Cover for WOLF: The Voice in the Drum: Music, Language, and Emotion in Islamicate South Asia. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

The Voice in the Drum

Music, Language, and Emotion in Islamicate South Asia

Discovering how drums "speak" in South Asia

Based on extensive field research in India and Pakistan, this new study examines the ways drumming and voices interconnect over vast areas of South Asia and considers what it means for instruments to be voice-like and carry textual messages in particular contexts. Richard K. Wolf employs a hybrid, novelistic form of presentation, in which a fictional protagonist interacts with Wolf's field consultants, to communicate ethnographic and historical realities that transcend the local details of any one person's life. The narrative explores how the themes of South Asian Muslims and their neighbors coming together, moving apart, and relating to God and spiritual intermediaries resonate across ritual and expressive forms such as drumming and dancing. Wolf weaves in the story of a family led by Ahmed Ali Khan, a North Indian ruler who revels in the glories of 19th century life, when many religious communities joined together harmoniously in grand processions. His journalist son Muharram Ali obsessively scours the subcontinent in pursuit of a music he naively hopes will dissolve religious and political barriers. The story charts the breakdown of this naiveté. A daring narrative of music, religion and politics in late twentieth century South Asia, The Voice in the Drum delves into the social and religious principles around which Muslims, Hindus, and others bond, create distinctions, reflect upon one another, or decline to acknowledge differences.

"As can be expected from Richard K. Wolf, The Voice in the Drum is an erudite and masterful contribution to South Asian ethnomusicology. But it is more: a deep contribution to experimental writing, full of nuanced engagement with why the poetics and politics of representation is critical to contemporary music ethnography."--Steven Feld, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Music, University of New Mexico

"No one else has conducted such multi-local research on traditions like this, and he has done a masterful job of relating these otherwise disparate traditions by highlighting their affinities, especially in terms of the ways in which their performers conceive of the drums as speaking in one manner or another. The result is a remarkable and unique scholarly opus."--Peter Manuel, author of East Indian Music in the West Indies: Tan-singing, Chutney, and the Making of Indo-Caribbean Culture

Supported by the Harvard University Department of Music Publication Fund

Click here to view a free sample of the supplemental video and audio material that accompanies The Voice in the Drum. With purchase of the book comes full access to this Web resource featuring over 75 audio and video examples and performances.

Richard K. Wolf is Professor of Music and South Asian Studies at Harvard University and editor of Theorizing the Local: Music, Practice, and Experience in South Asia and Beyond.

To order online:
http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/95bsy6wx9780252038587.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
The Black Cow's Footprint

Time, Space and Music in the Lives of the Kotas of South India

Richard K. Wolf

The Street Is My Pulpit

Hip Hop and Christianity in Kenya

Mwenda Ntarangwi

A City Called Heaven

Chicago and the Birth of Gospel Music

Robert M. Marovich

Music and the Moving Image

Edited by Gillian B. Anderson & Ronald H. Sadoff

Music and the Wesleys

Edited by Nicholas Temperley and Stephen Banfield

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

A Biography

Michael Hicks

Sacred Song in America

Religion, Music, and Public Culture

Stephen A. Marini

American Music

Edited by Neil Lerner

Traveling Home

Sacred Harp Singing and American Pluralism

Kiri Miller

Then Sings My Soul

The Culture of Southern Gospel Music

Douglas Harrison

 
The Voice in the Drum ebook is available for immediate download from the following vendors:
Kobo
Google Play