Gopal Yonjan's musical works archiving in Cornell University Library in US

Gopal Yonjan
Here's high quality news for Nepali music lovers and others alike. Cornell University Library in the US is archiving music maestro Gopal Yonjan's musical works. To be housed in its Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections in the Carl A Kroch Library, the archive will include audio and video recordings, digital files, notebooks, instruments, photographs and other publications documenting the late Yonjan's life and work.

According to Renchin Yonjon, the maestro's wife, Cornell University Library will care for the archive in such a manner that will provide for its permanent physical preservation and make it readily available for research.

"Besides being preserved in their original form, Yonjan's works will be translated into English, along with musical notations. Cornell University will further share these materials for scholarly and educational use free of charge. It is estimated that it will take 18 months to two years for the archive to be complete and ready for audiences world-wide," Yonjan said from Kathmandu, Nepal, where she is based now.

According to her, she has gifted all relevant materials to the university that is an American private Ivy League and federal landgrant research university in Ithaca, New York.

"The intellectual property right will remain with the creator and/or nominated legal heir or organization," she said.

The development coincides with the72nd birth anniversary of Yonjan.

"This is the first time that a Nepali artist's musical works are being documented in totality by any International Institution. It is a matter of great pride not only for Gopal Yonjan but also for all Nepalis as a whole," she added.

Yonjan, one of the most prominent Nepali music composers, directors, lyricists, singers and arrangers in the history of Nepali music, was born in Okaytee Tea Estate in Mirik in Darjeeling on August 26, 1943, while he passed away in Kathmandu in May 20, 1997.

Yonjan composed songs in 16 different categories ranging from philosophical, spiritual, nationalistic, romantic, dancing melodies, folk, songs for women and children, while he lent music to 13 films; four dramas and two ballads.

In Darjeeling, another music legend and Yonjan's brother, Karma Yonjan, said the archival in the American university of a man who began his music career in Darjeeling and who has contributed a lot to the growth of Arts in the Hills is a moment of pride for all Hill people.

"This is a historic moment for music in Darjeeling and for the entire region," he said.

"Whatever Gopal did, he took Darjeeling's name to greater heights," said Yonjan, who began his musical career together with Gopal Yonjan in the hills of Darjeeling, and under the able guidance of another music great, Amber Gurung. "The music Gopal made was of very high quality, while he was able to attain greater heights after he moved to Kathmandu," Yonjan added.(sns)

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