The Voice in the Drum: Music, Language, and Emotion in Islamicate South Asia

University of Illinois Press
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Based on extensive research in India and Pakistan, this new study examines the ways drumming and voices interconnect over vast areas of South Asia and considers what it means for instruments to be voice-like and carry textual messages in particular contexts. Richard K. Wolf employs a hybrid, novelistic form of presentation in which the fictional protagonist Muharram Ali, a man obsessed with finding music he believes will dissolve religious and political barriers, interacts with Wolf's field consultants, to communicate ethnographic and historical realities that transcend the local details of any one person's life. The result is a daring narrative that follows Muharram Ali on a journey that explores how the themes of South Asian Muslims and their neighbors coming together, moving apart, and relating to God and spiritual intermediaries resonate across ritual and expressive forms such as drumming and dancing.
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About the author

Richard K. Wolf is Professor of Music and South Asian Studies at Harvard University and editor of Theorizing the Local: Music, Practice, and Experience in South Asia and Beyond.

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Additional Information

University of Illinois Press
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Published on
Oct 30, 2014
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Best For
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History / Asia / India & South Asia
Music / Ethnomusicology
Music / General
Social Science / Islamic Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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