Skip to main content

Distributed for Seagull Books

Sailing on the Sea of Love

The Music of the Bauls of Bengal

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 that 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.

242 pages | 43 halftones, 2 CDs | 6 x 9 | © 2010

Music: Ethnomusicology

Seagull Books image

View all books from Seagull Books

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition

Preface to the First Edition


1. The Bauls: A Brief Description

2. The Evolution of the Bauls as Cultural Emblem

3. The Place of Baul-gān

4. Backgrounds of Some Singers

5. Performance Contexts

6. Texts

7. Instruments

8. Temporal Organization

9. Pitch Use and Tonality

10. The Structure of Baul-gān and its Realization in Performance

Appendix A: Song Texts

Appendix B: jīber bujhi sudin holo



List of Tracks on CDs

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press