The endless search for SA: spiritual ideology in Hindustāni music

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dc.contributor.advisor Mercier, Mel en O'Brien, Dara 2015-07-10T10:44:17Z 2015-07-10T10:44:17Z 2014 2014
dc.identifier.citation O'Brien, D. 2014. The endless search for SA: spiritual ideology in Hindustāni music. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 291
dc.description.abstract This dissertation centres on philosophical attitudes presented by North Indian classical musicians in relation to the concept and experience of rāga improvisation. In Hindustāni music, there is a dynamic tension ideology and pragmatism, devotion and entertainment, fixity and improvisational freedom, and cognition and visceral experience. On one hand, rāga is an embodied methodological template for the creation of music. On the other hand, rāga improvisation is conceptualised as a path to metaphysical experience and as an evocation of an ineffable divine presence. A masterful rendition of rāga is both a re-enactment of a systematic prescribed formula and a spontaneous flow of consciousness. This study presents these apparent dichotomies to highlight ideological concerns, while simultaneously contextualising philosophical idealism in relation to pragmatic realities. A central paradigm is the manner in which pragmatic concerns are elevated in status and given spiritual significance. The dissertation begins with a view into historical and religious context. The discussion continues with a speculative investigation positing co-relations between Hindustāni music and central tenets of Indian philosophy, considering how rāga improvisation may manifest as a philosophy of sound. The study then explores the concept of rāga, a modal and conceptual construct that forms the heart of Indian classical music. The final three sections ground the subject of spiritual ideology within the life experience of Hindustāni musicians: ‘Transmission’ looks at the learning and enculturation process, which encapsulates values intrinsic to the ethos of Hindustāni music culture. ‘Practice’ explores the discipline, science and experience of musical practice, revealing core ideological concerns connecting spirituality to musical experience; and ‘Performance’ examines the live presentation of rāga improvisation, and the relationship between music as ‘entertainment’ and music as ‘devotion’. Both ethnographic and musicological, this research is the culmination of various fieldtrips to India, extensive interviews with Hindustāni musicians, fifteen year’s sitār training, and the study of relevant musicological and philosophical texts. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2014, Dara O'Brien en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.subject Spirituality en
dc.subject Religiosity en
dc.subject Sitar en
dc.subject Improvisation en
dc.subject Ethnomusicology en
dc.subject Musicology en
dc.subject Anthropology en
dc.subject Hindustāni music en
dc.subject Indian classical music en
dc.subject Indian philosophy en
dc.title The endless search for SA: spiritual ideology in Hindustāni music en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Arts) en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en No embargo required en
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en Music en
dc.check.type No Embargo Required
dc.check.reason No embargo required en
dc.check.opt-out No en
dc.thesis.opt-out false
dc.check.embargoformat Not applicable en
dc.internal.conferring Spring Conferring 2015

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© 2014, Dara O'Brien Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2014, Dara O'Brien
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