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The Music of India - A Scientific Study

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Item Code: IMD26
Author: B. Chaitanya Deva
Publisher: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2011
ISBN: 978812150958
Pages: 287 (Figures: 32)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.8" X 6.0"
Weight 540 gm
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About the Book:

This is an attempt to bring, to bear a 'scientific' attitude to Indian musicological problems. Tools and methods of modern science have been employed to probe into musical phenomena and Indian music history. No other term is perhaps so operatively basic as the tonic-drone in melodic music and today the tambura is the most important drone in Indian music. The physical and auditory tonal spectra of this instrument have bee studied. Further, the immense importance of the emergence of the drone in Indian music history has been discussed at length, in terms of neuro-physiological dynamics.

Musical scales - particularly the sruti - have posed enormous problems. It is posited here in that this is due to the confusion of two systems - one of harps and the other of fingerboard instruments. Details of experiments on the measurements of sruti-s have also been given. So also studies in gamaka and its psychological significance have been discussed.

A fundamental theory in Indian aesthetics is that of rasa. Profound as it is, its scope in relation to music has to be evaluated. The results of experiments carried out show that this theory may not fit into musical aesthetics, in toto and it is now adumbrated; similarly the time theory of raga-s also seems to be of questionable application.

Concept of the information theory and other statistical methods have been applied to study the classification and the forms of raga-s with very promising results.

The book, thus, spans across questions of methodology, dynamics of history, musical scales, non-conscious elements in music, raga-rasa, raga-rupa and musical perception. It is an invitation to an "adventure of ideas" and a reorientation to Indian musicology.

About the Author:

Dr. B. Chaitanya Deva is a Hindustani vocalist and an internationally reputed musicologist.

He was born in Bangalore in 1922 and educated in the National Theosophical High School, Madras, School Rishi Valley, Andhra and the Universities of Madras, Banaras and Poona. The Poona University awarded him a Ph.D. for his research in the psychoacoustics of speech and a summary of his dissertation was published by the Berlin University. For his pioneering work on the tonal structure of the tambura he was awarded the Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal's first Doctorate in Musicology (Sangit Acarya). Dr. Deva has specialized in the psychophysics of the Indian music, ethno-musicology and the study of musical instruments. He had training in vocal music in Santiniketan (Rabindra Sangit) and with Pt. V.N. Patwardhan, Ustad Amanali Khan and Pt. Kesavbua Ingale. The author is associated with many learned bodies and is a Founder Fellow of the Acoustical Society of India and an Associate Founder Fellow of the Indian Musicological Society. Dr. Deva visited the USSR and Yugoslavia as a Government cultural delegate. He was also a Research Associate in ethno-musicology at the Koln University, West Germany. Besides innumerable research papers, Dr. Deva is the author of a number of books on Indian music published in India and abroad.



System of Musical Notation and Abbreviations




  1. Introduction
  2. Some Problems in Science and Music
  3. Postulational Methods and Indian Musicology
  4. Tonal Structure of tambura
  5. The Emergence of the Drone in Indian Music
  6. Tradition and Non-Conformity in Indian Music
  7. The Vibrato in Indian Music - Studies in Indian Musical Scales 1: - gamaka
  8. The Problem of Continuity in Music and Sruti - Studies in Indian Musical Scales - 2
  9. Musical Scales - 3: An Experimental Study of Sruti-s
  10. Transitive Elements in Music
  11. Raga-s and their Time
  12. Raga and Rasa-1
  13. Raga and Rasa-2
  14. Raga-Rupa
  15. Forms in Music
  16. Melodic Perception
  17. Perception of Rhythm

Index of subjects

Index of authors

Sample Pages


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