Director, Center for Ethnomusicology, Chennai, India
Dr.S.A.K.Durga is a Musicologist, Ethnomusicologist and performer of Indian Classical (North & South) Music. She is the founder - director of the Centre for Ethnomusicology, Chennai. She earned her Masters and Doctorates in Indian Music and Ethnomusicology from Madras University, India and Wesleyan University, U.S.A. She did her post - post doctoral research in Ethnomusicology at Yale University, U.S.A.
Dr.Durga is associated with several Universities in India and overseas in different academic capacities. Recently she been made Professor Emeritus at the Departmenr of Indian Music, University of Madras. Chennai, India.
She has to her credit six publications (Vallala Raja Yakshgana, Voice-culture, Opera in South India, Research methodology for Music, Ethnomusicology and Indian Music in the context of Independence) besides her many research papers in the Indian and Overseas professional Journals. She has presented papers in National and International seminars, Conferences and Symposia in India and abroad and has won best paper awards for some of her papers in India and Overseas.
Dr.Durga is the recipient of the prestigious Eleanor Roosevelt International Fellowship of International Federation of University of Women, Geneva. Her name has been entered in the International who's who women of achievement published by International Biographical Centre, England, as the highest qualified woman musicologist with earned degrees in Music - Two Masters and Two Ph.Ds from Indian and American Universities in Music. Dr.Durga is the Indian representative of the Commonwealth Music Association, London, U.K.
Dr.Durga learnt Karnatak music from her mother and later from the great stalwarts of Karnatak Music-Madurai Mani Iyer, Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer, Dr. T. Viswanathan, Ramnad Krishnan and Dr.Balamurali Krishna. She has learnt Hindusthani classical music from Prof.Mohammad Munawar of New Delhi. She has given music concerts from her very early age and has performed in U.S.A, U.K., South Africa, Australia, Japan, Cyprus, Italy & Srilanka.
Her studentship at World Music Program at Wesleyen University, U.S.A. and at Yale University, U.S.A. enabled her to learn other styles of music such as Western Music, Indonesian, Afro-American and Chinese musics. Her Post Doctoral study was on comparative study of Gregorian chants with Vedic and Siva hymns at yale University, U.S.A. With her background of other systems of music, she has produced and performed in many Avant-garde music performances at U.S.A and U.K. interlocking the different styles of music which were highly applauded. She has been invited to perform before the Queen of Elizabeth in London. She has been awarded the Visiting Fellowship of the British Council which enabled her to get the guidance of the World famous Violin maestro Lord Yehudi Menuhin for creative ethnomusicology. She has been invited by the Rockefeller Foundation, U.S.A. to conduct research on creative Ethnomusicology as their resident guest at the Bellagio Centre at Italy.
Dr.Durga has been awarded the title "ISAIKALAISELVER" with Gold medal and cash award by one of the prestigious organisations in Chennai for her academic and performing skills and the title "Skylark of India" was awarded by the American Theatre group, New York, U.S.A.
Dr.Durga is a pioneer in the field of research in Voice-culture for singers in India and received her first research Degree for her dissertation on Voice-culture from the Madras University, India. She specialised on the psychology of singing in U.S.A. She conducts Voice Counselling for singers at Chennai in the Voice Counselling unit at the Centre for Ethnomusicology. She has been invited to conduct workshops in India and Overseas. She received the best paper award from the Music Academy, Chennai for her paper on Voice-Culture and got another best paper award for her paper on vocal Abuses from the International Institute for Experimental Research in Voice training at U.S.A. Her book on Voice-culture has been published by Indian Musicological Society, Baroda, India. A CD ROM and Video have been published by Carnatica on Voice training for Carnatic music by Dr.Durga. Dr. Durga also conducts workshop on Voice culture at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London, U.K.
Dr.Durga is also a visiting Professor at the S.N.D.T. Women's University, Mumbai to teach voice-culture, Musicology, Acoustics, World Musics and research methodology for Post graduate and Research students at their Department of Musics.
Dr.Durga is an Executive Committee member of the Indian Musicological Society, Baroda and Guest Editor of the Journal of Indian Musicological Society, Baroda.
Dr.Durga has been appointed as a member of the International Advisory Council of the Centre for Intercultural Music Arts, London from 1997.
Dr. Durga was sent to Australia, Srilanka and Scotland by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Government of India.
Dr.Durga received the award for her International achievement in the field of Musicology from a reputed organisation in India (Chennai) at the International Women's Year 1997.
Dr. Durga is a member of the Advisory Committee of Music Academy, Chennai.
Dr. Durga was invited to present a paper on "Indian Music after 50 years of India's Independence" at the Commonwealth Heads of the Governments summit meetings at Edinburgh in October 1997 by the British Forum For Ethnomusicology, U.K.
Dr. Durga has been invited to present a paper and participate at the International Conference on Divine Voice organised by the University of Wales, England in April, 1999 and was highly applauded for her research on Voice.
1.Voice Culture, 2nd ed., Indian Musicological Society, Baroda, India,1997
2. The Opera in South India, B.R.Publishing Corporation, New Delhi, India, 1979
3. Research Methodology for Music, Center for Ethnomusicology, Chennai, 1993
4. Ethnomusicology-A study of Intercultural Musicology, Center for Ethnomusicology, Chennai, 1996
5.Indian Music in the Context of Independence, Center for Ethnomusicology, Chennai, 1998
6.Vallala Yakshaganam (Tamil), Lalita Publications,Chennai, India ,1978
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Her series of articles on Ethnomusicology were published on the Internet from April 1999 every week.