Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hindustani Music in Dharwad

Earlier Ramachandra Guha said that "How and why Dharwad became a nucleus of shastriya sangeet awaits explanation." Tejaswani Niranjana attempts an answer in "Music in the Balance: Language, Modernity and Hindustani Sangeet in Dharwad"  (via Guru  . The EPW articles usually available for a month without subscription). Abstract:
"The paper examines the social role of Hindustani music in the Dharwad-Hubli region, situating the music's early 20th century emergence and proliferation against and within the debates on language that were central to cultural transformation in that area. What was the problem of Kannada and more broadly the language question in the mid to late 19th and early 20th centuries? What might have been the role of vocal music in negotiating the language conflict? The paper suggests that Hindustani music is part of the cultural labour undertaken in the region during the rise of Kannada "nationalism". The phrase draws attention to the nature of the work involved in cultural practice and performance, and the nature of performers' activity, through teaching, singing, playing, evaluating and arguing about music. Cultural labour references a visible aspect of social transformation and social process, the latter to be seen as marked by elusive shifts in ways of living, thinking and creating. The formation of the taste for Hindustani sangeet in Dharwad is one result of such shifts."

4 comments:

turanga said...

Continuing the comments from your older post, Tejaswini would, I guess, have a better perspective than Guha on this. She is the daughter of a couple of well-known writers in Kannada, and probably had her early education in Kannada. She perhaps explores the whys of the reason for the resurgence(?) or emergence of both music and literature in Dharwad at that time. Actually what would be also be interesting is a comparison of the three centers of emergence of modern Kannada literature and music - the Bangalore-Mysore axis, Dharwad and Mangalore. The first, in a princely state, the second in Bombay Presidency, the third in Madras Presidency. Of these, the Bangalore-Mysore axis and Dharwad were centers of both music and literature (of different kinds for different reasons), Mangalore was less notable for music, but was something of a trend setter in literature due to activities of missionaries.

gaddeswarup said...

Earlier, she talks of consolidation and displacement in the Caribbean context. She did not seem very explicit here and seemed hinting at possibilities. I do not know, I thought that might have some comments. I guess these are very difficult to fathom.

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