Singers Die Twice

A Journey to the Land of Drupad

Peter Pannke

Translated by Samuel P. Willcocks


6 x 9 inches, 340pp, 22 halftones, 1 map, 1 diagram. January 2014

ISBN : 9780857421043

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Singers Die Twice is the story of a life in music. One of Germany's best-known exponents of North Indian classical music, specifically dhrupad singing, Peter Pannke has traveled from his home in Germany to Varanasi, Delhi, Darbhanga, and the forests of Vrindaban to study classical Indian singing in the most famous gharanas—musical houses—of India. His richly woven story takes readers from the legendary beginning of the gharana in the eighteenth century into the last splendid days of the Maharaja of Darbhanga—the inspiration for Satyajit Ray's 1957 classic film, The Music Room—and into the present.


Along the way, we meet legendary singers whose names are still known to the devotees of dhrupad: the grand old Pandit Ram Chatur Mallik, the pious and inspiring Pandit Vidur Mallik, and both the masters and the humbler musicians and traveling players who bring music to the fields of Bihar, across India, and beyond. Singers Die Twice is the inspiring story of a master musician in the world that he loves. 

Peter Pannke is a musician, singer, writer, radio journalist and producer. His extensive discography includes Road of the Troubadours (2003) and Mourungen: Songs from a Visionary Musical (2002). He received the Rabindranath Tagore Cultural Prize from the German-Indian Society in 2009. 


Samuel P. Willcocks was the 2010 winner of the German Ambassador's Award for Literary Translation (London). He translates from Czech, German, Romanian and Slovene into English and lives in Giurgiu on the Danube with his family.

South Asian Studies
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