July 09, 2011

Musical shorthand

Singer Shubha Mudgal records the jargon of Mumbai's sessions musicians in a pre-digital era (Musical Shorthand, Mint Lounge, July 9, 2011):
...what would you do if you were asked to play a rhythm pattern called “78”? You or I could just sit there looking completely befuddled, but a sessions musician would know instantly that he had to play a specific rhythm pattern that became exceedingly popular in 1978! And if 78 isn’t funny enough, how about making sense of “gumboot”! Yes, that’s right. Rhythm players use the term to indicate the specific sound produced on the dholak.