Guy Beck
Grant Category: Fulbright-Nehru Academic & Professional Excellence Award (Research)
Project Title: Advanced Training in Hindustani Vocal Music of the Agra Gharana
Field of Study: Music Studies
Home Institution: Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
Host Institution: Sangeet Ashram, Kolkata, West Bengal  
Grant Start Month: January, 2016
Duration of Grant: Six months

Guy Beck
Brief Bio:

Dr. Guy Beck holds a PhD in religions of South Asia and an MA in musicology from Syracuse University. He is the author of Sonic Liturgy: Ritual and Music in Hindu Tradition (University of South Carolina Press, 2012) and Sonic Theology: Hinduism and Sacred Sound (University of South Carolina Press, 1993), and editor of Sacred Sound: Experiencing Music in World Religions (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2006). His research on devotional music resulted in a book and 18-CD archive of 108 authentic songs from Vrindaban, entitled Vaishnava Temple Music in Vrindaban: The Radhavallabha Songbook (Blazing Sapphire Press, 2011). Dr. Beck currently teaches Hinduism and religion and music at Tulane University and Loyola University–New Orleans. As a visiting fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies in 2001, he taught Hinduism and music and a graduate seminar in Asian ethnomusicology.

Dr. Beck has studied Hindustani classical vocal music for over seven years in India under the traditional system of guru-shishya-parampara (teacher-disciple-lineage) and performs regularly. His teachers in the Khyal style have included Sangeetacharya Sailen Banerjee at the Tansen Music College in Kolkata (1976–1980) and the faculty of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata, primarily Vijay Kichlu and Arun Bhaduri. Dr. Beck also studied the Dhrupad vocal style under the Dagar brothers in New Delhi, and Bhakti Sangeet (devotional music) from maestros in Mathura and Vrindaban.

With the Fulbright-Nehru research grant, Dr. Beck is receiving six months of advanced training in the Hindustani vocal music of the Agra Gharana. Preparation includes training in Hindustani classical music in India (1976–1980), research on temple music under a Fulbright grant (1992–1993), and intermediate vocal training under both an AIIS Senior Performing Arts Fellowship (2008) and a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship (2010). Recognized as the first American performer of Hindustani vocal music, Dr. Beck is continuing training under Pt. Vijay Kichlu, affiliated with the ITC Sangeet Research Academy (Kolkata), in order to improve his performance and produce a monograph with recordings.