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Hindu Art Dance Music

HIN 5503 Hindu Religious Art, Dance, Music 3 credits

Course Syllabus

Indus Valley Civilization, divine origins and religious and spiritual significance of arts, concepts of gods and goddesses, art and aesthetics in the Veda’s, other ancient and classical texts, religion in poetry, painting, dance, drama and music, representation of art in temple architecture, symbolism in temple architecture.

This course surveys Hinduism and its visual and performing arts: art (paintings, sculptures), dance (classical and folk genres) and music. Detailed discussions include understanding religious and vedic origins of India’seight major classical dance forms and regional folk dances; their brief history; styles and modern day influences.

The course will provide insight into Hindu philosophies and mythology underlying various dance forms. There are no prerequisites for enrolling in the course.

The course consists of six sessions delivered on a weekly basis.

Course Topics:

  • Topic One: Basic Hinduism FAQs.
  • Topic Two: A brief history of Indus Valley Civilization.
  • Topic Three: An overview of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
  • Topic Four: Introduction to Religious Art, Dance and Music.
  • Topic Five: Detailed discussions on Dance forms of India and their significance.
  • Topic Six: Global perspective.


(1) Regular class attendance is obviously a must. Although the format will vary from week to week, depending on the material being covered, in general we will divide our time equally between background information/lecture, videos, and discussion of the reading. Please be sure to attend class each week ready to discuss the assigned material.

(2) There will be two exams, due as indicated in the syllabus below.

(3) There will be one final essay consisting of 2000 words. The essay topic shall be related to Hindu festivals and will be of your own choosing. The essay topic shall be selected in consultation and approval by the instructor.

(4) Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the expectations of academic honesty found in the Hindu University of America(HUA) Catalog. Plagiarism is a serious academic offense, and all cases—without exception—will be reported to the HUA School administration.

Grading: Your overall grade for the course will be calculated as follows:

First exam            25%
Second exam            25%
Final essay            35%
Class participation        15%

Required Reading (Purchase of Books optional):

  1. Hinduism and Religious Arts – 00 Edition, By Heather Elgood, Publisher: Cassell, ISBN13: 978-0304707393
  2. India’s Dances Their History, Technique and Repertoire 1st Edition, by  Reginald Massey, Publisher: Abhinav Publications, ISBN-10:8170174341 ISBN-13:9788170174349
  3. Dance Dialects of India, by Ragini Devi, Publisher: MotilalBanarasidass Published 1990, ISBN 8120806743, 9788120806740
  4. Indian Classical Dance: Tradition in Transition, Roli Books 2002, ISBN 8174362169, 9788174362162
  5. The Music of India, Publisher:Kessinger Publishing, LLC (March 5, 2004), ISBN-13: 978-0766186071
  6. The Music of India, By Peggy Holroyd, Published by: International Thomson Publishing 1972, ISBN-13: 978-0275534905
  7. Inside Hinduism ebook, Ch 3 and 4: C5M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Gvc3VZWLFoT7sASUp4H4Bw&ved=0CCkQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=hindu%20festivals%20ebook&f=false
  8. Hinduism at a Glance:
  9. Basics of Hinduism:
  10. Culture of India:
  11. Hindu Culture:
  12. Hindu Gods and Goddesses:


International Hindu University is a not-for-profit, post-secondary degree-granting institution recognized by the Florida Department of Education and Florida Commission on Independent Education under the authority of Florida State Statutes, Section 1005.06.

Vison of IHU

Uniting ancient spiritual and religious wisdom of the East with the curiosity of the West, IHU is dedicated to the emergence of Hindu Dharma in a world in need of peace, co-existence, and mutual respect. We welcome students of all ages, faiths, disciplines, and degrees to join us in exploring the modern legacy of the oldest religion on earth.

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