Music Industry in Eighteenth Century Jaipur
The legacy of music is traceable in ancient sculptures, antiquities, literature, temple art and historical literature. Mughal Emperors are known for their love of music, eminent singers like Tansen entertained Akbar’s court. Unfortunately details of this music workshop are not furnished elaborately in famed administrative manual of Akbars Empire- Abul Fazl’s Ain i Akbari. The Jaipur rulers imbibed the aesthetics of the Mughal court and established separate workshop to promote development of music in Jaipur. The workshop was named gunijankhana. It was not onlya factory where craftsmen designed musical instruments with great expertise but also employed musicians, artists, singers, performers and dancers.. Versatile artists and patrons, rulers wrote works on devotional poetry and set them to musical modes. The famed artists and performers were lavishly honoured for their skill. Visual representations of musical modes depicted in paintings, was referred as Ragmala were painted in another Mughal workshop-Rangkhana. The musical instruments favoured then, are still popular namely sitar, pakhawaj, rabab, tabla, tambura , rubab ,jaltarang , ghungroo etc. The history of music in Jaipur can be traced from at least Man Singh (16th century) as he appreciated and promoted music. This patronage of music led to evolution of full fledged music workshop-gunijankhan. Jaipur experienced the golden era in music under Pratap Singh and Ram Singh II (18th- 19th centuries). Thereafter the seat of music split into various offshoots. Fortunately for Jaipur region we have comprehensive records on income and expenditure of gunijankhana preserved in Rajasthan State Archives, Bikaner.On the basis of these unique records we gather micro level information on working of workshop, organization and operation of this unique musical dimension of royal rulers.This workshoprelates to singers,musicians and dancers, apart from being a workshop of musical instruments. It also provides us with details of artisans who made instruments and those who assisted them i.e.their apprentice (chela).