The Minqar-i Musiqar;
Hazrat Inayat Khan‘s Classic 1912 Work on
Indian Musical Theory and Practice
Translation and introduction by Allyn Miner
with Pir Zia Inayat-Khan
THE Minqār-i Mūsīqār is of rare interest both for its contents and for its distinguished author, Hazrat Inayat Khan. Its sections on theory are based on the teachings of the author’s grandfather, Maula Bakhsh, and other late nineteenth century sources. The songs at the center of the book are the author’s compositions, and the poetry collection includes more than sixty choice Urdu and Persian ghazals. Overall the book communicates the musical learning and enthusiasms of the twenty-five-year-old Inayat Khan, whose personal drive, ambition to engage with the wider world, and longing for the divine are palpable throughout the book.
In the Minqār-i Mūsīqār Inayat Khan has given us a compilation of theory and practice current during his time and taught in his family line. Readers familiar with present-day Hindustani music will find many recognizable terms and some that are no longer in use. As valuable as it is for its musical content, the Minqār is equally fascinating for what it tells us about the writer and the times in which it was written. Substantial changes in music were taking place in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Public audiences and urban venues were replacing royal patrons and elite settings. Music theory was being formulated for classroom teaching, while hereditary professionals transmitted their own lineages orally. Various urban classes were participating in music. Hereditary and non- hereditary music professionals mingled with amateur enthusiasts. Early twentieth century trends in education and fashion pervaded urban life. Inayat Khan’s family background reflects many of the social and musical dynamics of the time, a background of family traditions and expectations to which Inayat Khan brought his own ideals and formidable drive. A Suluk Press title.
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484 pages 6″x9″ ISBN:978 1941810-187
“It is highly gratifying to us that you have put your heart and soul for the improvement of the science of music in India and are endeavoring to introduce a uniform system of notation for the whole of India for which you have published many books.” –Sayaji Mowla Music Society, Baroda
“We find in you the ardent student of music and the most original exponent of the Indian Notation system devised by your renowned ancestor Prof. Mowla Bux. We have learnt to look upon you as the Morning Star of the Indian Music.” – Bhawanipur Sangit Sammilani, Calcutta
“Beyond and above what the Professor has inherited from distinguished musicians with whom he is connected by ties internal and paternal, he had the benefit of systematic course of training in the theory and practice of Indian music for over 12 years under Prof. Mowla Bux himself. He has made a critical study of the standard works on Sangit and is also the author of some good books in Hindi on the same subject.” – Bhawanipur Sangit Sammilani, Calcutta