Dancing with Devtās: Drums, Power and Possession in the Music of Garhwal, North India

Front Cover
Ashgate, 2008 - Music - 277 pages
In the Central Himalayan region of Garhwal music is perceived as a powerful force. Through the powerful sounds of drumming, musicians cause the gods to dance in bodies of mediums. This occurs at many events when musicians use their music teleologically to 'dance the gods'. In other contexts, actors 'dance' the role of their character having become possessed by the spirit of their character/deity. In this book, Alter blends a carefully detailed analysis of drumming in conjunction with the complex ritual and social contexts of this sophisticated and semantically rich musical practice.

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Contents

Introduction
1
Power and Meaning in the Context
9
Land of the Gods
23
Caste Groups and Instrumentalists
37
Performance Genres and Dance Practice
47
Musical Instruments in Garhwal
57
Dhol Sagar The Ocean of Drumming
83
Musical Power in
91
Music in the Context of Wedding Celebrations
135
The Pawara of Kirthipal and Kunjepal
169
Conclusion
215
Devanagari Text and Transliteration
225
Aural Sources
233
Bibliography
241
Discography of Selected Commercially Released Cassettes
259
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Andrew Alter is Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of New England, Australia.

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