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Articles2018-04-09T13:03:37+02:00

Discretisation, Perfection, Standardisation and other Miseries

Holland (Nederland) is famous for its cheese. Nonsense. There is hardly any dutch cheese worthy of the name. Well, that is, if we are talking about typical dutch cheeses, because there are some very nice blue, red and white cheeses made there by enthusiasts. Typical dutch cheese like Gouda and Edam, or its farmhouse biological versions made with unpasteurised milk used to be highly diverse from one to the other. [...]

Mindless

"There is too much noise", my guru Pandit Dilip Chandra Vedi said on his deathbed. And it only got worse over the past decades. People buy machines for doing things and then they have to put those machines to work. Grass mowers, hole drillers, electric saws, hedge trimmers. They love noise. Ghetto blasters and car-radios with power woofers. There is too much mindlessness. People do things before they think about [...]

On (de-)polarisation

and if today its poetry is white it is very black at heart Samba da Benção, Baden Powell e Vinícius de Moraes Recent events, leading to the impressive Black Lives Matter movement, even got our prime minister to reflect on racism in the Netherlands. Quite something, because he is proud of not having a vision and restricting himself to function as CEO of Netherlands Inc. One had the feeling that [...]

La Musique Barbare

Hell is other people's music¬† Paraphrasing Kristeva ‚Äď the barbarian is the subject whose music is so unknown to us that it doesn‚Äôt even appear to be music. It sounds like ‚Äúnoise‚ÄĚ.¬† The question of cross- or transcultural listening to music is hopelessly confused. Moreover, we can extend this problem to cross-subcultural listening and also historical listening. When the journalist Momus noted:¬† ‚ÄėHell,‚Äô said Jean-Paul Sartre, ‚Äėis other people‚Äô. I'd [...]

Chalukya music sculpture

The Badami cave temples are a complex of four Hindu, a Jain and possibly Buddhist cave temples located in Badami, a town in northern part of Karnataka. The caves are considered an example of Indian rock-cut architecture, especially Badami Chalukya architecture, which dates from the 6th century. Badami was previously known as Vataapi Badami, the capital of the early Chalukya dynasty, which ruled much of Karnataka from the 6th [...]

Musical instruments in Hampi sculpture

Hampi is located in east-central Karnataka India. It became the centre of the Hindu Vijayanagar Empire capital in the 14th century. Chronicles left by Persian and European travellers, particularly the Portuguese, state Hampi was a prosperous, wealthy and grand city  with numerous temples, farms and trading markets. By 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world's second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing and probably India's richest at that time, attracting traders from Persia and Portugal. The Vijayanagara Empire was defeated by a [...]

Musical instruments in Mysur temple sculpture

In 2006 we visited some towns in the southern part of Karnataka, near the city of Mysuru (Mysore). The pictures presented here show a sample of musical instruments mostly from the 12th century. We come across two types of drums, barrel shaped and hourglass shaped. The latter could well be the melodic drum we know today as the iddaka or eddaka. The flute we see‚ÄĒoften in the hands of [...]

What you hear isn’t what you see…

WHAT YOU HEAR ISN‚ÄôT WHAT YOU SEE:¬†THE REPRESENTATION AND COGNITION OF FAST¬†MOVEMENTS IN HINDUSTANI MUSIC Wim van der Meer,¬†Dept. of Musicology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands,¬†wvdm[at]me.com Suvarnalata Rao,¬†National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai 400021, suvarnarao[at]hotmail.com Abstract Keywords: visual representation, melography, ornamentation, pitch perception. In Hindustani music the space ‚Äėbetween the notes‚Äô is often more important than the discrete notes themselves. With the help of melography, and more in particular [...]

Gandhara in Darbari Kanada, the mother of all shrutis?

Post created 26 Feb 2015, last updated 24 January 2017. On my academia.edu page there is a pdf of this post, but it is not updated as often as this web page. Possibly the most famous of all shrutis of Hindustani classical music is the komal gandhara (ga, minor third [1]) of Darbari. It is often said to be ati-komal (extra flat), which would supposedly mean it is lower than an also supposedly 'normal' komal ga (Levy 1982: [...]

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