Hindu Musical Traditions – A Historical Perspective

Course Content:

While Indian music traditions are diverse, the core of the various traditions stand out as unique with their emphasis on ‘the raga’ and ‘the tala’ and a core of commonality that is rooted in spirituality with a history of over two millennia.  Our goals are:

  1. To provide a guided overview of the history and evolution of Indian music
  2. To provide an overview of the history of composers, sages, saints, emperors and luminaries who have contributed to the evolution of music.

Course Learning Objectives:

After completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  1. Discuss names and works of musicologists and musical luminaries
  2. Comprehend the contribution of ancient treatises (in Sanskrit and Tamil) such as the Natya Sastra of Bharata, the Silappathikaram of Illango Adigal and the Sangita Ratnakara of Sarangdev, the Chaturdandi Prakasika of Venkatamakhi and modern works such as the Sangita Sampradaya Pradarsini of Subbarama Dikshitar and the work of Pandit Bhatkhande.
  3. Obtain a brief understanding of the Western world’s study and outlook on Indian music.
  4. Discuss the contribution of the Bhakti movement and the Hindu Saints of Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra and Bengal  to Indian Art Music.
  5. Discuss the contribution of Vaggeyakaras and the sacred geography of India to Art music.
  6. Discucss the impact of Islamic and Persian traditions on Indian music
  7. Discuss the contribution of the Devadasi tradition to Indian Art
  8. Discuss issues facing contemporary Indian music

Class Structure

There will be a minimum of 1 contact hour every week. The class is structured in a way that promotes discussion and debate based on listening experiences and reading material. While the content being discussed in each class will be concluded within 60 minutes, the discussion time will be free format, and can continue for an additional 30 minutes maximum. During the course, students will be required to submit two short essays. They need not be academic quality papers – but should be based on students’ self-reflection on what they have learned and assimilated so far.

Prerequisites: Enrollment into a Program of study and must have completed TAT 3101 – Indian and Western Music Traditions – A Comparative Study

Faculty / Instructor: Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran

Required / Elective: Elective

Start Date: TBD

End Date: TBD

Time: TBD

Day:  TBD

Quarter Offered: Winter 2020

Nyāya-Vaiśeṣika Basic

Course Content:

This course examines the evolutionary stages of the Nyāya system of thought from its ancient (prācīna) origins to its recent (navya) form, in the process incorporating the Vaiśeṣika ontology into its system.

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Understand the evolving nature of the use of logic and reason within various technical Indic knowledge systems
  2. Appreciate the elaborate cognition-centric approach in Indic knowledge systems which emphasized logical reasoning and validation and mechanisms of expression
  3. Distinguish and apply the classification schema at the heart of the Nyāya system on other Vedic and Indic knowledge systems

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Required / Elective: Required

Prerequisites:  Admission into the Masters Certificate or MA in Sanskrit Program

Faculty / Instructor:  Prof M. A. Alwar

Quarter Offered:  Winter 2021

Sāhitya – Padya

Course content:

This course elucidates the basics of Sanskrit poetics, focusing on the purposes of literary composition, standards and the nature of the verbal and semantic elements that constitute literary compositions.

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Review a literary work based on the knowledge of theories of poetics and its technicalities to evaluate and better appreciate it
  2. Understand the various potencies of words and how their significance and meaning is the kavi’s masterstroke in literary works
  3. Enjoy reading context-based and non-context-based literature

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies

Required / Elective: Required

Prerequisites: Completion of Sāhitya Landscape

Faculty / Instructor:  Prof Madhusudan Penna

Quarter Offered:  Winter 2021

Sanskrit Grammatical Structures and Verses

Course Content

  1. The fifth declension / Ablative case for pronouns
  2. Introduction to Ayurveda
  3. The sixth declension / Genitive case, the ktavatu usage, gerunds
  4. Introduction to BhAgavatam
  5. Wise sayings and their meanings in Sanskrit
  6. The seventh declension / Locative case

Learning Objectives: In this course, students will be able to: 

  • Analyze noun and verb structures of verses and proverbs;
  • Recognize passages from popular Sanskrit texts; and
  • Paraphrase using grammatically correct Sanskrit.

Required / Elective: Required 

Area of Study: Sanskrit Studies 

Program of Study:  Certificate Program in Sanskrit Proficiency (CP SP)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of SAN-1003 

Faculty / Instructor: Sri Chandrashekhar Raghu / Sri Srinath Chakravarthy 

Quarter Offered: Winter 2021

Start Date: January 6th, 2021

End Date: March 19th, 2021

Day: Every Wednesday & Friday

Time: 9:00-10:30pm EST

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