|Mr. Andrew Pettit is currently a Ph.D. student in ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds a Bachelor's of Music from the University of Colorado in viola performance and a Masters of Arts in ethnomusicology from UCLA. For the past eleven years, Mr. Pettit has studied North Indian (Hindustani) music on the sitar, beginning his studies with Roshan Jamal Bhartiya and continuing with Ustad Shujaat Khan. His doctoral research interests include the role of talent and practice in Hindustani and Western music pedagogy. Apart from Hindustani music, Mr. Pettit has also studied the role of music in devotional and spiritual practices in the United States, and is interested in the Arab maqam and Persian dastgah music genres. For the past three years, he has also served as editor for Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology, a journal dedicated to the works of established and emerging scholars in ethnomusicology and other cognate disciplines.
"Talent" is a broadly employed but loosely defined concept that has real implications in the artistic world. Within the Hindustani classical musical system, notions of hereditary talent are radically different from commonly held Western conceptions. This project will address three broad questions: (1) how do analogous ideas of talent and practice operate in the Hindustani music system today and how have they operated historically; (2) how has the reorganization of the gharana system and systems of patronage affected ideas of talent and practice; and (3) how have pedagogical practices adapted to these changes in attitude, patronage, and social organization?