art from this decline and to restore it to its former classical and creative form is the aim and object of the organisers of the conferee co. In the conferences organised during the last decade, a break- through has been made by the pioneer efforts of Prayag Sangit Samiti, other dedicated individuals and music schools, in giving to the technique of Indian classical music a new practical shape, reflecting the needs of contemporary times. The experiment of holding the conferences has considerably helped in further enriching the repertoire of music broadening its scope and revitalising the art. The music conferences of the Prayag Sangit Samiti have a reputation of their own more for propagation of music than any monetary gain.

The Samiti after completing its fifty years of useful service, celebrated its Golden Jubilee in November 1976. On this happy occasion an All India music conference, an All India Seminar of Musicologists and Art critics was also organised.

Library & Museum

A unique Musicological library has been established by the Samiti in 1977 under the patronage of the State Govt. There are 1500 rare books on Vocal Music, String and percussion instruments, dance and drama in the library collected from all over India and abroad. The Library has also precious collection of L. P. Records, tapes of top Musicians of the past and present.

The Library hall has been fully equipped so as to provide adequate facilities to the students and scholars to do research work in the various branches of classical music.

Efforts are being made to establish a Museum containing ancient manuscripts on music, old instruments of music and garments of historical interest.


A hostel for out-station and foreign students with 16 rooms has been constructed providing all necessary facilities for their comfortable stay and studies.

Since its inception, the Samiti has been playing the role of a torchbearer in the world of classical music. It can rightly claim that it has fulfilled its objects of propagating the art and popularising it throughout the length and breadth of the country. The Samiti thus occupies the pride of place in the Cultural and Educational organisations in India and abroad advocating the cause of Indian Classical Music and Dance.

Prayag Sangit Samiti
20 Brunel Close
Southall, Middx UB5 6RW


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