The Winged Form: Aesthetical Essays on Hindustani Rhythm

The Winged Form: Aesthetical Essays on Hindustani Rhythm
Description Read Full Description
From the Jacket This collection of essays is the first treatment of Hindustani Rhythm in the way of modern aesthetics. It seeks, on the one hand, to fix and distinguish the meaning of such words as matra, zarab, bol, laya. Tala theka, sama; and on the other hand, to seize the details of actual rhythm as it appears to contemplation. Nowhere in the book does theory over-shadow rhythm. But some wider questions have also been taken up. How, if at all, is rhythm an autonomous art? Wha...
From the Jacket

This collection of essays is the first treatment of Hindustani Rhythm in the way of modern aesthetics. It seeks, on the one hand, to fix and distinguish the meaning of such words as matra, zarab, bol, laya. Tala theka, sama; and on the other hand, to seize the details of actual rhythm as it appears to contemplation. Nowhere in the book does theory over-shadow rhythm. But some wider questions have also been taken up. How, if at all, is rhythm an autonomous art? What are the strands of its winged form; its accent of magic and its prime evocati veness? Is it proper to speak of rhythm as 'expressive' or 'symbolic'? Does our tala seem 'embodied' as it swings and soars apace?

Whoever is responsive to rhythm can profit from this book. It is of value to the Kathak dancer, too; and to all those would see rhythm saturate, and not merely circle. The fabric of song.

Dr. Sushil Kumar Saxena teaches philosophy at the University of Delhi. Here, his main areas of interest have been metaphysics and the philosophies of art and religion. Beginning in 1964, Dr. Saxena has lectured postgraduate students on the philosophy of art from about fifteen years. His essays on aesthetical anthologies of national importance. And in the following well-known journals: The British Journal of Aesthetics and Religious Studies (U.K.); Diogene (France); Kant Studien (Germany); II Velro (Italy); and Philosophy East and West and The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism (U.S.A.). His latest article, 'A Reply to My Gritics', appeared in the April 1979 issue of Philosophy East and West.

Within the country, Dr. Saxena is regarded as perhaps the only person doing philosophical aesthetics with an emphasis on Hindustani music, rhythm and Kathak Dance. He has contributed papers to National Seminars on Music, Rhythm and Kathak Dance organized by the Central and State Akademies; served as 'a music critic' to The Hindustan Time (New Delhi), and on All India Radio's Informal Consultative Committee for the National Programme of Music (73, 74), as well as on Government of India's Selection Committees for awarding cultural scholarships for higher studies in music and dance; and has given 'orientation' lectures regularly for more than ten years to non-Indian visitors to India on: 'The Music and Dance of India' and 'The Hindu Way of Life'.

Dr. Saxena's first book : Studies in the Metaphysics of Bradley (published by George Allen & Unwin Ltd., London and Humanities Press, New York) appeared in the Muirhead Library series of philosophical works in 1967. His subsequent creative work includes not only published essays in aesthetics and the philosophy of religion, but music compositions 'recorded' on the occasion of various seminars on Hindustani music and Kathak dance.

Preface

Little aesthetical notice has so far been taken of rhythm in Hindustani (or North Indian) music. The book is a modest attempt to meet this clear need.

The essays that make this book (except nos. IV and X) have all already appeared in journals devoted to philosophy and the arts. But I have at places re-written some of these for the present volume; and in doing so I have drawn upon my essays: "Essentials of Hindustani Music" (Diogene, Paris, 1964), "Kant, Aesthetical Theory and some Indian Art" (Kant Studien, Germany, 1978); and upon my numerous articles and 'reviews' contributed-the last, as 'a music critic' –to the, The Hindustan Times, New Delhi, more than twenty years ago.

Three of the essays here presented are from different issues of 'Sangeet Natak' (Journal of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi), edited by Mrs. Uma Anand. The fact that this national body has further agreed to publish the present work is an honour to me, and I gratefully acknowledge it.

My approach in this book is 'aesthetical' in two dominant senses of the word today: linguistic-analytic and phenomenological. But, in accordance with the Indian view that the single word Sangeet covers rhythm, music and dance, I have also taken care to include two essays on the linkages of rhythm with our singing and Kathak dance. Perhaps, where I speak of the structure of sthayi from the viewpoint of its approach to the Sama (Essay VIII) some insight may also be had into the art of making music.

My concern here is not only with individual concepts and problems, but with wider questions of the status of Hindustani rhythm as an independent art, and of its relevance to some modern theories of art, both as illustration and as challenge. The book indeed opens with the paper: "Aesthetic Theory and Hindustani Rhythm" contributed to The British Journal of Aesthetics; and presented, very differently, to the World Philosophy Conference at the University of Delhi, on January 2, '76. On the other hand, I have throughout kept in mind the details of rhythm as practiced. This in fact explains why, along with other ways of keeping close to fact, the syllables of rhythm have been freely given. Further, at the instance of Dr. Ranjan K. Ghosh, an old student and now a helpful colleague, I have put each syllable in both English and Hindi letters, the latter mostly within brackets. He rightly made me see that here the use of Hindi alone could cause needless confusion to readers without any knowledge of this language.

So far as I know, the book is the first of its kind; and I am happy I could do it. It seeks to fix the meaning of such basic concepts as laya, matra, zarab, bol, theka, tala, sama and layakari in the context of both aesthetic discourse and experience. And where I speak of the Gestalt laws and Kathak dance, I have tried to discuss the crucial questions of rhythmic filling and structure; and to determine the individual contribution of footwork and bodily bearing (ang) to the wholeness of rhythm.

But the very singularity of my concern has in part been a handicap. The book is but a long furrow, and quite without the weight that comes from references to parallel writings. I therefore feel deeply indebted to all those who have made it possible for me to publish this book, and earlier gave me chance to work and think for it, by inviting me to participate in National Seminars on Music and Rhythm, or to directly write on these arts. These friends are: Mrs. Uma Anand and Dr. B.C. Deva (Akademi's own assistant secretaries for publications and music respectively) and Professor S.S. Barlingay, Editor of the Indian Philosophical Quarterly, Poona. I have also felt encouraged, I recall, by the extremely kind reactions which my essay on Laya elicited from Professor Manfred Junius (sometime with the Institute of Comparative Music, Venice) who not only knows and practices Hindustani music, but is deeply devoted to it.

As is commonly known, a good way to diversify ones knowledge of rhythm-and to grow into the power to outstand passages of intricate layakari-is close and continual attention to Kathak dance. So I am beholden also to the members of my twenty-two years old Kathak team, to its key link in particular, comprising Rani Karnaa (the noted Kathak danseuse) and Ustad Chhamma Khan, the tabla expert of the University of Delhi. I need hardly add that without this association my acquaintance with rhythm would have been poorer than it it.

But from the viewpoint of the practice of rhythm-and also, at times, in respect of my understanding of it-my main guide and monitor has been the ablest pupil of the late Ustad Habeebuddin Khan of Meerut, Mr. Sudhir Kumar Saxena who teaches tabla (at the College of Indian Music, Dance and Drama, Baroda University) and is himself a drummer of no mean merit. If the book is no mere speculation, it is due as much to his ready and attentive help as to my own deep love of rhythm as an art-form.

And if in print the work seems passable I should thank some more friends. Mr. M.M. Shungloo (of the Akademi) chose the format and checked the proofs, along with Mrs. Uma Anand; and, after the careful start given by Mr. S. J. Dubey, the Manager of the Press, it was Mr. A. G. Korde who saw to the printing with patience and seemed ever willing to minimize errors.

Contents

Preface
1Aesthetic Theory & Hindustani Rhythm1-17
2Our Rhythm & Croce18-29
3The Concept of Laya in Hindustani Music33-56
4Tala, Bol, Theka57-72
5Phenomenology of Sama in Hindustani Rhythm73-95
6Form and Content96-115
7Aesthetic character of some Asymmetrical Rhythms: An analytic study116-124
8Sama and Musical Structure127-135
9The role of Rhythm in Kathak Dance136-150
10Postscript: Towards an Aesthetics of Hindustani Rhythm151-166
Indexes
Item Code: IDK507 Author: Sushil Kumar Saxena Cover: Hardcover Edition: 1979 Publisher: Sangeet Natak Akademi Size: 9.0" X 5.8" Pages: 174
Price: $11.50
Discounted: $9.20Shipping Free
Viewed 8418 times since 1st Jun, 2010
Based on your browsing history
Loading... Please wait

Items Related to The Winged Form: Aesthetical Essays on Hindustani Rhythm (Performing Arts | Books)

The Music of Hindustan
Hindustani Sangeet And a Philosophy of Art: Music, Rhythm and Kathak Dance vis-à-vis Aesthetics of Susanne K. Langer
The Winged Form: Aesthetical Essays on Hindustani Rhythm
The Art of Tabla Rhythm Essentials, Tradition and Creativity (With CD)
Rhythmical Beauties in The Compositions of Musical Trinity
Hindustani Music and Aesthetics Today
Hindustani Sangeet (Some Perspectives Some Performers)
Tradition of Hindustani Music (A Sociological Approach)
Instruments in Hindustani Classical Music (Role and Performance)
HINDUSTANI MUSIC AND THE AESTHETIC CONCEPT OF FORM
The Role of Criticism in Hindustani Music
Hindustani and Persio-Arabian Music (An Indepth, Comparative Study)
Hindustani Vocal Music (As Seen Outside India)
Compositional Forms of Hindustani Music: A Journey
Testimonials
Kailash Raj’s art, as always, is marvelous. We are so grateful to you for allowing your team to do these special canvases for us. Rarely do we see this caliber of art in modern times. Kailash Ji has taken the Swaminaryan monks’ suggestions to heart and executed each one with accuracy and a spiritual touch.
Sadasivanathaswami, Hawaii
Good selections. and ease of ordering. Thank you
Kris, USA
Thank you for having books on such rare topics as Samudrika Vidya, keep up the good work of finding these treasures and making them available.
Tulsi, USA
Received awesome customer service from Raje. Thank You very much.
Victor, USA
Just wanted to let you know the books arrived on Friday February 22nd. I could not believe how quickly my order arrived, 4 days from India. Wow! Seeing the post mark, touching and smelling the books made me long for your country. Reminded me it is time to visit again. Thank you again.
Patricia, Canada
Thank you for beautiful, devotional pieces.
Ms. Shantida, USA
Received doll safely and gift pack was a pleasant surprise. Keep up the good job.
Vidya, India
Thank you very much. Such a beautiful selection! I am very pleased with my chosen piece. I love just looking at the picture. Praise Mother Kali! I'm excited to see it in person
Michael, USA
Hello! I just wanted to say that I received my statues of Krishna and Shiva Nataraja today, which I have been eagerly awaiting, and they are FANTASTIC! Thank you so much, I am so happy with them and the service you have provided. I am sure I will place more orders in the future!
Nick, USA
Excellent products and efficient delivery.
R. Maharaj, Trinidad and Tobago