SOURINDRO MOHUN TAGORE’S MUSICAL GIFTS TO THE WORLD – TAASA Review June 2023
Kate Bowan I n the final decades of the 19th century, Rajah Sir Sourindro Mohun Tagore (18401914), music scholar and leading member of the Bengali elite, took advantage of diplomatic channels in the colonial capital Kolkata to send over 20 musical instrument collections across the globe to various monarchs, heads of state and world exhibitions.
‘With the object of familiarizing the people of foreign countries of Hindu music, and of enlisting their sympathies in his movements’, his own publication Public Opinion announced, ‘he has presented to the crowned heads of Europe, and the Heads of States, and to learned men and learned bodies through the civilised world, several sets of his works, and, in some cases, Indian musical instruments with full instructions for their use’ (1876: 230). countries, mainly to Europe and some to Asia and the USA from the late 1870s to 1890, including to the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition. The musical world of Kolkata was heterogenous and multifaceted.
Richard Williams skilfully describes the multitude of tensions (many sectarian) existing between the Muslim practitioners (ust?ds) of the late Mughal regime and Hindu reformers...