Expert writers about music are very scant like any other form of art. Those who write are not necessarily expert. In recent years, there is no satisfactory work done in the field of music and its reasons may vary. Either we have limited number of experts who could write something authentic or the circumstances of our country are not conducive for that. However, Dr. Muhammad Athar Masood took an initiative to publish a book in which he has compiled his well researched articles. Some of these articles have already been published in different journals in the past. Dr. Masood has not only good knowledge about music and its history but he also knows well about the art of music because he had spent a lot time with music maestros.

Maqalat-e-Masood comprises of twelve researched articles on different aspects of sub continental music. Some of these articles are translated from Persian or English language. But every article imparts a good knowledge to the reader. What makes this book unique is that the readers get to know about those music books which are either in Persian language or not accessible to everyone. The author completed this task most efficiently because he had good command over Persian and English languages. Persian language helped him to consult the ancient books about music and at the same time English language assisted him to read and understand all the modern researches about Indian music done in the West or in other European countries.

The first article ‘Hind – The Books about Classical Music Written in Persian Literature’ is translated from English. This article presents a complete overview about the books printed in the sub-continent. There is also a comparison between the Indian music and Iranian music and some technical aspects of music are also discussed. The second article ‘Classical Books about Music in the Subcontinent’ gives details about the books which are written and printed in the sub-continent from 1947 to onward. The third article ‘Jahangir’s Aesthetics for Music in the light of Jahangiri Gatherings’ is short but has special importance. This article is derived from a book ‘Majalis-i Jahangiri’ written by Abdul Sattar bin Qasim in Persian. Abdul Sattar was a courtier of King Jahangir and in his book he wrote about Jahangir’s love for art and music. The fourth article is about the introduction of ‘Risala Ragmala Hindi az Thakar Dass’ which is a book written in 1188 Hijri. This magazine has probably only one handwritten manuscript which is saved in Office Library, London. The fifth article is ‘Mafar-ul-Qaloob’ which is the name of a book and this article is a compact introduction of this book. It was written by Hassan Ali Izaat in 1199 Hijri for Tipu Sultan. The next four articles are also about books and magazine which have special importance in Indian music. The tenth article is about ‘Naghma Quddusi’ which is a book about the famous poet Amir Meenai and the eleventh article is the translation of an interview of an Indian artiste Sattar Nawaz Wilayat Hussain Khan. This interview is important because it reflects all the aspects of his life.

The book is the reflection of Dr. Athar Masood’s love and interest for music. In recent times when essence of music is almost losing its way, the book serves as an honest effort. The prominent aspect of this book is that it removes many ambiguities about the Indian music. It propels reader to explore more about the rich music history of India. The book is really an asset and can be used as a reference book because it covers a long history of music in the Indian sub-continent.

 

Title: Maqalat-e-Masood: Introductory and Researched articles about sub-continental music

Author: Dr. Muhammad Athar Masood

Genre: Music

Pages: 283

Price: Rs. 600

Publisher: Oriental Publications