Based on fieldwork carried out in West Bengal, Sailing on the Sea of Love is a pioneering study of the songs of the Baul - a Bengali religious sect, widely beloved for its enchanting music. Charles Capwell describes the role Baul song plays in the lives of the Bauls themselves and in the experience and imagination of their fellow Bengalis. He also examines the sometimes enigmatic texts of the songs as well as their musical components and performance elements. Sailing on the Sea of Love provides an overview of the fundamental beliefs and practices of the Bauls and how the changing reception of the Bauls by the larger Bengali society illustrates the evolving nature of tradition. The author reflects on the startling recent developments that have brought this sect from the relative obscurity of a regional culture to an international audience. This new edition is accompanied by two CDs of Baul music.
Charles Capwell was on the faculty of the School of Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for thirty years. A former editor of Ethnomusicology, he is the author of The Music of the Bauls and coauthor of Excursions in World Music.