Table of Contents
   Index
   About the Author
   Foreword
   Preface
   Acknowledgements
   Ancient Kashmir
   The Traditional Music
   Instruments Used
   Some Famous Songs
   Bibliography
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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 
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The Traditional Music Of

KASHMIR

In Relation to Indian Classical Music

by

Dr. Sunita Dhar

Head & Dean

Faculty of Music & Fine Arts.

University of Delhi

My exploratory efforts in tracing the extant source material have enabled me to reach the conclusion that the traditional music of Kashmir during the Hindu period was more or less a shadow of Indian music. The slender evidences in Nilamata Purana and Kalhana's chronicles are also suggestive that the Ancient Music of Kashmir was a version of Indian music. Ancient Kashmir had been a prominent centre for learning art. A rich culture flourished in this region during early medieval era. The rulers of Kashmir were great patrons of men of art and their courts were thronged by artists and musicians. The art of writing on the subject of music had not been in vogue. The musicians and artists did not also relish writing during those days. Little attention was devoted by historians to a comprehensive study of this subject in the cultural history of Kashmir, as a result of which we do not possess any source material on the notations and grammar of music which was prevalent at that time. However some styles of music and singing like temple sangeet, Shiv Gayan and traditional folk music survived the upheavals and persisted to appeal on account of their sentimental values and emotional attachment. These styles of music are continuing even now as a distinct genre and as a tradition of ancient Kashmir. Music is a part of culture of any place. Kashmir's music is so full of melody and rhythm that it distinguishes itself easily from the music of any other state. The delicacy, the grace and the charm of Kashmir folk music is ultimate.

The folk music of Kashmir is rhythmic and fast and when its full swing attracts the attention of each and every listener.

This book is divided into six chapters.

First chapter deals with Kashmir in its historical perspective. After that mentioned the ups and downs that Kashmir witnessed. Then I focussed on the origin and the development of the traditional music of Kashmir. Then I have given various categories of traditional music prevalent in. Kashmir - the examples, the meanings and the occasions on which they are sung. I have also presented some songs with their singing patterns by way of notations of Indian classical music. Last chapter deals with the musical instruments used as accompaniments in various categories of the traditional music of Kashmir. Their origin, description and the way they are played, in the last presents some of the songs which have classical basis or are close to Ragas.

Table of Contents

About the Author
Sunita Dhar is a Professor and a Musicologist at the Faculty of Music and Fine Arts at Delhi University. Presently, she is the Head of the Department of Music, Delhi University and Dean of the Faculty of Music and Fine Arts, Delhi University. She is the disciple of Padmabushan Pandit Debu Chaudhuri. 
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Foreword
The book 'The Traditional Music of Kashmir-In Relation to Indian Classical Music' could not have come at a better time today, when a culturally rich state has been stripped of its glory by terrorism, the return of democracy is but a first step on the journey to normalcy. It is only when society prospers that culture can also develop.  >>>
Preface
Kashmir has consistently enjoyed a rich and distinct cultural heritage that has been always viewed with awe in the Indian horizon. The social, cultural, economic and artistic life of the people in this "Paradise upon earth" inspired many writers and researchers (including me) to choose subjects varied in nature reflecting the cultural legacy of the land.
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Acknowledgements
I express my gratitude to the Higher Education Depart­ment, Government of J & K State, whose valuable sug­gestions helped me complete this work.
I owe a profound debt of gratitude to Ghulam Rasool Bhat Ex-Librarian (Curator), Research Library, University of J & K who took pains in reading and translating the Persian manuscripts. He also assisted me in tracing anti utilizing these primary sources.
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Ancient Kashmir
The ancient history of Kashmir is shrouded in mystery. The legends and myths trace the. ancient history and reveal some glimpses of pre-historic Kashmir. According to legends the valley of Kashmir was originally a deep vast lake. The oldest record of this legend is 'Nilmata-Purana' which has been quoted by Pandit Kalhana (Great poet and historian who lived in 12th century A.D.) Pandit Kalhana mentions in his Raj-Tarangini (written in 1148-1149 A.D.) that at the beginning of Kalpa (cycle of creation of the universe) the valley was a lake, hundreds of feet deep, called Satisara.
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The Traditional Music of Kashmir
Vanvun, Veegyavachan, Van, etc. are some of the folk songs sung by the women folk of Kashmir. Such types of songs are sung at the time of festivals, marriages, etc. and even at the time of death. The lullaby, which is sung all over the world, is also sung by the women of Kashmir by the name of Lalnavun. Another type of music is Hikkachi, where the girls in Kashmir get together and sing. Such songs are full of love, affection and warmth. >>>
Instruments Used with the Traditional Music of Kashmir
In this chapter, I have written about the instruments which are used with the folk music of Kashmir, followed by the description of those instruments which are used with the Sufiana Mousiqui. The history of the instruments, the technique of playing, and the material they are made of and much more has been discussed in the Chapter.
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Some Famous Songs with Text and Notation
The first line begins with the prayer to Lord Ganesha for His benign grace. Blessings, for the occasion are expected from goddess Bhavani. The next line describes about the Kanyadaan being performed by the father and offerings received by the Brahmins on the occasion of girl's marriage. >>>
Bibliography
A list of references.

The Traditional Music of Kashmir

A Review By Dr. Ramesh Kumar

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First Edition: 2003
© Author
ISBN 81-7391-553-9

Dedicated to
my dear mother
Late Smt. Indrawati Chowdhary

whose values, noble deeds,
sublime qualities and beliefs will
always serve as a beacon
of light to us.

 

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