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Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology.
2012 (Persian)Book (Other academic)Alternative title
THE SUN OF SONGS BY RAS BARAS : An Indo-Persian music theoretical treatise from the late 17th century (English)
Abstract [en]

This study is an attempt to provide a critical edition and English translation of an Indo-Persian treatise entitled Shams al-aṣvāt, a Persian translation-cum-commentary on the monumental medieval Sanskrit musicological work Saṅgītaratnākara of Śārṅgadeva. Shams al-aṣvāt was written in 1698 by Ras Baras, the son of Khushḥāl Khān Kalāvant. The critical edition is followed by an English translation of the edited text.

The treatise represents the Subcontinent stream of Persian post-scholastic writings on music theory which began in the 16th century and lasted to the middle of the 19th century when Persian lost its status as the literary language of the subcontinent and was replaced by English.

In the introduction to the critical edition, the editors try to trace the treatise back to the original Sanskrit work and prove that Shams al-aṣvāt is a translation-cum-commentary on Saṅgītaratnākara.

The most important conclusions drawn in the present study are that Persian translations of Sanskrit music theoretical works were not merely translations but also “harmonizations”, according to the current practice of their time. Furthermore, the present study shows that in order to reconstruct the archetype/autograph regarding musical terms, despite the risk of confusing and mixing newer terms and descriptions with the older ones, an eclectic approach is the most successful and fruitful. Using primary and parallel sources reduces the risk considerably.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2012, 370. , 144+104 p.
Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, ISSN 0346-5462Studia Iranica Upsaliensia, ISSN 1100-326X ; 18South Asian Studies, ISSN 1653-8129 ; 3
Keyword [en]
Indo-Persian, music theory, translation-cum-commentary, Saṅgītaratnākara, rāga, tāla, gīta
National Category
Music Languages and Literature
Research subject
Iranian Languages; Musicology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-177378ISBN: 978-91-554-8399-9ISBN: 978-91-554-8400-2OAI: diva2:540839
Swedish Research Council, 422-2011-7443
Available from: 2012-07-12 Created: 2012-07-12 Last updated: 2016-03-17Bibliographically approved

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Fallahzadeh, Mehrdad
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