How does the sacred/secular opposition explain itself in the context of musical production? This volume traces this binary as it frames Western Classical music and Indian Classical music in the 18th and 19th centuries, laying the ground for a contemporary exploration of what is ostensibly sacred music in South Asia. Offering a potent critique of musicological knowledge-making, Virinder S. Kalra explores examples of South Asian musics in various domains and traverses a new cartography of music in which the sacred and the secular overlap.
Drawing on examples which include Qawwali, kirtan and popular devotional genres, Sacred and Secular Musics offers new empirical material, as well as new insights into conceptualising religion and music, and the ways in which music performs sacredness and secularity across the contested India-Pakistan border in the region of Punjab.
Through its deconstruction of the sacred/secular opposition, Sacred and Secular Musics explores the relationship of religion and music to wider questions of religion and politics. Its postcolonial approach brings Asia into the Western sacred/secular opposition, and provides a set of analytical tools - a language and range of theories - to allow further exploration of non-western religious music.
Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 516 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 16 mm
Kalra breaks new grounds in both religious and musicological studies. He critically engages with a wide range of colonial scholarship in diverse disciplines to call attention to its limitations in understanding Punjabi musics ... More than its postcolonial approach, Kalra's study is remarkable for the insight that it provides into the demotic practices of Punjabi musicians through the range and depth of the interviews, which include practically every genre and musician on both sides of Punjab. * Popular Music *
Sacred and Secular Musics offers a new approach to an often understudied academic subject ... [It] fills the void in the musicology field ... and opens up a new range of perspectives as well as a theoretical background for further studies. * The Polish Journal of the Arts and Culture *
Makes important interventions that will impact fields from popular culture studies to musicology to cultural history, with implications for our understanding of the ongoing cultural present in both the Pakistani Punjab and its Indian counterpart ... [The extensive online resources] enhance the work tremendously, and ground it in the world of which it speaks. * South Asian Popular Culture *
In Sacred and Secular Musics, Virinder Kalra presents a remarkable abundance of original data on Sikh music, qawwali, and other genres in Pakistani and Indian Punjab, offering astute interpretive perspectives on these understudied genres and regional dynamics. -- Peter Manuel, Professor, Music Department of the Graduate Center, City University, New York, USA