In the beginning of the (21st) century, an apprehension has crept in : will classical music survive the onslaught of 'pop' music etc; and if so how long ? How and when did these external challenges take shape ?
The demand for music support from the Theatre and Dances (with orientation from the temples) up to the 17th century had given way to devotionals and classical music concerns. The advent of Talkies in the 30's changed the pattern. Film music, with the help of the gramophone and AIR then captivated people of all ages. TV in the mid 60's made for comfortable home-viewing specially for the middle-aged. Eventually, the older generation remained the main patrons for classical music creating a niche audience.
The Beatles (UK) created an explosion of 'pop' music in the early 60's in the West Our youth have lapped it up. In the metro cities and large towns, even the not-so-young have become dent fans of 'pop'. However, 'Rock' and its harder version made inroads mainly into our metro cities. This was instant music. The Discos and videos helped in the splurge of Western pop and Indian pop (or Indipop) which have become a smashing success. Like Western pop icons, Indian pop icons have started drawing away large audiences.
The challenges thrown up in this scenario are to be met, because classical music has basic values suited to a "Satwik" society and keeps down animal instincts.
We need to convert casual listeners of classical music into more serious ones.
Music is no more lengthy recitals, commencing late evenings and ending early mornings. Already, concert durations have been shortened. This follows the pressure on time of the average music lover.
However, credit goes to many Sabhas and music associations nurturing classical music by organizing regular concerts.
Also since the 80's, the battle seems to be partly won. Because, neo-classical idioms like classical fusion (both Indian & Half- Indian), Jugalbandi-s and light music (built on melody and devoid of harsh ingredients) are drawing more and more audience. But more imaginative and appealing improvisations are necessary using if required, the latest in technology and publicity efforts.

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