A Sub-culture in the World of Music

As a researcher and participant in an anti-poverty project in eastern UP in which we were trying to come up with suitable livelihood activities for the 40 percent of the population that was totally landless and dependent on agricultural labour, a surprising item would appear in the list of activities that dalit members of the target group expressed an interest in taking up.

A Sensitive Portrayal

Uma Vasudev’s biography of Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, the renowned flautist, comes across as a mixed bag. At one level, there is little to distinguish it from most run-of-the-mill hagiographical accounts of musicians and their lives. Other reviewers hold that it reads more like an autobiography. I feel compelled to agree; to my mind it comes across exactly like a ghosted autobiography written for some reason in the third person.

Dancers and Their Lives

This is an anthology of interviews conducted with eleven performing women artists and forms the second part of a series that C.S.Lakshmi has edited with an introduction. While the first dealt with women musicians and their engagement with the art form, the present monograph features dancers as the chief protagonists whose stories mirror the complex evolution of classical dance in modern India and its changing social context.

Empowerment Consciousness

Feminism in Search of an Identity is the outcome of a University of Pune research project in the newly emerging discipline of feminist studies in India. In the book’s foreword, Professor Sharad Deshpande of the university’s Department of Philosophy reminds us that it is “devoted to a dialogue with the Indian tradition in its manifold appearance with the objective of searching for theoretical possibilities available within the tradition itself that may serve as a new vantage point in the struggle for the empowerment of women.”

Contrasting Techniques

In this study of violin playing techniques in western classical and south Indian classical music Dr.Lalitha elaborates her understanding of contrasting techniques used in playing the violin in two distinct musical traditions. The violin was a late and foreign entrant in Indian classical music. The book in its framework and methodology adopts what one may identify as an ethnomusicological perspective.

Introduction to Ethnomusicology

James Kippen’s book on the tradition of tabla in Lucknow first came out in 1988, as part of the series of books entitled Cambridge Studies in Ethnomusicology. Re-reading the work at this distance dimly recreates the excitement of our introduction to ethnomusicology: for many of us, it was a new kind of writing on music, that generated both admiration and resistance strongly.