The Music of South Asia.docx

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Global Asia Studies
Natalie Rose

GASB15 Jan 24, 2013 The Music of South Asia Is usually divided into southern (Karnatic/Karnataka) style and northern (Hindustani) style.  This division ignores the rest of South Asian music as it is really just based on India Something in common between the two styles:  sound (nāda)  rhythm (tāla)  tempo (laya)  emotion (bhāva) o This is not so much done by the music but it is supposed to be drawn out of the audience  single-line melody, backed with drone and percussion o This is different from Western style music where it is multi-line and harmony based The musical scale (sthāyī) of 7 notes (saptasvara) Western music is written in staff writing. While some South Asian music may be written in this style, it is usually conducted orally or written in non-staff style. This is a representation of a drum beat/rhythmic pattern. The beat is written in words. GASB15 Jan 24, 2013 Another example of written music. The adoption of non-South Asian musical forms into South Asian musical home ground Harmonium  Introduced by Western missionaries as a replacement for organs  Was developed to suit modes of play in South Asia, modifying it from its original French design o Addition of ability to produce droning sound o Dwarkanath Gwose of the Darkin Company made the instrument portable and hand-held.  Was banned from All-India Radio from 1940 – 1971, due to a nationalist Indian movement and the harmonium became an example of unwanted foreign influence The adoption of South Asian musical forms into non-South Asian home ground Farrell is interested in the effects on Indian Music on popular movements in Western music. Farrell’s intro begins: "In 1911, when Inayat Khan and the Royal Musicians of Hindustan were astonished that Western audiences enthusiastically applauded them after they had tuned their instruments, mistaking this for a performance of Indian music, they were facing a misunderstanding that already had a long and complex history. By the time avi Shankar had the same experience some 60 years later, the West had been encountering, but never really knowing, Indian music for almost two centuries." (Farrell, 1997, intro page 1:) "It has been distanced from its source by the straitjacket of staff notation, twisted out of shape by the imposition of harmony, reduced to a few musical "tags" in opera and parlour song, and formally altered in the recording studio. And yet, in some essential GASB15 Jan 24, 2013 manner, Indian music has continued to be unknown in the west, and is continually being 'discovered' over and over, as if for the first time.” "Because music does not exist in a social vacuum, the story of Indian music and the West takes place within a complex matrix of historical and cultural reference points." "The story of Indian music and the West is therefore not simply about how Western musicians have used elements of a non-Western music to give piquancy to their own creations; rather, it is about a wider issue – how one culture perceives and apprehends the cultural products of another. Music, that most enigmatic form of human expression, is a suitable subject for the discussion of such a complex cultural encounter."  The Western world, in other words, just kept forgetting that South Asian music existed and were always surprised when they heard it. Descriptions of chapters in Farrell’s book Indian Music and the West  Chapter 1 18th-19thC exploration by Orientalist scholars and amateur collectors of “Hindustani airs” o Scholars examining music textually o European musicians wrote Indian music on staff so that they could be played by Western instruments  Chapter 2 19thC classification by Western scholars  Chapter 3 19thC use of Indian musical elements in Western popular culture  Chapter 4 gramophone; early years of the commercial recording industry at turn of 20thC p.114 "For the first time, Indian musicians entered the world of Western media. They were no longer curiosities written about by a few 18th or 19thC enthusiasts, who either collected songs as memorabilia or concentrated on Sanskrit texts that no longer had any relevance for performing musicians; nor were they simply the subjects of ethnomusicological enquiry." The coming of Western te
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