An insider's eight-decade overview of South India's 20th century classical music culture
This book offers an account of Carnatic music culture drawing on the knowledge of T. Sankaran, a musician raised in an illustrious non-Brahmin devadasi family, and his long affiliation with cultural institutions including All India Radio (AIR) and the Tamil Isai Sangam (Tamil Music Academy). Sankaran examines the cultural and social matrix in which Carnatic music was cultivated and consumed in mid-twentieth century India, including the ways that musicians negotiated caste politics and the double standard for male and female musicians. The memoir provides insight into the way AIR worked as a modern, bureaucratic institution, and how the opening of government music colleges interacted with caste politics and shifted women's participation in public performance. The book is polyvocal, as Sankaran's writing is interwoven with passages from Daniel M. Neuman's book The Life of Music in North India, which inspired Sankaran's project, as well as transcripts from interviews with Sankaran by Matthew Allen. Includes rare archival photos.
TABLE OF CONTENTS • TABLE OF FIGURES • A NOTE ON THE TEXTS • FOREWORD • PREFACE • DRAMATIS PERSONAE • CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION • CHAPTER TWO: BECOMING A MUSICIAN • CHAPTER THREE: BEING A MUSICIAN • CHAPTER FOUR: THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF SPECIALIST KNOWLEDGE • CHAPTER FIVE: GHARANAS • CHAPTER SIX: ADAPTIVE STRATEGIES • CHAPTER SEVEN: THE ECOLOGY OF KARNATAK MUSIC • CHAPTER EIGHT: THE CULTURAL STRUCTURE AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATION OF A MUSIC TRADITION EPILOGUE • CODA • APPENDIX • BIBLIOGRAPHY (IN THREE PARTS) • INDEX
"Sankaran's perceptions and pointed observations are priceless, a rare insider's perspectives on the culture of Karnatak music."~Professor Emerita Bonnie C. Wade, University of California, Berkeley
"Simultaneously a compendium, a historical text, and a modern scholarly commentary, The Life of Music in South India complicates received histories and foregrounds issues such as caste and the social and political lives of musical production in South India. It is a must read for anyone interested in the anthropology and social history of modern Karnatak music."~Hari Krishnan, author of Celluloid Classicism: Early Tamil Cinema and the Making of Modern Bharatanatyam
"This book is both an illuminating contribution to the social history of South Indian music, and an innovative intertextual dialogue between the principal author and the editors."~Richard Widdess, Emeritus Professor of Musicology, SOAS University of London