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Title: Gesture in Karnatak music : pedagogy and musical structure in South India
Author: Pearson, Lara Ann
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 8685
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis presents an examination of gesture in Karnatak music, the art music of South India. The topic is approached from two perspectives; the first considers Karnatak music structure from a gestural perspective, looking both at the music itself and at the gestures that create it, while the second enquires into the role played by physical gesture in vocal pedagogy. The broader aims of the thesis are to provide insight into the musical structure of the Karnatak style, and to contribute to wider discourses on connections between music and movement. An interdisciplinary approach to the research is taken, drawing on theories and methods from the fields of ethnomusicology, embodied music cognition, and gesture studies. The first part of the thesis opens with a discussion of differences between practical and theoretical conceptions of the Karnatak style. I argue for the significance in practice of svara-gamaka units and longer motifs formed of chains of such units, and also consider the gestural qualities of certain motifs and their contribution to bhāva (mood). Subsequently, I present a joint musical and motoric analysis of a section of Karnatak violin performance, seeking to elucidate the dynamic processes that form the style. The second part of the thesis enquires into the role played by hand gestures produced by teachers and students in vocal lessons, looking at what is indexed by the gestures and how such indexing contributes to the pedagogic process. This part of the thesis also considers how gestures contribute to the formation and maintenance of common ground between teacher and student. The final chapter brings the two strands of this thesis together to discuss the connections that exist between musical and physical gesture in Karnatak music.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available