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Wesleyan College

Publication Date

Spring 2014

Program Name

India: National Identity and the Arts


This paper focuses on the historical and social aspects of the Indian tablā, as well as the practical aspects involved in actually playing one. In order to acquaint the reader with this topic, a description of the parts of a tablā, as well as the basic knowledge of how to play the tablā, is given. The paper then discusses the history of Varanasi and its significance to tablā playing through the Banaras Gharana. The disputed history of the tablā and its surrounding theories are then addressed, followed by the social context within which tablā players function. In this paper I also chronicle my own personal experience in the guru-shishya parampara, or guru-to-student lineage, and how it affected my perspective of Indian culture and helped me draw many other conclusions about my journey.


Arts and Humanities | Music

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