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Oṛiā Saṅgīta-Sāhitya

Online Center for the Study of Odia Music and Literature

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Except where otherwise noted, all content copyright © David Dennen.

performance graphic
“Forms and figures that were carved on stone were also etched on palmleaf; they were described in words and the words were set to music which accompanied the dance forms.”
—Sitakant Mahapatra

Welcome to Oṛiā Saṅgīta-Sāhitya: Online Center for the Study of Odia Music (Saṅgīta) and Literature (Sāhitya) (sangita-sahitya.org). The purpose of this website, still very much under development, is to provide resources on Odia literature and music (from the region of Odisha, India), especially from the premodern and early-modern periods: that is, from the age of Sāraḷā Dāsa (15th century) to the age of Rādhānātha Rāya (late 19th/early 20th century). Although, as the above quote indicates, art forms in (especially premodern) Odisha cannot be entirely separated, the emphasis here is on literature that could be sung—from brief songs to full kāvyas—but prose and other genres (as well as dance and theater) may also be considered. Further resources will be provided on the life of this literature today, especially as regards the performance practice known as “Odissi music” (Oṛiśī saṅgīta).

The main contents of the site currently are extensive bibliographies, some relevant essays, and several translations; presently I hope to house historical/biographical information, introductions to literary and musical theory in Odisha, audio clips of performances, and analyses of particular works.

An ever-expanding database of recordings of Odia songs is also available. Currently it is viewable as a GoogleDoc; as time permits it will be more fully integrated into this site.

For conventions of transliteration used here, please visit the About Odia page.

This site should work fine in most browsers (Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc.), though is not quite optimized yet for Internet Explorer. In order to view the site properly, you will want to have Gentium Plus web fonts installed (this should happen automatically though it may take a minute or two—unless you are using Internet Explorer) and, more optionally, the Odia Unicode script enabled.

New information and resources will be added as time permits. For updates and other news, please see our blog.

Finally, except where otherwise noted, all content on this site is copyright © David Dennen (that is, it cannot be reproduced without the author’s permission). As sections reach relative states of finality, content will probably be shifted to Creative Commons licenses.