If a successful and busy Karnatic singer takes time off in order to write reflections on South Indian or “Karnatic” music, the book release function is bound to be met with considerable interest. […]
He pays tribute to the tambura (the tanpura) as “the life-giver, the soul of our music”. For Krishna, “it is the one instrument that can be said to hold within itself the very essence of classical music. So unobtrusive is this instrument, so self-effacing in its positioning on the stage and so tender of nature, that it is almost taken for granted.” Sadly, the tambura is rarely played “live” even during live concerts where it tends to be drowned by its electronic surrogate with devastating effect. Restoring its presence would seem indispensable in efforts such as those outlined under two chapter headings, “To Remove the Barriers Imposed by the Music” and “To Expand the Listenership of Karnatic Music”. The very concept of “fusion” is dismissed as a “lopsided idea of the music.” […]
The fact that 15 out of 588 pages are assigned to an Index is welcome in view of the publisher’s ambition to provide readers with a “path-breaking overview of South Indian classical music.” A mere glance at the Contents page and Index proves that, as in his concerts, T.M. Krishna would take nothing for granted, starting with instructions titled “A Note on Reading”. […]
Source: Book review by Ludwig Pesch, The Telegraph (Calcutta) Address : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1140228/jsp/opinion/story_18023416.jsp#.UxC3W16kAfl
Find out more about the persons and subjects covered above
Review by Vinay Lal (Professor of History & Asian American Studies, UCLA) in Canadian Journal of History: A Storm of Songs: India and the Idea of the Bhakti Movement by John Stratton Hawley: “The idea of a ‘‘bhakti movement’’ has long been one of the largely unexamined verities that have played a critical role in the idea of Indian civilization and, more speciﬁcally, the notion of a composite culture. Bhakti is usually rendered as ‘‘devotion,’’ and in the generally accepted narrative encountered in Indian histories and popular Indian opinion alike, a devotional movement originating in the Tamil country in the eighth century gradually made its way north and eventually engulfed the entire country. […] The fundamental achievement of John Stratton Hawley’s A Storm of Songs is to probe how the idea of a ‘‘bhakti movement’’ came about and what Indian scholars, inspired by nationalism, might have contributed in giving rise to a canonical narrative about bhakti’s place in shaping an Indian sensibility. […] Hawley has succeeded in gifting us an exceptional study of India’s much lauded bhakti movement.” – Read the full review on this author’s blog or here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/315532465
“In this comprehensive book, Hawley traces the 20th-century history of the notion of the bhakti movement the idea that there was a significant, unified, pan-Indic turn to devotional religiosity in medieval India. The author argues that the invention and promotion of this idea was a key aspect of nation building in that it offered a narrative of Hindu unity despite the vast and disparate set of religious processes ranging over different vernacular languages, regions, and time periods.” – Learn more or find a copy in a library near you: http://www.worldcat.org/title/storm-of-songs-india-and-the-idea-of-the-bhakti-movement/oclc/893099156
The Small Theatre (Tamil Sittrarangam) is a chamber auditorium specially designed for Indian performing arts. Based on rural architecture, it provides a congenial atmosphere for traditional performers of dance, music and folk arts, and their audience alike.
Introductory note jointly published by INTACH (The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) and the Government of Tamil Nadu
Beautifully and very imaginatively conceived. India needs theatres of this kind in every village.
A THEATRE FOR ALL Sittrarangam – the small theatre Madras by Ludwig Pesch with a Foreword by Himanshu Burte
ISBN 90 75785 03 8 2nd revised edition
89 pages 3 colour plates (cover photograph, 2 digital graphic representations for the floor plan of the theatre on the back cover) 15 b/w plates Size: 25,7 cm x 19 cm Weight: 248 g Price: 36 EUR
Contents 1 Introduction 2 A small theatre for Chennai 3 A theatre for all 4 Historical and social aspects of Indian performing arts 5 Access to the living arts 6 Sittrarangam and traditional Indian theatre architecture 7 Sittrarangam: model for a facility serving cultural tourism 8 About the plates and their context Plate 1 Open-air stage (‘Tiger Cave’) near Mamallapuram Plate 2 Kuttambalam stage (Irinjalakuda / Kerala) Plate 3 Interior of Sittrarangam (Island Grounds / Chennai) Plates 4, 5 and 6 Sittrarangam: phases of construction Plate 7 A South Indian vocal recital by Mani Krishnaswamy Plate 8 A leather shadow play by S. Seethalakshmi Plates 9 and 10 Dance performances by Archita and Satyajit Plate 11 Living theatre: Terukkuttu and Kattaikkuttu Plates 12, 13, 14 and 15 The Sittrarangam experience Appendix 1 A theatre according to the Natya Shastra in the IIT Madras Appendix 2 Postscript to the IIT project description Appendix 3 In search of an Indian theatre by Ludwig Pesch Appendix 4 A Chamber Theatre for the Performing Arts Appendix 5 Personal comments (Visitors’ Book 1987, 1988) Acknowledgements About the author Bibliography
Sittrarangam is discussed in the chapter on Indian theatre architecture together with Kalakshetra and Kerala Kalamandalam in: The Oxford Companion to Indian Theatre edited by Ananda Lal (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 18-19 http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/470139309
“An easy to use reference book for concert, music class and and home” [about the first edition] – Indian Express, Chennai, 29 August 1986
“A neat compilation … ragas mainly used on concert platforms … highly useful as a reference book for listeners in concerts and to students for use in the classroom. …” [about the first edition] – The Hindu, Chennai, 23 December 1986
“Students of music, as well as music lovers in general, will find this a very useful reference book. Neatly printed and attractively produced.” – Sruti Magazine, The Indian Classical Music and Dance Magazine, Chennai, January 1994
“Unique Directory of Ragas … For 15 years he [Ludwig Pesch] studied with the late Ramachandra Sastri (1906-1992) … Pesch not only became a performing artiste on the Karnatic flute but had access to his mentor’s research material. He received many scholarships and put them to good use for enlarging the horizon of Karnatic music by research, documentation and publications … His [is an] ingenious and logically consistent scheme for identifying ragas by an alpha-numerical method … almost encyclopedic in its scope … contains 500 north and south Indian ragas … the Hindustani svaras and their Western equivalents have been given and the scales shown in staff notation … The glossary, with all terms and names cross-referred, is an illuminating compilation … which every lover of music should welcome with gratitude.” – T.S. Parthasarathy, Journal of the Music Academy Madras, Vol. LXV, 1994
“No library of books on Indian music would be complete without Ludwig Pesch’s Raga Dhana (published by Natana Kairali) and Illustrated Companion to South Indian Music (Oxford University Press). They are among the most widely consulted books on Indian music in English. Pesch’s writing is highly regarded for its accurate scholarship. At the same time he takes pains to write in a style that does not intimidate the lay reader.” – S.R. Ramakrishna, themusicmagazine.com, Bangalore, July 2003
The art of vocalization of rhythmic patterns (Konnakkol) … and its importance as a memory aid and a teaching requisite have been duly highlighted … easy to comprehend. … useful for familiarisation with the various rhythmic embellishments used in percussion solo … excellent and free from errors.
The guide to pronunciation is easy to follow. The efforts of the authors to make the techniques of South Indian classical percussion more approachable certainly merit appreciation … will kindle the interest of those who want to know more about the nuances of percussion. – THE HINDU (Book Supplement, 17 December 1996)