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Morris, Anthony D. (2004) The transmission and performance of Khyal compositions in the Gwalior gharãnã of Indian vocal music. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Traditional accounts of the transmission of compositions in Indian classical vocal music picture them being passed virtually unchanged from generation to generation. Comparison of the renditions of recent Gwalior gharana artists, however, shows that in reality extensive transformations can occur. In this study the transmission and performance of khyal compositions are examined with reference to the Gwalior tradition, taking into account both the views of gharana members and the evidence of recorded performances and notated compositions. Part 1 deals with the historical and theoretical background. It introduces the oral and written modes of transmission and explores Gwalior singers' attitudes to change. Such attitudes are illustrated with reference to V.N. Bhatkhande's celebrated Kramik pustak-malika collection and the controversy surrounding the 'authenticity' of its notations. In Part 2 the processes of transformation are examined in depth. The discussion centres on two comparative analyses. The first compares 24 versions of a single composition, 16 transcribed from performances, and 8 more derived from notated collections. Spanning the period from the beginning to the end of the twentieth century, these examples enable successive versions of the composition to be traced through various lines of transmission for up to three generations of Gwalior artists. The second analysis compares selected features of a large sample of notated compositions found in various published collections. Each of the main performance parameters - texts, rhythm and structure, and melody - is discussed in turn. A concluding chapter draws together the findings of the previous analyses.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:09

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