(Fwd) query: Gita tapes

jacob.baltuch at infoboard.be jacob.baltuch at infoboard.be
Sun Mar 30 05:09:18 UTC 1997


You wrote

>I don't have any answers to David's query, I'm afraid, but would appreciate
>if those who do would care to share them with the list. Some of my Sanskrit
>students have expressed similar desires for audio tapes with Sanskrit
>reading -- not necessarily of the Gita, but in any case of some
>not-too-unusual text, so that one can follow with book in hand.
>(Personally, I very much enjoy stotra chanting with or without musical
>background, so if someone knows a really good source for such recordings
>outside India -- perhaps even in Europe -- I'd be grateful for that
>information, too.)

I don't have an answer to those queries either (in fact I put
the very same query on the SANSKRIT list about a month ago w/
no result), but what I can say from personal experience is
that if one has trouble locating tapes with spoken readings,
there's no need to be afraid of musical renditions of texts.

Indeed *with book in hand* even musical renditions are
sometimes surprisingly not hard to follow at all.

I have a (3 CD 2:45 h.) rendition of the 24 songs in the
"Gitagovinda" sung by Ragunath Panigrahi, a singer from Cuttack
in Orissa and I could (if I wanted) write down the text under
dictation, it is that clear. If in addition one can look
at the text, making out what's being sung becomes the easiest
thing in the world.

I also have a piece of Nambudiri Rgveda recitation, and there
I couldn't make out the text by ear alone. However once you
are allowed to look at the text, it becomes not too hard to

Of course one may not be interested in vedic Sanskrit but
these were just two examples at two ends of the clarity and
the chronological spectra.

Note however that the pronunciation of Sanskrit used does not
coincide entirely with the textbook description. In the two
cases above it plainly does not, and I wonder if one is entitled
to expect that not to be the case with spoken readings. Maybe
it's just a fact of life one has to become acquainted with.


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