Mukund Lath

Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 2007 Overall Contribution/Scholarships in Performing Arts Born in Calcutta in 1937, Shri Mukund Lath took his Master’s degree in Sanskrit from Jadavpur University in the city and was awarded a PhD for his study of Dattilam by Delhi University in 1976. He simultaneously studied music under Pandit Maniram, Pandit Ramesh Chakravarti, and, more intensively, under Pandit Jasraj, and between 1966 and 1968 worked as a researcher in the Indian Section of the International Institute of Comparative Music Studies and Documentation, West Berlin, under the direction of Alain Danielou. He joined the Department of History and Indian Culture in the University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, in 1973, and has taught there for the greater part of his teaching career. In this period, Shri Mukund Lath has continuously researched into aspects of music and musical culture in India’s past, producing a varied body of work that includes translations and commentaries on classics, inquiries into musical thought, and explorations of past usage in the performing arts extending into present-day practice — not in music alone but in the wider realm of natya. Together with this, he has made original contributions to current discourse on the performing arts centred on music, but reaching out further into dance, theatre, and cinema. Through his teaching at university, public lectures, presentations and interventions in learned assemblies, and his literary work, he has made a distinct contribution to our understanding of India’s performing arts as they have evolved over centuries. His publications on the performing arts include A Study of Dattilam: A Treatise on the Sacred Music of Ancient India (1978), Sangita evam Chintan (1992), and Transformation as Creation, a collection of essays on the history, aesthetics, and theory of Indian music, dance, theatre, and film. He has besides published papers in reputed journals in India and abroad. Shri Lath has taught and lectured at several universities besides Rajasthan — at Oxford, Leuven in Belgium, Bamberg in Germany, and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem — and has delivered the prestigious Allauddin Khan Lecture at Bhopal and the Vatsala Nidhi Lecture in Delhi. Since 1995, he has been working to recapture the history of thinking about the arts in India as a participant in the Project for the History of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture supported by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research. Shri Mukund Lath receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to our understanding of the performing arts of India.