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Performing Arts Live: Past Events & Speakers: 2013-2014


Friday, September 20th, 2013, 7:30pm

Jay Muthuswamy

Indian Classical Music and the Veena
Dr. Jay Muthuswamy



Kent State Associate Professor Dr. Jay Muthuswamy will speak about and perform Indian Classical Music on the Veena.  The Veena is India’s oldest stringed instrument going back to the Goddess Sarasawthi – many thousands of years back. There are many varieties of Veena in India and this evening’s lecture demonstration is on the Saraswathi Veena. Saraswathi is also known as the goddess of learning in Indian culture.

The Saraswathi Veena has four main strings and three additional sympathetic strings. It is explicitly suited for the rendering of melodic musical forms with its delicate microtonal content.

Carnatic music and Hindustani music comprise the major musical systems of India. This evening’s demonstration will primarily be in the Carnatic mode with a few Hindustani ragas also present. Unlike Western Music which is based primarily on Harmony, Indian classical music is based mainly on Melody and microtones.


Dr. Jay Muthuswamy is an Associate Professor of Finance at KSU where he has been teaching since 2007.  At the age of 11 Dr. Muthuswamy heard an inspiring Veena concert by the Maestro S. Balachander in Chennai, and immediately opted to teach himself this celestial instrument.  He performed for the Maestro himself finally in 1975 in Chennai.

Apart from being deeply interested in Indian Classical Music, Dr. Muthswamy holds an undergraduate degree from the London School of Economics, an MBA from the Wharton School, an MS from Stanford University, and a PhD in Finance from the University of Chicago.

Use tabs above to find more information about the 2013-2014 Performing Arts Live Speakers. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014, 7-8:30pm

Priwan Nanongkham

Khaen: A Traditional Music Instrument from Northeast Thailand
Priwan Nanongkham



Khaen, a bamboo-free reed mouth organ, is the primary music instrument in Lao cultures. This presentation will be focused on the basic information about classification, sizes, and materials, as well as a discussion of sonic structure, including the tuning system, scale, and musical mode.  Although the instrument is common, both in Northeast Thailand and the country of Laos, this lecture/demonstration will focus on the musical practices of the former.  Different styles of Khaen repertoire will be  demonstrated during discussions of the cultural contexts.


Priwan Nanongkham, born in Thailand, is an Artist-in-Residence, Associate Professor in ethnomusicology, and director of the Kent State University Thai Ensemble. Nanongkham received his Ph.D. in musicology-ethnomusicology from Kent State University in 2011. Although considered a Thai music specialist, his primary area of interest covers all music of mainland Southeast Asia, as well as East Asia, and South Asia. Other research interests include Asian-American music; Asian religious traditions; Westernization and modernization, and globalization as reflected in traditional, neo-traditional, and popular music.

Use tabs above to find more information about the 2013-2014 Performing Arts Live Speakers.