Music in South India: The Karnatak Concert Tradition and Beyond: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 69%)
Est. Return Date: 07/22/2015
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 28%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $7.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 77%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (23) from $7.99   
  • New (8) from $27.99   
  • Used (15) from $7.99   


Music in South India is one of several case-study volumes that can be used along with Thinking Musically, the core book in the Global Music Series. Thinking Musically incorporates music from many diverse cultures and establishes the framework for exploring the practice of music around the world. It sets the stage for an array of case-study volumes, each of which focuses on a single area of the world. Each case study uses the contemporary musical situation as a point of departure, covering historical information and traditions as they relate to the present. Visit for a list of case studies in the Global Music Series. The website also includes instructional materials to accompany each study.
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.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195145915
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/4/2003
  • Series: Global Music Series
  • Edition description: Book and CD
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 333,566
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Wesleyan University (deceased)

Wheaton College

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

CD Track List
1. Song in South India
Bhajan (Devotional Song)
Songs and Singing
Meaning of the Text: Devotion, Love, and Praise
Celebrating Tyagaraja in the United States and in South India
Languages of the Region
Evolution of Kriti
Text and Context—a Continuum of Performance from Devotion to Virtuosity
Music, Language, and Politics
The Tamil Music Movement
Muttuttandavar (Seventeenth Century)
The Text of "I Trusted You/Unnai Nambinen" (CD track 3)
The Musical Setting of "I Trusted You/Unnai Nambinen" (CD track 3)
The Group's Progress Through the Kriti
The Ensemble
The Instruments: Violin (Chordophone); Mridarigam (Membranophone); Tambura (Chordophone) and Its Sruti, Drone, Function
2. Key Concepts in Karnatak Music
Tala: Meter and Rhythm in Karnatak Music
The Five "Families" of Rhythm and Drummers' Thinking
Hand Gestures and Vocalized Syllable Sequences for Commonly Used Td=alas
Tala Exercises in Three Speeds
Raga: Melody in Karnatak Music
Note (Svara) and Solfege Syllable Names: Kiravd=ani and Kapi Ragas: Raga as a "Vast Ocean"
Ornamentation (Gamaka)
Phrase (Sañcara or Prayoga): Phrases in Kiravani and Kapi Ragas
Functional Notes—Svaras Holding Particular Functions
Integrated Melodic-Rhythmic Training
3. The Karnatak Concert Today
Presentation and Discussion of the "Main Piece" of a Concert
The Setting
Tuning Up
Beginning: Kriti as an Orally Transmitted Composed Case of a Performance
Brief Guide to the Performance
Composition and Improvisation: Fixity and Fluidity
Kiravani Raga Alapana: Aesthetics and Dynamics of Accompaniment
Kriti: The Core Component: The Pallavi; The Anupallavi and Pallavi reprise; The Caranam and Pallavi Reprise
Svara Kalpana: Different Ways to Improvise: A Comparison of Niraval and Svara Kalpana
Tani Avarttanam—Drum Solo
4. Contextualizing South Indian Performance, Socially and Historically
Women and Music: The Devadasi and Her Community
Women's Public Performance Circa 1900
Loss and Recovery of a Woman's Work
"Now We Women Have a Platform to Commence Singing"—Bangalore Nagarathnammal and the Tyagaraja Festival
Bangalore Nagarathnammal as a Performer: Sringara Bhakti: Being in Love with God; Listening through the Static: The Rise of Audio Recording
Men and Music: From Temple and Court to Public and State Patronage
Men's Performance in Precolonial South India
The Hereditary Male Temple Service Musician
The "Emperor of Nagasvaram": T.N. Rajarattinam Pillai: "The Audience Would Not Be Satisfied If He Did Not Play This Raga"; Alapana in Todi Raga
A New World of Performance: Concert Halls, Media, and Audiences in the Urban Environment
The Development of Radio
The Recording Industry: Commodification and Resistance
"The Effect of the Performance Should Be Such As to Keep the Listeners Spell-Bound:" Men Scripting and Singing Women's Inner Feelings
A Hereditary Music Family
A Dual Musical Enculturation and Education
"I Am Going to Snub These Male Chauvinists"
Music and Gender Today
Summary: An Ancient and Modern Tradition of Musical-Social Behavior
5. Regional and Modern Traditions: Contemporary Music Making in South India and Beyond
Music in Kerala
Idakka, a Pressure Drum from Kerala
Kathakali Dance Drama: Character Types, Costume, and Makeup; Changes in the Twentieth Century
The Kathakali Music Ensemble
Kathakali Songs: Slokam and Padam
Performance of Padam from Nala Caritam
Music of the Cinema in South India
The "Company Drama" and the Silent Cinema
Early Sound Films: The "Mythological"
The "Social"
The Playback Singer
The Cinema and Karnatak Music: A Parting of Ways
"When I Say Come/Ba Ennalu"
Cross-Cultural Composition and Collaboration
"Can There Be Release/Moksamu Galada?"
Tatva, a Regional Performance Tradition in Karnataka State
The Deccan Plateau: Meeting of North and South India
The Kannada Tatva Composer Sharif Saheb
Hindu-Muslim Relations in Karnataka State
Katha Performers of the Kinnari Jogi Community
"Why Do You Worry/Yake Cinti?"
A Circle Completed

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)