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Music in South India: The Karnatak Concert Tradition and Beyond. Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. (Global Music Series)

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Music in South India 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. The book centers on Karnatak concert music, a unique performance practice that juxtaposes gorgeous musical compositions with many di Music in South India 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. The book centers on Karnatak concert music, a unique performance practice that juxtaposes gorgeous musical compositions with many different types of improvisation. T. Viswanathan and Matthew Harp Allen first compare two types of song--bhajan, a structurally simple devotional genre, and kriti, the primary concert genre--and also analyze raga and tala, the basic elements underlying Karnatak music. They go on to examine the evolution of Karnatak music during the twentieth century, paying special attention to gender and caste and illuminating these issues through case studies and historical recordings (on the accompanying CD) of a small group of enormously influential musicians. In the final chapter, the authors move beyond Karnatak music to address other aspects of South India's rich musical environment, such as its thriving popular music scene (based on cinema music); regional traditions ranging from the sacred to the secular, many of which integrate elements from dance and drama; and contemporary composition. Featuring numerous listening activities, Music in South India is packaged with an 80-minute CD containing examples of the music discussed. The CD includes a full, uncut concert recording of a kriti performance, which shows how Karnatak musicians weave together composed and improvised elements to create extended performances.


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Music in South India 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. The book centers on Karnatak concert music, a unique performance practice that juxtaposes gorgeous musical compositions with many di Music in South India 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. The book centers on Karnatak concert music, a unique performance practice that juxtaposes gorgeous musical compositions with many different types of improvisation. T. Viswanathan and Matthew Harp Allen first compare two types of song--bhajan, a structurally simple devotional genre, and kriti, the primary concert genre--and also analyze raga and tala, the basic elements underlying Karnatak music. They go on to examine the evolution of Karnatak music during the twentieth century, paying special attention to gender and caste and illuminating these issues through case studies and historical recordings (on the accompanying CD) of a small group of enormously influential musicians. In the final chapter, the authors move beyond Karnatak music to address other aspects of South India's rich musical environment, such as its thriving popular music scene (based on cinema music); regional traditions ranging from the sacred to the secular, many of which integrate elements from dance and drama; and contemporary composition. Featuring numerous listening activities, Music in South India is packaged with an 80-minute CD containing examples of the music discussed. The CD includes a full, uncut concert recording of a kriti performance, which shows how Karnatak musicians weave together composed and improvised elements to create extended performances.

30 review for Music in South India: The Karnatak Concert Tradition and Beyond. Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. (Global Music Series)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    This was one of the best books in the Global Music Series. It was very well-written, clear, and thorough. Not only did Allen and Viswanathan give a clear and detailed explanation of how Karnatak music works, they also provided interesting and expansive background in the social and cultural history and context of the music and performers. Plus, they touched on some of the folk and local musics of South India. I got a lot out of this book. It also was a bit of a return to my earlier musical educat This was one of the best books in the Global Music Series. It was very well-written, clear, and thorough. Not only did Allen and Viswanathan give a clear and detailed explanation of how Karnatak music works, they also provided interesting and expansive background in the social and cultural history and context of the music and performers. Plus, they touched on some of the folk and local musics of South India. I got a lot out of this book. It also was a bit of a return to my earlier musical education, because I took a class in solkattu at Wesleyan, with Ramnad Rhagavan, who is mentioned in the text. This book nicely filled in the picture I had of South Indian music from that class, and placed what I'd learned into a larger context. And of course, one of the authors, T. Viswanathan, was a professor at Wesleyan. While I did not study with him, I knew who he was, and I knew his wife because I worked in the music library.

  2. 4 out of 5

    James F

    A volume in the Global Music Series. Of course it is impossible to really cover a tradition this varied in less than 150 pages, but this seemed like a good introduction. The CD selections were long enough (including one entire 28 minute concert) to give some idea of what the music sounds like.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kerri

    Very informative book. Well explained, good definitions. A lot of information given in an easy-to-absorb way. The companion cd is an excellent reference to gain further understanding by actually hearing what is being discussed.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Music 24/7

  5. 4 out of 5

    Anna

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tomo

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bhavneesh

  8. 5 out of 5

    Raymond Singh

  9. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Demske

  10. 5 out of 5

    Manuela Pia

  11. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

  12. 4 out of 5

    Gopala Krishna Koduri

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carro Herdegen

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tony Dumas

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura Vanden Heede

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Mullins

  18. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mona Reese

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nikhil Knk

  21. 4 out of 5

    R. August

  22. 5 out of 5

    Milind Malakar

  23. 4 out of 5

    colin

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ellery Beard

  25. 4 out of 5

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  26. 4 out of 5

    Shima Ramesh

  27. 4 out of 5

    Masi Hukari

  28. 5 out of 5

    Laurel

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  30. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Merseal

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