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October 4, 2022
9780253064370
English
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31 b&w illus., 1 map, 32 b&w tables, 6 printed music items
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October 4, 2022
9780253064387
English
430
31 b&w illus., 1 map, 32 b&w tables, 6 printed music items
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.38 Pounds (US)
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v2.1 Reference

The Politics of Musical Time

Expanding Songs and Shrinking Markets in Bengali Devotional Performance

How do the temporal features of sacred music affect social life in South Asia? Due to new time constraints in commercial contexts, devotional musicians in Bengal have adapted longstanding features of musical time linked with religious practice to promote their own musical careers.

The Politics of Musical Time
traces a lineage of singers performing a Hindu devotional song known as kīrtan in the Bengal region of India over the past century to demonstrate the shifting meanings and practices of devotional performance. Focusing on padābalī kīrtan, a type of devotional sung poetry that uses long-duration forms and combines song and storytelling, Eben Graves examines how expressions of religious affect and political belonging linked with the genre become strained in contemporary, shortened performance time frames. To illustrate the political economy of performance in South Asia, Graves also explores how religious performances and texts interact with issues of nationalism, gender, and economic exchange.

Combining ethnography, history, and performance analysis, including videos from the author's fieldwork, The Politics of Musical Time reveals how ideas about the sacred and the modern have been expressed and contested through features of musical time found in devotional performance.

About the Author

Eben Graves is Assistant Director at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.

Reviews

"Scholarship has established that arts exist through complex networks with historical time; aesthetic forms have distinctive rhythmic-temporal lives; and devotional meditations are based on diurnal, mythical and other time-based imaginings. Yet, The Politics of Musical Time brings these dimensions together in a most original manner, throwing sharp analytical light on synchronic and diachronic relations between musical and social temporalities in Bengal. It does so by analyzing the materiality of sonic time as a highly nuanced expansion of relations between affect and economy, meaning and rhythm, the past and the contemporary, devotion and context, and aesthetics and everyday life. It is a unique and significant contribution to studies of South Asian religions, aesthetics, and historical and contemporary time."—Sukanya Sarbadhikary, author of The Place of Devotion: Siting and Experiencing Divinity in Bengal-Vaishnavism

"The significance of this meticulously researched book goes much beyond filling an ethnographic and historiographic lacuna. It offers stunning new perspectives on musical and social time and should be read by anyone interested in how capitalism shapes the everyday."—Anna Schultz, author of Singing a Hindu Nation: Marathi Devotional Performance and Nationalism

"The author beautifully describes the unfolding of a performance over time and the ways in which this performance invokes simultaneous experiences of the mythical, historical, and the present day."—Jayson Beaster-Jones, author of Music Commodities, Markets, and Values: Music as Merchandise
Indiana University Press

9780253064370 : the-politics-of-musical-time-graves
Hardback
430 Pages
$85.00 USD
9780253064387 : the-politics-of-musical-time-graves
Paperback / softback
430 Pages
$40.00 USD

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