Novelty That Must Be Subtle: Continuity, Innovation and 'Improvisation' in North Indian Classical Music

Critical Studies in Improvisation

Napier explores a tension between received tradition and individual expression in North Indian classical music. How should improvisation be understood, he asks, in a musical culture which prizes intergenerational continuity as much as innovation? He suggests that melodic moments should be viewed in that context as attempts at reconciling tradition with contemporary concerns. In this light, Napier argues that "improvisation" should in no instance be used to validate novelty without acknowledging reproduction and continuity.

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audio, ethnomusicology, improvisation, individuality, khayal, mukhda, music cultural aspects, music social aspects, North Indian music, performance, re-presentation, scores, tradition