'One of the best books I've ever read.' - Amartya Sen
'With his book A Southern Music Vidvan T.M. Krishna has indeed brought forward an extremely well thought out and beautifully constructed thesis not only on Carnatic music but an intense philosophy of music and aesthetics which will certainly inspire anyone who is involved with arts and culture.' - Zubin Mehta
T.M. Krishna one of the foremost Karnatik vocalists today begins his panoramic exploration of that tradition with a fundamental question: what is music? Taking nothing for granted and addressing diverse readers from Karnatik music's rich spectrum and beyond it Krishna provides a path-breaking overview of south Indian classical music.
He advances provocative ideas about various aspects of its practice. Central to his thinking is the concept of 'art music' the ability to achieve abstraction as the foundational character of Karnatik music. In his explorations he sights the visible connections and unappreciated intersections between this music form and others - Hindustani music Bharatanatyam fusion music and cine music - treading new often contentious ground.