Asian Music and Dance

School colours the rainbow with music

Pupils at St. Christopher School in Hertfordshire have produced a CD that combines Indian classical music within a western orchestral setting. 

‘Colours from the Rainbow’ incorporates cross-rhythms and raga structures. These are presented in traditional Western notation, making the most of the capabilities of Western instrumentation, whilst imitating the sounds produced by musical instruments in India.

The piece was composed by Gaurav Mazumdar, rated as one of the most exciting sitar players of his generation and a pupil of Ravi Shankar. It was premiered at the school on March 14th 2009. 

Gaurav who is one of the Indian classical musicians who can read Western musical notation said: “Each colour represents a mood or emotion, from anger to sorrow, happiness to introspection. The interplay of these colours and our emotional reaction to them forms the pattern of our lives.”

Pupils at the school enthused about working with a world-class musician. Sixteen-year-old Natasha Worsley said: “I have never encountered Indian ragas before, but felt I have gained much from the experience.” 

Another, fourteen-year-old cellist, Kitty Leigh said: “It was a brilliant experience and it was great being given the opportunity to play music from a different culture.”

St. Christopher School’s cross-cultural musical experiment is just one example of the school’s international outlook to its educational ethos. 

Edwin Gruber, the Director of Activities at the school said: “It is our global outlook, the realisation that no human being lives in a vacuum, which first attracted Gaurav to work together with St Christopher School. If we want to tackle global issues, there is no better way to do so but to expose ourselves to a different culture with different values, to learn about each other and, as far as this is possible, to learn from each other.”



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