Sushil Kumar Saxena (b. 1921) is widely known today as a scholar who has shown the way to look at Indian music, rhythm, and dance in the way of contemporary Western aesthetics. As a professor of philosophy at Delhi University, he distinguished himself with his very first book, Studies in the Metaphysics of Bradley (1967) published by George Allen & Unwin, London, and Humanities Press, New York, in their prestigious Muirhead Library series of philosophical works.
Dr Saxena introduced the teaching of aesthetics at Delhi University in 1964; and, since his retirement in 1986, has published a steady stream of scholarly papers in internationally reputed journals through the 1970s and 80s. What is more, he has produced six books on Hindustani music, Rhythm and Kathak dance, besides a work on philosophy of religion, Ever Unto God: Essays on Gandhi and Religion (1988). His latest book is Hindustani Sangeet: Some Perspectives, Some Performers (Sangeet Natak Akademi, and D.K. Printworld 2010).
For all this scholarly work, Prof. Saxena has been honoured by Sangeet Natak Akademi with its Annual Award (2007) and its fellowship in 2008. He was bestowed the state honour, Padma Bhushan, also in 2008.
1. My very first book, Studies in the Meta-physics of Bradley was published jointly by George Allen & Unwin (London) and Humanities Press (New York) in 1967. It was included by them in their prestigious Muirhead Library Series of Philosophical works. This is an international Series, and, after Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, the best known philosopher of modern India, I am so far the only other Indian to appear in this Series as an author. As a teacher of philosophy I cannot think of a greater honour.
2. Senior Fellowship (from October 1997 to September 1999) from the Department of Culture, for working on the project: Hindustani Music and the Critical Idiom.
3. Parishad Samman (for the year 1995) from sahitya Kala Parishad of the Delhi State for all-round contribution to music.
4. Emeritus Fellowship (from April, 1994 to March, 1996) from the Department of Culture, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.
5. Senior Fellowship from the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi, which ended on 24.4.2003.
6. National (Culture) Fellowship from Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi (March 2003 – March 2005).
1. The Role of Rhythm in: Kathak Dance, Marg; (Bombay) September, 1959.
2. Essentials of Hindustani Music: Diogene; (Paris) 45, January-March 1964.
3. The Concept of Lava in Hindustani Music: Indian Philosophical Quarterly; Vol. I, No. 2, January 74, Poona.
4. Aesthetic Theory and Hindustani Rhythm: The British Journal of Aesthetics; Summer 1976, Vol. 16, No. 3.
5. Aesthetic Theory of Croce: and the Rhythm of North Indian Music II Veltro; 3-4 Maggio-Agosto, 1976, (Italy)
6. Kant, Aesthetical Theory and Some Indian Art: Kant Studien; Vol. II, 1978, Welter de Gruyter, Berlin & New York, pp. 194-204, (Germany)
7. Aesthetic Theory and Kathak Dance of India, Journal of Indian Musicological Society (Baroda) Vol. 10, Nos. 3&4, Sept.-Dec. 1979.
8. Gegel on the Sublime: Religious Studies (England) No. 10, pp. 153-170.
9. The Aesthetic Attitude: Philosophy East and West; 28, No. 1, Jan. 78 (USA)
10. Reply to my Critics: Philosophy East and West; 29, No. 2, April 1979 (USA)
11. Reply to some New Criticisms: Philosophy East and West; April 1980 (USA)
12. Ustad Altaf Hussain Khan, Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, No. 2, pp. 92-104
13. A Study of Form and Flow in Hindustani Music: Sangeet Natak Akademi, 16; April-June, 1970
14. Ustad Ameer Khan: The Man and his Art: Sangeet Natak Akademi; 31; Jan-March 1972.
15. Aesthetic Character of Some Asymmetrical Rhythms: Sangeet Natak Akademi; 34; October-December 1974.
16. Ustad A. Rahimuddin Khan Dagar; Sangeet Natak Akademi; 39; Jan-March 1976.
17. Alapa in Dhravapada Gayaki: Sangeet Natak Akademi; 81-82; July-dec. 1986.
18. Avenues to a Svara: Sangeet Natak Akademi; 84; April-June 1987.
19. The Concept of Raga: An Essay in Understanding; Sangeet Natak Akademi; 101-102; July-Dec. 1991.
20. Hindustani Music and The Philosophy of Art; Sangeet Natak Akademi; 105-106; July-Dec. 1992.
21. Aesthetics and Hindustani Music in Independent India; Sangeet Natak Akademi; 119; Jan-March 1996.
22. Hindustani Rhythm and An Aesthetical Issue; Sangeet Natak Akademi; 129-130; 1998
23. The Spiritual and Hindustani Music; Sangeet Natak Akademi; 131-132; 1999.
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