Started with a modest batch of twelve students of Hindustani music (both Vocal and
Instrumental) and Karnatak music, (only Vocal), the Department was initially situated at the
Barracks at the back side of Miranda House. Since then, it has expanded to over four hundred
and fifty students at its current location, just at the intersection of the University road and the
Mall road, next to the Sir Shankar Lal Concert Hall in the North Campus of the University. During
this period, the two main disciplines of music in India, viz, Hindustani and Karnatak music have
grown parallel to each other in this Department. With the passage of time, new courses were
introduced. In 2013-14, B.A. (Hons.) in Hindustani music - Percussion (Tabla/Pakhawaj) was
introduced, followed by M.A. in the same in 2016-17, with its M.Phil. likely to start from 2018-
The Department has constantly been in the process of enhancing the skills of our students,
which leads to an increase in their productivity and output. Keeping these in mind, the
Department has always strived to innovate and introduce new courses from time to time.
Starting from 2008-09, the Department has introduced special courses, which are job-oriented
in keeping with the objectives of the University. Many Diploma and Short-Term Courses have
been introduced to fulfil this purpose. A Two-Year Diploma course in Harmonium was started in
2015-16. In 2017-18, the said course and the decades old Sangeet Shiromani Diploma Course of
two years’ duration, were restructured from the Annual form into the Semester form, in tune
with the main undergraduate and post graduate programmes.
The Department has also introduced Short-Term Courses in many genres, namely Tabla,
Harmonium, Santoor, Thumri-Dadra, Post-Pallavi compositions in Karnatak music, Veena, Violin
and Mridangam, as also Journalism and Sound Engineering: Techniques and Equipment. Thus,
at present, the Department conducts B.A. (Hons.), M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes in both
Hindustani and Karnatak music, Diploma and Short-Term Courses of six months (Advance) and
four months (Certificate) duration in the aforesaid and other genres; as also One Year
Certificate Course for Foreign nationals in both Hindustani and Karnatak music.
With a sanctioned strength of forty one teachers and contribution of noted personalities,
artistes and music lovers, the Department has seen many fruitful and prosperous years with
rapid development. Equal emphasis is being laid on both theoretical knowledge and practical
orientation. Music being a performing art, emphasis is laid upon Oral Tradition within classroom
teaching. Noted experts are being invited regularly to share their knowledge with the students.
We have the proud privilege of having many reputed artistes, both in the past and at present, in
our teaching faculty, who have been a guiding force for our students. No wonder, quite a few of
our alumni are performing artistes with Radio and TV grading, while others are placed in
eminent positions in various universities, colleges and many government and private
One salient feature of the infrastructure of this Department is its vast and well-equipped library
with several wings. It has recently been upgraded into being partly automated. The reading and
lending section of the library has around 16,000 books, some of them are very old and rare, and
providing valuable source material for regular as well as research-oriented study. The Braille
section for the visually challenged has a large collection of 304 Braille books and relevant
material transcribed into Talking Books, which is made available to the students in the form of
CDs. The audio section has a listening room and lending facilities for over 2,200 cassettes and
CDs. Students are encouraged to listen more and more, so as to absorb the finer nuances of this
great art form.
Apart from this, a separate Computer section with internet connection, printers and e-material
facilities has been set up for the benefit of the teachers and research scholars. Two computers,
fitted with the JAWS software, are allocated for the differently-abled visual students. While
developing the deep-rooted base for Indian classical music, the main aim of this section is to
encourage everyone to be acquainted with growth, development and research of music
The Department has a Museum too, displaying old and rare instruments with their history so as
to provide a valuable source of data for researchers. At present, the studio is upgraded with an
archival section, where priceless archival music of stalwarts and connoisseurs of music,
recorded earlier at the Department, is being made available to students and teachers.
The lending and reference sections of the Library, as well as the Museum, is fitted and
monitored with CCTV cameras. All of the 16,200 books and 2,300 Ph.D. theses and M.Phil.
dissertations have been entered into the ‘Troodon’ e-resource subscribed by DULS, and can be
accessed online through the Troodon Library Management Software (version – 4.0) link –
The Department is proud to have had on its rolls, students from not just India, but also from
abroad, such as the U.S.A., Japan, China, Mauritius, Thailand, Iran, The Netherlands, Kuwait,
South Korea and Fiji, as also from neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The Department also enjoys the distinct achievement of regularly conducting Short Term
courses for the students of the Soka University (Japan) and UCLA (U.S.A.) as the MOU has been
signed between them and the University of Delhi. There has also been an exchange programme
with the Thummasat University (Thailand). In this sense, the Department can rightly claim to
have attained a unique status vis-à-vis expanding the horizons of Indian classical music far
outside of our borders. As the saying goes, music has no boundaries!
Music being foremost, a practical art, special attention and continuous stress is laid on
achieving excellence in performance, not only amongst the students, but also upon the
teachers as well. In order to orient them with the fine art and nuances of performance, the
Department organizes concerts from time to time, where teachers and students alike are given
a platform to display the richness of their talent in the league and company of national-level
artistes, who are invited to perform. One of the prime concerts organized every year is the
Malhar Utsav to celebrate the spirit of the rainy season with varieties of Malhar ragas. Another
notable concert series is the ‘Sadhyayan’, which is a baithak (seated on the floor) organized by
the Department from time to time. The Department also provides a regular forum for Lecturecum-demonstrations and workshops, which includes a vast variety of programmes in the vocal,
instrumental and percussion fields of both Hindustani Music and Karnatak Music. Supportive
teaching and interaction with experts enhance the regular classroom teaching programmes.
The Department celebrates the annual festival of Vasantotsav (Saraswati Puja) with zeal and
vigour, which is well attended by renowned artistes, scholars and the university community.
After seeking the blessings of Ma Saraswati through traditional Puja, including the Pushpanjali,
toppers of the annual Inter class competitions, teachers and staff artistes pay homage to Ma
Saraswati - the goddess of learning and knowledge - through seasonal ragas, depicting shades,
essence and fragrance of the Spring.
The Department lays stress that the students, upon entering the field of career-making, should
be adept at the theoretical aspect of music as well as the practical side. Keeping this in mind,
the Department organizes National/International level seminars under the Special Assistance
Programme of the U.G.C., and sometimes in collaborations with the Indian Council for Cultural
Relations (I.C.C.R.) or the Sangeet Natak Akademi, as the case may be.
In the last five years, the Department has organized two International Seminars, one of which
was organized in collaboration with the ICCR, on 27-28 February 2018, titled – “Indian
Classical Music: Teaching and Performing Abroad” at the Conference Centre, University of
Delhi. It was attended by experts from the USA, The Netherlands, Mauritius, Singapore, Sri
Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.
The Department is indeed privileged to have had over the years, some illustrious names in the
field of music as panellists for the seminars, such as Padma Bhushan recipients - Prof. S.K.
Saxena, Pt. Debu Chaudhuri, Vidushi Shanno Khurana, Vidushi Kapila Vatsyayan, Pt. Birju
Maharaj; Sangeet Natak Akademi award winners such as Pt. L.K. Pandit, Vidwan T.R.
Subramanyam, Vidushi Leela Omchery, Vidushi Krishna Bisht, Pt. Vidyadhar Vyas, Pt. Bhajan
Sopori and many others. They have shared with us all, the wealth of their knowledge and
experiences, which have greatly benefitted one and all.
The Department also brings out its research journal – Vageeshwari. Started in 1986, the journal
has completed a glorious journey of 31 long and musically enriching years. The journal is a
treasure house of knowledge, which encourages scholastic outpouring of information and
innovative ideas in the field of research in music. It publishes proceedings of the Departmental
seminars, as also research papers and articles contributed by eminent musicologists, teachers
and research scholars both from the Department and other institutes in India. Vageeshwari is
an ISSN numbered journal (0975-7872) and has been uploaded on the Journal’s portal of the
UGC in 2017.
Along with workshops and Lecture-cum-demonstrations, the Department started a new series
of audio-visual shows and film shows. The Department has conducted Audio-video shows on
leading personalities like Pt. D.V. Paluskar, Ustad Allauddin Khan, Vidushi M.S. Subbulakshmi
and Ustad Ahmad Jan Thirakwa, which were presented by the concerned subject experts. A film
on the life and work of Ghazal Queen – Begum Akhtar, and one on Gwalior gharana, were
shown in the Department. In the month of March 2018, a four day workshop on the making,
repairing and maintenance of musical instruments, viz. Tabla, Sitar, Tanpura and Mridangam,
was organized in collaboration with the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi. This is a unique
feat in the history of music in the the university system, as such a set of workshops on four
different instruments, was organized for the first time ever.
Studying in the Department of Music, University of Delhi, is a truly different experience for the
students. This is because on one hand, the students pursue their concurrent courses, while on
the other hand, they also learn the traditional art forms of Indian classical music from a unique
institute, which is a mixture of an age-old education system, i.e. the Guru-shishya parampara
and institutionalized modern education system. The atmosphere of teaching-learning is indeed
that of an extended family