Traditions musicales en Asie du Sud

EHESS, 105 bld Raspail, salle 8 et 11; EPHE, Centre Albert-Chatelet, 7e étage salle C
Conférences du prof. R.K. Wolf le mercredi 6 mai, 18-20h (EPHE, Centre Albert-Chatelet, 6-8 rue Jean Calvin, 75005, 7e étage, salle C), dans le cadre de l'équipe EPHE (resp. Nalini Delvoye, directeur d'études EPHE) « Culture indo-persane : textes et contextes » (EA 2719),

The Shi'i faces of Nizamuddin : Nizami drumming and texts in Delhi and Karachi

Jeudi 7 mai, 11 à 13h, salle 8 (105 bd Raspail) dans le cadre du séminaire de Francis Zimmermann (directeur d'études à l'EHESS) « Des ornements du discours aux mises en scène de la voix »,

Musical and other social 'beginnings' in South Asia and beyond

Jeudi 14 mai, 11-13h, salle 11 (105 bd Raspail) dans le cadre du séminaire de Emmanuelle Olivier (chargée de recherches au CNRS) « Enjeux et pratiques de l'ethnomusicologie »

The rhythm of raga : pulse, gesture and time in « free rhythmic » music of South Asia

Jeudi 28 mai , 11-13h salle 11 (105 bd Raspail) dans le cadre du séminaire de Emmanuelle Olivier «Enjeux et pratiques de l'ethnomusicologie »

Emotionality in the music of South Asia

Prof. R.K. Wolf  is an ethnomusicologist who has devoted his career to the interdisciplinary study of South Asian musical traditions, Richard K. Wolf has written about classical, folk and tribal musical traditions in South India as well as on musical traditions associated with Shi'ism and Sufism in North India and Pakistan. Since his first study visit to India in 1982, Wolf has lived and conducted research in South Asia for seven-and-a-half years. More recently, Wolf's interest in South Asia has expanded westward into Iran, and his work has concerned sociomusical processes that transcend the borders of South Asia. This is reflected in his edited volume, Theorizing the Local: Music, Practice, and Experience in South Asia and Beyond (Oxford University Press, New York: 2009) ( Wolf is also the author of the book The Black Cow's Footprint: Time, Space, and Music in the Lives of the Kotas of South India (Permanent Black, 2005 and University of Illinois Press, 2006), which was awarded the Edward Cameron Dimock, Jr. Prize in the Humanities. He has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including recently those of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Institute of Pakistan Studies. In addition to writing and teaching, Wolf also performs on the South Indian vina; his is a disciple of Ranganayaki Rajagopalan, a renowned vina player in the Karaikkudi style. (

 Présentation des 2 premières conférences

The Shi'i faces of Nizamuddin : Nizami drumming and texts in Delhi and Karachi
This presentation engages with the question of how local religious traditions linked with music undergo transformation as they travel through time and space. The primary case study is Shi'i, Sunni, and Hindu drumming and textual practices associated with Muharram and the Nizamuddin shrine in Delhi. A small population of Shi'ahs and Sunnis affiliated with this Nizami tradition continue to maintain a relationship with one another after migrating to Pakistan after Partition in 1947. Owing to oppositional pressure from surrounding communities, the Nizamis in Karachi felt compelled to publish their own statement (dastur-e 'amal) in response to fatwas condemning their Muharram practices, including those associated with music. The case study examines some of the issues attendant on the tradition traveling from India to Pakistan, as well as some of the specific practices on the drums that are broadly believed to encode religiously meaningful texts. Actual knowledge of the texts, both on the India and Pakistan sides, is quite limited. And yet the idea of verbal underlay to this drumming remains important to the practitioners. Comparative examples among Khorasani musicians in Iran and Indo-Trinidadians in New York City point to broader implications of instruments encoding verbal texts in Muslim contexts

Musical and other social 'beginnings' in South Asia and beyond
Certain kinds of beginnings have the potential to forshadow, suggest, portend, or otherwise have implications for the future. They may function something akin to models or theories, they may index models and theories, or they may trigger "assessments" that index indigenous theories. At minimum, beginnings may serve as food for thought, stimulating cogitation and discourse among members of a social group. The problem of musical beginnings is a subset of the larger question of why events happen when they do in a sequence and relates to the general problem how events aquire meaning by virtue of their syntactical positions. In this presentation I will address the question of what is to be learned from certain kinds of musical beginnings. What can musical beginnings tell us about indigenous theorizing? In what ways might local forms of theory be embodied in a musical beginning? What are the cultural implications of musical beginnings and how deep do they run? How might the study of "beginnings" in human action help us to counter the generally logocentric view of what counts as "theory" or "theorizing" in musical and other forms of social action? I'll approach these questions through three sets of case studies (1) the well-known south Indian classical genre, the varnam; (2) the contextually-varying procedures whereby the south Indian Kota community gets ready to play an instrumental piece, and (3) the prefacing of a piece, or a section thereof, with vocables. The three share their status as gestures of beginning and their special roles in pointing to what comes next; but lack similarity in magnitude, musical sound, immediate function, or cultural context. The dissimilarity of these examples is meant to stimulate further reflection about a range of initiatory phenomena.
  • le mercredi 6 mai 2009  de 18h  à 20h
  • le jeudi 7 mai 2009  de 11h  à 13h
  • le jeudi 14 mai 2009  de 11h  à 13h

Haut de page