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The concept of raga, the traditional basis of melodic composition and improvisation in Indian classical music, has become familiar to listeners and musicologists throughout the world, but its historial origins and early development have been little explored. This book draws on written documents from the pre-Islamic period in India, including musical treatises (expecially that of the thirteenth-century theorist, Sarngadeva), literary works, and a remarkable inscription comprising musical notation. These documents bear witness to the development of the earlies ragas, which they name, classify, define, and in some cases illustrate with melodic examples. The melodies, which have not previously been studied in detail, for the focus of the book, which analyses their notation, musical structure and relationship to the theoretical tradition in which they are embedded, as evidence for the early history of melodic compostion and improvisation in the Indian tradition. Dr Widdess's comprehensive treatment of his subject will be of interest to musicologists and ethnomusicologists, particularly those concerned with music theory, mode and monody, and improvisation, and also Sanskritists and other Indologists.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780193154643
ISBN-10: 0193154641
Format: Hardback
(255mm x 197mm x 31mm)
Pages: 448
Imprint: Clarendon Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 14-Dec-1995
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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