Loading Events
Nov 10 2021

Arnold Bake’s Survey of Religious Music in Southern India and the Paradox of Giving-While-Keeping

Goddess Yellamma, commonly worshipped in southern India, who was praised musically voicing the importance of fertility in traditional Indian society.
Choral Room

Repatriations, Restudies, Activism, and Archiving:
Arnold Bake’s Survey of Religious Music in Southern India and the Paradox of Giving-While-Keeping

Lecture by Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy
Adjunct Professor, Ethnomusicology, UCLA

Attendees can join this lecture in person, via Zoom, or via Livestream.

The repatriation and restudy methodology in historical ethnomusicology was devised in 1984 using audio-visual materials produced throughout South Asia by Dutch ethnomusicologist Arnold Adriaan Bake (1899-1963). Baké’s amanuensis Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy (1927-2009) and Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy began the longitudinal Bake Restudy Project in 1984, which continues today, using repatriated materials maintained in audio-visual archives, especially the Archives and Research Center for Ethnomusicology (ARCE) at the American Institute of Indian Studies in Gurugram, India and Calicut University Folklore Archives.

Collaboration with ARCE and local scholars and practitioners resulted in the published video-monograph Bake Restudy 1938-1984 (Apsara Media:1991), in which Bake’s 1938-1939 audio recordings, photographs and films were repatriated and restudied throughout Tamilnadu, Karnataka, and Kerala. Subsequent restudies include a women’s bhajan praising Yellamma and her son Parasurama documented in 1938 and 1999, musically voicing the importance of fertility in traditional Indian society.

Sociolinguistic analysis of the repatriation and restudy of Bake’s work exemplifies Mauss’ theory of “the gift” as a reciprocal social act that benefits both giver and receiver, in a form of applied ethnomusicology.

Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy (Ph.D. Brown University 1980), adjunct professor in the Department of Ethnomusicology at UCLA, teaches courses on musics of South and Southeast Asians and Asian-Americans, Karnatak music, field methodology, ethnographic film, music and the sacred, applied and public sector ethnomusicology, and music of India’s cinema. Amy's work often has an applied focus aimed at community development of minority traditions, especially in diasporic settings. She also serves on the Board of Trustees and the Academic Affairs Committee of the University of Silicon Andhra (UofSA). Her applied research with Cambodian-Americans, Hmong-Americans, and Sidi African-Indian Sufis of India, resulted in her documentaries on each. She is preparing a monograph to accompany her documentary, Music for a Goddess, on social traditions and modernity among Dalit jogti musicians of India’s Deccan. She and Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy co-directed Bake Restudy 1984, a documentary using Arnold Bake’s 1938 footage and audio recordings of sacred music in Tamilnadu, Karnataka, and Kerala, where she continues to conduct research, most recently in collaboration with Mappila Muslims of Malabar, Kerala.

Part of the Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy Colloquium Series, this event is sponsored by The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Department of Ethnomusicology, with support from the Dean of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.

Like most of The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music’s programs, this event is FREE! Register in advance for this event via the link below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.  Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Early arrival is recommended. Registrants receive priority up until 15 minutes before the event.

While Inside the Venue:

No Food or Drink allowed in the building.

Attending this Program?


This virtual event is FREE! Tune in via Livestream.


Self-service parking is available at UCLA’s Parking Structure #2 for events in Schoenberg Music Building and the Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center. Costs range from $1 for 20 minutes to $20 all day. Learn more about campus parking.


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is eager to provide a variety of accommodations and services for access and communications. If you would like to request accommodations, please do so 10 days in advance of the event by emailing ADA@schoolofmusic.ucla.edu or calling (310) 825-0174.


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music welcomes visitors to take non‐flash, personal‐use photography except where noted. Share your images with us @UCLAalpert / #UCLAalpert on Twitter + Instagram + Facebook


Food and drink may not be carried into the theaters. Thank you!


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). As a land grant institution, we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.