Combining ethnomusicological and art historical methods with history and lore, Bonnie C. Wade examines how musicians of Hindustan encountered and Indianized music from the Persian cultural sphere. Exploring the visual sources available in illustrated manuscripts and paintings of the Mughal Empire (1526-1858), Wade focuses first on Akbar, to show how political and cultural agendas intertwined in the portrayal of Mughal court life. Wade then follows the depictions of music-making through paintings for Akbar's successors Jahangir and Shah Jahan to trace the gradual synthesis of Persian and Indian culture. She also provides an explicit and implicit focus on the role of women in Mughal culture and music. Richly illustrated with reproductions of Mughal paintings, this work will appeal broadly to anyone interested in Indian history, art history, and ethnomusicology.
"Wade has the ability to make descriptions of instrumental ensembles and court scenes come to life.... Without a doubt "Imaging Sound" addresses an important interdisciplinary area of ethnomusicology and musicology".--Regula Burckhardt Qureshi