The University of Mumbai is one of the oldest and first Universities founded in India in 1857 which has distinguished history of exemplary achievements in various streams of education and training and has significantly contributed towards the nation building and continues to do so.
The history of the education of performing arts of Music and Dance in Universities in India is not very old. Great musicians, musicologists, reformers who pioneered the modern trends in music performance and education from 19th century were Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar and Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande. Both these stalwarts research and restructured music education on modern scientific lines and established leading music institutions to impart training on these lines.
Independence in 1947 brought renewed awareness of our cultural traditions and subjects of Indian Culture began getting included for study at various stages of excellence in the University curricula. The study of music – its education and performance started in the University of Bombay in1969. The Music Centre was established in this year and a two year Diploma Course in Hindustani Vocal Classical Music was started. From the very beginning the effort and the emphasis of the course taught here has been on the performing excellence. With this objective in view the leading performers of different schools or traditions in vocal music called “Gharanas” have been invited on the faculty of the Music Centre to impart training and performance skills to aspiring and promising students of music. The teaching methods and pattern here are based on the age-old and time tested “Guru Shishya Parampara”.
In 1978, the Music Centre in the University of Bombay was converted into the regular Department of Music and a three-year Degree Course in vocal music – Bachelor of Fine Arts (Music Vocal) was added to existing two year Diploma Course in Music H.V.C. In 1985, two year Diploma Course in Music Hindustani Instrumental Classical – Sitar and Hindustani Vocal Light were started. In 1988 two-year Diploma Course in Music Hindustani Instrumental Classical – Tabla and in 1989 two-year Post-graduate Course in Vocal Music – Master of Fine Arts (Music Vocal) were started in the Department of Music. Three Year Degree Courses (B.F.A.) in Hindustani Instrumental Classical – Sitar and Tabla were started in 1991. The Faculty in the Department of Music consists of Reader and Lecturer in Vocal Music, posts of Honorary Music Instructors on which leading and renowned performers belonging to various traditions have been appointed. Apart from this regular staff on Faculty, many renowned scholars, experts, music performers are invited as Visiting Lecturers to give lecturers, demonstrations and exhibit performance excellence and teach theory syllabus to the students of the Department.
The interdisciplinary studies like Music and Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy and Religion along with the study of music Aesthetics, Music and Education, Research Methodology have been introduced at the M.Mus. level. The aim is to broaden the perspective of the students towards the study of music in relation to other related subjects. It must be noted here that all along these courses the central focus of all attention and related studies is on developing the ability for the good performance of music. The collective endeavour of all theory and practical study topics is to enrich the thinking, understanding and physical mechanism towards better performance of music.
The objective of the music training and education imparted in the department of Music is to make the student all-round musician and performer, aware of the various concepts and issues involved, capable of the study of related subjects which develop the sunlight in music and all contributing to making a good, intelligent and impressive musician.