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east-west Mahatma Gandhi quotes

The music of life – remembering Mahatma Gandhi

“Gandhi is a universal figure. […] He is affirmed and avowed in many parts of the world while Indians might of course forget him or scorn him or defile him as they are doing now.” – Historian Ramachandra Guha in conversation with sociologist Nandini Sundar (The Wire, 21 March 2022) >> I would go so far […]

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“Die große Fähigkeit nutzen, die wir wie alle Völker und Kulturen besitzen”: Yehudi Menuhin über Austausch und Synthese

Der Begriff “Wechselbeziehungen” schließt einen bestimmten harmonischen Verlauf in sich ein, der diejenigen strengen Gesetze der Harmonielehre verletzt, deren eigentlicher Sinn ein glatter und wohlklingender Verlauf der Stimmen im Kontrapunkt ist. Die Musik unserer Zeit befolgt diese Gesetze nicht mehr, noch waren Meister je von Regeln abhängig. […] Es gibt keinen günstigeren Platz als Israel, […]

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Indien – eine ferne Heimat

Ein Referat von Ludwig Pesch, Musikologe und Flötist, Amsterdam Überarbeitete Version mit aktualisierten Quellenangaben 2022 Ein Beitrag aus der Konzert- und Kolloquiumsreihe „Musik & Mensch“ – Zyklus 2007/2008 HEIMAT, Uhr Pädagogische Hochschule FHNW, Aarau (Schweiz) Wir sollen heiter Raum um Raum durchschreiten,An keinem wie an einer Heimat hängen,Der Weltgeist will nicht fesseln uns und engen,Er will […]

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“A defining period in Montessori’s outlook”: Letters from India

Maria Montessori Writes to Her Grandchildren In October 1939, while the “storm of war was gathering in Europe”, Maria and Mario Montessori set off to India to deliver a training course and lecture tour. When Italy became involved in the war, the British rule of India did not give the Montessoris permission to leave; they […]

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Tagore’s devotion to the ideal of a world without cruel, irrational discrimination – Unesco

Rabindranath Tagore: a universal voice Rabindranath Tagore, philosopher, educator, novelist, poet and painter, is without challenge one of the greatest and most noble figures of modern times. Not only was he awarded the rare honour of the Nobel Prize for Literature, but he also won the distinction far more rare, less spectacular but much more […]

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“Beethoven has given us the music of advaita”: Vinay Lal on a celebrated composer’s search of the soul for the transcendent

This month [December 2020] marks the 250th birth anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven. In ordinary times, Germany, Austria, and a good part of the world beyond Europe would have been ablaze with celebrations: as the opera composer Giuseppe Verdi, a man whose reputation in some circles would be just as great, remarked: “Before the name […]

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Rabindranath Tagore’s memorable visit to The Netherlands: Centenary celebration at “Paradiso”

The month of September offered an opportunity to celebrate the centenary of a successful lecture tour by Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). It was organized by Dutch citizens with whom he shared a commitment to a cultural dialogue on eye-level. A Dutch press report highlights Tagore’s “silver voice” that conveyed his admiration for the songs of Bengal’s […]

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Slideshow | India Inspiration – Tropenmuseum Amsterdam

For ten years this exhibition celebrated the sources of inspiration shared by Indian and Western artists; and at the same time, it traced the role of migrants from India via Suriname through songs, memorabilia, and documentary film footage. Concept and research: Ludwig Pesch (www.aiume.org) in collaboration with museum staff and Architectenbureau Jowa (www.jowa.nl). On display […]

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“There is only one history – the history of man” – Rabindranath Tagore on national selfishness, which goes by the name of patriotism

Therefore I ask you to have the strength of faith and clarity of mind to know for certain that the lumbering structure of modern progress, riveted by the iron bolts of efficiency, which runs upon the wheels of ambition, cannot hold together for long. Collisions are certain to occur, for it has to travel upon […]

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The bamboo flute of South India

Text: Ludwig Pesch | Art: Arun V.C. The flute has played a key role in India’s artistic life since antiquity. This is evident from writings on dance-drama, mythology, sculptures and paintings. Its playing technique must have been highly developed for a very long time. Different names are used for it, for instance kuzhal (pronounced like “kulal” or “kural”) in Tamil speaking regions; and bānsurī […]