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Recasting Folk in the HimalayasIndian Music, Media, and Social Mobility$
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Stefan Fiol

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041204

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041204.001.0001

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The Folk Sound without the Folk Body

The Folk Sound without the Folk Body

Sohan Lal and the Rhizophonics of Dhol-Damaun

(p.105) 4 The Folk Sound without the Folk Body
Recasting Folk in the Himalayas

Stefan Fiol

University of Illinois Press

Chapter four focuses on the experiences of Sohan Lal, one of the few individuals from the Bajgi caste of hereditary drummers to have established a professional career in both rural and urban contexts, for both lower- and upper-caste patrons. Being labeled a folk artist has benefited Sohan Lal in some respects, earning him both monetary and social capital, but it has led to significant compromises in terms of the presentation and reception of his music. Sohan Lal’s experiences illuminate an uncomfortable paradox within the contemporary folk music industry: sounds that are indexically linked to folk are valued as long as they are decoupled from the Shilpkar bodies that historically produced those sounds.

Keywords:   Sohan Lal, dhol and damaun, Shilpkar, rhizophonia, casteism, social discrimination, folk orchestra, reform, studio recording, folk rhythm

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