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Preface This book is dedicated to all the musicians and ritual specialists of Hindu India who have diligently maintained their traditions with unswerving devotion over the centuries. Sonic Liturgy: Ritual and Music in Hindu Tradition may be viewed as a sequel to the previous Sonic Theology: Hinduism and Sacred Sound (1993), also published by the University of South Carolina Press. While the former deals with theories of sacred sound in Hinduism, the present work covers some of the practical aspects of sound and music. Financial support for the research conducted in 1992 and 1993 was provided by the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) in the form of a Fulbright Research Grant and by the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) in the form of a Senior Research Fellowship. During the periods covered by these grants, I greatly appreciate the assistance provided by the Vrindaban Research Institute for fieldwork in the Braj area and the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in Calcutta for instruction on Indian music theory and history. For the present work, thanks go to Professor Ed Johnson, chair of the Philosophy Department at the University of New Orleans, for providing me with a wonderful office while I taught courses at UNO from fall 2008 through fall 2009. During this time most of the actual writing took place in the peaceful solitude of the third floor of the Liberal Arts Building. In addition, the fact that the Tulane University School of Continuing Studies kept me on board during the difficult post-Katrina years will never be forgotten. Without the employment support of these two institutions, the completion of this book would not have been possible. I sincerely extend a vote of thanks to Professor Fred Denny for graciously accommodating this text in his USC Press series, Studies in Comparative Religion . I also thank James Denton and the editors of the University of South Carolina Press for taking an interest in a work on Hindu ritual and music and for their help through the acquisitions and editorial processes. Last, Kajal Beck, my wife, deserves much credit for her patient assistance and encouragement through all phases of the project, including in Vrindaban and Rajasthan in northern India when I was the recipient of the Fulbright and AIIS grants. ...


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