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Pitch Analysis in South Indian Music - 2013

This book embodies the pioneering doctoral research work of Madhu Mohan Komaragiri. This is the first time a comprehensive pitch analysis is presented in South Indian music holistically combining ancient Sanskrit musical treatises, medieval and modern musicological interpretations, neuro-physiological hearing process and psycho-acoustical pitch perception corroborated with computer pitch analysis of actual audio samples specifically recorded for the purpose of this research. This contribution is significant and original.

In his bold and critical analysis, the author shows why the currently prevailing theories of 22 śruti-s are inapplicable to the system of rāga music. He explains why śruti is not quantifiable. The modern theories based on Western tuning concepts and mathematics, that place the 22 śruti-s among the various rāga-s, have been completely debunked. The fluidity of svara has been clearly demonstrated with multiple characteristic Pitch Profiles of svara-s that are context-dependent. The author talks about intonation guided by the psycho-physiologically driven tonotopic organization in the primary auditory cortex in the brain. He highlights the non-acoustical dynamic variability in intonation, influenced by perception. In line with this analysis, concepts such as the octave, intervals, scales, modal shift of tonic and consonance have been freshly re-examined.

The author explains the fundamental concepts lucidly while clearing some widespread myths. The glossary, the explanatory notes and the other technical data in the appendices provide a wealth of information. This book is indispensable for research scholars and valuable for students. The general reader will find this informative book quite stimulating.

Book published by Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, New Delhi. ISBN: 978-81-215-1262-6.