Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: 'Ḍhol Sāgar': Aspects of Drum Knowledge amongst Musicians in Garhwal, North India
Contributor(s): Alter, AB (author)
Publication Date: 2003
Handle Link:
Abstract: In the Central Himalayan region of Garhwal, drummers of the dominant musician caste group (referred to as Bājgī, Dās, or Aujī) are particularly known for their performance of two outdoor drums, the 'ḍhol' and the 'damauṃ'. Through their performances on these drums, drummers maintain a crucial role in ritual activity at processions, festivals, weddings, and other critical events. Though the intricacies of their drumming practice are not understood by a majority of the region's population, drummers themselves maintain a repertoire of rhythms and patterns called 'bāje' which are linked to specific ritual moments. In spite of changes to repertoire and practice brought about by various factors during the past century, some drummers today maintain aspects of a musical knowledge that appears to have a lengthy history. The existence of an ostensibly written source for this knowledge is a curious part of what is otherwise an oral tradition. This paper explores the nature of drum knowledge in Garhwal as it relates to oral and literate practice. In particular, the paper investigates the available published references to - or 'versions' of - the 'Ḍhol Sāgar', a supposedly written 'text' on drum history, knowledge, and practice. This examination reveals a conceptual approach to drumming practice that hints at a deeper system of knowledge in which drum patterns may hold - or have held - esoteric meaning. Consequently, the examination reveals the unique relationship between aspects of drum practice and Hindu philosophy regarding the metaphysics of sound.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: European Bulletin of Himalayan Research, 24(Spring), p. 63-76
Publisher: South Asia Institute, Heidelberg University
Place of Publication: Heidelberg, Germany
ISSN: 0943-8254
Field of Research (FOR): 190409 Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Other Links:
Statistics to Oct 2018: Visitors: 92
Views: 88
Downloads: 0
Appears in Collections:Journal Article

Files in This Item:
1 files
File SizeFormat 
Show full item record

Page view(s)

checked on Feb 8, 2019
Google Media

Google ScholarTM




Items in Research UNE are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.