This book is a systematic and contemporary exploration of the uniquely Indian phenomenon of raga, which forms the foundation of the musical culture of India.
Maestros speak with total conviction of a raga as having a personality. A raga must therefore be viewed not only as the governing authority of musical performance, but also as an archetype pregnant with cultural meaning. The exploration of raga-ness, therefore, can begin with the grammatical coordinates of ragas, but cannot stop there. This book attempts to extend the scope of the enquiry to cover several other facets of ragas examining the manner in which they participate in the cultural process. As such, this book provides valuable insights to scholars, researchers, connoisseurs, as well as performing musicians.
Written by an author of established credentials as a musician, researcher and writer with three acclaimed works to his credit, this book explores the subject through conceptual essays in Part I, and case studies of fifty-one ragas in Part II. The case studies of ragas are supported with references to authoritative texts and reviews of recordings by recent and contemporary maestros.
Written in the author's lucid and masterly style, this book makes complex musicological concepts accessible to non-academic readers, and contributes significantly to widening the understanding of the role of ragas in the musical culture.