Music of Bhutan Research Centre
Bhutan’s precious musical heritage is one which we must cherish and sustain in all its rich variety. We must do so not only for our own sake but also to contribute to the wider cultural heritage of humankind. Since its establishment in 2008, the Music of Bhutan Research Center (MBRC) has been functioning as the primary organization in the country solely devoted to documenting, preserving, and promoting the vast intangible heritage of Bhutan’s music, dance and drama forms. MBRC is presently an Autonomous Body that seeks to research, record and archive the many musical traditions and oral masterpieces of the country’s diverse regional, linguistic and ethnic groups. The MBRC audio-visual field archive consists of major holdings in the forms of original digital audio recordings, HDV digital video tapes, photographs, and transcribed interviews with over hundred and fifty distinguished artists. This rare and rapidly growing resource collection is available for ongoing research. The MBRC office further maintains a topical reference library consisting of books in English and Dzongkha languages. Additionally, MBRC is amassing a collection of historic musical instruments which it ultimately hopes to house in an appropriate display hall open to the public in the near future. In furtherance of its objectives MBRC seeks to coordinate and collaborate with the governments and music associations of different districts and also with major cultural institutions in the country.
Aims and Objectives of Music of Bhutan Research Centre Research • To survey and document the fullest possible geographic, historic, linguistic and ethnic range of traditional performing arts within the country. • To identify areas and topics within Bhutanese performing arts appropriate for targeted in-depth research and documentation. • To interview and record Bhutanese artists of significance at national, regional, and community levels in order to research content, forms, structures, aesthetics, meanings, practices and histories of art forms; issues of transmission and learning; the lives, roles and perspectives of artists; contexts within which the arts are situated and supported; and the importance of performing arts to Bhutanese daily life, ritual, and identity. • To compile and clarify terminology related to the performing arts • To publish articles, books, online content, compact disc recordings, video documentaries and other educational materials on Bhutanese music, dance and drama for both academic and general audiences at home and abroad. Preservation • To preserve Bhutanese performing arts through the medium of audio, video and photographic documentation using professional research methods. • To organize holdings of audio-visual and related materials in a well- managed, accessible archive. • To acquire and properly care for objects of material culture related to the performing arts • To establish a permanent MBRC center that houses archives, library, museum, studio and workshop/performance space. • To conduct workshops, seminars and conferences on music and dance that help to pass on knowledge and practices crucial to the survival of art forms. • To foster mentor/student relationships between master musicians and interested youth. Promotion • To promote ongoing appreciation of Bhutanese performing arts • To award prizes and to give recognition to individual artists for outstanding achievement in the fields of music and dance. • To encourage the exchange of ideas and techniques between the different regions (Dzongkhags) regarding the arts of music, dance and drama. • To maintain communication with and help coordinate the activities of various institutes and associations of music, dance and drama. • To help revive endangered folk music and dance forms in different regions and to encourage the development of community music, martial music and other types of music. • To generate international interest in Bhutanese performing arts, to provide information and assistance to interested foreigners, and to foster productive global relationships.