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Celestial Nagasvaram

Origin, Myths, Reception and the Maestros by: Geetha Rajagopal

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.

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ISBN: 9788192702124
Year Of Publication: 2015
Edition: 1st Edition
Pages : xx, 195p.
Bibliographic Details : 72 colour photographs; Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: Avi Publishers
Size: 25 cm.
Weight: 750 gm.

Overview

Nagasvaram, world’s 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.

Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgement
List of Figures
Introduction : Music is a Form of Worship
1. Nagasvaram : A Brief History
2. Accompanying Instruments
3. Temple Festivals and Nagasvaram Traditions
4. Nagasvaram in Other South Indian States
5. Great Nagasvaram Maestros
Conclusion
Bibliography
Visuals
Index

Meet the Author
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1948
Geetha Rajagopal’s tryst with south Indian classical music began during her formative years in Bangalore when she quickly picked up the subtle nuances of this rich art form. She moved to Chennai after her education where she began a distinguished professional career that spanned teaching, animal rights awareness, writing (in leading journals) and finally her passion - Carnatic music. In 2000 she took over as Director of “Sampradhaya,” one of the world’s rich Carnatic music archives, and revitalized the organization with a series of programmes and workshops. She also embarked on an ambitious Sangeet Natak Akademi’s research project that put the spotlight on music tradition in south Indian temples. She has travelled extensively across south India to gather insights for her research project and continues to be actively involved with south Indian art forms and culture in her administrative role with the National Folklore Support Centre, Chennai.
Books of Geetha Rajagopal