About Us

Welcome. The School of Indian Film Music is a pioneer institution, dedicated to creative music practice in India’s film music industries. If you wish to pursue a career in Indian popular music, one of our courses will be of interest to you. Apart from one year, part-time certificate courses, the school also conducts seminars, master classes and workshops on various aspects of creative music practice in Indian cinema. These discourses and debates elaborate systematic and scientific approaches, regional musical meanings, while emphasizing identification and continual development of individual artistic voice.


Creative music practice in one of India’s film music industries entails understanding and implementing idiosyncrasies that are derived from local socio-cultural realities. Such peculiarities mediate the synthesized application of plural music theories and creative use of modern music and sound technologies. While there exist many opportunities to study various forms of music and/ or the use of modern music technologies, options to learn the semiotics of popular Indian film music along with relevant musical and technical skills, are practically non existent. Moreover, Indian film music’s dominant role as the region’s popular music, its eclectic musical makeup, growing global outreach and the compounding interest amongst young aspirants point towards a need to create more awareness on the intricacies of composing and producing Indian film music.

Academic Standards

The level of participation we expect and the assignments we set reflect the high standards of the School of Indian film music. Our learning environment provides a total immersion method, in which you examine subjects in depth and to deadlines, with regular assignments, assessments and evaluation. The delivery is based on a hybrid design that involves a combination of personal/group lectures and practical lessons. This is accented with online access to audio/ video tutorials and reading and reference materials. You will receive regular feedback and grading from your instructor, based on classroom participation as well as practical submissions. The learning approach is based on real-life participation with emphasis on professional performance. In our programs, you will be evaluated on the ability to understand and demonstrate knowledge and skills with clarity, through practical deliverables.


Divakar Subramaniam

Founder and Academic Director

Divakar is a film music composer, percussionist and an academic. He has worked for five years, as a lecturer at the Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries, University of Glamorgan in Cardiff, United Kingdom. He holds a Master of Science degree in Advanced Music Production from the University of Glamorgan, and is currently writing his doctoral dissertation on muso-technological aspects of Tamil Film music. He is probably the first Indian music composer/producer to conduct scholarly inquiry on Indian film music, through active music practice.

Divakar has worked as a music composer for over 13 years in the Indian Advertising Industry, and has more than a 100 commercials (including popular brands such as Coco-cola, HDFC Bank, MRF Tyres and many more) to his credit. Apart from producing music for popular music directors in south Indian film industries, Divakar is also a classically trained Carnatic percussionist. Concerts across India, in the United States of America, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom, and collaborative work with musicians from Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, Nigeria and the USA have had a significant influence on his compositions. He is one of the very few privileged Indians to have performed at the United Nations, New York.

Today, Divakar serves as a link between academics and industry through professional work within the Indian film industry and by engaging in active academia. Divakar presents research papers on Tamil film music at conferences around the world, while also conducting film music-related seminars in India. The nexus of the art of science and science of art is the basis of Divakar’s work and passion. Divakar is collaborating with higher education institutions in India and abroad to explore possible ways of disseminating this knowledge and skill.

Academic council

SIFM’s academic council is responsible for the overall academic design and structure of all courses. It will also evaluate new courses, review course curriculum, academic progress, knowledge transfer with the film industry from a wider societal and global perspective. Council members will consist of senior academics from around the world, film industry professionals and practitioners whilst also including student representatives. The academic council will convene once every six months for perusal.

Vidyasagar,  Music Director

An award-winning Indian film music director and music composer in the Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi film industry. A household name in south India, he is a recipient of the prestigious National Award in 2005, a six time recipient of the Tamil Nadu State Award for Indian film music.

Paschall de Paor, Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries, University of Glamorgan, United Kingdom (Retired)

Paschall is a principal Lecturer at the Department of Drama and Music, Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries, University of Glamorgan at Cardiff. He teaches music engineering, production and sound design with research interests in areas related to phenomenology and electroacoustic music. Paschall is attached to the Skillset Screen Academy, Wales.

Professor Tina K. Ramnarine, Royal Hollaway University of London

Tina K. Ramnarine is an anthropologist, musician and Professor of Music at Royal Holloway. Her interdisciplinary research draws on social theory, performance and multi-sited ethnographic work with a focus on music, globalization, identity politics and environment. She co-convenes the Royal Holloway Postcolonial Research Group. Currently, she is the UK representative on the International Council for Traditional Music (UNESCO NGO), an Associate Fellow of the Institute for the Study of the Americas, and an advisory panel member of African Musicology Online. She is a former Chair of the British Forum for Ethnomusicology (2005-08) and co-editor of Ethnomusicology Forum.

Professor Philippe le Guern, University of Nantes, France

Professor at the University of Nantes, a member of the Centre Norbert Elias (Avignon, EHESS, ENS-LSH) and associate researcher at the laboratory G. Friedmann (Paris 1-CNRS), Philippe Le Guern teaches the sociology of culture and media. His work focuses on the contribution of media and popular culture in the construction of social identities, whether professional identities (with film editors, programmers music) or gender identities (with fans). His themes include teaching sociology of public music, music and technology and culture and power relations.

Professor Kristen Rudisell, Bowling Green State University, Ohio

Dr. Kristen Rudisill holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago Divinity School and a Ph.D. in Asian studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been teaching in the department of popular culture at Bowling Green State University for the past 4 years. Her research focuses on Indian theater and film dance and she has published several articles in journals such as South Asian popular culture, studies in musical theater, text and presentation, and the Asian theater journal (forthcoming 2012).