BAKE, Arnold Adriaan

BAKE, Arnold Adriaan. Hilversum 19.5.1899 — 8.10.1963. Dutch Indologist in India and in the U.K. School at Hilversum and in 1912-18 in Haarlem. He planned to go to Indonesia, and therefore began in 1918 Sanskrit (Vogel) and Arabian (Snouck Hurgronje) studies at Leiden; studied music, too. Reduction of colonial offices made him to change his plans, and he began to study Indology, instead, from 1923 at Utrecht under Caland (especially texts on music). In 1925 went for the first time to India, studied Indian music at Santiniketan, returned 1929 and offered his dissertation in 1930 at Utrecht. In 1925 married Cornelia Timmers.

In 1931 he went again to India, first as a research scholar of Kern Institute, then financing his work giving concerts. On recommendation by S. Lévi he was allowed to visit Nepal in summer 1931. In 1934 to Europe, 1935-36 lecturing tour in the U.S.A., then settled down in London. In 1937 he got Spalding Research Fellow­ship of Brasenose College, Oxford, and left for India in order to do field-work. When the war forced him to remain in India, the college extended the fellowship until 1944. Travelled all over India from Ceylon to Ladakh, in wartime stayed mostly in Calcutta. He studied the Kirtan songs of Bengal Vaishnavas, learnt it himself in the traditional way and even gave public performances. When the fellowship expired in 1944, began again to give concerts together with his wife. In the end of 1946 he was at last able to return to London.

From 1948 he was Lecturer in Sanskrit and Indian Music at the S.O.A.S. (Univ. of London), 1949 Reader of Sanskrit, ibid., until his death. In 1955-56 again in Nepal and India. Had problems with his health, especially after a car accident in 1958, and had to cancel the last trip in 1962.

Bake was the first Western scholar, who really knew well Indian music. He brought the study of music into Indology and Indian music into Musicology. At the same time an outstanding Sanskrit scholar and anthropologist. He was himself an excellent musician, and already in Santiniketan learnt to play and sing Indian music as well. He was the first to record Sāmavedic chant in South India in 1932.

Publications: diss. Bijdrage tot de kennis der Voor-Indische Muziek. 78 p. P. 1930 = Dāmodara, Sangītadarpaṇa, The mirror of Music, ch. 1–2. ed. & tr. in English. 1930; with Ph. Stern: Chansons de Rabindranath Tagore. 130 p. P. 1935.

– “Java and Bali”, JASB 22, 1932, 351-364.

– “The practice of Sāmaveda”, Proc. of the 7th All-India Or. Conf. Baroda 1933, 1935, 143–155; “Bharata’s experiment with the two vīṇās”, BSOAS 20, 1957, 61-67; “The music of India”, W. Wellesz (ed.), Ancient and Oriental Music. New Oxford Hist. of Music 1. L. 1957, 195-227; “Indische Musik”, F. Blume (ed.), Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart 6. 1957, 1150-1185; “La musique indien”, R. Manuel (ed.), Histoire de la musique 1. P. 1960, 319-342; “Religious element in Indian Theatre”, J. Jacquot, Les théatres d’Asie. P. 1961.

– “Ṥri Chaitanya Mahaprabha”, MKNAW Afd. Letterk. N.R. 11:8, 1948, 179-305.

– “The appropriation of Ṥiva’s aspects by Devī”, SBOAS 17, 1955, 519-525; other articles and reviews.

Sources: J. Brough, BSOAS 27, 1964, 246–264 with a photo and bibliography; *J. Gonda, Jaarboek K.N.A.W. 1963-64, 429-435; JRAS 1964, 157f.

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