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Shalini Ayyagari

Bollywood Music Wonk


Cred PhD, Music, University of California, Berkeley; MA, Music, University of California, Berkeley; BA, Music, Swarthmore College

Livelihood Ethnomusicologist

Interests Playing Hindustani tabla drums and Balinese gamelan, documentary film making, trail running with my dog, and baking

Focus Music cultures of South Asia, regional music of Rajasthan, Bollywood film music, Hindustani classical music (especially the tabla).

Recent Awards A research grant through the Archives for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) for implementing listening equipment into the Manganiyar musician community in Rajasthan, India

Last Book You Read The Complete Adventures of Feluda, by Satyajit Ray (the famous Bengali filmmaker). It’s a wonderful collection of short story mysteries that were written by Ray and published serially beginning in 1965. The stories are clever, take place in various locations throughout India, and reveal a lot about Indian culture

Hobbies Dog training, knitting, backpacking, and listening to music

Are You a Wonk? “One of the goals in my research and work is to connect people through knowledge and culture, so yes, I’d say I’m a WONK. I hope that in my courses at AU I can connect students with the larger community through music—whether on the streets and in D.C. communities, through making music in the classroom, or traveling to learn about different musical cultures.”

Additional Links
AU Profile
Take the Bollywood challenge