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The Rags of North Indian Music: Their Structure and Evolution: With CD
The Rags of North Indian Music: Their Structure and Evolution: With CD
Description
Back of the Book

An audio CD illustrative of the practice of North Indian music Free with this book! It has sitar by Vilayat Khan and Sarangi by Umrao Khan.

The subject of this book is the Rags, and the whole tonal and scalar basis of north Indian music. The important features are considered in detail – the structure of melody, the effect of the drone, ornamentation and intonation, the function of accidentals and so on. These are related to a brilliant and well-documented survey of the evolutionary processes that have shaped the Rags of today. With many cross references between Eastern and Western music traditions, the author shows how north Indian music is a dynamic, and not a static, system, and the principles that emerge from his fascinating discussion cannot fail to illuminate the idiom for both theoretician and listener.

Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy (1927-2009) was the former President of the Society for Ethnomusicology and founder of the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology (ARCE) of the American Institute of Indian Studies, New Delhi. He was internationally recognized as a leading expert on Indian music and culture, as well as fieldwork methodology, archiving, organology, ethic, and technology. He retired as Emeritus Professor from the Department of Ethnomusicology at the University of California (UCLA), which awarded him recognition for nearly twenty years of distinguished service.

His publications number over one hundred, and include articles as well as audio and video productions concerning both classical and folk music of India, some cast in a fictional vein.

From the Jacket

The Rags of North Indian Music
Their Structure and Evolution
Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy

Why does Indian music have its present form? How can we understand and interpret its distinctive features? An aura of mystery has always surrounded the theory and practice of Indian music and now, with its influence ever strengthening in the West, a study as lucid and penetrating as that made by Professor Jairazbhoy is of special significance.

Its subject is the Rags, and the whole tonal and scalar basis of north Indian music. The important features of the idiom are considered in detail- the structure of melody, the effect of the drone, ornamentation and intonation, the function of accidentals and so on. These are related to a brilliant and well- documented survey of the evolutionary processes that have shaped the Rags of today. With many cross references between Eastern and Western music traditions. The author shows how north Indian music is a dynamic, and not a static, system, and the principles that emerge from his fascinating discussion cannot fail to illuminate the idiom for both theoretician and listener. Those approaching Indian music for the first time will find the concise explanation of musical theory and its historical background a model of clarity. Specialists in the field will find here many original contributions to ethnomusicology in general.

This brand new edition contains an essay entitled ‘What Happened to Indian Music Theory? Indo—Occidentalism?’ published in 2008 in Ethnomusicology the journal of the Society for Ethnomusicology.

Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy (1927-2009) began sitar studies as a child in Bombay from Madhav Lal. After graduation from the Doon School and the University of Washington, he was a student and faculty colleague of the late Dr. Arnold Adriaan Bake at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, receiving his doctorate in 1971. Later he taught at the University of Windsor, Ontario, and the University of California at Los Angeles.

His publications number over one hundred, and include articles as well as audio and video productions concerning both classical and folk music of India, some cast in a fictional vein. Former President of the Society for Ethnomusicology and founder of the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology (ARCE) of the American Institute of Indian Studies, New Delhi, he was internationally recognized as a leading expert on Indian music and culture, as well as fieldwork methodology, archiving, organology, ethics, and technology. He retired as Emeritus Professor from the Department of Ethnomusicology at the University of California (UCLA), which awarded him recognition for nearly twenty years of distinguished service.

Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy was married to ethnomusicologist and singer Dr. Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy, who collaborated with him in their research in India and Southeast Asia and also in the production of publications (books, audio tapes and video tapes) through their company, Apsara Media for Intercultural Education, in Van Nuys, California.

Preface to the New Edition

The first edition of this book was printed in England by Faber and Faber in 1971 and was distributed concurrently by the Wesleyan University Press under their name in the USA. By 1975 this edition was sold out and the publishers were reluctant to reprint the book, primarily because they were of the opinion that most music libraries had already purchased it. The price then was undoubtedly high for the individual purchaser, even though the book included musical illustrations on an. E.P. record played by the eminent sitarist, Ustad Vilayat Khan. Not surprisingly, very few copies of this edition were acquired by Indian libraries since foreign exchange was then difficult to obtain and the price somewhat prohibitive. It was always my hope that a much less expensive edition could be published in India, but for one reason or another negotiations with Indian publishers fell through more than once. In the meanwhile, Lok Virsa (Institute of Folk Heritage) in Pakistan acquired in 1985 the rights to reprint the book for sale in Pakistan and this has been the only edition which has been available for the past ten years. It is thus my very great pleasure to commend Sri Ramdas Bhatkal and Popular Prakashan PVT Ltd., for agreeing to undertake the production of this new edition.

One of the conditions imposed by Sri Bhatkal, and rightly I believe, was that an introductory chapter be added in order to explain the terminology used in the work, especially for Indian readers. This chapter has now been added and includes a rationale for music theory in general. As will become apparent to the reader, much of this terminology derives from Western music theory since Indian theory provided no counterparts. In spite of this, I was still obliged to coin new expressions and terms for some of the phenomena discussed in this work since there was frequently nothing suitable neither in either the indigeneous literature nor in that of the West. This new introductory chapter I hope will clarify both the underlying rationale as well as the terms themselves. The main part of the book, however, remains unchanged.

Although more than twenty years have elapsed since the book was written and reviewed by several scholars, I still feel that the hypotheses presented here have some validity and should be made available to scholars in India for their consideration. It is very possible that some of these hypotheses are overstated, and exceptions can always be found that tend to negate them. The reader should keep in mind, however, that the primary concern in the book is to attempt to understand and to delineate-the underlying subconscious processes that have shaped the North Indian melodic system over the centuries. The issues here are complicated by two principal factors: firstly, that rags are not only evolving in a subconscious way but new ones are continually being consciously created, often by a purely intellectual process as, for instance, when new rags are created on exotic scales taken from South Indian music.

These may or may not conform to the subconscious patterns discussed in this book, but their existence does not necessarily negate the hypotheses, for they may not stand the test of time, at least in their incipient form. The second factor which needs to be kept in mind is that the subconscious is also evolving in time, and musical phenomena acceptable in one period may not necessarily suit the subconscious of today. Western composers, for example, beginning with functional or tertian harmony in the fifteenth century have, over the years, added more and more discords in their compositions until some in the beginning of this century broke completely with the harmonic system. While there is no evidence of this extreme in the Indian nig system, there is certainly evidence to support the view that the Indian subconscious is also expanding to include what might once have been considered as discords. In a sense then, this book begins with an examination of what we might refer to as the fundamental principles of rag structure and then moves on to examine the directions in which contemporary rag performance practice has advanced beyond the fundamental principles without violating their underlying premises.

Preface to the First Edition

There is a remarkable uniformity in the performance of classical music in North India, an area comprising various geographical regions, which, in this context, includes Pakistan and extends southward into the Deccan. There are, of course, inferences in detail-in the interpretation of various rags, in style of performance and in the types and texts of compositions—but on the whole these are only minor differences. The overall uniformity is especially remarkable in view of the fact that these regions contain a heterogeneous population-both racially and culturally—who speak a variety of languages and differ widely in their religious beliefs. North Indian Classical music cuts across the usual barriers imposed by differences of language and religion, much as does classical music in the West. Nevertheless, many classical songs have religious texts, both Hindu and Muslim. But religious content is not an essential requisite of the music, for some songs are concerned with mundane subjects and some are even composed of meaningless syllables. Just as in Western classical music where great religious works written specifically for the Roman Catholic Church can be appreciated as works of art by those of all religious beliefs, so too in Indian music religious themes often serve as vehicles for artistic expression.

Classical music is not the music of the masses but is largely confined to the urban areas of North India. It is performed either in concert halls or in private homes. Its raison d’étre lies in its purely musical content and it is basically on melody and rhythm that its quality is assessed. While a study of the cultural background of the people is essential for a social and historical perspective of this music, its appreciation depends largely on comprehension of the musical idiom, and it is to this end that the present work is dedicated. It had its origin in a series of lectures given at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, to university students who had no previous knowledge of the subject. At an equivalent age level in India, students would have had several years of musical study at High Schools in both theory and practice, and this would have been supplemented by many hours of listening to both radio broadcasts and recitals. Some of the Western students had not even heard North Indian classical music until they attended the lectures at the School. Thus it was necessary to adopt a completely different approach to the subject from that which is usual in Indian universities. To the Western student’s Indian music was only incidental to their main course of study and therefore the amount of time which they could devote to it was severely limited. In view of this, it was necessary to concentrate on broad principles and outlines rather than on the details which are the main concern in Indian music colleges.

The critical attitude of the Western student provided a stimulus for the formulation of many of the ideas expressed in this work. With his training in and experience of Western music he has contributed new ideas and interpretations; and by his reluctance to accept traditional Indian explanations, frequently lacking coherence, he has also provoked further enquiry into many topics. The question ‘why’ has been uppermost in his mind. ‘Why does Indian explanations, frequently lacking coherence, he has also provoked further enquiry into many topics. The question ‘why’ has been uppermost in his mind. ‘Why does Indian music has its preset form? Why are only certain scales used in Indian music?’ To these and other similar questions the traditional reply – ‘because it was performed in this way by my teacher’ – has been unsatisfactory. To a large extent this work has been motivated by such questions and attempts to provide some of the answers. In this respect, it is an exploration into certain aspects of Indian music which have not hitherto received sufficient attention. It is hoped that the reader will be stimulated to further enquiry.

Contents

Preface to the New Edition v
Preface to the First Edition vii
Acknowledgements ix
Note on Transliteration and Pronunciation xi
Introduction to Technical Terms 3
Introduction to the Historical Background 16
I. An Outline of Present-day North Indian Classical Music 27
II. Basic Elements of Theory 32
III. That 46
IV. The Effect of Drones 65
V. Evolution of the Circle of Thats 90
VI. Alternative Notes 102
VII. Transilient Scales 122
VIII. Symmetry, Movement and Intonation 151
Summary 179
Appendix A: The System of Thirty-two Thats 181
Appendix B: Description and Notation of Recorded Music Examples 186
Bibliography 211
Index 213

The Rags of North Indian Music: Their Structure and Evolution: With CD

Item Code:
NAB861
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2011
Publisher:
Popular Prakashan
ISBN:
9788171543953
Language:
English
Size:
10.0 inch X 7.0 inch
Pages:
263
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 670 gms
Price:
$40.00   Shipping Free
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Back of the Book

An audio CD illustrative of the practice of North Indian music Free with this book! It has sitar by Vilayat Khan and Sarangi by Umrao Khan.

The subject of this book is the Rags, and the whole tonal and scalar basis of north Indian music. The important features are considered in detail – the structure of melody, the effect of the drone, ornamentation and intonation, the function of accidentals and so on. These are related to a brilliant and well-documented survey of the evolutionary processes that have shaped the Rags of today. With many cross references between Eastern and Western music traditions, the author shows how north Indian music is a dynamic, and not a static, system, and the principles that emerge from his fascinating discussion cannot fail to illuminate the idiom for both theoretician and listener.

Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy (1927-2009) was the former President of the Society for Ethnomusicology and founder of the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology (ARCE) of the American Institute of Indian Studies, New Delhi. He was internationally recognized as a leading expert on Indian music and culture, as well as fieldwork methodology, archiving, organology, ethic, and technology. He retired as Emeritus Professor from the Department of Ethnomusicology at the University of California (UCLA), which awarded him recognition for nearly twenty years of distinguished service.

His publications number over one hundred, and include articles as well as audio and video productions concerning both classical and folk music of India, some cast in a fictional vein.

From the Jacket

The Rags of North Indian Music
Their Structure and Evolution
Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy

Why does Indian music have its present form? How can we understand and interpret its distinctive features? An aura of mystery has always surrounded the theory and practice of Indian music and now, with its influence ever strengthening in the West, a study as lucid and penetrating as that made by Professor Jairazbhoy is of special significance.

Its subject is the Rags, and the whole tonal and scalar basis of north Indian music. The important features of the idiom are considered in detail- the structure of melody, the effect of the drone, ornamentation and intonation, the function of accidentals and so on. These are related to a brilliant and well- documented survey of the evolutionary processes that have shaped the Rags of today. With many cross references between Eastern and Western music traditions. The author shows how north Indian music is a dynamic, and not a static, system, and the principles that emerge from his fascinating discussion cannot fail to illuminate the idiom for both theoretician and listener. Those approaching Indian music for the first time will find the concise explanation of musical theory and its historical background a model of clarity. Specialists in the field will find here many original contributions to ethnomusicology in general.

This brand new edition contains an essay entitled ‘What Happened to Indian Music Theory? Indo—Occidentalism?’ published in 2008 in Ethnomusicology the journal of the Society for Ethnomusicology.

Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy (1927-2009) began sitar studies as a child in Bombay from Madhav Lal. After graduation from the Doon School and the University of Washington, he was a student and faculty colleague of the late Dr. Arnold Adriaan Bake at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, receiving his doctorate in 1971. Later he taught at the University of Windsor, Ontario, and the University of California at Los Angeles.

His publications number over one hundred, and include articles as well as audio and video productions concerning both classical and folk music of India, some cast in a fictional vein. Former President of the Society for Ethnomusicology and founder of the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology (ARCE) of the American Institute of Indian Studies, New Delhi, he was internationally recognized as a leading expert on Indian music and culture, as well as fieldwork methodology, archiving, organology, ethics, and technology. He retired as Emeritus Professor from the Department of Ethnomusicology at the University of California (UCLA), which awarded him recognition for nearly twenty years of distinguished service.

Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy was married to ethnomusicologist and singer Dr. Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy, who collaborated with him in their research in India and Southeast Asia and also in the production of publications (books, audio tapes and video tapes) through their company, Apsara Media for Intercultural Education, in Van Nuys, California.

Preface to the New Edition

The first edition of this book was printed in England by Faber and Faber in 1971 and was distributed concurrently by the Wesleyan University Press under their name in the USA. By 1975 this edition was sold out and the publishers were reluctant to reprint the book, primarily because they were of the opinion that most music libraries had already purchased it. The price then was undoubtedly high for the individual purchaser, even though the book included musical illustrations on an. E.P. record played by the eminent sitarist, Ustad Vilayat Khan. Not surprisingly, very few copies of this edition were acquired by Indian libraries since foreign exchange was then difficult to obtain and the price somewhat prohibitive. It was always my hope that a much less expensive edition could be published in India, but for one reason or another negotiations with Indian publishers fell through more than once. In the meanwhile, Lok Virsa (Institute of Folk Heritage) in Pakistan acquired in 1985 the rights to reprint the book for sale in Pakistan and this has been the only edition which has been available for the past ten years. It is thus my very great pleasure to commend Sri Ramdas Bhatkal and Popular Prakashan PVT Ltd., for agreeing to undertake the production of this new edition.

One of the conditions imposed by Sri Bhatkal, and rightly I believe, was that an introductory chapter be added in order to explain the terminology used in the work, especially for Indian readers. This chapter has now been added and includes a rationale for music theory in general. As will become apparent to the reader, much of this terminology derives from Western music theory since Indian theory provided no counterparts. In spite of this, I was still obliged to coin new expressions and terms for some of the phenomena discussed in this work since there was frequently nothing suitable neither in either the indigeneous literature nor in that of the West. This new introductory chapter I hope will clarify both the underlying rationale as well as the terms themselves. The main part of the book, however, remains unchanged.

Although more than twenty years have elapsed since the book was written and reviewed by several scholars, I still feel that the hypotheses presented here have some validity and should be made available to scholars in India for their consideration. It is very possible that some of these hypotheses are overstated, and exceptions can always be found that tend to negate them. The reader should keep in mind, however, that the primary concern in the book is to attempt to understand and to delineate-the underlying subconscious processes that have shaped the North Indian melodic system over the centuries. The issues here are complicated by two principal factors: firstly, that rags are not only evolving in a subconscious way but new ones are continually being consciously created, often by a purely intellectual process as, for instance, when new rags are created on exotic scales taken from South Indian music.

These may or may not conform to the subconscious patterns discussed in this book, but their existence does not necessarily negate the hypotheses, for they may not stand the test of time, at least in their incipient form. The second factor which needs to be kept in mind is that the subconscious is also evolving in time, and musical phenomena acceptable in one period may not necessarily suit the subconscious of today. Western composers, for example, beginning with functional or tertian harmony in the fifteenth century have, over the years, added more and more discords in their compositions until some in the beginning of this century broke completely with the harmonic system. While there is no evidence of this extreme in the Indian nig system, there is certainly evidence to support the view that the Indian subconscious is also expanding to include what might once have been considered as discords. In a sense then, this book begins with an examination of what we might refer to as the fundamental principles of rag structure and then moves on to examine the directions in which contemporary rag performance practice has advanced beyond the fundamental principles without violating their underlying premises.

Preface to the First Edition

There is a remarkable uniformity in the performance of classical music in North India, an area comprising various geographical regions, which, in this context, includes Pakistan and extends southward into the Deccan. There are, of course, inferences in detail-in the interpretation of various rags, in style of performance and in the types and texts of compositions—but on the whole these are only minor differences. The overall uniformity is especially remarkable in view of the fact that these regions contain a heterogeneous population-both racially and culturally—who speak a variety of languages and differ widely in their religious beliefs. North Indian Classical music cuts across the usual barriers imposed by differences of language and religion, much as does classical music in the West. Nevertheless, many classical songs have religious texts, both Hindu and Muslim. But religious content is not an essential requisite of the music, for some songs are concerned with mundane subjects and some are even composed of meaningless syllables. Just as in Western classical music where great religious works written specifically for the Roman Catholic Church can be appreciated as works of art by those of all religious beliefs, so too in Indian music religious themes often serve as vehicles for artistic expression.

Classical music is not the music of the masses but is largely confined to the urban areas of North India. It is performed either in concert halls or in private homes. Its raison d’étre lies in its purely musical content and it is basically on melody and rhythm that its quality is assessed. While a study of the cultural background of the people is essential for a social and historical perspective of this music, its appreciation depends largely on comprehension of the musical idiom, and it is to this end that the present work is dedicated. It had its origin in a series of lectures given at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, to university students who had no previous knowledge of the subject. At an equivalent age level in India, students would have had several years of musical study at High Schools in both theory and practice, and this would have been supplemented by many hours of listening to both radio broadcasts and recitals. Some of the Western students had not even heard North Indian classical music until they attended the lectures at the School. Thus it was necessary to adopt a completely different approach to the subject from that which is usual in Indian universities. To the Western student’s Indian music was only incidental to their main course of study and therefore the amount of time which they could devote to it was severely limited. In view of this, it was necessary to concentrate on broad principles and outlines rather than on the details which are the main concern in Indian music colleges.

The critical attitude of the Western student provided a stimulus for the formulation of many of the ideas expressed in this work. With his training in and experience of Western music he has contributed new ideas and interpretations; and by his reluctance to accept traditional Indian explanations, frequently lacking coherence, he has also provoked further enquiry into many topics. The question ‘why’ has been uppermost in his mind. ‘Why does Indian explanations, frequently lacking coherence, he has also provoked further enquiry into many topics. The question ‘why’ has been uppermost in his mind. ‘Why does Indian music has its preset form? Why are only certain scales used in Indian music?’ To these and other similar questions the traditional reply – ‘because it was performed in this way by my teacher’ – has been unsatisfactory. To a large extent this work has been motivated by such questions and attempts to provide some of the answers. In this respect, it is an exploration into certain aspects of Indian music which have not hitherto received sufficient attention. It is hoped that the reader will be stimulated to further enquiry.

Contents

Preface to the New Edition v
Preface to the First Edition vii
Acknowledgements ix
Note on Transliteration and Pronunciation xi
Introduction to Technical Terms 3
Introduction to the Historical Background 16
I. An Outline of Present-day North Indian Classical Music 27
II. Basic Elements of Theory 32
III. That 46
IV. The Effect of Drones 65
V. Evolution of the Circle of Thats 90
VI. Alternative Notes 102
VII. Transilient Scales 122
VIII. Symmetry, Movement and Intonation 151
Summary 179
Appendix A: The System of Thirty-two Thats 181
Appendix B: Description and Notation of Recorded Music Examples 186
Bibliography 211
Index 213
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