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Music in North India

Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture

George E. Ruckert

Publication Date - December 2003

ISBN: 9780195139938

128 pages
Book with CD/DVD
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock


Music in North India is one of several case-study volumes that can be used along with Thinking Musically, the core book in the Global Music Series. Thinking Musically incorporates music from many diverse cultures and establishes the framework for exploring the practice of music around the world. It sets the stage for an array of case-study volumes, each of which focuses on a single area of the world. Each case study uses the contemporary musical situation as a point of departure, covering historical information and traditions as they relate to the present. Visit www.oup.com/us/globalmusic for a list of case studies in the Global Music Series. The website also includes instructional materials to accompany each study.
North India is home to a wealth of musical traditions composed of many different styles, genres, and practices. Music in North India provides a representative overview of this music, discussing rhythm and drumming traditions, song composition and performance styles, and melodic and rhythmic instruments. Drawing on his experience as a sarod player, vocalist, and music teacher, author George Ruckert incorporates numerous musical exercises to demonstrate important concepts. The book ranges from the chants of the ancient Vedas to modern devotional singing and from the serious and meditative rendering of raga to the concert-hall excitement of the modern sitar, sarod, and tabla. It is framed around three major topics: the devotional component of North Indian music, the idea of fixity and spontaneity in the various styles of Indian music, and the importance of the verbal syllable to the expression of the musical aesthetic in North India. Featuring vivid eyewitness accounts of performances and descriptions of interviews with performers, Music in North India examines the form, structure, and expression of North Indian music while also illuminating its profound religious and cultural significance. A 70-minute CD containing examples of the music discussed in the text is packaged with the book.

Table of Contents

    CD Track List
    1. Modernity and Tradition
    A Culture of Bewildering Variety
    Threads to Follow in this Text
    The Devotional Component
    Fixed Composition and Improvisation
    The Verbal Syllable
    Rhythmic Jatis
    Syllables for Pitch Names
    The Old and New in an Ancient Land
    Indian Music on the Move
    2. Affect
    Religious Connotations
    Sacred Texts
    Verbal Syllables
    The Vocal Genre of dhrupad
    The Vocal Genre of Tarana
    Song Texts
    A Musician's Practice
    The Nine Moods
    Extramusical Effects
    3. Teaching, Learning, and Performing Music
    Teaching and Learning Music
    Old Traditions in New Packages
    4. Rhythm and Drumming
    Theka: The Tal as a Succession of Drum Sounds
    Counting Patterns in Tal
    The Tabla
    Other Drumming Traditions
    5. Song and Performance
    Composition and Improvisation
    What is a Raga?
    Raga in Performance
    The On-the-spot Development of the Composition
    Bara khyal
    Khyal and Instrumental Styles
    Song Texts in Classical Styles
    Other Song Genres
    6. Instruments, Melodic and Rhythmic
    Drone Instruments
    Melody Instruments
    The Rise of Instrumental Music
    The Sitar and the Sarod
    Other Melody Instruments
    7. The Old World Joins the New
    The Postcolonial Era
    The Effect of the New Democracy on Music
    Electronics: Preserving and Spreading the Traditions

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