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Ragas of Early Indian Music : Modes, Melodies, and Musical Notations from the Gupta Period to c. 1250 - Richard Widdess

Ragas of Early Indian Music

Modes, Melodies, and Musical Notations from the Gupta Period to c. 1250

Hardcover

Published: 14th December 1995
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The concept of raga, the traditional basis of melodic composition and improvisation in Indian classical music, has become familiar to listeners and musicologists throughout the world, but its historial origins and early development have been little explored. This book draws on written documents from the pre-Islamic period in India, including musical treatises (expecially that of the thirteenth-century theorist, Sarngadeva), literary works, and a remarkable inscription comprising musical notation. These documents bear witness to the development of the earlies ragas, which they name, classify, define, and in some cases illustrate with melodic examples. The melodies, which have not previously been studied in detail, for the focus of the book, which analyses their notation, musical structure and relationship to the theoretical tradition in which they are embedded, as evidence for the early history of melodic compostion and improvisation in the Indian tradition. Dr Widdess's comprehensive treatment of his subject will be of interest to musicologists and ethnomusicologists, particularly those concerned with music theory, mode and monody, and improvisation, and also Sanskritists and other Indologists.

`This work, based on the author's 1981 doctoral thesis, presents us with by far the most extensive and detailed study of the early raga system yet attempted ... unique and startlingly effective contribution ... Author and publisher have gone to considerable lengths to ensure the quality of text and presentation. No matter how difficult the arguments become they are always presented as clearly as possible, without succumbing to over-simplification or the avoidance of difficult issues. The text is free of typographical and other errors to an astonishing degree, and music examples seem to have been checked with similar thoroughness ... There can be little doubt that this work will come to be regarded as a classic in its field: indeed, a milestone not only in Indic musicology but in historical ethnomusicology as a whole.' Martin Clayton, Bulletin of the School of Oriental & African Studies `Despite the large number of previous analytical studies, the raga has never, to my knowledge, been subjected such a thorough historical treatment.' Anderson Bakewell, Asian Affairs, October 1996 `The subject presents an enormous challenge, and Widdess has met it impressively ... It is often difficult to make even conjectural sense of the data, and Widdess does a remarkably sane job under the circumstances ... Widdess shows it is possible to write beautifully and informatively in the total absence of recrimination and accusation, and the book is an excellent demonstration of the complete dispensability of the confrontational, aggressive, moral high-ground writing which has recently become so common in ethnomusicology.' Robert C. Provine, University of Durham, British Jrnl of Ethnomusicology, Vol 6, 1997

Platesp. ix
Mapsp. ix
List of Abbreviationsp. x
Introductionp. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xviii
The Origins of Rāgap. 1
Evidence for the History of Rāga to 1250p. 3
The Modes of Early Indian Music: Concepts, Functions and Organizationp. 29
Early Indian Music in Notationp. 85
An Approach to the Study of Early Indian Music Notationsp. 87
The Ku&dbdot;umiyāmalai Inscriptionp. 103
The B&rbdot;haddeśī of Mata&ndot;gap. 125
The Sarasvatīh&rbdot;dayāla&mbdot;kāra of Nānyadevap. 143
The Sa&ndot;gītaratnākara of Śār&ndot;gadevap. 161
Analysis of the Rāga-Melodiesp. 203
Scale, Consonance and Svara-Sādhāra&nbdot;ap. 205
Rāga-Lak&sbdot;a&nbdot;a: The Dynamics of Rāgap. 247
ālāpa: Mode, Form and Improvisationp. 312
Conclusionp. 368
the PaĆ¼macariu Notationp. 373
the Seven Primary Grāmarāgas: Melodies from the Sangītaratnākara *p. 387
Glossaryp. 398
Referencesp. 410
Indexp. 417
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780193154643
ISBN-10: 0193154641
Series: OXFORD MONOGRAPHS ON MUSIC
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 446
Published: 14th December 1995
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 26.04 x 20.32  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 1.18