Re: Academic or Not?

Subject: Re: Academic or Not?
From: Linda A. Seltzer (lseltzer@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Date: Thu Jul 15 1999 - 14:21:49 EDT

In reply to Kevin's question, Indian classical dance is a very
good example of a tradition that has become more and more
academic through the 20th century. Traditional Carnatic music is
generally very highly intellectual and academic. First, the
rhythms can be very complex and require a great deal of training
to perform. Second, a person is considered knowledgeable in
South Indian music if one knows all 5 most common South Indian languages,
and this includes a knowledge of literature in all of these languages
in order to appreciate the texts. An expert performer of
Carnatic music will sing in several languages within one recital.
Highly knowledgeable audience members understand all of this.
Also, performers such as the accompanying violinist have
to memorize large passages that the soloist has improvised, and
then play it, so even the accompaniment is considered highly
intellectual. South Indian music (outside of the current film music, etc.)
is one of the most highly academic and intellectual types of music
in the world.

Linda Seltzer

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