The Illiterate Ustad and Other Myths: Writing on Music in the Late Mughal World

One of Dr Ashok Ranade’s major contributions to the field of Indian musicology was his seminal book, On Music and Musicians of Hindoostan. While Dr Ranade was a champion of the intellectual depth and virtuosity of the sina-ba-sina mode of transmission of the guru-shishya-parampara, he also made the fundamentally important point that oral and literate traditions in Indian music have not historically been in opposition to each other, nor have they ever been mutually exclusive.

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“Ethnomusicology” as Ethnographic Method and as Music/Media Study – The Case of Brass Baja

“One of Pandit Ashok Ranade’s many contributions to Indian (ethno-)musicology was his insistence on the importance of a version of the ethnomusicological project that held fast to “one principle: to keep the Indian performing tradition at the centre of all scholastic persuals.” My investigations into the world of Indian wedding bands show how ethnomusicology can work in India to expand our understanding of Indian performing traditions in the context of Indian society and can indeed to lead us to what Ranade Saheb called “a fuller interpretation of the Indian musical reality.” This talk will examine the complexities of a musical and ethnographic focus on the performing tradition encountered in the (north) Indian baraat and trace the ways that changing conditions alter socio-musical relationships throughout Indian music-culture and the socio-economic positions of the musicians involved.” – Dr Gregory D. Booth

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