Romance of the Raga

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From the Jacket The place of the Raga in Indian Classical Music is indeed unique. The Romance of the Raga is an attempt to outline the evolution and perspective, as also the sheer variety and distinct styles, of this powerful and enthralling medium of spiritual and aesthetic form of musical expression. Based on the belief that sound is God and Nada Brahma or Intelligible sound is the fusion of the physical breath with the fire of the intellect, the book proceeds to unravel the pricel...
From the Jacket

The place of the Raga in Indian Classical Music is indeed unique. The Romance of the Raga is an attempt to outline the evolution and perspective, as also the sheer variety and distinct styles, of this powerful and enthralling medium of spiritual and aesthetic form of musical expression.

Based on the belief that sound is God and Nada Brahma or Intelligible sound is the fusion of the physical breath with the fire of the intellect, the book proceeds to unravel the priceless historical traditions of Indian Classical Music.

It provides a glimpse into the variety of techniques a styles that are employed for presentation of the Raga and highlights the significant contribution made by some of the shapers of India’s musical destiny towards the enrichment of both the systems: Hindustani and Karnatak.

The work also portrays the predominant characteristics of inner dynamism and resilience, as also the unlimited potential, amazing elasticity and the power of assimilation of the Raga, as a medium of creative musical expression. Further, the variety and range of musical expression. Further, the variety and range of musical instruments and confluence of Indian Classical Music and miniature painting have been illustrated with a view to enunciating the all – important aspect of the thematic content of the Raga.

A civil servant of the 197 batch of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service, Vijaya Moorthy is presently and Accountant General, who has worked in various capacities in Karnataka, New Delhi and Andhra Pradesh, prior to which she had held the post of Internal Financial Adviser in the President’s Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhavan. In fall 1995, she was deputed for the audit of the Headquarters of the United Nations Organisation at New York. Vijaya Moorthy is the granddaughter of late Shri V.V. Giri, the president of the Republic of India (1969-74). She is a student of History from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University, from where she graduated with distinction and thereafter obtained the Master of Art degree in the same subject in 1978.

She was initiated into Sitar and the rigours of Indian classical music, Comparative Music, Music from the age of 15, by the renowned Violin Maestro, Shri S.N. Gulati. She is a student of Piano at the Hyderabad School of Symphonic Music.

Shri Gulati, with his in-depth knowledge of Indian Classical Music, coupled with his research in Western Classical Music at the Conservatorium of Amsterdam, Holland, acquired the unique distinction of complete fluency at the Violin both in Hindustani Classical Music as also in Western Techniques of Harmony and Counterpoint, as also in playing the Viola (Alto Clef), his compositions reflect a blend of melody and harmony. Thus with his rich heritage of musical tradition, Shri Gulati painstakingly continues to impart his wealth of knowledge and skills to his disciple.

Vijaya Moorthy has further benefited immensely under the able guidance of the world famous Sarod Maestro, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. She has thus received the appreciation of the audience during the course of her various public performances.

 

Foreword

The human mind is an enigma, while the potential for creative expression by the intellect is indeed unlimited and unfathomable! The rich heritage of the Indian Musical Tradition is based on the belief that Sound is God and Nada Brahma or Intelligible Sound is the manifestation of the fusion of the physical breath with the fire of the intellect. Thus Indian Classical Music in viewed as a spiritual discipline that elevates one’s Inner Self to the heights of Divinity and Self – Realisation.

The Raga is one such medium- a medium that transcends, with a drift so powerful well beyond the gulf of time! The Raga when faithfully rendered enables both the performer and the listener to share most vividly the intimate thoughts, innermost feelings, sentiments and emotions experienced by the revered musicians, composers and performers.

As a unique form of musical expression, once understood, it becomes well and truly a manifestation of the nuances, aesthetic perceptions and sensibilities of the musician, while at the same time enthralling the listener for having inculcated within himself the capacity to appreciate and enjoy the experience.

Instantly evocative, articulate and poignant, great renderings in Indian Classical Music could be diverse and varied in expression – contemplative and meditative like a Prayer; appealing, tantalizing and yet elusive like a Romance; mysterious and obscure like a Shrouded Sculptural Masterpiece, waiting to be unveiled; or grand, imposing and with regality and splendour, like a Caparisoned Elephant! Thus whatever are the qualities or attributes of the musical composition, an appreciation of the classical tradition of Indian Music could elevate the listener to almost unimaginable heights of ecstasy and bliss. Such is the multi – faceted capability inherent in this rich tradition and form of creative and artistic rendering – a System based on unity within diversity, scientific methodology, evolution, fusion, continuity and above all – Synthesis!

Tone merged with note, theme fused with melody and rhythm with tempo, the true character of classical music of Indian possesses the qualities of elegance, intricate yet subtle ornamentation and above all spirit.

In this book, an attempt has been made to outline the evolution, historical traditions, perspectives, distinct styles and the sheer range and variety of musical instruments, with a view to delineate the qualities mentioned above, with the objective of providing the reader a better understanding and appreciation of Indian Classical Music.

Romance and mystery are so closely interwoven into the fabric of this art from that I hope this work would one to first unravel and thereafter explore a great tradition beyond the horizon.

 

Preface

Several weight an authoritative documents and works on the subject of Indian Classical Music an its priceless tradition have been authored by renowned musicologists, scholars and experts. This work can, at best, be viewed as an outline, or better still, as a glimpse of the great historical tradition inherited by us, the various techniques and styles in presentation and reference to the shapers of the musical destiny.

The basic purpose of this work is to enable an enthusiast to acquire the required degree of understanding which in turn could constitute the foundation to facilitate a better appreciation of the Classical Tradition of Indian Music.

In the interest of clarity and visual appreciation of the contents of this book, illustrations have been featured at places considered suitable. Further, a Glossary of essential terminology has been appended for easy reference.

A large number of books have been consulted. Some of these have been mentioned at the end of the volume. This book includes a glossary of musical terms, a select bibliography and a select discography.

My sincere gratitude to The National Museum, New Delhi, for their permission to reproduce the Plates on Indian Miniatures and Musical Instruments, from their rich collection. In the absence of these illustrations, depiction and portrayal of the sheer variety and range, as also the all – important aspect of the thematic content of the Raga would have been difficult to project!

 

Contents

 

  Acknowledgement 9
  Foreword 11
  Preface 13
I Indian Classical Music – A Historical Perspective 17
II Evolution of the Contemporary Systems of Hindustani and Karnatak Classical Music – The Spirit of Synthesis 39
III Romance of the Raga 45
IV Tala – The Rhythm of Life 53
V Raga Presentation – A Wealth of Styles 59
VI. Great Composers in Karnatak Music 67
VII Musical Instruments Through the Ages 73
VIII The Garland of Ragas 85
  Glossary 93
  Select Bibliography 99
  Select Discography 101
  List of Colour Illustrations 117
  List of Black and White Illustrations 119
  Index 123

Sample Pages



Item Code: IHK098 Author: Vijaya Moorthy Cover: Hardcover Edition: 2001 Publisher: Abhinav Publications ISBN: 8170173825 Size: 8.5 Inch X 5.5 Inch Pages: 129 (Illustrated Throughout In B/W & Colour) Other Details: weight of book 951 gms
Price: $40.00
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