Ethnomusicology of the Individual: Vishnuchittan Balaji between Tradition and Innovativeness


  • Svanibor Pettan University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts
  • Lasanthi Manaranjanie Kalinga Dona Independent researcher



Ethnomusicology of the individual, tradition and innovativeness, Vishnuchittan Balaji, India, violin/viola


The article presents the case of a creative Indian classical music artist respectful of tradition and open towards experimentation. Based on the interviews and participant observation, it presents the artist‘s views and his four innovative musical instruments. The article fits in the theoretical frame of ethnomusicology of the individual.


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Author Biographies

  • Svanibor Pettan, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts

    Svanibor PETTAN ( is Professor and Chair of the ethnomusicology program at the University of Ljubljana. His academic degrees are from the Universities of Zagreb, Croatia (BA), Ljubljana, Slovenia (MA), and Maryland, USA (PhD), while his fieldwork sites include territories of what was Yugoslavia, Australia, Egypt, Norway, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and USA. The prevalent themes of his publications are music, politics and war, minorities, gender, multiculturalism, and applied ethnomusicology. The recent ones include the Oxford Handbook of Applied Ethnomusicology (coedited with Jeff Todd Titon) and Study Guide with DVD Kosovo Through the Eyes of Local Romani Musicians. Former President of the Cultural and Ethnomusicological Society Folk Slovenia, he currently serves as Vice-President of the International Council for Traditional Music and Chair of its Study Group Music and Minorities.

  • Lasanthi Manaranjanie Kalinga Dona, Independent researcher

    Lasanthi Manaranjanie KALINGA DONA ( is an ethnomusicologist and musician, former lecturer at the University of Colombo and certified artist in Indian classical music at the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. Her academic degrees are from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka (B.A.), Banaras Hindu University, India (M.Mus), and University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (Ph.D.). The themes of her scholarly studies, published internationally, are Sri Lankan rituals, medical ethnomusicology, and music and war. As a scholar and performer (singer, violinist), she gave presentations in more than twenty countries in Asia, Europe, and North America. She serves as the ICTM liaison officer for Sri Lanka and as a member of the advisory board of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies.



29. 06. 2018




How to Cite

Ethnomusicology of the Individual: Vishnuchittan Balaji between Tradition and Innovativeness. (2018). Musicological Annual, 54(1), 107-122.

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