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Did Aurangzeb Ban Music? Questions for the Historiography of his Reign



Bury [music] so deep under the earth that no sound or echo of it may rise again.

- Attributed to Aurangzeb

There is no safer way to blacken a person's reputation in the estimate of following generations than to attribute a wanton holocaust of wasted beauty to him.

- Antonia Fraser on Oliver Cromwell



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This research was generously funded by a Postgraduate Award from the United Kingdom Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). I am particularly grateful to Richard Widdess, Avril Powell, Jonathan Katz, and Gage Averill for their penetrating comments on this work at an earlier stage of its gestation; see Brown, “Hindustani music in the time of Aurangzeb” (2003), pp. 81–117.


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Modern Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0026-749X
  • EISSN: 1469-8099
  • URL: /core/journals/modern-asian-studies
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