Professor emeritus of Extra European Performing Arts
About mr. Prof.dr. Joep Bor
Joep Bor (1946) is a botanist, sarangi player and musicologist, and a professor at the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, Leiden University. In 1990 he founded the World Music Department at Rotterdam Conservatory, and in 1997 the Jazz, Pop & World Music Department which he chaired until 2001. After this he was appointed director of research and professor of world music at the Codarts Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, Rotterdam.
In addition to about a hundred articles and book chapters on a wide range of topics – and contributions to Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart and the forthcoming second edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments – Bor has written and co-edited six books. His pioneering monograph The Voice of the Sarangi was published by the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai, and The Raga Guide – with 74 concise raga recordings by the flutist Hariprasad Chaurasia, sarodist Buddhadev Dasgupta, and vocalists Shruti Sadolikar and Vidyadhar Vyas – by Nimbus Records. It has received wide acclaim, three international world music awards, and was reprinted several times.
In 2002-2003 Bor was the guest curator of the exhibition Inde du Nord: Gloire des princes, louange des dieux at the Paris Musée de la Musique, and in 2007-2008 he was the artistic advisor of the Concertgebouw for the Amsterdam India Festival. At present he is working on three books: (1) World Music and its Precursors; (2) Mirrors of Raga: Hindustani Musical Instruments, 14th to 20th Centuries (with Philippe Bruguière); and (3) The Bayadères: Five Devadasis in Europe, 1838-1839 (with Tiziana Leucci).
Born in Amsterdam, Bor has lived more than eight years in India, carrying out botanical as well as musicological research. In 1968 he began studying sarangi with Pandit Ram Narayan. Though he had other sarangi teachers such as Ustad Abdul Majid Khan and Pandit Hanuman Prasad Misra, his main guru was the veteran singer Pandit Dilip Chandra Vedi.
Bor has a Masters of Science in Botany and a PhD in South Asian studies. He was the first scholar who pointed out that world music and ethnomusicology are two different disciplines which have a much longer history than is generally assumed. His succinct definition of raga as ‘a tonal framework for composition and improvisation’ is widely quoted.