The Raga Guide is an introduction to Hindustani ragas, the melodic basis for the classical music of Northern India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Ragas are complex entities. Performers, who have spent many years acquiring their knowledge, often prefer to keep silent, and in any case few have been taught to approach ragas from an analytical point of view. Musicologists, on the other hand, often lack a thorough practical insight into raga music.
The authors of this guide are all well-versed in the theory and practice of raga music. Of the hundreds of ragas that exist, the guide surveys seventy-four of the most performed and well-established ones, with specially commissioned recordings by Hariprasad Chaurasia (flute), Buddhadev DasGupta (sarod), Shruti Sadolikar-Katkar (vocal) and Vidyadhar Vyas (vocal).
For each ragathe guide provides: An analytical and historical description; transcription of the alap (melodic construction) for each raga as performed on the CDs; ascent-descent and melodic outline in both western and Indian notation; Song texts with English translation (for sung ragas).
The Raga Guide includes four CDs with over five hours of music. It will be essential reading for listeners and conoisseurs, students and scholars.
JOEP BOR is a professor at Leiden University. He was the founder of the Rotterdam World Music Department, and the artistic advisor for the Amsterdam India Festival. He has written extensively on Indian music.