Kīrtana: Traditional South Indian Devotional Songs

Compositions of Tyāgarāja, Muttusvāmi Dīkṣitar and Śyāma Śāstri


At the beginning of the nineteenth century South Indian composers were still influenced by traditional religious concepts such as: temple rituals, pilgrimage and personal devotion. Tyāgarāja, Muttusvāmi Dīkṣitar and Śyāma Śāstri, the three prominent composers from the Tanjore district, used the kīrtana, a congregational song in praise of a deity, as a standard musical form. The compositions selected from the works of these composers show the various aspects of Hindu devotionalism. The detailed Western music notation of the editor, based on actual performances, will help the music student to understand the characteristic ornate South Indian melodic style. The introductory chapters contain general cultural information, biographical details as well as the original song texts with an English translation. With a unique MP3-CD containing all the kīrtana compositions.

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EUR €130.00USD $157.00

Biographical Note

Emmie te Nijenhuis, Ph.D. (1970) in Musicology, Utrecht University, edited and translated Sanskrit texts on Indian musicology ( Saṅgītaśiromaṇi: A Medieval Handbook of Indian Music. Edited with Introduction and Translation,Brill, 1982) and conducted research on the performance practice of South Indian Music (Varṇam. Selected Concert Studies for the South Indian Lute, Naarden, 2001).


Specialists and students of Indian music, Ethnomusicology, Indology, Anthropology and Religion interested in the cultural history and the traditional music of South India.