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Sikh sacred music courses at Hofstra

Beginning this fall, students at Hofstra University will be able to take courses that will teach about Sikhism’s traditional music.
The two newly-added courses are Sacred Music of the Punjab I and II. They will be taught by Sikh musicology experts Bhai Baldeep Singh and Gurnam Singh. Bhai Baldeep Singh, along with being a scholar and teacher, makes instruments and is a vocalist, percussionist and string player. Gurnam Singh is the founder, professor and chair of Punjabi University’s Department of Gurmat Sangeet, which is part of the Faulty of Arts and Culture. He is also the author of several books and articles, has edited books and is a senior fellow of Sangeet Natak Research Academy.
The courses, which are being offered by Hofstra University Continuing Education and the Department of Religion, will include historical overview, music theory, techniques, vocal and instrumental elements, and the relationship between Sikh scripture and music.
The first session of the courses will be held from September 11 to October 2, with a second session running from November 18 to December 9. They will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:35 p.m.
The conclusion of each class session will include Sikh music performance, which will be open to the public to attend. It will also be free of charge.
Other ways that Hofstra University is furthering the study of Sikh related aspects include creating the Sardarni Harbans Kaur Chair in Sikh Musicology and the establishment of the Sardarni Kuljit Kaur Bindra Chair in Sikh Studies. The school will also award its first Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize to the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet in November of this year.

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