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Music In South India



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By T. Viswanathan & Matthew Harp Allen. (Subtitle: Experiencing Music, Expressing Cuture). This case-study volume can be used along with the core Global Music Series books, Teaching Music Globally and Thinking Musically (item MUCA1438 for the set of two books, available separately). Each case study book uses the contemporary musical situation as a point of departure, covering historical information and traditions as they relate to the present.

This book provides a vivid and focused introduction to the musical landscape of South India, discussing historical and contemporary performance, cultural history and geography, and the social organization of performance traditions. It centers on Karnatak concert music, a unique performance practice that juxtaposes gorgeous musical compositions with many different types of improvisation. The authors compare two types of song: bhajan, a structurally simple devotional genre, and kriti, the primary concert genre. They also analyze raga and tala. The last chapter addresses other aspects of South India's music, such as the thriving popular music scene based on cinema music, regional traditions (sacred to secular), and contemporary music. Many listening activities are included, and the book comes with an 80-minute CD of examples of the music discussed.   


176 pages.   


Foreword; Preface; CD Track List.   


Chapter 1: Song in South India.
Bhajan (Devotional Song): Songs & Singing, Meaning of the Text- Devotion/ Love/ & Praise, Celebrating Tyagaraja in the United States & in South India, Languages of the Region.   

Kriti: Evolution of Kriti, Text & Context- a Continuum of Performance from Devotion to Virtuosity, Music/ Language/ & Politics, The Tamil Music Movement, Muttuttandavar (17th Century), The Text of "I Trusted You/ Unnai Nambinen", The Musical Setting of "I Trusted You/ Unnai Nambinen", The Group's Progress Through the Kriti, The Ensemble, The Instruments (violin [chorodophone], mridari gam [membranophone], tambura [chordophone] & its sruti [drone] function); Summary.   


Chapter 2: Key Concepts in Karnatak Music.
Tala- Meter & Rhythm in Karnatak Music: The 5 Families of Rhythm & Drummers' Thinking, Hand Gestures & Vocalized Syllable Sequences for Commonly Used Talas, Tala Exercises in 3 Speeds.   


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