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The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Music of India: The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Music of India: Three-Volume Set Hardcover – 13 Jan 2011


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Sangit Mahabharati One of Indias premier music academies, Sangit Mahabharati was established in 1956 in Mumbai by internationally renowned tabla maestro and guru Padma Bhushan Late Pandit Nikhil Ghosh. The academy offers courses on music and dance, and actively promotes classical music through festivals, lecture-demonstrations, and open-to-all music appreciation sessions. The academy conducts cutting-edge research in musicology and maintains an archive of valuable information related to music in India. Sangit Mahabharati enjoys recognition and support from the State and Central governments, the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, and the Mumbai Municipal Corporation besides other charitable trust organizations.

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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Very good but no outstanding 2 Mar. 2012
By RMitra, mystery writer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you didn't see my earlier 4 star review it's all right. i went back to find Kirtan and there is no entry under it, althought
Qawwali and Mushaira are there. A bias? And everyone is listed under their first names, but Kundal Lal Saigal, who gets a last name entry in part 3.
I am not knowledgeable of music, but I love music especially Indian music, from classical to light film tunes.
This is a monumental and forbidding enterprise. Three large format volumes, each around 350 pages. The books are lovingly produced by Oxford (India) at a much cheaper price than Oxford (USA)(Beware some dealers will charge you much more for an Indian Edition, which retails in the USA for around $200. And if you are in India it will probably cost $50 less but then you have the hassle of carrying these three big volumes in your luggage.
Back to the contents.
First of all, almost all of the musical forms practiced in India are mentioned. Some in great details and some in a very abbreviated form. Depending upon where your interests lie, you may be happy or mildly disappointed. For example, I was kind of miffed by the long discussion on Rabab, a string instrument I have little fondness for and the article on Rabindra Sangeet, which occupy about the same amount of space. But in its restricted space, it's scholarly.
Many of the film singers and composers are given prominent space including Lata, Asha, C.Ramchandra, Sachin Dev Burman but surprisingly there is no entry under Rahul Dev, Pancham, who dominated the Indian film music scene in the 80s. He is mentioned in passing in another related article.
That might have been more and oversight but it appears length and information are more in terms of who provided it rather than on the importance of the person or the subject. Again, Suchitra Mitra, one of the supreme exponent of Rabindra Sangeet is dismissed in 7 lines and Thakur Jaidev Singh (I picked the name at random) gets a full column. I am just pointing out not a bias but a lack of editorial consistency.
Enough of the criticism, the book is so good in myriad other ways. It gives technical information on many ragas, which would prove invaluable to a researcher and one who's just curious. The names of various musicians from every walk of life with little known details. That by itself is an achievement. I would point out that it is not supposed just to be directory of musicians, but an encyclopedia of music. There is a very informative, very well written, attention grabbing article on Thanjavur spanning 12 columns.
Wonderful production values: except the pictures, all in black and white, could have done with some brightening and enhancement. I am not sure, never seen the American Oxford presentation at more than twice the cost of the Indian edition. Perhaps the quality of production (part of cost will be increased local labour rates) might be of a higher quality.
Also let me point out the title: in English (British and Indian) is spelled Encylopaedia, with the extra a.
Please, music afficianados, rush out and buy it: very well worth the money. The silver silk bookmarks are beautiful to behold, emblemic of Indian book quality. Loved it.
Despite some quibbles, I highly recommend this set.
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