We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

From Separation to Union: Musical Emotion and Qawwālī at the Shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya

GRAVES, THOMAS,ANTHONY (2024) From Separation to Union: Musical Emotion and Qawwālī at the Shrine of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC).



This thesis presents a new study of musical emotion in the South Asian Sufi music known as qawwālī in its context at the dargāh (shrine complex) of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya in Delhi. Responding to calls for greater integration between ethnomusicology and music psychology, the rapid increase in musical emotion theory during the twenty-first century, and the “WEIRD” crisis in psychology, it uses methods from both ethnomusicology and music psychology to explore the relevance of existing theories of musical emotion for listeners’ emotional experiences with qawwālī. It thus presents one of very few recent studies of music in which quantitative psychological studies are embedded within both in-person and digital ethnographic contexts. Methods include in-person and online interviews, in-person reflexive ethnographic fieldwork, quantitative self-report questionnaire studies, video analysis, translation and discussion of lyrical texts, and music transcription and analysis.

With research conducted during and shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic, this thesis also provides a snapshot of qawwālī, and people’s emotional engagement with it at a particularly tumultuous moment in history. It thus shows not only the emotional aspect of a music, but also the importance of the dargāh as a community hub and public place of sanctuary. The conclusions reached by this thesis touch on many important elements of ethnomusicology and the psychology of musical emotion. For psychologists, it suggests a greater focus on context, lyrics, emic theories, and the moral basis of musical emotion. For ethnomusicologists, it suggests a need to diversify the range of methods used in music research. For both, it suggests a reconsideration of epistemological and methodological orthodoxies.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Qawwali; musical emotion; Sufi music; Indian music; ethnomusicology; music psychology; music and Islam.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Music, Department of
Thesis Date:2024
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:04 Jun 2024 15:33

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter