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Title: Musical knowledge of the Laṅgās and Māṅgaṇiyārs
Author: Davies, Morgan
ISNI:       0000 0004 6500 5638
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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The Laṅgās and Māṅgaṇiyārs are professional hereditary folk musicians, living in small communities located primarily within the Western Rajasthani districts of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Barmer. In recent years, some Laṅgā and Māṅgaṇiyār performers have established a presence on both national and international concert platforms, consequently drawing increased attention to their music. This process has generated a dichotomy between the musicians' traditionally low social status as rural bards, contrasted with their developing potential to earn significant sums of money as cosmopolitan recording and performing artists. Subsequent commercial CD releases of Laṅgā and Māṅgaṇiyār music have often included sleeve notes that use theoretical terminology, drawn from the Hindustani classical music tradition, to describe performance frameworks. Yet it is evident that the structural relationship between formal classical music and the repertoire of the Laṅgās and Māṅgaṇiyārs is rather complex. The question then arises: what precisely is the nature of this relationship? Whilst anthropological and musicological scholars have recognised that a certain correlation exists, there is currently no available literature to clarify the precise nature of any musical correspondences. A significant contributing factor to this lack of knowledge is that there has been no detailed analysis of Laṅgā and Māṅgaṇiyār music. Taking the pan-South Asian concept of rāga as a focal point of intersection between the margā ('Great') and deśī ('Little', or 'local') tradition, the twofold goal of this study is first: to contextualise the folk musicians' peculiar understanding of răga within their own network of musical knowledge; and second: to analyse a selection of field recordings, so that any underlying melodic frameworks operating within Laṅgā and Māṅgaṇiyār music performance may be identified. During the course of our investigation, we will gain a deeper understanding of this unique and complex folk music genre, whilst further elucidating its association with the hegemonic classical system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral