India Foundation for the Arts is looking for a Music Researcher
IFA would like to commission a research project that will study the history and current musical practice of the Mir musicians’ community in Rajasthan

About the Mirs:
The Mirs are a music community based in the Pugal region of Rajasthan. Hereditary singers of the Sufiyana Kalam, the Mirs have been known for their passionate and intimate renderings of the compositions of the Sufi mystics such as Baba Sheikh Farid, Sain Bulleh Shah, Hazrat Shah Hussain, Hazrat Sultan Bahu, Ali Haider and Khwaja Ghulam Farid. They have been musicians of the common people, serving as mediums of devotion and harbingers of peace, hope and love through the ecstatic performances of the bhajans and vanis of Meera, Kabir, Gorakhnath, Baba Ramdev and Achalram, which form part of the wider repertoire of the Mirs. Their songs are mostly in Siraiki, a dialect of West Punjab which has strong affinity with Sindhi and Punjabi. In addition to their singing, the Mirs are deft players of the been (a kind of bagpipe) and algoza (a double barrel wind instrument). Most of these compositions stress on love as the basis of the relationship with God, nature and other living things.

The Sufi traditions of the Mirs have primarily been traditions of dissent and have flowered on the margins of mainstream life.

About the Research Project:
The geographical, historical and socio-political confluences in the recent decades have been responsible for charting new trajectories for the musical tradition of the Mirs. There have been fissures, and divergences within the community. At the same time, there is a sense of shared history and context. From songs that are sung only on specific occasions to songs that are popular with local orchestras, their music has multiple strands.

The research is expected to analyse cross-cultural transactions in the music of the Mirs and capture its journey into multiple spaces, across the recent decades.

A detailed essay / monograph on the Mir musical tradition is expected to result from this research. The essay can be either in Hindi or in English. This document will feed back into the community as well as reach wider audiences.

The copyright of this document will lie with IFA.

Project duration:
Seven months - January 2017 to July 2017

The research period will be for 6 months during which the researcher could undertake fieldwork, conduct interviews within and outside the community, consult archives and libraries and so on. At the end of the seventh month, the essay / monograph must be submitted to IFA.


The applicant should be a music practitioner or scholar with in depth knowledge of the history of a musical form, preferably a traditional community practice. Prior experience of working with traditional music communities would be an added advantage.
The applicant must be fluent in Hindi.
The applicant must be willing to work on the research with inputs from IFA staff as well as an expert from the field identified by IFA.
Only Indian nationals can apply.

Your CV
Statement of interest
Writing samples and details of earlier work undertaken
All costs towards the research will be borne by IFA. In addition to this, a consolidated honorarium of Rs 1 lakh will be paid to the researcher.

Deadline for application: November 21, 2016

Send all your materials to or the address mentioned below. Any application received without the above mentioned attachments will not be considered.

Selected candidates will be required to come to the IFA office for an interview.
The successful applicant will be informed by the second week of December, 2016.

Image Courtesy: Rajkumar Rajak for the Baba Farid Mir Project, which received support under our Arts Practice programme and was underwritten by the Infosys Foundation.

We look forward to hearing from you.

India Foundation for the Arts
'Apurva' Ground Floor, No 259, 4th Cross,
Raj Mahal Vilas IInd Stage, IInd Block,
Bangalore - 560 094
Tel: 91-80-2341 4681 / 82 / 83

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