Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, an Indian musician and composer who was the foremost exponent of the santoor, a 100-string instrument just like the hammered dulcimer, died on Tuesday at his house in Mumbai. He was 84.
Indian information studies stated the trigger was cardiac arrest.
Over a profession spanning almost seven many years, Mr. Sharma grew to become the primary musician to propel the santoor onto the world stage, at live shows and recitals in India and elsewhere.
Earlier than he began enjoying the santoor, it was little identified outdoors Kashmir. Even there it was used solely to play Sufiana Mausiqi, a style of Kashmiri classical music with Persian, Central Asian and Indian roots.
The santoor, a trapezoidal picket instrument whose strings stretch over 25 picket bridges, is performed with slim picket mallets. On the santoor, in distinction with the sitar, sarod or sarangi — the string devices historically utilized in Hindustani classical music — it’s tough to maintain notes and carry out the meends, or glides from one observe to a different, that are important to the Hindustani musical custom.
That is likely to be one motive it took Mr. Sharma so a few years to be acknowledged for his artistry.
Initially of his profession, purists and critics derided the santoor’s staccato sound, and plenty of urged Mr. Sharma to change to a different instrument. As an alternative he spent years redesigning the santoor to allow it to play extra notes per octave, making it extra appropriate for the advanced ragas, the melodic framework of Hindustani music.
“My story is totally different from that of different classical musicians,” he told The Occasions of India in 2002. “Whereas they needed to show their mettle, their expertise, their caliber, I needed to show the price of my instrument. I needed to combat for it.”
He launched a number of albums, starting with “Name of the Valley” (1967), a collaboration with the acclaimed flutist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and the guitarist Brij Bhushan Kabra.
Mr. Chaurasia and Mr. Sharma had been shut associates and frequent collaborators. Collectively they composed music for a number of profitable Bollywood movies within the 1980s and ’90s, together with “Silsila” (1981), “Chandni” (1989), “Lamhe” (1991) and “Darr” (1993). Mr. Sharma was one of many few Indian musicians who straddled the worlds of classical and well-liked music.
In 1974, he carried out throughout North America with the sitar virtuoso Pandit Ravi Shankar as a part of the previous Beatle George Harrison’s 45-show “Darkish Horse” live performance tour. The tour introduced Indian classical music to audiences past South Asia alongside among the most interesting classical musicians from India — Alla Rakha on tabla, Sultan Khan on sarangi, L. Subramaniam on violin, T.V. Gopalakrishnan on mridangam and vocals, Mr. Chaurasia on flute, Gopal Krishan on vichitra veena and Lakshmi Shankar on vocals.
Mr. Sharma was awarded a few of India’s highest honors, together with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1986, the Padma Shri in 1991 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001.
Shiv Kumar (generally rendered Shivkumar) Sharma was born on Jan. 13, 1938, in Jammu, India, to Pandit Uma Dutt Sharma and Kesar Devi. His father was a classical musician who belonged to the household of royal monks of the maharajah of Jammu and Kashmir. Shiv started taking singing and tabla classes along with his father on the age of 5 and instantly confirmed promise. In “Journey With a Hundred Strings” (2002), a biography of Mr. Sharma, Ina Puri wrote that the boy would spend hours immersed in music, practising numerous devices.
“There was an obsessive ingredient in my angle to music even then,” she quoted him as saying. “It was the air I breathed, the rationale I lived.”
By age 12 he was an achieved tabla participant, acting on Radio Jammu and accompanying main musicians who visited the town. When he was 14, his father returned from Srinagar, the place he had been working, with a gift: a santoor.
Mr. Sharma was not blissful about studying a brand new, unfamiliar instrument. However his father was adamant. “Mark my phrases, son,” he recalled his father saying. “Shiv Kumar Sharma and the santoor will develop into synonymous in years to come back. Have the braveness to start out one thing from scratch. You may be acknowledged as a pioneer.”
Mr. Sharma gave his first main public efficiency on the santoor in 1955, on the Haridas Sangeet Sammelan pageant in Bombay (now Mumbai). The youngest participant at 17, he persuaded the organizers to permit him to play each the santoor and the tabla. He was reluctantly given 30 minutes to play the instrument of his alternative, however on the day of the recital he performed the santoor for a full hour — to rapturous applause. The organizers referred to as him again for one more recital the following day.
He quickly acquired affords to play and act in Hindi movies, however after one movie, the 1955 hit “Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje,” he was decided to deal with classical music. He carried out across the nation in an effort to determine the santoor as a classical instrument.
Mr. Sharma moved to Bombay at 22; to make ends meet, he performed the santoor in recording periods for dozens of well-liked Hindi movie songs whereas persevering with to construct his classical popularity.
He’s survived by his spouse, Manorama; his sons, Rahul, a well known santoor participant and composer, and Rohit; and two grandchildren.
After Mr. Sharma’s demise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was amongst these paying tribute. “Our cultural world is poorer with the demise of Pandit Shivkumar Sharma Ji,” he wrote on Twitter. “He popularized the santoor at a world stage. His music will proceed to enthrall the approaching generations.”