an essential read. Daniel Schnee really knows his stuff & this piece on North Indian music is a window into his encyclopedic mind.

Daniel Schnee


ベーナ・サハスラ バーデイ

Master Veena Sahasrabuddhe (1948 – 2016)

Though there have been numerous introductory articles written about North Indian classical music for beginners or musicians from outside the tradition, a good many of them focus on each note set (raga) like they are simply scales to be ascended and descended like jazz rudiments; like reading Hamlet out loud somehow makes one a skilled Shakespearean actor! Unfortunately this approach, though usually well meaning, has led to a great many misunderstandings about Indian music, and a lot of poorly wrought jazz and world beat music. The most profound and successful hybrids of North Indian music and other systems, though, have occurred when cultural context and terminology has been explored, and both student and performer are connecting on a mutually understood conceptual level. This conceptual understanding is not only absolutely essential, it is also very interesting and deeply inspiring, giving you…

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Posted by:DPM

DPM is an idea-logue (sic) and object-oriented speculative realist, attempting to be response-able in an irresponse-able society.

8 thoughts on “A Saxophonist’s Guide To The North Indian Raga

    1. i appreciate it, but if you don’t mind i don’t wish to participate. not really my cup of tea, i know your intention is good.
      i read your story. i think the duality of memory as ideal & the dilapidated present the narrator is speaking from is a good stylistic & thematic choice as it offers you plenty to be writing about. as ever, i think you know what’s coming next. your choice of language, which i am aware, seems to reflect the unconfirmed period of the time the narrator is speaking about & from. what i would say then to you, is why pick this time, when there are plenty of opportunities to pick someone from the present time who has witnessed a similar dilemma. why not, (i realize you’re Taiwanese, but i don’t know enough about Taiwan to comment) look to some where closer to home, perhaps China, where plenty of people have been displaced & asked to move to new locations so that development can flourish. why not have some young Chinese fella return to his old farm lands he once played in, see that it is now a shopping mall, people consuming, the land eaten up . or even a monk who returns to his temple to find it encroached upon by tourism. if you could use your descriptive eye on something you can witness you could be even more descriptive, plus you will be raising a topic, from the proverbial horses mouth. stop me if i am wrong, but i get the feeling you are writing to showcase your literary knowledge rather than the latent talent which you have yet to realize, because you are so focused on imitation, which is great for practice, but if you want to write something i would want to read, you should make it yours.
      hope this helps, i know you won’t take my critique to heart, i am being critical in the sense of aiding you to think about your choices, rather than just being a dick, i hope you see that.

      1. Hi Daniel, thanks for your insightful comment, the inspiration for this poem was actually Karnaca Serkonos from Dishonored 2. I know you like me to write real modern social commentary, but when I see what I like, I like it. And what I like, may seem like an imitation, but it is actually a timeless amalgamation with my own aesthetic preferences.

        But more importantly, the things you bring up (farm/temple overrun by development and mass tourists) is exactly what is happening to Jeju’s shrines and nature. I nominated you for this award not out of mere good intention, but because I respect your care for the culture and nature, which i feel is really important. If I write about China’s social problems, I don’t live there. But you not only live in Jeju, but appreciate the island as well.

        I urge you to participate so you can nominate your friends Joey and others. More importantly, I urge you to contemplate the book project, because that is what I want to read, not out of mere fancy, but because it is worthy and you are in a right place at the right time to do it.

        So the truth is, I believe your comment reinforces my suggestion on what you need to do, because there is a dire current need, and you have the drive and literary ability to do it.

    1. you made me laugh. i don’t know how far your understanding of sarcasm extends, but this reply, after my criticism of your story is the very definition of it. i think you really do understand English culture.

      1. I knew it might seem like sarcasm since you are not very receptive towards archaic things, but it is actually sincere as the issue addressed is current (i.e. like your farmer example), and what was good once, can be even better now. You know how the environment is being damaged, and should be aware of the social ills we are mired in. If I had written that essay as a normal essay, it would have no distinction, but now I can blend the old with the new.

        Also, I look forward to more of your prose. And I urge you to accept the award, you don’t have to nominate 15 if it’s too burdensome, just nominate joey. These rules are flexible.

      2. it was funny, i knew your intention. i’ll have a look when i have a minute.
        Joey won’t be interested, he is an insanely busy man, i never see him, haven’t seen him for a year & a half. when i asked for some of his photos it took him nearly a week to send them, so he won’t be up for sending awards to fellow bloggers. i don’t claim to know him, but i imagine he’ll be very amiable about it but not get around to it as it’ll be at the end of an extremely long mental list. he doesn’t even blog that much as he has a lot going on as far as i know. i doubt he even checks the blog, so he wouldn’t even get it should i do it. i don’t want to be arrogant, but i have my personal opinion about these blog award things, so let’s just leave it at that if you don’t mind. i like our discussions & i don’t need validation from some award thing, our to & fro is what matters to me.

      3. Sure no problem, to each his own, I suspected that might be the case since he is definently busy: I just read some of his articles published elsewhere. I did not expect him to have time to do the award, I only recommended this to you so you could use it as an attraction to mention the same cause without looking repetitive.

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