book reviews


“I frequently dip into your books when in need of some clarification. Marvellous work.” – Ramnarayan Venkatrama, Editor-in-Chief, Sruti Magazine (unsolicited response by email, 18 July 2013)

“No library of books on Indian music would be complete … without Ludwig Pesch’s Raga Dhana (published by Natana Kairali) and The Illustrated Companion to South Indian Classical Music (Oxford University Press). They are among the most widely consulted books on Indian music in English. Pesch’s writing is highly regarded for its accurate scholarship. At the same time he takes pains to write in a style that does not intimidate the lay reader.


Raga Dhana is a neatly arranged compendium that gives Indian and Western notation for both Karnatak and Hindustani ragas. The Illustrated Companion to South Indian Classical Music is a guide to the classical arts of the South,mainly music and dance.

Pesch is now offering an online course, perhaps the first of its kind, in South Indian music. – SR Ramakrishna , “The e-route to Karnatak music” in The Music Magazine 02/07/03

“Talking of passion, I have always wondered at people from different countries and cultures drawn to the Indian art scene, often making them delve deeper than we do. Certainly, all those years ago, looking at Ludwig Pesch sitting under a tree in Kalakshetra, trying to grasp what flautist H.Ramachandra Sastri taught in his old world style, I could have never imagined he would launch an archival institution like Sampradaya in Madras. Or that this German scholar would produce one of the most useful books on Carnatic music (“The Illustrated Companion to South Indian Classical Music“, Oxford University Press).” – Gowri Ramnarayan in “Where custom endures despite change”The Hindu (Metro Plus), Thursday, Dec 20, 2001