Ghantu (A Narrative Folk Music Tradition of Nepal) – Kishor Gurung


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Kishor Gurung was awarded full scholarship to study at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in California, USA, where he studied guitar with Larry Almeida, George Sakallariou and David Tanenbaum and participated in Master Classes conducted by such distinguished international guitarists as Abel Carlevero (Paraguay), Julian Bream (UK), Michael Lorimor (USA), Manuel Barrueco (Cuba), Jose Tomas (Spain), David Russell (Scotland) and other masters. For his MA degree, Kishor Gurung pursued graduate program in ethnomusicology at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu with the grant from the East-West Center, Hawaii. His field research led him to the ethnic Gurung enclave of Yangjakot in Pokhara Valley in the foothills of the Annapurna Himalaya. His research about a narrative musical tradition called Ghāntu, in which prepubescent girls go into trance, stands as the first ethnomusicology research by a native Nepali (this work has been cited in Garland Encyclopedia of Music). During his enrollment as an ethnomusicology student, Kishor obtained basic training in Gagaku (Japan), Gamelan (Indonesia) and Rondalla (Philippines) music. Kishor also plays tabla drums. He has appeared as a soloist with the Long Island Youth Orchestra of New York. He has arranged and recorded numerous albums of Nepali songs including those for the United Nations and the US embassy in Kathmandu to promote awareness of drug abuse among the youth of Nepal. He also introduced multi-track and MIDI recording technology in Nepal.
Kishor has been a member of the advisory committee for the state-run Radio Nepal and has lectured at the Tribhuvan University and Malpi International College (affiliated to Denver University, USA) in Kathmandu. He is also the founder and president of the Classical Guitar Society of Nepal that has organized International Guitar Festivals and Ethnomusicology Seminar, which were participated by luthiers, scholars and guitarists from Germany, Japan, Thailand, Liechtenstein, Finland and USA. Kishor has presented papers at the St Lawrence University, New York; Society for Ethnomusicology, USA; Heidelberg University Germany; International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, Italy and at the Folklore Society Congress held in Kathmandu. Kishor has performed for international guitar festivals in Thailand and France, and has given solo concerts in Germany, USA, Thailand, Belgium and India. Kishor’s Ghāntu book has been cited in the Garland Encyclopedia of Music. He has written articles in Nepali for the daily papers of Nepal and also published the first dictionary of music in Nepali language that includes Nepali music terms for the first time. He has received various commendations including one from the Government of Nepal for assisting in the making of new National Anthem of Nepal. Kishor is the first Nepali to graduate with music degrees from the Western Universities. He is listed in the Who is Who in Nepal.
Ghantu (A Narrative Folk Music Tradition of Nepal) – Kishor Gurung


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