James Kippen. The Tabla of Lucknow: A cultural analysis of a musical tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Manuel, Peter

The emphasis of many modern ethnomusicological studies has shifted away from the study of reified musical products to a more humanistic, anthropologically-informed focus upon musicians, socio-cultural contexts, performance norms, and emic conceptions about music. Kippen makes it clear that his intent is to "tread the middle path" between these two approaches, giving relatively equal weight to each. In such a relatively slim (222 pages) volume, such a treatment necessarily precludes the depth and breadth of the focussed studies of tabla music by Stewart and Gottlieb, as well as the extensive anthropological research of Neuman. Nevertheless, the emphasis on the under-researched Lucknow school and, more importantly, the abundance offresh insights and original material make Kippen's book a highly informative and valuable contribution to the study of Indian music.



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February 3, 2015