This book makes an in-depth study of the history of evolution, penetration and growth of nagasvaram into the cultural moorings of south India. It makes a systematic study of nagasvaram from different perspectives, its accompanying instruments, its relevance in temple festivals, marriages, the traditions associated, its prevalence and acceptability among south Indian states. It also introduces the all-time great maestros of nagasvaram.
Nagasvaram, worlds loudest non-brass acoustic instrument, is known as mangala vadyam (auspicious instrument), and raja vadyam (king of all instruments). This popular wind-group musical instrument is well known all over the south Indian states, more specifically in Tamil Nadu. Its origin is associated with the Thiruvarur Temple and its legacy continued all through the Pallavas, Colas, Pandyas, Nayakas, and Marathas. It has imprinted its sheen on all the rituals, especially, on the temple festivals and marriages.
This book makes an in-depth study of the history of evolution, penetration and growth of nagasvaram into the cultural moorings of south India over a period of 800 years. It makes a systematic study of nagasvaram (myths associated with it, its making, types, etc.), its accompanying instruments, its relevance in temple festivals, marriages, the traditions associated with nagasvaram, its prevalence and acceptability in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala, in addition to Tamil Nadu where it rules the roost. It widely introduces the great maestros of nagasvaram, for whom it was a nishkama karma.
Kings, temples and mathas were the promoters of this blissful instrument. At present this artform faces severe challenges from the all-pervasive Western musical instruments. The author suggests ways and means of how to maintain the legacy of nagasvaram live, and the need to preserve the rich heritage of our musical tradition for the benefit of our posterity to realize the Supreme Bliss in their life.
This book, rare of its kind, will enthrall those who are keen on instrumental music, especially the faculty, students, and professionals in the field of music, religion and art.
Cinema Through Rasa discusses the important works of the world cinema in the light of Rasa Siddhānta of the Indian classical aesthetics. Rasa Siddhānta was first mentioned in Bharata Muni’s Nāṭyaśāstra – the ancient treatise on dramaturgy. This book catalogues the major cinematic works in the light of Abhinavabhāratī – a tenth-century commentary on the Nāṭyaśāstra by the great Kashmiri Śaivite philosopher Abhinavagupta. Further, it outlines the links between puruṣārtha, the cultural value system of life pursuits in Indian tradition, and aesthetics while citing examples from the works of major directors such as Orson Welles, Luis Buñuel, Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, Andrei Tarkovsky, Alfred Hitchcock, Carl Dreyer, Charlie Chaplin, Sergei Eisenstein, Robert Bresson and Satyajit Ray.
Using contemporary scholars’ interpretation of non-dualistic Kashmir Śaivism tradition, Cinema Through Rasa aims to serve as a tribute to Abhinavagupta’s genius, a commentary on important ideas such as rasa, nature of emotions, cinema and beauty along with a tryst with the masterpieces of the world cinema. The meaning of this book is summarized by this verse – na hi rasād r̥te kaścid arthaḥ pravartate – the medium of cinema, though modern, should be seen as resting in the power of rasa without which nothing makes any sense.
This book is a translation of the original Hindi book Abhinava Cinema, which was first published in 2016. Abhinava Cinema was lauded as innovative, path-breaking and a must-read for students of literature and cinema studies by scholars and critics.
This volume explores the various complex conceptual dimensions of sound: ranging from its mystical and traditionally meta-physical to its present-day developments, from its perceptions in indigenous musical theory to its futuristic applications.
Dhvani (Sound/Nada) is a profound experience that envelopes us from birth to death. Yet it is not easily fathomed. Its description by an accoustic engineer is very different from that of a musician, a linguist, a city planner, or a neurologist. The IGNCA (Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts), New Delhi, organized a 2-day International Seminar: 24-25 October 1994, not only to understand the experiential, cross-cultural perceptions of sound, or not just to discourse about its definitional subtleties as are encountered in the ancient texts of the East and the West; but also to bring together its perceptions in tradition, modern accoustics, and even in the ongoing environmental studies. In todays living conditions, the Dhvani-theme is specially crucial for sound has become a major pollutant both in terms of resonances and accoustics. Assembled in this volume are the presentations of the IGNCA seminar, exploring the various complex conceptual dimensions of sound: ranging from its mystical and traditionally metaphysical to its present-day developments, from its perceptions in indigenous musical theory to its futuristic applications. With focus around five thematic areas of the seminar: (a) Sound as the Source of Creation and Sources of Sound, (b) Sound and the Senses, (c) Sound and Space, (d) Sound and Time, and (e) Symbols of Sound and Sonic Designs, the authors open up the possibilities of interaction among different disciplines involved in the study of dhvani-phenomenon.
The book is an in-depth study of dhavni, the well established Indian critical system and the Western structural poetics. It also examines the independent universalisation and necessity to explicate words, letters and syllables for the sake of meaning formation.
Dhvani and structuralist poetics emerge as the two primary theoretical frameworks in which the reality of inquisition and propagation of comprehensibility and creativity of the artistry could be well-conceived, exposed and implied. In each of the two systems, the maturity of conception and universality of expression of the content, context and the medium are quite remarkable.
The book is an in-depth study of dhvani, that is, the Indian critical system developed around the eighth century ce, and structuralist poetics the Western critical premise, commencing with Ferdinand de Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics that substantiate an adequate methodology to understand the formation of categories, contents, constructs and mediums as a necessary corollary to an analytical procedure that would bring about transformation. It examines the independent universalisation of sabda, pada, varna, vakya, bhava, vibhava, anubhava, sthayibhava, sancaribhava, alambana and uddipana for the sake of an absolute artistic formation, especially as propounded by Anadavardhana, the progenitor of dhvani system. It then delves deep into the structuralist poetics, following Saussure, Barthes, Jakobson and others, that focuses on the need and necessity to explicate words, letters, syllables and even otherwise an experience so as to create a valid notation, out of each of these, for the sake of totality in the meaning formation.
The study has immense significance owing to the fact that it promotes proper understanding and enjoyment of literature. Moreover, the fact is that Indian and the Western scholarships have not paid much attention to the subject discussed herein. The volume, therefore, will be of an immense interest to scholars and students of poetics and literature in general.
This study offers a fresh approach in comparing ancient Greek and Indian dramatic theories by reconstructing Greek/Indian performances to highlight their similarities and differences. This revaluation will help in shaping of newer modes of performance.
This study offers a fresh approach in comparing ancient Greek and Indian dramatic theories. Instead of treating the Poetics and the Natyashastra as Western and Eastern viewpoints, it places them within the broad framework of ancient Indo-European culture and the art of sacred drama (hieropraxis). It demonstrates that hieropraxis was basically different from post-Renaissance European drama which was entirely secular in content and Realistic in presentation. The Poetics and the Natyashastra on the contrary, belonged to theatres which pleased both gods and men, and which used semiotised gesture, dance, music, and dialogue to create a highly ornate theatrical reality. The book aims at comparing not only the concepts as propounded by Aristotle and Bharata Muni, but also attempts to reconstruct the Greek and Indian performances to highlight their similarities and differences. In view of the increasing constrains imposed on artistic endeavours by commercial pre-occupations in todays world, this stimulating revaluation of the two major classical stage-crafts will go a long way in the discerning and shaping of newer modes of performance. Concepts like anukarana, dharmi, abhinaya, itivritta, mimesis, muthos, melopoiia, katharsis and rasa, etc., as revisited and expounded here, can be seen as means of creating dramatic shows which go beyond message and entertainment to provide sublimer experiences.
This book an English translation of the Tamil text expounds the wisdom contained in seven of the principal Upanishads in the style of short dramas. English transliteration and meanings of the Sanskrit verses are also included. The language is simple to follow which makes the Upanishads easily understandable by even a layman.
The Upanishads reveal the nature of true vidya: it is the knowledge which leads to the understanding of Brahman which alone is the Reality in the world of appearances. The dramas by Shri Mani Iyer based on the Upanishads render the meaning of the Upanishads in an interesting and captivating manner so that a wider audience can gain from the Upanishadic insight.
This book presents an English translation of Mani Iyers seven Upanishadic dramas, originally in Tamil, and includes English transliteration of the original Sanskrit verses. The dramas pertain to seven of the major Upanishads: Kena, Ishavasya, Prashna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya and Katha. With reference to each drama, there is an introduction that reveals the major questions raised by the Upanishad, the manner in which the play proceeds, the nature of the story, its characters, and the conclusion of the play. The translation is simple to follow and possesses a rare clarity.
Because of the simple language and the clear meanings of the Upanishadic verses, this book will be valuable to readers in general, students in particular, and to those interested in knowing what our Upanishads contain and intend to convey.
The book describes the history and evolution of Hindustani classical music, and terms and processes related with its performance. The musical instruments used in vocal singing, rags frequently presented in classical musical concerts, and famous gharana musicians have also been discussed. Very useful for the beginners of Hindustani Music.
Hindustani classical music, a jewel in the crown of the Indian musical tradition, has become increasingly popular in South India and abroad over the last few decades. This book attempts to present a detailed and comprehensive discussion of the fundamental concepts and aspects of Hindustani classical music. It begins with an account of the history and evolution of Hindustani classical music by taking up developments in a chronological order. It explains a number of terms and processes involved in the performance of Hindustani classical vocal music. In an interesting discussion, it mentions the various famous gharanas of the genre and deals with the life-histories of some of their eminent musicologists and singers. The musical instruments which are used in accompaniment to the vocal singing in Hindustani music are described. It also details the rags which are frequently presented in contemporary musical concerts, highlighting the important features of each.
The book will be useful to all those who wish to learn and acquire knowledge of Hindustani classical music. It will be of interest to all practitioners of Hindustani classical music.
The folk songs in this collection are given in vernacular Hindi language, transliterated and translated, to reach readers with different backgrounds. These songs tell the story and customs of celebrating life-cycle ceremonies, welcoming seasons, and related mythology.
Blowing of a conch-shell and/or ringing of a hand bell and/or singing a song to welcome the evening twilight in front of a tulsi plant is a nostalgic scene from Indias past. For the majority of the young Indian population, this daily routine is only depicted on picture postcards or in Bollywood movies. Folk songs in this book were recorded in the 1970s. Since Independence, India has been undergoing fast technological advances; a wave of new internationalism is absentmindedly sweeping away rural traditions. Singing and playing of traditional folk songs and ensembles for appropriate ceremonies are becoming less and less popular; instead, movie songs and modern brass bands are appreciated. Each folk song in this collection is like an artefact in an archaeological museum. These songs tell the story and customs of celebrating life-cycle ceremonies, welcoming seasons, and retelling our mythology. The songs are given in vernacular Hindi language, transliterated, and translated, to facilitate understanding by readers with different backgrounds. The original field recordings have been deposited at the Archives and Research Center for Ethnomusicology of the American Institute of Indian Studies at Gurgaon, Haryana, India, where they are available for listening and recording details.
“…delves deep into the poetry of Jayadeva and throws new light on many little known aspects of Sanskrit kavya literature. The way words play in the Gitagovindam is a true marvel. All the technical details and classifications as also the multiple streams of expression in such poetry, the subtelities of puns and alliterations, and the inherent beauty of rasa and dhvani are brought out … It is a labour of love, and is worth studying because among all our ancient literature, this magnum opus alone has been the inspiration for the best in our arts – music, dance, painting, sculpture and more. Bhakti and Sringara rise and set in a profound cycle in this poem, like the sun and moon in an eternal flow of light and shade (This book) shares the pleasures of Sanskrit poetry with us, making the case for Sanskrit studies a must in modern India. What a loss to our civilization if we do not wake up to it now.” — (Lakshmi Viswanathan) KALAKSHETRA JOURNAL ISSUE 6, Feb 2017
“…The authors vividly elucidate the Nayaka and Nayika bhedas. The ten stages of love, called kamavasthas,….as elaborated in Natya Sastra, were beautifully employed by Jayadeva, and this is accurately pointed out by the authors…. the English translation of each verse is committed to the original without deviation….kudos to the authors who have unearthed the notes and established the raga and tala as mentioned by Jayadeva.
The effort in presenting this treasure trove for easy rendering of verses with well-hyphenated words is commendable.” — (M. Varadarajan) FRIDAY REVIEW, THE HINDU, June 23, 2017
“The Gita Govinda transports one to the world where everything glows with the love of Radha and Krishna. It reminds us of beauty in nature, the wonder of creation and complete surrender to the Lord. The work is a welcome addition to one’s collection of books. It brings us to the magical world of dance and music through the eyes of a Sanskrit scholar and a mature, expressive dancer. Two experts in their respective fields have come together to write this book. It makes the poetry much more meaningful and is a value addition to the world of literature and arts.” – (Meenakshi Krishnan) The JOURNAL of the MUSIC ACADEMY MADRAS,VOL 88, Dec 2017
Gita Govinda, a drsya-kavya of Jayadeva, a twelfth-century Sanskrit poet, due to its deep foundations in devotion and exquisite intrinsic beauty, is the most desired in the music and dance of India. This erotic poem, through its three characters in Radha, Krsna and the sakhi, portrays physical love as a metaphor for divine longing of the individual soul to have its union with the Supreme.
The volume in hand presents the primacy of the language in linguistic and literary theories as the vehicle of thought, along with the performing arts background and technical aspects of dance that complement Jayadeva’s composition. It also deals with a setting for the Gita Govinda in terms of its historical context, time, cultural influences and relevance in the arts.
It addresses each and every verse of Gita Govinda with translation and literary notes. Also, it showcases the uninterrupted text in Devanagari along with Romanized transliteration. In a nutshell, the book brings to us a magical world of dance and music through the eyes of a Sanskrit scholar and a mature, expressive dancer in Sharda Narayanan and Sujatha Mohan, respectively.
It is a wide-ranging survey of the north Indian tradition of classical music during the post-Independence period. The book is divided into six parts, which, based on the authors vast experiences, make complex musicological concepts accessible to non-academic readers.
Hindustani Music: A tradition in transition is a wide-ranging survey of the North Indian tradition of classical music during the post-independence period. Explicitly, this book addresses music lovers of above-average familiarity with Hindustani music, and their curiosity about its inner workings. It is, however, also a valuable reference for scholars and other writers on music. The book is based on the author’s long years of training as a musician, vast experience as an analyst of music, and an observer of the cultural environment. The book is divided into six parts. Part I articulates an Indian perspective on important societal, cultural, economic and technological drivers of Hindustani music. Part II discusses issues pertaining to presentation formats, and the structural and melodic aspects of Hindustani music. Part III deals with the notion of raga-ness, and the world of ragas. Part IV presents comprehensive backgrounders on the four major genres of vocal music Dhrupad, Khayal, Thumree, and Tappa. Part V features detailed fact-sheets on eight major melodic instruments of the Hindustani tradition Rudra Veena, Sitar, Surbahar, Sarod, Sarangi, Shehnai, Santoor, and the Indian classical (Hawaiian) guitar. Part VI presents a glossary of words in italics, a list of suggested readings, and an index. The book makes complex musicological concepts accessible to non-academic readers, and contributes significantly to widening the understanding of contemporary trends in Hindustani music. Written by an author of impeccable credentials as a musician, researcher, and author, this book is a very significant addition to the body of authoritative writing on 20th century Hindustani music.