Work on Musicology


Since the time Asit was in college, a deep question about the ragas concerned him. In every raga, the allowed notes are taken in a particular sequence. Gurus teach their disciples by asking them to repeat after him or her. Who created these sequences of notes suitable for a given raga? Who is the paramguru? Basically the question is about the structure and formation of a raga. None of Asit's gurus, or most of the performing artistes Asit has seen, bothered too much about Thaat, Vadi, Samvadi, Arohi-Avarohi, Pakad etc. Then what is it that defines a raga? How is it that, once internalized, free improvisation can be performed in a given raga, while staying within the periphery of the raga? Obviously, a raga is a remarkably profound entity and has its foundations on very very firm ground.


During his early PhD days in the USA, through a close mathematician friend Dr. Atish Bagchi, Asit got hold of a book titled "Ragas and Raginis" by Amiya Nath Sanyal, a book that was long out of print in India, Sanyal's book deals with the raga structure in a novel and rational way. Asit was immediately drawn to it. Since then, Asit has independently worked at length on the subject along the path shown by Sanyal.


One striking claim of Asit's work is that microtonal variations of notes or shrutis can be understood in a fundamental way, and in fact their absolute pitch can also be determined. How the shrutis are generated, and why they are important in the exposition of a raga come out naturally from Asit's work, as claimed.


Asit presented a part of his work in front of an international audience of musicologists at the International Seminar on 'Creating and Teaching Music Patterns', organized by the Department of Instrumental Music, Rabindra Bharati University, 16-18 December 2013 at Swabhumi, Kolkata. 


Link to Asit's paper: Paper


The paper is also available at the proceedings of the seminar.



Asit has contributed an invited article, on the musical part of the discussion between Albert Einstein and Rabindranath Tagore, to a book published by Sahitya Samsad. Follow the link below to know more. 


Book page link