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Raga-ness of Ragas

Ragas Beyond the Grammar by: Deepak S. Raja

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. It attempts to extend the scope of the enquiry to cover several facets of ragas examining the manner in which they participate in the cultural process.

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ISBN: 9788124608357
Year Of Publication: 2015
Edition: 1st edition
Pages : xlvi, 414p.
Bibliographic Details : Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23
Weight: 800

Overview

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.

Contents

Foreword
— Ashwini Bhide–Deshpande
Preface
Acknowledgement
Guest Essay: The Indian Concept of Rasa and the Western System of Keys
— Alessandro Dozio
Introduction
— Lyle Wachovsky
Part I: Perspectives on Raga-ness
1.1. The Raga-ness of Ragas
1.2. Ragas: Right and Wrong
1.3. Raga Chemistry and Beyond
1.4. Kedar at Sunrise?
1.5. Raga, Rasa, Meaning
1.6. The Raga-ness of Compositions
1.7. The Raga-ness of Compositions II
1.8. The Raga-ness of Compositions III
1.9. The Raga-ness of Alap
1.10. The Raga-ness of Tans
1.11. The Raga-ness of Musicians
Part II: The World of Ragas
2.1. Adana Kanada: A Raga of Valour and Heroism
2.2. Adi Basant: Fading Colours of Spring
2.3. Ahiri: Not Ahiri Todi, not Ahir Bhairav, Simply Ahiri
2.4. Ahir Bhairav: Issues in Raga Grammar
2.5. Ahir Lalit: Ravi Shankar’s Creation
2.6. Bahar: Spring in the Air
2.7. Basant Mukhari: Persian Origins, Carnatic Inspiration
2.8. Bhairavi: The Raga and the Eternal Feminine
2.9. Bhimpalas: Everyone Knows It; Only Maestros Perform It
2.10. Bihag: Straddling Two Worlds
2.11. Bihagda: A Popular Bihag Variant
2.12. Bilaskhani Todi: A Requiem for Miya Tansen
2.13. Chandni Kedar: Much Ado About Nothing
2.14. Darbari Kanada: Elephantine Gait and Tonal Geometry
2.15. Desha: Romanticism Rules
2.16. Durga: Raga of the Warrior Goddess
2.17. Enayet Khani Kanada: Ustad Vilayat Khan’s Melodic Experiment
2.18. Gara: Tonal Geometry and Amorphous Grammar
2.19. Gorakh Kalyan: Evolving as a Bageshri Variant
2.20. Gunji-Kauns: A Raga Is Born
2.21. Hemant: An Old New Raga?
2.22. Jaitashri: An Independent Raga or a Compound?
2.23. Janasammohini: Carnatic, Hindustani, or Pakistani?
2.24. Jog: A Versatile Raga
2.25. Kedar: Abandoning the Austere Form
2.26. Khambavati: A Boutique Raga
2.27. Kshem (Khem) Kalyan: The Precious Kalyan
2.28. Lalit: Tonal Geometry and Melodic Mischief
2.29. Lalita-Sohani: Interesting Concept, Fragile Raga-ness
2.30. Madhuvanti: A Grammatical Orphan?
2.31. Malti Basant: A Rare Fragrance of Spring
2.32. Marwa, Puriya and Sohani: The Tricky Triplets
2.33. Megh Malhar: A Sombre Response to Nature’s Bounty
2.34. Miya-ki Todi: A Case of Reluctant Differentiation
2.35. Multani: Debilitating and Oppressive
2.36. Nat Kamod: Solitary Bandisha, Limited Raga-ness
2.37. Patadipak: Can It Be Called a Raga?
2.38. Pilu: Easy Identification, Meaningless Codification
2.39. Puriya Kalyan: Or Is It Purva? What’s the Difference?
2.40. Rageshri: Bageshri’s Cousin
2.41. Sampurna Malkauns: The Concept and Its Manifestations
2.42. Sanjh Saravali: Ustad Vilayat Khan’s Magnum Opus
2.43. Shahana: The Most Popular Kanada Variant
2.44. Shankara: Mellowing of the Daunting Deity
2.45. Shri: Supplicant, Spooky or Belligerent?
2.46. Shuddha Chhaya: Elusive Component of a Popular Compound
2.47. Shuddha Kalyan: How and Why It Is Changing
2.48. Tilang: A Sibling of Jog or Parent?
2.49. Vacaspati: Rechristened for Acceptance
Glossary and Explanatory Notes
Appendix 1 : Landmark Dates of Personages
Appendix 2
Table 1: Hindustani Svaras: Pitch Ratios and Notation Symbols
Table 2: Hindustani Svaras and Corresponding Carnatic Svaras.
Bibliography
Index 1: Ragas and Parent Scales
Index 2: Musicians
Index 3: Gharanas/Stylistic Lineages
Index 4: Authors and Authorities

Meet the Author
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Deepak S. Raja (b. 1948-) is amongst the most respected writers on Hindustani music today. He works as repertoire analyst for India Archive Music Ltd. (IAM), New York, the most influential producer of Hindustani music outside India. He has been associated with the academic and publishing activities of the SHRUTI magazine (Chennai), ITC-Sangeet Research Academy (Calcutta), Sangeet Natak Akademi (Delhi), and the Indian Musicological Society (Baroda/ Mumbai). In 1999, he co-edited the Indian Musicological Society's publication titled Perspectives on Dhrupad. His first book: Hindustani Music -- A Tradition in Transition, was published in 2005. His second book, Khayal Vocalism -- Continuity Within Change, was published in 2009. In 2009, he was granted a Senior Research Fellowship by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. He also runs a respected blog on Hindustani music: http://swaratala.blogspot.com. Deepak Raja is a sitar and surbahar player of the Etawah Gharana, trained by Shri Pulin Deb Burman, and Pandit Arvind Parikh. He studies Khayal under Vidushi Dhondutai Kulkarni of the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana. The author took an honours degree in Humanities from Delhi University, a master's degree in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Advertising Administration from the Watford College of Technology in the UK. He has occupied important positions in the media industry, including Editor of Business India, and Secretary General of the Indian Newspaper Society.
Books of Deepak S. Raja