James A. Rubin Collection of South Indian Classical Music

One of the most comprehensive and significant collections of Carnatic music recordings in the world today.

The James A. Rubin Collection consists of almost 1,000 tapes, 400 78 rpm records, more than 20 program books, several other books about Indian music, and 30 spiral-bound notebooks detailing the performances Rubin recorded in India.

The core of the Rubin collection is a set of almost 400 reels of tape that Rubin recorded on 18 trips to South India between 1964 and 1987. Rubin was a student of the famous singer M.S. Subbulakshmi. He recorded concerts at prestigious venues such as the Madras Music Academy and the Tyagaraja Aradhana festival in Tiruvayaru, Tamil Nadu. He also recorded performances at other concert halls, many private recitals at artists' homes, and classical music programs broadcast on All India Radio.

Rubin also recorded many concerts of Indian music in the Boston area. In 1966, the Pan Orient Arts Foundation arranged a national tour by M.S. Subbulakshmi. Rubin was able to record every performance in cities across America. Rubin also included recordings sent to him by friends and colleagues.

The music in this collection includes renditions of more than 1,000 compositions, both rare and popular, by more than 600 musicians. It is probably the most comprehensive and significant source of Carnatic music recordings in the world today.

Accessing These Materials

The finding aid describes the items in this collection and links to audio and field notebooks in the collection that have been digitized.

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