South Asian Music Ensemble

Minu Pasupathi, Director

The South Asian Music Ensemble (SAME) is a special repertory ensemble that explores a wide range of musics with roots in South Asia (specifically, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka and their diasporas), be they classical, popular, regional/local/vernacular, folk, primarily diasporic, or not so easily classifiable. SAME embraces various learning and performing opportunities, including those of regular weekly full group rehearsals, small group sectionals, student led discussions and session, and asynchronous work, on and off campus performances, guest lectures/workshops/residencies, and classroom visits. While the primary focus of rehearsals is the mastery of repertoire, we also provide instruction on South Asian music more generally—music theory, musicianship skills (e.g., instruction in instrumental/vocal exercises and techniques, improvisation, and composition), performance practices and cultures, musical genres, styles, and compositional forms, and more. Moreover, we strive towards foregrounding and interrogating the so-called “extramusical” valences and contexts of South Asian music making, asking how South Asian music is imbricated in culture, social life, and politics from local to global stages both in and beyond the geographic boundaries of South Asia. 

Membership is open to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and staff of the University, as well as to community members from outside of the University. Beginners to South Asian music, experienced performers, and everyone in between are fully welcome to join. While it is beneficial for incoming students to have some background in reading Western standard music notation (several of our arrangements are done on sheet music using staff notation), no one is turned away due to lack of musical ability. 

SAME is a regular collaborator with other groups and ensembles both off and on campus, be they South Asia focused or not. In the past, this has involved collaborations with off and on campus dance groups, chamber music groups, and other world music ensembles. We believe reaching across traditions in this way honors the historic interwovenness of South Asian musical traditions all while furthering our goal of fostering a sense of community and camaraderie between peoples who participate in our ensemble and attend our concerts.   

Rehearsals

  • Mondays from 4:30–6:30 pm for all participants

Performances

The SAME presents winter and spring concerts in addition to performing at the Department of Music Tea Time Concert Series.

2022-23 concerts:

  • Saturday, February 11, 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, April 23, 3:00 p.m.

How to participate

In lieu of auditions, the South Asian Music Ensemble hosts an open house event each year at the beginning of Autumn Quarter, during which members are able to get a fuller sense of the ensemble’s repertoire, logistics, culture, and vision. If you are interested in participating in the ensemble, you must attend the open house.