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The Development of Rhythmic Organization in Indian Classical Music

The Development of Rhythmic Organization in Indian Classical Music

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Published by Jez Humble
MA dissertation on rhythm in Indian Classical Music. Covers the Marga system, Desi system, and the modern Hindustani and Carnatic systems.
MA dissertation on rhythm in Indian Classical Music. Covers the Marga system, Desi system, and the modern Hindustani and Carnatic systems.

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Published by: Jez Humble on Jan 15, 2010
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02/01/2014

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 1
THE DEVELOPMENT OF RHYTHMICORGANISATION IN INDIANCLASSICAL MUSIC
MMus Ethnomusicology
 School of Oriental and African StudiesUniversity of London
 
This dissertation is submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degreeof MMus Ethnomusicology of the School of Oriental and African Studies (Universityof London).I have read and understood regulation 17.9 (Regulations for Students of SOAS)concerning plagiarism. I undertake that all material presented for examination is myown work and has not been written for me, in whole or in part, by any other person(s).I also undertake that any quotation or paraphrase from the published or unpublishedwork of another person has been duly acknowledged in the work which I present for examination. I give permission for a copy of my dissertation to be held at the School’sdiscretion, following final examination, to be made available for reference.Matthew Humble
16 September 2002
10,321 words (excluding footnotes, bibliography and tables).
 
 2
CONTENTS
ABSTRACT..................................................................................................................3
INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................4
RHYTHM IN THE M
 Ā
RGA SYSTEM ....................................................................6
Introduction..............................................................................................................6
Cheironomy..............................................................................................................8
M
ā
rga T
ā
las .............................................................................................................9
Temporal Structure...............................................................................................11
The G
ī
taka Form ...................................................................................................13
Conclusion ..............................................................................................................16
RHYTHM IN THE DE
ŚĪ
SYSTEM.........................................................................17
Introduction............................................................................................................17
Rhythmic Context of the De
śī
T
ā
las....................................................................19
The De
śī
T
ā
las........................................................................................................21
The Prabandhas.....................................................................................................22
Conclusion ..............................................................................................................25
RHYTHM IN THE KAR 
 Ā
AK TRADITION....................................................26
Introduction............................................................................................................26
T
ā
la in Theory........................................................................................................27
Compositional Forms.............................................................................................30
Developmental Processes.......................................................................................32
RHYTHM IN THE HINDUST
 Ā
N
Ī
TRADITION..................................................36
Introduction............................................................................................................36
T
ā
la in Theory........................................................................................................37
Compositional Forms.............................................................................................39
Developmental Processes.......................................................................................41
CONCLUSION ..........................................................................................................44
BIBLIOGRAPHY......................................................................................................46
 
3
ABSTRACT
 This dissertation attempts to trace the development of the rhythmic organisation of nibaddha (metrically governed) Indian music from the N
ā
tya
śā
stra to present practice,covering the important rhythmical concepts, song form, metre and (where possible)improvisational techniques. Based on Rowell’s characterisation of the development of music in India as “a state of prolonged stasis, underscored by persistent tensions andinterrupted only infrequently by major stylistic upheavals” (Rowell 1992a:341), thematerial is divided into four sections, each dealing with what may loosely be termed a paradigm: the ancient de
śī
and m
ā
rg
ā
systems, and the modern classical Hindust
ā
n
ī
 (North Indian) and Kar 
ā
ak (South Indian) traditions.Throughout the history of the Indian traditions it will be seen that there arecertain processes and concepts which, in one form or another, are responsible for thecharacteristic rhythmic organisation of Indian classical music. These are dealt withthroughout in three broad areas: fundamental organising concepts; performance andcompositional form; and in the modern traditions, rhythmic development.

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