The idea of singing birds: A tribute to a vital artistic tradition – Book Review

M.S. Subbulakshmi (1916-2004) in concert, accompanied by the tanpura
Photo © Telegraph Calcutta

A Southern music: The Karnatik story

By T.M. Krishna, HarperCollins, Rs 699 | Read the full review here >>

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”. […]
LUDWIG PESCH

Source: The idea of singing birds
Address : http://www.telegraphindia.com/1140228/jsp/opinion/story_18023416.jsp#.UxC3W16kAfl
Date Visited: Fri Feb 28 2014 17:21:31 GMT+0100 (CET)

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A storm of songs: India and the idea of the bhakti movement

by John Stratton Hawley

“Useful chapter on voice training” – A History of Singing

Ludwig Pesch, The Illustrated Companion to South Indian Classical Music (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999) is a lengthy introduction to Carnatic music, with a useful chapter on voice training.

John Potter and Neil Sorrell, A History of Singing. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012. (Sources and references, p. 310)
isbn 9780521817059

Find a copy of the Oxford Illustrated Companion to South Indian Classical Music

  • on the publisher’s website: Oxford University Press
  • in a library near you via WorldCat.org
  • from one of several Indian distributors and online bookstores

The Small Theatre (Sittrarangam) – Ekagrata Publications

Description

‘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.’

From the introductory note jointly published by
The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)
The Government of Tamil Nadu
The Tamil Nadu Tourist Development Corporation (TTDC)

Beautifully and very imaginatively conceived. India needs theatres of this kind in every village.
Goverdhan Panchal, Professor of Theatre Architecture at the National School of Drama in New Delhi

Free ebook version for online browsing and downloading >>

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
Libraries and the booktrade:
please enquire about customary discount

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, pp. 18-19, in:
The Oxford Companion to Indian Theatre edited by Ananda Lal (New Delhi 2004) http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/470139309

Search this and other titles related to this course in a library near you:
WorldCat.org >>
 

Project website with photographs
https://natyasala.mimemo.net/Natyasala/Small_theatre.html

Reviews – Raga Dhana: An Alpha-Numerical Directory of Ragas

ragadhana_2ndedby Ludwig Pesch

“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

Book reviews: Eloquent Percussion: A Guide to South Indian Rhythm

Cover art: Arun V.C.

by Ludwig Pesch (Introduction and concept) & T.R. Sundaresan (lessons)

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)