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Music and Empire in Britain and India
 
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Music and Empire in Britain and India
Identity, Internationalism, and Cross-Cultural Communication
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
22 Aug 2013
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£55.00
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9781137311634
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

Partly because of academic disciplinary boundaries, music remains a neglected subject in British Imperial history and, indeed, intellectual history at large. Nonetheless, the imperial encounter was, as this richly detailed new study demonstrates, a sound exercise, and music was a key dimension of identity formation as well as transnational networks and transcultural communication between colonizer and colonized. Specifically, it explores the ways in which rational, moral, and aesthetic motives underlying the institutionalization and modernization of 'classical' music converged and diverged in Britain and India out of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. In addition, it tracks subversive, internationalist counter-movements that challenged nationalist musical establishments - as well as the openness of some Britons and Indians to the possibility of learning from each other. Ranging from the groundbreaking folk music research and compositions of Percy Grainger to Sikh sacred music, this study opens up new areas for research by applying music as a lens through which to examine societal and intellectual change.


Description

Partly because of academic disciplinary boundaries, music remains a neglected subject in British Imperial history and, indeed, intellectual history at large. Nonetheless, the imperial encounter was, as this richly detailed new study demonstrates, a sound exercise, and music was a key dimension of identity formation as well as transnational networks and transcultural communication between colonizer and colonized. Specifically, it explores the ways in which rational, moral, and aesthetic motives underlying the institutionalization and modernization of 'classical' music converged and diverged in Britain and India out of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. In addition, it tracks subversive, internationalist counter-movements that challenged nationalist musical establishments - as well as the openness of some Britons and Indians to the possibility of learning from each other. Ranging from the groundbreaking folk music research and compositions of Percy Grainger to Sikh sacred music, this study opens up new areas for research by applying music as a lens through which to examine societal and intellectual change.


Reviews

'There is no doubt that this book makes a major contribution to the understanding of the relationship of music and empire. It has been exhaustively researched, is carefully argued and accessibly written, and the author has the advantage not enjoyed by previous writers in this field of combining historical understanding and musical knowledge. It is likely to hold its place in the subject area for years to come.' - Jeffrey Richards, Professor of Cultural History, Lancaster University, UK, and author of Imperialism and Music: Britain 1876-1953

'In this original and thought-provoking study, Bob van der Linden brings together a colourful cast of musicians, composers, poets, music critics and researchers who shared a deep passion for Indian music and thought, and played an important role in the modern histories of musical Orientalism and Hindustani music as well as the emergence of ethnomusicology. Engagingly written and refreshingly free of jargon, this excellent book deserves to be read widely.' - Joep Bor, Professor, Leiden University, The Netherlands, and editor and co-author of The Raga Guide (1999) and Hindustani Music: Thirteenth to Twentieth Centuries (2010)


Contents

1. Cyril Scott: "The Father of Modern British Music" and the Occult

2. Percy Grainger: Kipling, Racialism, and All the World's Folk Music

3. John Foulds and Maud MacCarthy: Internationalism, Theosophy, and Indian Music

4. Rabindranath Tagore and Arnold Bake: Modernist Aesthetics and Cross-Cultural Communication in Bengali Folk Music

5. Sikh Sacred Music: Identity, Aesthetics, and Historical Change


Authors

Bob van der Linden is an independent historian and musicologist. He also wrote Moral Languages from Colonial Punjab: The Singh Sabha, Arya Samaj and Ahmadiyahs (2008).