Iowa Choral Directors Association
R&S – High School Choirs

Octavo of the Month (5th in a series)
Mike Walag, Iowa High School R&S Chair

Two Konkan Songs
1. Lo Lo Re Babu
2. A Konkan Boat Song

Music of Western India
arr. Victor Paranjoti
earthsongs
Soloists/SATB

Medium Difficulty

 

These two pieces rise from the unique musical traditions of the Konkan, a region of Western India between the Arabian Sea and the Sahyadri Range. The area is noted for it unique fusion of European culture with the native traditions of India.

Victor Paranjoti was a noted conductor/composer of Indian music from the early part of the twentieth century. He was a key figure in the development of Indian choral music, combining elements of Western classical music with the folk music of India.

The first piece in this set is a lullaby that contrasts the noises of the street with the homophonic lullaby sung behind closed doors. It alternates rhythmically between a _ and a 6/8 feeling. The melody drives the harmonic rhythm, with the baritones having a large share of the melody line and some very nicely controlled dynamic contrasts. There is divisii in the soprano and tenor parts.

The Boat Song incorporates more elements of Western music. One can imagine it being sung by the fishermen as they rowed. It incorporates bass, tenor and soprano soloists over a drone from the chorus and shifting metrical stresses.

Neither of these pieces is difficult, except for the language. A pronunciation CD is available from the publisher.