With its roots in the Samaveda (which treats it as a 'divine art'), music in India has a long, splendid tradition. Over the centuries, it has absorbed fresh influences and experimented with new forms to finally evolve into two meticulously codified classical systems: Hindustani and Carnatic. In today's growing library of writings on Hindustani music, Anjali Mittal's research is yet another valuable addition adopting, as it does, a viewpoint which has been neglected so far, namely, the viewpoint of contemporary western aesthetics.
It is for the first time that this monograph examines the concept of form in Hindustani classical music. In this context, analytic attention has been focussed on some select compositions in dhruvapada, dhamar, tarana, vilambit and drut khyal genres of Hindustani classical vocal music. A wide variety of drut tanas has also been analysed in terms of notation and linear diagrams. Such diagrams, in fact, distinguish the present volume. Analysis of some rhythm-cycles and rhythmic patterns is another feature of this book.
Thoroughly documented and written in a jargon-free language, the study includes a contextual discussion of aesthetics, artistic expression, aesthetic predicates and, above all, the concept of artistic form. The work may be expected to interest all those who want an analytic understanding of what form (or bandisha) means in the region of Hindustani classical vocal music.