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Books > Performing Arts > Instruments > The String Instruments of North India (Set of 2 Volumes) (An Oldand Rare Book) (Transliteration Text with English Translation)
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The String Instruments of North India (Set of 2 Volumes) (An Oldand Rare Book) (Transliteration Text with English Translation)
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The String Instruments of North India (Set of 2 Volumes) (An Oldand Rare Book) (Transliteration Text with English Translation)
Look Inside the Book
Description

About the Book

 

The present work gives a detailed survey of North Indian Stringed Instruments of the plucked variety with particular reference to their historical evolution, style and practical techniques. It brings out the similarities between the earliest musical instruments and those extant today. It discusses the various styles of different schools (Gharanas), styles and techniques or praying contemporary stringed instruments like Veena, Sitar, and others. It is based on Sanskrit and other texts from earlier times and also used illustrations from sculptures, painting of earlier times to complement the information from the written texts. It will be of great use to scholars and students alike.

 

About the Author

 

Dr. Sharmistha Sen has a consistently brilliant academic record. She won national scholarship while a student. She did research on the stringed instruments of North India under the supervision of Prof. Dhruva Tara Joshi at Visvabharati, Santiniketan and was awarded Ph.D. in the year 1972. She is an “A” grade artiste of the All India Radio. She is at once a musicologist and an accomplished sitarist. She has made original contributions to the evolution of Sitar and stringed instruments of North India. She was a visiting lecturer at the University of Washington, U.S.A. in 1983-84 session. There she participated in the international ethnomusicological seminar along with other well known musicologists like Prof. N. A. Jairazbhoty, Prof. Bruno Nettle, Prof. Browning, Prof. D. Neuman and many others.

 

Dr. Sen had performed in Holland, I Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, Austria, W. Germany and many other places in Western European Afganistan & USA.

 

At present she is a senior lecturer in the Daulat Ram College of Women, Delhi University, Delhi.

 

Foreword

 

A plethora of books on classical music, mostly by non descript authors, has lately been flooding the book stalls and a buyer is often confused over the bewildering assortment of such publications.

 

The present volume on the plucked variety of North Indian, string instruments is an edited version of Dr. (Smt.) Sharmistha Sen’s doctoral thesis submitted to Visva-Bharati in 1972. Dr. Sen who is a practising musician and teaches Sitar in the University of Delhi, need to be complimented on writing such an informative book which is sure to be considerable help to teachers, researchers and all those interested in the subject. There is no doubt that a good deal of thought, observation and labour has gone in the publication of the book. The author has made a comprehensive study of popular plucked instruments of North India and has also given detailed description of those that have gone out of use and find mention only in ancient texts.

 

In brilliantly written chapters, she has tried to discuss such aspects of Hindustani instrumental music which have apparently escaped the attention of more seasond writers on the subject. This is Dr. Sen’s first venture and we look forward to many more books from her pen. String Instruments (Plucked Variety) of North Indian should find a place not only in important libraries, but also adorn the book shelves of connoisseurs of art and music. She still has miles to go and I wish her god speed and best of luck both as musician and writer.

 

Preface (Volume I)

 

The present work attempts to give a detailed survey of North India Stringen Instruments of the plucked variety with particular reference to their historical evolution, style and practical techniques. An attempt is also made to show how the continuity of tradition has been maintained by bringing out the similarities between the earliest musical instruments and those extant today. It deals with the contemporary instruments like Veena. Sitar and its variants, Rabab, Swara-Sringar and Sarode, and is survey of the different schools (Gharanas), styles and techniques of playing with reference to their historical evolution. In this connection, the ancient “Geetis” and the more recent “Vanis” and other systems of rendering vocal music are described and their relationship to particular instrument and to be established. Emphasis is laid on those instruments in vogue in the present era and it is hoped that a continuity of tradition is demonstrated.

 

A attempt is also made to fellow the evolution of the instruments concerned on the basis of descriptions of instruments in Sanskrit and other texts from earlier times. Representations of instruments in the sculpture and painting from the various historical periods provide supplementary information.

 

As far as it is known (apart from a few papers occasionally read in the seminars, this field has generally remained unexplored), Dr. Lalmani Misra of Benares Hindu University is the only scholar of eminence who has worked on the different varieties of Indian musical instruments. While Dr. Misra has discussed all the different types of instruments, I have confined myself to the study of only the plucked variety of stringed instruments used in classical music.

 

The present study is an attempt to co-ordinate the different types of plucked instruments mentioned in the ancient texts along with those still in use.

 

The materials and necessary information pertaining to this work have been collected from various universities, institutions, libraries and books, museum, temples and other ancient monuments from the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi and from the eminent musicians and musicologists of the country-among who special mention may be made of my Guru Ustad Mushtaq AIi Khan, Ustads Hafiz AIi Khan, Rahimuddin Khan Dagar, Ali Akbar Khan, Dabir Khan, Umar Khan, Astad Ali Khan, Yunus Hnssain Khan, Pandit Jeewan LaI Mattoo, Kumar Birendra Kishore Roy Chaudhury, Shri BimaIa Kanta Roy Chaudhury, Shri Radhika Mohan Naitra and Prof. Salamat Hussain Khan (among them, alase Ustad Dabir Khan and Pandit Jeewan Lal Mattoo are no more with us.)

 

Prof. D.T. Joshi, Head of the Department of Hindustani Classical Music, Visva Bharati, has guided and provided me with many valuable materials and necessary information-rarely found elsewhere. But for his guidance and help, this work could not be so easily completed. My grateful thanks are, therefore, due to him.

 

Thanks are also due to my artist/sculptur friend Manimala Deb Burman who made the very fine and accurate sketchs of different musical instruments appended here. I am also thankful to Prof. Santosh Basu (History Deptt.) Visva-Bharati for helping me in editing this book.

 

Introduction (Volume-I)

 

The book is based on my approved doctoral thesis submitted to Visva- Bharati University in 1972.

 

The present work attempt a detailed survey of North Indian Instruments of the plucked variety with reference to their historical evolution, style and technique.

 

It has seven chapters and bibliography. There are copious illustrations and line drawings.

 

The first chapter deals with reference to musical instruments in ancient texts, particularly Vedic and post- Vedic literature. The ancient texts refer to six main categories of musical instruments. In the Vedic texts Veena has been used as a general term for all musical instruments. The technique of playing Veena has been analysed by Bharata in his Natya Sastra.

 

The second chapter deals with musical instruments as depicted in the sculptures and paintings. There are numerous plates.

 

Chapter three deals with the evolution of scholars of music. It describes the Vamsa-parampara as the family tradition and Guru-Sishya-parampara or the master-disciple tradition. In ancient texts there are references to the master-disciple tradition, and also to Sakhas, Sampradayas, Matas, Geetis and Vanis. It has been argued in the work that these are the precursors of the modern Gharanas, Illustrations different Geetis and Val.lis have been analysed. The appendix to this chapter contains geneaological tables of the modern Gharanas.

 

Chapter IV deals with the Veena in particular and describes the styles of Alap and Vani. It discusses the structure of the present veena and traces its evolution from ancient times. A new section discusses the Vichitra Veena and its present structure.

 

Chapter V deals with Sitar, its origin, its structure and the modern schools of sitarists. Particular reference has been made to the innovations of Amrit Sen, Imdad Khan, Enayet Khan, Vilayat Khan et al. An attempt has been made to analyse the styles of the modern masters. Geneaological chart has also been appended. A section of this chapter discusses the structure, tuning and the method of playing Surbahar.

 

Chapter VI deals with Rabab, an Indo-Persion instrument, its evolution, its tuning system. It has been argued here that it was originally not a bowed instrument, as is assumed by many scholars.

 

A section of the chapter deals with Sur-Sringar or Swara-Sringar, a recent instrument, its structure and the method of playing. Analysis of the modern masters has been made.

 

Chapter VII discusses Sarode, an instrument adopted from Rabab and improved upon and analyses the important technical features like Sut, Ladi, Lad-guthao, It furthor traces the evolution of Firozkhani gat and attempts a comparative estimate of Saroda and Sitar. Analysis of the various styles of Sarode playing has been made. Geneological charts of the various masters are given in the appendix.

 

Chapter VIII sums up the book and it is argued that inspite of innovations of later ages, there has not been a rupture with the musical heritage of India.

 

The present volume contains Chapters I to Ill. The rest of the Chapters will be published in the Second Volume.

 

Contents (Volume I)

 

 

Foreward: by Prof. Dhruva Tara Joshi

vii

 

Preface

xi

 

Introduction

xii

Chapter I

References to musical Instruments in Ancient Texts

1-28

 

Appendix to Chapter I

29-30

AppendixI

Musical Instruments as depicted in the Sculptures and Paintings

31-37

 

Pictorial Illustrations of Musical Instruments

37-43

 

List of Sketches

1-34

 

List of Photographs

1-28

Chapter II

Evolution of Ghaianas or Schools of Music and its Place in Contemporary music

44-64

 

Appendix to Chapter II

73

 

Appendix A

74-85

 

In Retropect

86-88

 

Bibliography

89-100

 

Preface (Volume II)

 

This volume attempts to give a detailed survey of North Indian Stringed Instruments of the’ plucked variety wit h particular reference to their historical evolution, style and practical techniques. An attempt is also made to show how the continuty of tradition has been maintained by bringing out the similarities between the earliest musical instruments and those extant today. It deals with the contemporary instruments like Veena, Sitar and its variants, Rabab, Swara-Sringara and Sarode, and is primarily a survey of the different schools (Gharanas), styles and techniques of playing with reference to their historical evolution. While Volume I describes the ancient Geetis and the more recent Vanis and other systems of rendering vocal music, their relationships to a particular instrument and to various instrumental musical forms have been attempted to be established in the present volume. Emphasis is laid on those instruments in vogue in the present times and it is hoped that a continuity of tradition is demonstrated. Also, an attempt has been made to co-ordinate the different types of plucked instruments mentioned in the ancient texts along with those still in use.

 

In Volume I, an attempt has been made to follow the evolution of the instruments concerned on the basis of descriptions of instruments in Sanskrit and other texts from earlier times. Representations of instruments in the sculptures and paintings from the various historical periods provide supplementary information.

 

As far as it is known (apart from a few papers occasionally read in seminars) this field has generally remained unexplored. The late Dr. Lalmani Misra of Benaras Hindu University was the only scholar of eminence who has worked on the different varieties of Indian musical instruments during the time of my research work. While Dr. Misra has discussed all the different types of instruments, I have confined myself to the study of only the plucked variety of stringed instruments used in Hindustani classical music.

 

Some recent publications have been made on Sitar by Sri Bimal Mukherjee, a well-known sitar player, and also by two foreign ethnomusicologists Stephen M. Slawek and James Fadler Hamilton.

 

The materials and necessary information pertaining to this work have been collected from various universities, institutions, libraries and books, museum, temples and other ancient monuments from the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi and from the eminent musicians and musicologists of the country-among whom special mention may be made of my Guru Ustad Mushtaq Ali Kbeti, Ustads Hafiz Ali Khan, Rahimuddin Khan Dagar, Ali Akbar Khan, Bahadur Khan, Dabir Khan, Omar Khan, Asad Ali Khan, Yunus Hussain Khan, Abmad Raza Khan, Pandit Jeewan Lal Mattoo, Kumar Birendra Kishore Roy Chaudhury, Sri Bimala Kanto Roy Chaudhury, Sri Radhika Mohan Maitra and Prof. Salamat Hussain Khan. It is sad to mention that most of the above musicians are no more with us.

 

Prof. D.T. Joshi, who was the Head of the Department of Hindustani Classical music, Visva Bharati, is my mentor and has provided me with many valuable materials and necessary information-rarely found elsewhere. But for his guidance and help, this work could not be so easily completed. My grateful thanks are, therefore, due to him.

 

I am also thankful to Prof. Santosh Basu (History deptt.) Visva- Bharat i for helping me in editing this book.

 

Introduction (Volume II)

 

The book is based on my approved doctoral thesis submitted to Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, West Bengal, in the year 1972.

 

This dissertation attempts a detailed survey of North Indian Stringed Instruments of the plucked variety with reference to their historical evolution, style and practical technique.

 

The book consists of four chapters and a bibliography. There are copious illustrations of various traditional and rare gats (compositions) of Sitar and Sarode. Also photographs taken by the author of master instrumentalists are given along with their genealogical tables.

 

Chapter I deals witb Veena in particular. This Veena is known in North India as the Rudra Veena and Parvati Veena. Asad Ali Khan and Shamsuddin Desai Faridi are the two great veena players living today. Both of them play different styles-the former follows the Khandahar Vani, and the latter, belongs to the school of the great Beenkar Ustad Bande Ali Khan, the creator of the Kirana Gharana which is very much in prominence these days.

 

This chapter describes in detail the systematic approach to Alap and Vani as projected by the traditional Veena players.

 

It discusses the structure of the present Veena; and traces its evolution from the ancient times. A new section discusses the newly invented Vichitra-Veena and its structure.

 

Chapter II deals with Sitar and its various forms It discusses its origin, structure and modern schools of sitarists. Particular reference has been made to the innovations of Amrit Sen, Imdad Khan, Enayat Khan, Vilayat Khan etal. An attempt has been made to analyse the styles of the modern masters. Many traditional and rare gats are mentioned along with the genealogical charts. A section of this chapter also discusses- the structure, tuning and method of playing Surbahar. It has been a tradition that Alap used to be played on Surbahiir followed by gat-toda on Sitar.

 

Chapter III deals with Rabab, an Indo-Persian instrument, its, evolution and tuning system. It has been argued here that it was originally not a bowed instrument, as is assumed by many scholars.

 

A section of the Chapter deals with Sur-Sringara or Swara-Sringara, a recent instrument. It mentions its structure and method of playing. Analysis of the modern masters have been made.

 

Both the Rabab and Swara-Sringara have become extinct today. Nobody has ever performed them on stage. It was mostly performed in music halls. A few recordings of Swara-Sringara by Kumar Birendra Kishore Ray Chaudhury are preserved in the Archives of the All India Radio. Ustads Hafiz Ali Khan, AlIaudin Khan and Radhika Mohan Maitra knew the art of Sur-Sringara playing. Unfortunately, no recordings of their playing are available.

 

Chapter IV is the last Chapter. It is on Sarode. It is an instrument adapted from Rabab and Swara-Sringara which has been improved upon. The Chapter analyses the important technical features like SUI. Lad-lapet and Lad-guthao which has been absorbed from the Veena technique.

 

It further traces the evolution of Firozekhani gat and attempts a comparative estimate of Sarode and Sitar.

 

Analysis of the various styles of Sarode playing has been made. Genealogical charts of the various masters are given in the appendix of the Chapter.

 

Finally, the in retrospect sums up the book and it is argued that in spite of the innovations of later ages, there has not been a rupture with the musical heritage of India.

 

Contents (Volume II)

 

 

Forward: by Prof. D. T. Joshi

vii

 

Preface

ix

 

Introduction

xv

Chapter I

The Veena-Its Execution, Style and Technique

1-27

Chapter II

Sitar and its variants

28·92

 

Illustrations of various traditional gals (compositions)

57-78

Chapter III

Rabab and Swara-Sringara

93-101

 

Swara-Sringara

101-104

Chapter IV

Sarode-Its style and technique

105-133

 

Illustrations of various traditional Sarode gats

126·133

 

Appendix to Chapter IV (Geneological Charts)

121-125

 

Photographs

1-9

 

In Retrospect

134-136

 

Bibliography

137-148

 

Sample Page


The String Instruments of North India (Set of 2 Volumes) (An Oldand Rare Book) (Transliteration Text with English Translation)

Item Code:
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1992
Language:
Transliteration Text with English Translation
Size:
8.5 inch X 7 inch
Pages:
282 (68 B/W Illustrations)
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Weight of the Book: 885 gms
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About the Book

 

The present work gives a detailed survey of North Indian Stringed Instruments of the plucked variety with particular reference to their historical evolution, style and practical techniques. It brings out the similarities between the earliest musical instruments and those extant today. It discusses the various styles of different schools (Gharanas), styles and techniques or praying contemporary stringed instruments like Veena, Sitar, and others. It is based on Sanskrit and other texts from earlier times and also used illustrations from sculptures, painting of earlier times to complement the information from the written texts. It will be of great use to scholars and students alike.

 

About the Author

 

Dr. Sharmistha Sen has a consistently brilliant academic record. She won national scholarship while a student. She did research on the stringed instruments of North India under the supervision of Prof. Dhruva Tara Joshi at Visvabharati, Santiniketan and was awarded Ph.D. in the year 1972. She is an “A” grade artiste of the All India Radio. She is at once a musicologist and an accomplished sitarist. She has made original contributions to the evolution of Sitar and stringed instruments of North India. She was a visiting lecturer at the University of Washington, U.S.A. in 1983-84 session. There she participated in the international ethnomusicological seminar along with other well known musicologists like Prof. N. A. Jairazbhoty, Prof. Bruno Nettle, Prof. Browning, Prof. D. Neuman and many others.

 

Dr. Sen had performed in Holland, I Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, Austria, W. Germany and many other places in Western European Afganistan & USA.

 

At present she is a senior lecturer in the Daulat Ram College of Women, Delhi University, Delhi.

 

Foreword

 

A plethora of books on classical music, mostly by non descript authors, has lately been flooding the book stalls and a buyer is often confused over the bewildering assortment of such publications.

 

The present volume on the plucked variety of North Indian, string instruments is an edited version of Dr. (Smt.) Sharmistha Sen’s doctoral thesis submitted to Visva-Bharati in 1972. Dr. Sen who is a practising musician and teaches Sitar in the University of Delhi, need to be complimented on writing such an informative book which is sure to be considerable help to teachers, researchers and all those interested in the subject. There is no doubt that a good deal of thought, observation and labour has gone in the publication of the book. The author has made a comprehensive study of popular plucked instruments of North India and has also given detailed description of those that have gone out of use and find mention only in ancient texts.

 

In brilliantly written chapters, she has tried to discuss such aspects of Hindustani instrumental music which have apparently escaped the attention of more seasond writers on the subject. This is Dr. Sen’s first venture and we look forward to many more books from her pen. String Instruments (Plucked Variety) of North Indian should find a place not only in important libraries, but also adorn the book shelves of connoisseurs of art and music. She still has miles to go and I wish her god speed and best of luck both as musician and writer.

 

Preface (Volume I)

 

The present work attempts to give a detailed survey of North India Stringen Instruments of the plucked variety with particular reference to their historical evolution, style and practical techniques. An attempt is also made to show how the continuity of tradition has been maintained by bringing out the similarities between the earliest musical instruments and those extant today. It deals with the contemporary instruments like Veena. Sitar and its variants, Rabab, Swara-Sringar and Sarode, and is survey of the different schools (Gharanas), styles and techniques of playing with reference to their historical evolution. In this connection, the ancient “Geetis” and the more recent “Vanis” and other systems of rendering vocal music are described and their relationship to particular instrument and to be established. Emphasis is laid on those instruments in vogue in the present era and it is hoped that a continuity of tradition is demonstrated.

 

A attempt is also made to fellow the evolution of the instruments concerned on the basis of descriptions of instruments in Sanskrit and other texts from earlier times. Representations of instruments in the sculpture and painting from the various historical periods provide supplementary information.

 

As far as it is known (apart from a few papers occasionally read in the seminars, this field has generally remained unexplored), Dr. Lalmani Misra of Benares Hindu University is the only scholar of eminence who has worked on the different varieties of Indian musical instruments. While Dr. Misra has discussed all the different types of instruments, I have confined myself to the study of only the plucked variety of stringed instruments used in classical music.

 

The present study is an attempt to co-ordinate the different types of plucked instruments mentioned in the ancient texts along with those still in use.

 

The materials and necessary information pertaining to this work have been collected from various universities, institutions, libraries and books, museum, temples and other ancient monuments from the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi and from the eminent musicians and musicologists of the country-among who special mention may be made of my Guru Ustad Mushtaq AIi Khan, Ustads Hafiz AIi Khan, Rahimuddin Khan Dagar, Ali Akbar Khan, Dabir Khan, Umar Khan, Astad Ali Khan, Yunus Hnssain Khan, Pandit Jeewan LaI Mattoo, Kumar Birendra Kishore Roy Chaudhury, Shri BimaIa Kanta Roy Chaudhury, Shri Radhika Mohan Naitra and Prof. Salamat Hussain Khan (among them, alase Ustad Dabir Khan and Pandit Jeewan Lal Mattoo are no more with us.)

 

Prof. D.T. Joshi, Head of the Department of Hindustani Classical Music, Visva Bharati, has guided and provided me with many valuable materials and necessary information-rarely found elsewhere. But for his guidance and help, this work could not be so easily completed. My grateful thanks are, therefore, due to him.

 

Thanks are also due to my artist/sculptur friend Manimala Deb Burman who made the very fine and accurate sketchs of different musical instruments appended here. I am also thankful to Prof. Santosh Basu (History Deptt.) Visva-Bharati for helping me in editing this book.

 

Introduction (Volume-I)

 

The book is based on my approved doctoral thesis submitted to Visva- Bharati University in 1972.

 

The present work attempt a detailed survey of North Indian Instruments of the plucked variety with reference to their historical evolution, style and technique.

 

It has seven chapters and bibliography. There are copious illustrations and line drawings.

 

The first chapter deals with reference to musical instruments in ancient texts, particularly Vedic and post- Vedic literature. The ancient texts refer to six main categories of musical instruments. In the Vedic texts Veena has been used as a general term for all musical instruments. The technique of playing Veena has been analysed by Bharata in his Natya Sastra.

 

The second chapter deals with musical instruments as depicted in the sculptures and paintings. There are numerous plates.

 

Chapter three deals with the evolution of scholars of music. It describes the Vamsa-parampara as the family tradition and Guru-Sishya-parampara or the master-disciple tradition. In ancient texts there are references to the master-disciple tradition, and also to Sakhas, Sampradayas, Matas, Geetis and Vanis. It has been argued in the work that these are the precursors of the modern Gharanas, Illustrations different Geetis and Val.lis have been analysed. The appendix to this chapter contains geneaological tables of the modern Gharanas.

 

Chapter IV deals with the Veena in particular and describes the styles of Alap and Vani. It discusses the structure of the present veena and traces its evolution from ancient times. A new section discusses the Vichitra Veena and its present structure.

 

Chapter V deals with Sitar, its origin, its structure and the modern schools of sitarists. Particular reference has been made to the innovations of Amrit Sen, Imdad Khan, Enayet Khan, Vilayat Khan et al. An attempt has been made to analyse the styles of the modern masters. Geneaological chart has also been appended. A section of this chapter discusses the structure, tuning and the method of playing Surbahar.

 

Chapter VI deals with Rabab, an Indo-Persion instrument, its evolution, its tuning system. It has been argued here that it was originally not a bowed instrument, as is assumed by many scholars.

 

A section of the chapter deals with Sur-Sringar or Swara-Sringar, a recent instrument, its structure and the method of playing. Analysis of the modern masters has been made.

 

Chapter VII discusses Sarode, an instrument adopted from Rabab and improved upon and analyses the important technical features like Sut, Ladi, Lad-guthao, It furthor traces the evolution of Firozkhani gat and attempts a comparative estimate of Saroda and Sitar. Analysis of the various styles of Sarode playing has been made. Geneological charts of the various masters are given in the appendix.

 

Chapter VIII sums up the book and it is argued that inspite of innovations of later ages, there has not been a rupture with the musical heritage of India.

 

The present volume contains Chapters I to Ill. The rest of the Chapters will be published in the Second Volume.

 

Contents (Volume I)

 

 

Foreward: by Prof. Dhruva Tara Joshi

vii

 

Preface

xi

 

Introduction

xii

Chapter I

References to musical Instruments in Ancient Texts

1-28

 

Appendix to Chapter I

29-30

AppendixI

Musical Instruments as depicted in the Sculptures and Paintings

31-37

 

Pictorial Illustrations of Musical Instruments

37-43

 

List of Sketches

1-34

 

List of Photographs

1-28

Chapter II

Evolution of Ghaianas or Schools of Music and its Place in Contemporary music

44-64

 

Appendix to Chapter II

73

 

Appendix A

74-85

 

In Retropect

86-88

 

Bibliography

89-100

 

Preface (Volume II)

 

This volume attempts to give a detailed survey of North Indian Stringed Instruments of the’ plucked variety wit h particular reference to their historical evolution, style and practical techniques. An attempt is also made to show how the continuty of tradition has been maintained by bringing out the similarities between the earliest musical instruments and those extant today. It deals with the contemporary instruments like Veena, Sitar and its variants, Rabab, Swara-Sringara and Sarode, and is primarily a survey of the different schools (Gharanas), styles and techniques of playing with reference to their historical evolution. While Volume I describes the ancient Geetis and the more recent Vanis and other systems of rendering vocal music, their relationships to a particular instrument and to various instrumental musical forms have been attempted to be established in the present volume. Emphasis is laid on those instruments in vogue in the present times and it is hoped that a continuity of tradition is demonstrated. Also, an attempt has been made to co-ordinate the different types of plucked instruments mentioned in the ancient texts along with those still in use.

 

In Volume I, an attempt has been made to follow the evolution of the instruments concerned on the basis of descriptions of instruments in Sanskrit and other texts from earlier times. Representations of instruments in the sculptures and paintings from the various historical periods provide supplementary information.

 

As far as it is known (apart from a few papers occasionally read in seminars) this field has generally remained unexplored. The late Dr. Lalmani Misra of Benaras Hindu University was the only scholar of eminence who has worked on the different varieties of Indian musical instruments during the time of my research work. While Dr. Misra has discussed all the different types of instruments, I have confined myself to the study of only the plucked variety of stringed instruments used in Hindustani classical music.

 

Some recent publications have been made on Sitar by Sri Bimal Mukherjee, a well-known sitar player, and also by two foreign ethnomusicologists Stephen M. Slawek and James Fadler Hamilton.

 

The materials and necessary information pertaining to this work have been collected from various universities, institutions, libraries and books, museum, temples and other ancient monuments from the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi and from the eminent musicians and musicologists of the country-among whom special mention may be made of my Guru Ustad Mushtaq Ali Kbeti, Ustads Hafiz Ali Khan, Rahimuddin Khan Dagar, Ali Akbar Khan, Bahadur Khan, Dabir Khan, Omar Khan, Asad Ali Khan, Yunus Hussain Khan, Abmad Raza Khan, Pandit Jeewan Lal Mattoo, Kumar Birendra Kishore Roy Chaudhury, Sri Bimala Kanto Roy Chaudhury, Sri Radhika Mohan Maitra and Prof. Salamat Hussain Khan. It is sad to mention that most of the above musicians are no more with us.

 

Prof. D.T. Joshi, who was the Head of the Department of Hindustani Classical music, Visva Bharati, is my mentor and has provided me with many valuable materials and necessary information-rarely found elsewhere. But for his guidance and help, this work could not be so easily completed. My grateful thanks are, therefore, due to him.

 

I am also thankful to Prof. Santosh Basu (History deptt.) Visva- Bharat i for helping me in editing this book.

 

Introduction (Volume II)

 

The book is based on my approved doctoral thesis submitted to Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, West Bengal, in the year 1972.

 

This dissertation attempts a detailed survey of North Indian Stringed Instruments of the plucked variety with reference to their historical evolution, style and practical technique.

 

The book consists of four chapters and a bibliography. There are copious illustrations of various traditional and rare gats (compositions) of Sitar and Sarode. Also photographs taken by the author of master instrumentalists are given along with their genealogical tables.

 

Chapter I deals witb Veena in particular. This Veena is known in North India as the Rudra Veena and Parvati Veena. Asad Ali Khan and Shamsuddin Desai Faridi are the two great veena players living today. Both of them play different styles-the former follows the Khandahar Vani, and the latter, belongs to the school of the great Beenkar Ustad Bande Ali Khan, the creator of the Kirana Gharana which is very much in prominence these days.

 

This chapter describes in detail the systematic approach to Alap and Vani as projected by the traditional Veena players.

 

It discusses the structure of the present Veena; and traces its evolution from the ancient times. A new section discusses the newly invented Vichitra-Veena and its structure.

 

Chapter II deals with Sitar and its various forms It discusses its origin, structure and modern schools of sitarists. Particular reference has been made to the innovations of Amrit Sen, Imdad Khan, Enayat Khan, Vilayat Khan etal. An attempt has been made to analyse the styles of the modern masters. Many traditional and rare gats are mentioned along with the genealogical charts. A section of this chapter also discusses- the structure, tuning and method of playing Surbahar. It has been a tradition that Alap used to be played on Surbahiir followed by gat-toda on Sitar.

 

Chapter III deals with Rabab, an Indo-Persian instrument, its, evolution and tuning system. It has been argued here that it was originally not a bowed instrument, as is assumed by many scholars.

 

A section of the Chapter deals with Sur-Sringara or Swara-Sringara, a recent instrument. It mentions its structure and method of playing. Analysis of the modern masters have been made.

 

Both the Rabab and Swara-Sringara have become extinct today. Nobody has ever performed them on stage. It was mostly performed in music halls. A few recordings of Swara-Sringara by Kumar Birendra Kishore Ray Chaudhury are preserved in the Archives of the All India Radio. Ustads Hafiz Ali Khan, AlIaudin Khan and Radhika Mohan Maitra knew the art of Sur-Sringara playing. Unfortunately, no recordings of their playing are available.

 

Chapter IV is the last Chapter. It is on Sarode. It is an instrument adapted from Rabab and Swara-Sringara which has been improved upon. The Chapter analyses the important technical features like SUI. Lad-lapet and Lad-guthao which has been absorbed from the Veena technique.

 

It further traces the evolution of Firozekhani gat and attempts a comparative estimate of Sarode and Sitar.

 

Analysis of the various styles of Sarode playing has been made. Genealogical charts of the various masters are given in the appendix of the Chapter.

 

Finally, the in retrospect sums up the book and it is argued that in spite of the innovations of later ages, there has not been a rupture with the musical heritage of India.

 

Contents (Volume II)

 

 

Forward: by Prof. D. T. Joshi

vii

 

Preface

ix

 

Introduction

xv

Chapter I

The Veena-Its Execution, Style and Technique

1-27

Chapter II

Sitar and its variants

28·92

 

Illustrations of various traditional gals (compositions)

57-78

Chapter III

Rabab and Swara-Sringara

93-101

 

Swara-Sringara

101-104

Chapter IV

Sarode-Its style and technique

105-133

 

Illustrations of various traditional Sarode gats

126·133

 

Appendix to Chapter IV (Geneological Charts)

121-125

 

Photographs

1-9

 

In Retrospect

134-136

 

Bibliography

137-148

 

Sample Page


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