Swami Vivekananda                           

Home | New | Contact
By topic | Maxims | Quotations | Tales and parables | Books by the Swami | Lectures | Prose | Poetry
Editor's Notes | Books | Swami on himself | Reminiscences | Photos 1 | Photos 2 | Photos 3 | Dates | World thinkers | Reports | Letters 1 | Letters 2 | Books & articles | Growth | People he influenced | Links
subglobal3 link | subglobal3 link | subglobal3 link | subglobal3 link | subglobal3 link | subglobal3 link | subglobal3 link
subglobal4 link | subglobal4 link | subglobal4 link | subglobal4 link | subglobal4 link | subglobal4 link | subglobal4 link
subglobal5 link | subglobal5 link | subglobal5 link | subglobal5 link | subglobal5 link | subglobal5 link | subglobal5 link
subglobal6 link | subglobal6 link | subglobal6 link | subglobal6 link | subglobal6 link | subglobal6 link | subglobal6 link
subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link | subglobal7 link
subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link | subglobal8 link




( Ancient Period ) 
Published by Swaxni Adytaanda 
Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, Calcutta-6. 
First Published in May, 1963 
All Rights Reserved by 
Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, Calcutta. 
Printed by Benoy Ratan Sinha at Bharati Printing Works, 
141, Vivekananda Road, Calcutta-6. 
Plates printed by Messrs. Bengal Autotype Co. Private Ltd. 
Cornwallis Street, Calcutta. 
Before attempting to write an elaborate history of 
Indian Music, I had a mind to write a concise one 
for the students. Opinions differ regarding the 
import, scope, characteristics as well as method of 
treatment of history of Indian music. So far as 
is known to us there are different kinds of history 
of music taught in schools, colleges and universities 
of foreign lands. Indian people claim that their 
music is the most ancient one in the world, but 
no serious attempt has as yet; been made to write 
a chronological history of music of India. India 
indeed is a great country, the fountain-head of the 
world civilization and culture. Most of the 
historians both of the East and the West admit 
that many of the civilized nations of the world are 
indebted to India for their materials of civilization, 
aft and culture. India does not lack in authentic 
materials for constructing a history of music of 
her own, for putting before the admiring gaze of 
tbe world, her glorious heritage in the field of art, 
education and culture. 
It gives me pleasure to mention in this connection 
that some valuable articles on the history of Indian 
music, from the gifted pens of the connoisseurs of 
music, published from time to time in different 
papers and journals, have left; behind them impress 
of permanent value in the field of study and culture 
( vii ) 
of Indian music. A compendious book on history 
of music has recently come out from the pen of a 
scholar like Shri P. Sambamoorthy of Madras. 
The precious articles of Dr. V. Raghavan in this 
field are noted for their clarity and scholarship. 
His illuminating serial articles on Some Names in 
Early and latter Sangita Literature, An Outline 
Literary History >of Indian Music, appeared in the 
journal of the Music Academy, Madras, and 
Music in the Deccan and South India, appeared in 
the "Behar Theatre", Behar, and other articles, 
appeared in the Trivai, the Bulletin of the Sangita 
Na'tak Akadami, New Delhi, are worth-mentioning. 
Recently the University of Agra has honoured 
Dr. Saratchandra Shridhar Paranjape of Bhopal 
by conferring a doctorate on him for his thesis on 
the history of Indian music, from the ancient 
period upto the Gupta period. Thus new hope is 
dawning on the horizon of history of Indian music, 
and paving the path for writing a future authentic 
history of music of the Indian people. 
The present volume is an attempt for tracing out 
firstly the historical evolution of the musical 
materials like microtones, tones, murcchands, 
rdgas, scales, gifts and prabandhas, ve\en!d, vemt, 
and tnridanga, dances and hand-poses, rhythm and 
tempp as well as the philosophical concept that are 
very essential for the study of history of Indian 
music, and secondly, the chronological accounts of 
.history of music of India in different ways in 
( -v 
Vlll ) 
different periods, including development of music 
in Bengal and South India. 
It is needless to mention that this present small 
volume will act as a guide to the students of 
history of Indian music. I have already published 
two volumes of Sangita O Samskriti in Bengali (in 
the second edition, the name has been changed into 
Bharatiya* Sangiter Itihdsa), wherein I have dealt 
with Indian music upto the Gupta period. The 
third volume of the book is under preparation. 
The present first volume deals with the ancient 
period, covering the primitive one down to the 12th 
century A.D. The second volume will cover the 
mediaeval and modern periods i.e., from the 13th 
century upto the 20th century. 
I express my deep sense of gratitude to 
Dr. Niharranjan Ray for writing the 'Foreword' 
of this book, which has enhanced its value as well 
as its prestige. I also express my gratitude to 
Dr. V. Raghavan of the Madras University for 
giving me permission to print as an 'Appendix' to 
this volume his learned article, Sdmazwda and' 
Mtisic, which was delivered under the auspices of 
the Convention in Delhi on the 13th October, 1962 
and subsequently published in the Journal of the 
Music Academy, Madras, in 1963. Though I have 
dealt with the problem of sdmagdnti in this book, 
yet I have included Dr. Raghavan's article for the 
fuller knowledge of the subject for the students. 
I also express my gratitude to Shri Subodh 
Kumar Chatter ji, B.A,, for making necessary 
corrections in the manuscript before sending it to 
the press. It will be of great pleasure to me if 
the Students as well as the lovers of Indian music 
are benefitted through its perusal. 
It should be mentioned in this connection that 
the diacritical marks a a a a have been used 
throughout the book to express the sound of a i.e., 
Swami Prajnanananda. 
Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, 
19B, Raja Rajkrishna Street, 
May, 1963 
Swami Prajiianananda of the Ramakrishna 
Vedanta Math of Calcutta, has been well-known 
in Bengal for more than a decade and a half, as 
one of our foremost authorities on the history, 
form, and technique of Indian Classical Music. 
For all these years he has been publishing, in 
Bengali, volume after volume, each one incorporat- 
ing his findings and interpretations on practically 
all aspects and phases of his chosen field of study. 
This treatise in English is a summary of some of 
his basic findings and observations, put in the form 
of a simple historical narrative, more or less in the 
shape and form of a student's or general reader's 
hand-book on the subject. 
I believe the book fulfils its purpose. 
A good Sanskritist, deeply religious in spirit 
and approach to life and its afifairs and philoso- 
phical in training and discipline, Swami 
Prajnanananda-ji gives evidence of his intimate 
knowledge of early and mediaeval texts on Indian 
music, its religious and spiritual associations and 
its philosophical background. Yet what is most 
gratifying is that he never loses sight of the 
historical perspective; indeed, his study is directed 
from the point of view of what; he calls "dialectical 
method of historical -evolution". In whatever, 
therefore, he brings into his orbit of study and 
analysis, whether it is shrutis or svaras, rdgas or 
prabatidhas, mudrds or musical instruments, he 
follows the history from mystic origins to almost 
the beginning of our times, and more, he cites 
evidences that are not merely textual, but literary 
and archaeological as well, evidence that can be 
fixed in time and space more or less objectively. 
His narrative of the history of music in our 
country from primitive times onwards is also very 
interesting reading. The inclusion of rural and 
folk music and a separate chapter on the contri- 
bution of Bengal to Indian music enhances, I am 
sure, the value of the narrative. 
I feel very thankful that I have been asked to 
introduce the book to the reading public, though 
I am sure, Swami Prajfianananda does not need 
any introduction as a writer and scholar in the 
field of Indian music. 
Prasad Bhavan 
68-4A, Puma Dos Road, NIHARRANJAN RAY 
April 11, 1963. 
( xii ) 
Subject Page 
Preface ....... vii ix 
Foreword by Dr. N. R. Ray .... xi xii 
Prelude 17 
Music that evolved on the Indian soil, 8 What is 
history, 8 What do we mean by history of music, 9 
How to construct history of music, 9-10 Import- 
ance and utility of history of music, 10-11 Music: 
sacred and profane, 11 Division of ages, 12-13 
Origin of music, 13-14. 
Historical evolution of different music-materials, 15 
Evolution of microtones (shrutis), 15-16 Five jdti- 
shrutis and 22 shrwtis (table), 17-18 Table No. 2, 18 
Evolution of tones, 19-23 Ud&tta, anuddtta and 
svarita, 19 The emergence of the solfa syllables, 20 
The Vedic tones, 20- -The Vedic tones evolved in 
a downward process, 20 The laukika tones evolved 
from the register tones, uddtta, etc., 21 The ddhdra- 
shadja, 21 Different numbers of shrutis in different 
periods (Table No. I), 28 Table No. II, 23 Evolu- 
tion of murcchand, varna, alamkdra, tana and stJidya, 
23-29 Sth&na and murcchand in the Rdmdyana, 24 
The Rdmdyama and Abhinavagupta on pdthya, 24 
Bharata on pdthya, 24-25 Murcchand in the Ndradi- 
shikshd and the Ndtyasdstra, 25 The murcchands 
evolved from the gramas, 25-26 Murcchand of 12 
tones, 26 Murcchands with 7 tones are divided into 
four parts, 26 Kohala on the murcchand, 26-27 The 
function of the varna, 27 The tanas in old treatises, 
27-28 Different kinds of tana, 28 The gamaka and 
the kdku, 29 The sthdya, 29 Evolution of ten essen- 
tials (dasa lakshanas), 29-30 Bharata on the ten 
( . V 
Kill ) 
Subject Page 
essentials, 30-31 Graha and amsha, 31-32 Nydsa, 
viddri, samnydsa, alpatva, vahutva, etc., 32-33 Vadi, 
samvddi, anwuddi and vivadi, 33 Evolution of the 
concept of rdga, 33-34 Rdgas in the Rdmdyana, 
Mahdbhdrata-Harivamsha, 34 Evolution of the rdga f 
35 Jdti or jdtirdga and six grdmardgas, 35-36 Rdgas 
in the Kudumiamalai Rock-Inscriptions, 36 Different 
bhdshdrdgas, 37 Shuddha and vikrita jdtirdgas as 
described in the Ndtyasdstra, 37-38 Evolution of the 
grdmardgas, 38 The seven shuddha grdmardgas 
evolved from the gramas, shadja and madhyama, 39-40 
Evolution of the bhdshdrdgas or angardgas, 41 The 
evolution of the rdgas was in a gradual process, 42 
Evolution of the scales, 42-47 What do we mean by 
the word, scale, 42-43 The sdman scale, 43-44 The 
shadjagrdma was the fixed scale of the Vedic music, 
44-45 The mcla and the melakantd, 46-46 Evolution 
of the gitis and the prabandhas, 47-48 The jdtiqdna, 
48 The brahma- gitis , 48 The gitis, magddhi, ardha- 
mdgadhi, etc., 49 The definitions of the rdgagitis, 
shuddha, etc., 50-51 The probandha-giti, 51-52 The 
limbs (angas) of the prabandha, 52 Three categories 
of prabandha i.e., suda, dli and wprakirna, 52-53 The 
new designs of the dhruvapada (dhrupad), 53-54 
Evolution of the wecnd, venu and mridanga, 54-59 
The vetna and the dhanuryantram, 55 The evolution 
of vcnu, 56 Different kinds of ve,end in the Vedic age, 
56-57 Division of the musical instruments, 57 The , 
veena, wna, 57-58 The four-stringed vfynd from the 
Ruper excavation, 59 Evolution of dance in India and 
its significance, 59-60 Statuette of bronze dancing 
girl and that of the dancing Nataraja Siva from the 
mounds of Mahenjo-daro and Harappa, 60 Hand- 
poses, 60 Nritya, nritta, and ndtya, 61 Mdrga and 
desi types of dances, 61-62 Dances in the times of 
Panini, Patanjali and Bharata, 63 Tandatva and Idsya, 
63 Dances during the time of Kalidasa, 64 Dances 
in different periods, 65 Evolution of the hand-poses 
(mudrds), 66-71 The symbolized figures of the hands 
and different limbs of the body during the time of the 
( xiv ) 
Subject Page 
sdman singing, in the Vedic period, 67-68 Narada 
about the hand-poses, 68-69 The updsand-mudrds of 
the Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and others, 69 The four 
kinds of abhinaya, 20 Hand-poses as described by 
Bharata and Nandikeshvara, 70-71 Evolution of 
rhythm and tempo, 71-78 Kdla and tola, 71 Hans 
Tiscler on rhythm, 72 The Vedic meters, 73 The 
talas, sa-shabda and nis-shabda, 73 Evolution of 
eight kinds of tdla, 74 Two kinds of jdti of the 
talas, 74 Different grahas of the tolas, 75 The 
evolution of yati, 75-76 The evolution of prastdra, 
76 Different rhythms of the Karnatic music, 76-77 
The modern talas of the North Indian system of 
music, 77 Historical evolution of philosophical con- 
cept in music, 78-82 The Mahdbhdrata about seven 
tones, 79 Philosophical ideas in the Brihaddeshi and 
the Sangita-samayasdra, 79-82'. 
Music in the primitive time, 83-86 The functional 
music, 83 A. B. Alexander on the primitive music, 
83-84- Mr. Hambly on the primitive music, 84 The 
musical instruments of the primitive time, 85 
Some aboriginal stocks of the primitive singers, 
85-86. Music in the prehistoric time, 86-88 The 
mounds of the dead in Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, 
86 Musical remains from the Indus civilization, 87 
The wena from the Ruper level, 87 A shell piece 
with grooves at two places, found from, the Lothal ex- 
cavation, 87-88. 
The sdmagdna, 89 The stobhas, 89 The women 
would devoted their time in music in the Vedic time, 
90 Music in different sacrifices and rites, 90-91 The 
tones of the Vedic music were in descending series, 91 
Some subsidiary tones of the Vedic music, 91 The 
veends, v&na and kdtydyawi, 92 The four song 
books and four types of Vedic ganas, 92-93 The sing- 
Subject Page 
ing process of the Vedic music, 93 The Vedic songs 
had their fixed scale, 93 The vakra and riju move- 
ments of the Vedic tones (Table), 94 Pt. Lakshmana 
Sankara Bhatta-Dravida and M. S. Ramasvami 
Aiyar on the methods of the movements of the Vedic 
tones, 94 The seven Vedic tones evolved from the three 
register tones, 94 There were various recensions 
(shdkhds) of singing the sdmagdna, 95 The stobha, 
95 Four kinds of sdmagdna, 96. 
CHAPTER V 97103 
Music in the classical and Epic times, 97-103 The 
g&ndharva type of music, 97 The real significance 
of the word rdga, 98 Music in the works of Panini 
and Patanjali, 98-99 Music in the Bhuddhist period, 
99-103 The thera and theri gathds, 100 The gatha, 
ndrasamsi, 100 Music in the Matsya and Gupttta 
jdtakas, 100 The veends, chvtra and vipanchi, 101 
Music in the Mahayana texts, 101-102 The records left 
by Fa Hien, 102 Music culture during Harsa 
vardhana's time, 103. 
CHAPTER VI 104107 
Music in sculptures and bas-leliefs, 104 Rajendra Lai 
Mitra on Sanchi and Amaravati, 104-105 Music 
remains in the temples at Bhubanesvara, 105 The 
dancing Nataraja in the cave temple of Badami, 105 
Drums, represented in the temple-halls of Muktesvara 
and Badami, 106 Dance figures in the Parasurames- 
vara temple, 106-107 The dancing Nataraja of 
Chidamvaram, 107. 
Setback and reconstruction in Indian music, 108 
Music coming into definite form, 109 Contact of 
India with other countries, 110 It is said that 
Pythagoras visited India and carried with him the 
materials of Indian culture, 110 Cultural and com- 
mercial contact between the prehistoric Indus cities 
Subject Page 
and other Western and most ancient countries, 111 
Contract of India with China, 111-112 Contact of 
India with Central Asia, 112 Different schools of 
dance, drama and music, 112-113 The schools of 
Narada, Bharata and Nandikesvara, 113 Brahma- 
bharata and Sadasi vabharata, 113-1 14 Different 
Naradas, 114 The svaramandcda as described by 
Narada in the Shikshd, 115 The gwnawrittis, as 
described in the Ndradishikshd, 115-116 The vaidika 
and laukika tones, 116 Gdtra and ddravi veends, 1 lo- 
ll/ Bharata, the father of the methodical system of 
music ,117 The Pythagorian inicrotonal system, 
118-119 Bharata's method of determing of the 
twenty-two shrutis, 120-122 A short survey of 
Bharata's Ndfiyasdstra, 112-128 The veends, chitrd 
and vipanchi, 129 The remains of the saptatantri- 
veend in the Pitalkhora Caves, 129-130 The kutapa, 
131 Evolution of the tuning-method or mdrjand, 
131-132 Three kinds mdrjand, 132 The modern 
method of tuning in the tumburd, 133 Nandikesvara 
and his works, 133-134 Bharata and Nandikesvara, 
135 A short analysis of the work, Bharatdrnava, 
136-137 The age of new awakening, 136-138^-The 
murcchands and grdmardgas in the Ndradishikshd, 
137 Aryan and non-Aryan elements in Indian music, 
The age of renaissance, 140 Eighteen jdtis, sddhdrana, 
antara and kdkali (modified) tones, 141-142 The 
alamkdras, gitis and dance in the Ndtiyasdstra, 142 
What do we mean by the word jati, 142 The dhruvds, 
143 The tonal bases and their distributing units, 
CHAPTER IX 144150 
Culture of music in the Gupta and Maurya period, 
114 Kumara Davi, 145 The Sakas and the Pahlavas 
ha4 interest in music, 145 Kalidasa's knowledge of 
( xvii ) 
Subject Page 
music and dance, 145-146 Dance-types, as described 
in different works of Kalidasa, 146-149 Dipadikd, 
jhambhalika, etc. classical dances, 147-148 Prof. 
Ghurye on dvipadika and other dances, 148 Vema- 
Bhupala and Rana Kumbha on dance, 149 Shudraka 
and music, 149 Vishnu Sharma and music, 149 
Shri-Harsa and Damodaragupta on dance, 150. 
CHAPTER X 151165 
Indian music in the post-Bharata period, 151 Kohala, 
151 Dattila, 151-152 Shardula, 152 Yashtika, 152 
Durgashakti, 1 52 Vishvakhila, 1 53 Visvavasu, 
153 Svati, 153 Kirtidhara, 153 Lollata, 153 
Udbhata, 153 Saunaka, 154 Nandikeshvara, 154-155 
Matanga, 155-156 Matrigupta, 157 The author 
of the Natyalochana, 157 Utpaladeva, 158 
Abhinavagupta, 1 58-1 59 Parshvadeva, 1 59-160 
King Nanyadeva, 160-161 Someshvara, 162-164 
Saradatanaya, 164 and other musicologists, 165. 
CHAPTER XI 166176 
Role of Bengal in the domain of music, 166-167 
Sumudragupta, the veend-player, 167 King Harsa- 
vardhana of Kanauj and music, 157 Kalhana, and 
Damodaragupta about music of Bengal, 167 The 
music culture during Pala and Sena Rulers, 168 The 
charyd and vajra gitis, 169 The singing method of 
the chary agitij 170 Music culture during Lakshmana- 
sena's time, 171 Jayadeva contribution to the music 
of Bengal, 171 The nature and the raga* of the 
Gitagovinda, 172 Rana Kumbha's commentary of 
of the Gitagovinda and the change of form of the 
rtigas, mentioned in the astapadi, 173-174 Similar 
works like the Gitagovinda, 175 Theform of presenta- 
tion of astapadi in the South, 176. 
Role of South India in the field of music, 177 The 
ancient Tamil epic, Silappadikaram, 177 The Jain 
( xviii ) 
Subject Page 
dictionary, Tivakaram, 178 The hymns and rdgas, 
as described in the Tevdkaram, 178 The fans are 
divided into three main classes, 178-179 The shuddha 
scale of the Tamil music, 179 The book, Paripadal, 
179 Dr. Ragghavan regarding the Tamil worked on 
music, 780 The Silappadhikaram has described about 
22 microtones, 180 The epic drama is divided into 
three, ISOThe pan and its four varieties, 180 The 
names of the seven tones of the Tamil music, 180 
The nine classes of prabandha, 180 The ancient 
scale of the Tamil music, 181 Different musical instru- 
ments in the Tamil music, 181 Music as developed 
during the Pallava Rulers, 181-182 The Vakatakas 
and the Pallavas, 182 Raja Mahendravarman was an 
accomplished zwna-player, 182 Prof. Nilkanta 
Sastri on the Pallava Rulers, 183 The religio-devo- 
tional hymns of the Nayanars, 184 The new names of 
some of the old rdgas, ISA Dr. Raghavan about the 
Saiva hymns of the Nayanars, ISA Music in the 
Chola period, 185 The Dancing hall at Chidambaram, 
185-186 MM. Ramakrishna Kavi about the dance- 
figures at the Chidambaram Nataraja temple, 186 
The musical modes during the time of Rajendra Chola 
186-187 The ages of Rajaraja and his son Rajendra, 
187 Music in the Chalukya period, 188 King 
Somesvara and music-materials, 188-189 The 
ragas, tolas and prabandhas, as described in the 
Abhildsdrthachintdmaniy 189 The ancient period of 
history of Indian music is very important one, 190. 
APPENDIX 191198 
Samaveda and music, 191 The Samaveda is the 
musical version of the Rigveda, 191 The arrange- 
ments of the Samaveda, 191 The purvdrchika and the 
uttardrchika, The udgdtris and the sdmans, 192 
According to the Sdmavidhdna-brdhmana, the saman- 
singing, 192 The terms prakriti and vikriti, 192 
Seven kinds of gdna, 193 The different kinds sdmans 
like gayatra, etc., 193 The utterances of the syllables 
Subject Page 
in the texts of the sdmans, 193 The stobhas, 193 
The syllables of the aldpa, 194 The Rik and the sdman 
differ in the method of the sdman-singmg, 194 
Matanga and Kallinath in this connection, 194-195 
The esoteric significance of the ^awaw-smging*, 196 
The Mahdbhdsya on the ^aftum-singing, 195 The 
sdman-scale, 196 The jdtis of the sdmans, 196 The 
rendering of different sdmans, 197 Indian music still 
harks back to the Samaveda, 198. 
INDEX 201207 
The ancient history of Indian Music is funda- 
mentally the history of her people, civilization and 
culture. The continuity of Indian civilization and 
culture, from the most ancient time uptil now, hab 
one of its sources in the geographical configuration 
of the country. Many historians are of opinion 
that as Hinduism was a common faith and the 
Hindu kings were in power, there was a religious 
and cultural unity and affinity among the Indian 
people as a whole. Decadence set in with the fall 
of Hindu India, and reached its climax during the 
period intervening the 9th to llth centuries A.D. 
That again was the cause of success of the Turkish 
and some other foreign invasions. There was a 
great revival in arts and letters in the 15th-16th 
centuries A.D., with the rise of the Mughal Empire 
in the North India on one side and the Hindu 
Empire in Vijayanagar in the Deccan on the other. 
In the beginning of Maghadhan ascendancy, the 
infiltration of 'the Yavanas began. The word 
'yavana' here means the Greeks or some other 
foreign peoples like the Sakas or Scythians and 
others. During the decadence of Mauryan imperia- 
lism, the Graeco-Scythian powers invaded India 
(324 B.C. 320 A.D.). Though the advent of the 
Muslims, politically speaking, commenced with the 
conquest of Sind by the Arabs and that of the 
Punjab by the Sultans of Ghazni, it was 'Ala-ud- 
din Khalji, who got a strangle-hold over this 
country. Dr. R. C. Majumdar is of opinion that 
the reign of 'Ala-ud-din Khalji really witnessed the 
rapid expansion of the Muslim dominion over 
different parts of India. The name of Amir 
Khusrau should also be linked with that of 'Ala-ud- 
din for our purpose, for the period witnessed the 
innovation brought about in the art of classical 
music of Muslim India. During the period of 
Sharqui rule at Jaunpur, music, architecture and 
other types of culture received fresh impetus for 
their development in a novel manner. 
The history of India from 1526 A.D. to 1556 
A.D. is mainly the story of the Mughul-Afghan 
contest for supremacy on the Indian soil. Akbar 
the Great ascended the throne in February, 1556 
A.D. and ruled upto October 1605 A.D. During 
this period, music, architecture, pointing and other 
fine arts, (together with literary culture attained 
high watermark of development. During the 
time of Jahangir and Shah Jahan (1605-1657 
A.D.), fine arts, including dance and music fully 
received Imperial patronage. During the reign of 
Aurangzeb (1658 to 1707 A.D.), the tempo of 
culture of classical music became slow to some 
.extent, and during that of his successors, it became 
more and more slothful and stagnant, and at last it 
entirely ceased to receive support from the Mughul 
court during the reign of Shah Alam II (1759-1806 
A.D.). But strange enough the reign of Muham- 
mad Shah (17194748 A.D.) became a landmark 
in ( lhe domain of Indian classical music. A new 
type of vocal music, vilambat or slow kheydl on 
the model of the traditional dhruvapada became in 
vogue, through the expert medium of Ustad 
Niyamat Khan, saddrang, and at the same time the 
culture of dhruvapada was raised to its pristine 
Besides the courts of the Afghan, Pathan and 
Mughul rulers, dance, music and drama, together 
with other fine arts also found free outlet under 
the patronage of the indigenous rulers as well as 
the art-loving wealthy people of both the North 
and the South India. In Kashmere, Bengal, Bihar, 
Assam, Kamarupa, Nepal and Maharastra, the 
tradition of culture of classical dance and music 
was fully maintained with proper care. The 
classical dance, drama and music received the 
royal patronage from the rulers like Lalitaditya 
Jayapida Vinayaditya of Kashmere. Kalhan the 
historian of Kashmere has recorded these facts in 
his history of Kashmere, the RdjaParangini. 
Dance and music got full support at the hands 
of the Gupta, Pala and Sena rulers of Greater 
Bengal. The charyd and vajra gitis of the 
Vajrayani Buddhist Siddhacharyas of the 10th- 
llth centuries A.D., the Gitagovindappdagitis of 
Kavi Jayadeva of the early 12th century A.D., the 
Kristhnakirtana of (the Vaishnava savants like Vadu 
Chandidasa, Vidydpati and others of the 14th-15th 
centuries A.D., the ndma-kirtana and the Hid or 
rasa kirtana of Shri Chaitanya and Thakur Narot- 
tamadasa of the 16th-17th centuries A.D., and the 
classical and folk as well as the classico-Bengali 
songs of the 18th-20th centuries A.D., enriched the 
treasury of Indian music. 
The materials for history of Indian music of the 
ancient period can be collected from the Vedas 
and specially from 'the Samaveda, Ihe womb of 
music, the Shikshds and the PrdPishdkhyas, the 
Ndtyasdstra and its commentaries, the classical 
Sanskrit dramas and literature, the Buddhist 
literature and the Jdtakas, 'the Brihaddcshi and 
the Sangitasamayasdra, the Silappadikaram and 
the Tevaram and other ancient Tamil literature, as 
well as from the rock-cut inscriptions and sculp- 
tures, chiselled on the railings, facades and walls of 
different Buddhist, Hindu and Jain Stupas, 
Viharas and temples. 
Similarly the materials of history of Indian music 
of the mediaeval and modern periods can also 
be collected from the records of political and social 
happenings of those two periods. The epochs of 
Baijubaora, Nayaka Gopala, Raja Man Singh 
Tomar, Baksu, Macchu, and others, together with 
that of Swami Krishnadasa, Swami Haridasa, 
Mian Tanasena and others must be considered to 
be important landmarks in the history of North 
Indian music of 'the mediaeval period. In the South, 
we had Tyagaraja, Muthusvami Dikshitar, 
Shyama-shastri, Svati Tirunal and others, who put 
a mark upon the mediaeval history of Karnatic 
music. Again, the music works like the Git\a- 
prakdstha of Swami Krishnadasa, the Rdgat\a- 
rangini of Lochana-kavi as well as some of the 
Persian books like Mdnakutuhala of Fakir-ulla, the 
Toft-ul-hind of Mirza Khan, the Ma'danul- 
moosiqui of Hakim Mohammed Karam Imam of 
the court of Wajid Ali Shah of Lucknow and the 
Ndgmat-e-asaphi of Md. Rezza Khan are the land- 
marks of history of Indian music of the mediaeval 
period of North India. In this connection, 
mention may be made of the main works like 
Samgraha-chiiddmani of Govinda Dikshit and the 
Chatudandiprakdshikd of Venkatamakhi, which 
have constitued the mediaeval history of South 
Indian music. The Rdgadarpana (Hindi transla- 
tion), 'the Sangitadarpana of Damodara (Sans- 
krit), the Sangitataranga of Radhamohan Sen of 
Bengal, the Rddhdgovinda-sangitasdra (Hindi) of 
Frajtap Singh Deo of Jaipur, etc., contain impor- 
tant materials for history of music of the Moham- 
medan period. The contributions of Pandit 
Achrekar, Prof. Deval, Pandit Bhatkhande of 
Maharastra, and Sir Saurindra Mohan Tagore of 
Calcutta, Bengal, are essential for the history of 
Indian music of the modern period. 
Mere heresies and stories, unsupported by 
reliable facts, arguments and reasoning, must not 
be regarded as authentic materials for the construe- 
tion of the history of music. Although they might 
have been collected and preserved with care, they 
must always be weighed upon the scale of verifica- 
tion of facts and traditional records, aided by 
arguments and reasoning. Some are inclined to 
believe dogmatically that old Ustads and the 
upholders of the ghardiids are the only persons 
capable of supplying records and materials for 
construction of a reliable history of music, 
but that is merely a blind faith, having 110 
tradition and argument. True historians are rather 
merciless in this respect, because they do not believe 
in anything which is not based upon traditional 
facts and reasoning. So the history of music must 
always be built upon the solid rock of traditional 
as well as textual materials, supported by reasoning 
and sound proofs. From the statements of Captain 
Willard and some of the Western writers on Indian 
music, we come to know that from time to time 
conferences used to be called upon to ascertain the 
real and genuine system and standard scale of 
Indian music, and stalwart Hindu and Muslim 
Tmsicians used to be invited at those conferences, 
and as such the system used to undergo many 
changes from time to time. 
The culture of classical, classico-folk and folk 
music are being now patronised by the Government 
of India and the State Governments, and 'their 
courses will certainly continue to flow uninter- 
ruptedly towards the near and distant future, so 
as to preserve the glorious tradition of fine arts of 
cultural and historical India. It is at least a 
pleasure to admit in connection with the history 
of Indian music that some of the modern researches 
on music in the Science Laboratories and experi- 
ments in the field of crops and trees have unveiled 
the inner nature of Indian music, and have enriched 
its historical and scientific values as well. 
Music that evolved on the Indian soil and was 
cultured all through ages % in diverse ways and 
forms by ilhe Indian people and nurtured in a 
religious and spiritual atmosphere, is called 'Indian 
music'. Not only Indian music, but also music o 
all the countries evolved in the hoary past among 
the aboriginal primitive tribes in a very crude and 
simple form. It is commonly believed that it 
originated from Nalture. But it has a systematic 
ar:d chronological history, as it passed through 
different stages of evolution in order to take shape 
as a complete system of science and art. 
I. What is History : 
The creative genius of India had been busy in 
giving expression to art in all its aspects through 
ages. They are prolific in contents and uplift- 
ing in nature. The history of Indian culture and 
civilization is not only glorious but amazing as 
well. Now, what do we mean by history? A 
history, in its truest sense, is an interpretation of 
the genuine happennings of the events and facts 
in the progressive human society. C A history is a 
collection of records or chronicles of incidents and 
evolution and involution of different matters or 
subjects, that happened and had their beings in the 
past, have so in the present, and will happen in the 
future.} The music of India has an interesting and 
eventful history of its own. Having its origin in 
the primitive society, it kept the tempo of its 
triumphal march throughout ages, prehistoric, 
historic or Vedic, post-Vedic or Classical and post- 
Classical. It will again resume its march through 
the near and distant future in order to attain 
perfection, and in the process, it will adjust; and 
harmonize itself with the taste and temperament 
of the growing and changing society. 
II. What do We mean by History of Music : 
A history of music is, therefore, the systematic 
and chronological records of musical thoughts and 
materials that evolved in different ages in a 
gradual process. It requires collection, arrange- 
ment and preservation of the facts and findings 
relating to music in a systematic order. A history 
of Indian music is a saga of musical thoughts of 
the Indian people, as written in their subconscious 
mind. It has its birth, growth and progress in 
Indian society, and has religious and spiritual out- 
look. A history of Indian music is a wide subject, 
the range of which is extended from the remote 
antiquity uplto the present time. 
III. How to construct HisiPory of Music: 
A history of Indian music can be constructed 
from the materials as found in the annals of 
different periods, and they are, in fact, the land- 
marks of history of Indian music. Those materials 
can be classified tentatively under four main heads : 
(a) the treatises of music, written or compiled by 
different authors in different ages; (b) the rock- 
cut temples, tablets and inscriptions caused to be 
carved and inscribed by different rulers of differ- 
ent times, together with sculptures, paintings, 
copper-plates and coins of different periods; (c) 
the writings of foreign writers on music and drama, 
as well as the history of music of other nations; 
(d) the private diaries of the musicians and musi- 
cologists, including the local traditions, transmitted 
orally through ages, and the folklores and 
anecdotes of music. All these materials are 
required to be properly studied and verified in their 
true historical perspective and be consulted 
in a comparative manner. The facts, dates and 
forms of music and types of musical instruments 
and dances of different periods should be 
studied with care, and also be collected and 
arranged in a systematic way. As music was 
considered to be a part and parcel of the art and 
science of drama in the classical period, its struc- 
ture and technique, in relation thereto, should also 
be studied in this context. 
IV. Importance and Utility of History of Music : 
The study as well as the culture of music loses 
much of its zest without the knowledge of history 
cr historical aspect of music. Music developed in 
a gradual process. As taste and temperament of 
the society have been changing all the time 
through ages, so forms and patterns as well 
as the qualities of music are subject to change 
in different periods of history. A student of music 
should, therefore, critically 'take note of those 
changes and compare one with the other, so as 
to get the full vision of development of music of 
different ages and climes. A sense of historical 
perspective is necessary in studying the art and 
science of music, and this method of study is sure 
to make the knowledge of music perfect, whether 
practical or theoretical. 
V. Music: Sacred and Profane: 
The history of Indian music can be divided into 
tw5 main periods, vaidika (Vedic) and laukika 
sacred and profane. The sdmagdna, together with 
its various forms, constitutes the fabric of -the 
vaidika music, while the gdndharva and formalised 
desi music form that of the laukika musia Sir 
Jadunath Sarkar has said that "it is the duty of 
the historians not to let the past be forgotten He 
nmst trace these gifts back to their sources, give 
them their due places in time-scheme, and show 
how they influenced or prepared the succeeding 
ages, and what portion of present day Indian life 
and thought is the distinctive contribution of each 
race of creed that has lived in this land''. 
VI. Division of Ages: 
As the range of history of music is wide, it will 
be convenient to divide it into different units or 
periods, so as to enable a historian to arrange and 
represent the facts and records of development and 
culture of music, so that one may adequately and 
easily grasp the significance and value of music. 
The history of Indian music can, therefore, be 
divided into three broad periods, viz. (1) from the 
most ancient times to the end of 'the twelfth 
century A.D. ; (2) from the thirteenth century to 
the eighteenth century A.D.; and (3) the subse- 
quent period. So the periods may be enumerated 
as: (1) Ancient, (2) Medieval, and (3) Modern. 
Pandit Vishnunarayana Bhatkhande has divided 
the history of Indian music into ( 1 ) Hindu period, 
(2) Mohammedan period, and (3) British period. 
"Each of 'these periods", he has said, "may again 
be sub-divided, if necessary, into two divisions, 
viz. (1) the earlier, (2) the later". In support of 
his views, Panditji has further said: "the Moham- 
medans came into contact with this country as 
ruling nation in the llth century A.D., and 
remained here as such till about the end of the 18th 
century, after which date the country passed under 
the domination of our present rulers, the British. 
* * The Hindu period, according to this classifica- 
tion, begins from the Vedic times and extends right 
up to the end of 10th century A.D.". We think 
the former divisions, as mentioned above, can be 
safely accepted for many reasons. 
VII. Origin of Music: 
Various grotesque and mythical stories are 
current regarding the origin of music, both Indian 
and foreign. The statement of (the Alaxaridrian 
Chronicles about the invention of music by the Sons 
ol Seth or that of the Mosaic literature about 
J'obal's invention seems to be garbed in mythological 
allusions. Homer's discovery of a shell of tortoise 
on the bank of the Nile or on the top of the Mount 
Kyllene are all myths. Sir John Strainer says in 
connection with the music of the Bible that the 
origin of music is inseparable from 'that of lan- 
guage. Darwin, Rouseau, Herder, Herbert 
Spencer and other Western savants have advanced 
their respective views regarding it in different ways. 
According to Darwin, music evolved from the 
imitation of the calls and cries of the animals and 
birds. In the Rikprdtishdkhya (the grammar of the 
Rigveda) and musical treatises of India, this theory 
finds support to some extent. 
Father Schmidt and Carl Stumpf are of opinion 
that music evolved like speech "from the need to 
give signals by sound". It has been mentioned in 
the Vedic literature that music evolved out of the 
rics or stanzas (mantras) of the Rigveda, set to 
tunes i.e., tones. So the Samaveda, being a collec- 
tion of rics or stanzas, is regarded as the source of 
Indian music, nay, of ithe music of the world. The 
philologists have observed three transitional strata 
or phases in the development of music of all nations, 
and they are: (1) speech, (2) speech-music or 
recitation, and (3) song i.e., music proper. The 
psycho-analysts and the psychologists are of opinion 
that speech and music have originated from a 
common source, and the primitive music was neither 
speaknig nor singing, but something of both. 
The Indian literature, both Vedic, Epic and 
Classical, have described that music originated from 
the sound (narfa), which is the product of ether 
(dkddha) : "shabda dkdsha-samb l havah" . Sound 
originates in the living beings, from 'the f ridtion of 
air (prdiia-vdyit or vital breath) and heat-energy 
(agni~ will-power). It evolves first in a causal form 
(andhato) and then in a gross form (dhata). When 
the gross sound emanates from the vocal chord, it 
is called sound, and when again it is sweet 
and soothing, it is called music or sangitwn. 
Different kinds of philosophical conceptions have 
been formed over this -theory of musical sound 
and origin of music, and two among them are 
Siva-Sakti and Laksmi-Ndrdyana conceptions. 
The worshipers of the Lord Siva hold that music 
came out from the mouths of both Siva and Sakti, 
whereas the followers of Visnu ascribe its origin 
to Laksmi and Narayana. From this it is evident 
that the mythological conceptions have been inter- 
preted in the light of philosophy in later days. 
Historical Evolution of Different Music-Materials : 
Before dealing with the regular chronological 
history of Indian music, we would like to trace out 
the nature of origin as well as historical evolution 
of the music-materials like microtone, tone, 
murcchai'ia, uarna, alanikara, tana, sthdya, pra- 
bandha, rdga, scale or thdta, rdgagiti, rhythm and 
tempo, veena, venu and drum, dance and hand-pose 
(mudra), 'together with their philosophical concept, 
which are the most essential things to be studied 
for the history of Indian music. It should be taken 
into accourit that history like any other subject 
rests upon the universal process of evolution, and, 
therefore, history of Indian music should be studied 
from ithe viewpoint of dialectical method of 
historical evolution: 
I Evolution of Microtones (shrutis) : 
The microtones (shrutis) are the minute percep- 
tible ("shravanayogya"} tones or musical sound- 
units that constitute the structures of seven tones 
like shadja, rishabha, gdndhdra, madhyama, pan- 
chama, dhaivata and nishdda (corresponding Vedic 
tones, chaturtha, mandra, atisvdrya, krusta, pra- 
thama, dvitiya, \tritiya). The Shdstrakdras 
(authors on Indian music) have defined 'shrut? as, 
Prathamah shravanat shabdah shruyate 
hrasvamatrakah } 
Sa shrutih samparijiieya svaravayava- 
lakshamanam 1 1 
In the primitive, prehistoric and Vedic periods, 
we do not come across the use of the microtones. 
But their existence cannot be denied even in those 
times, and it can be said that in those periods men 
did not feel it necessary to determine them in their 
musical systems. ( So the use of microtones may 
properly be assigned to the beginning of the 
classical period in the 600-500 B.C., when the Vedic 
music, sdmagdtia was falling out of practice and 
the laukika gdndharva type of systematic-cum- 
scientific music gaining ascendency over it. In 
Greece, the microtones were devised in the begin- 
ning of the classical period by the Greek 
philosopher, Pythagoras, and the system was 
developed by the Pythagorians. In India, it is said 
that the microtones were devised by Brahma or 
Brahmabharata, the first promulgator of the 
gdndharva type of music, and afterwards it was 
made perfect by Narada of the Shiksd (1st century, 
A. D.) and Bharata of the Ndtyasdstra in the 
2nd century A. D. Narada has mentioned about 5 
basic minute tones diptd, dyatd, karund, mridu 
and madhyd, and he has called them 'shrutis'. The 
names of those basic minute tones were very signi- 
ficant with their specific meanings. Bharata has 
systematically determined and arranged 22 micro- 
tones (shrutis) on the basis of those 5 basic minute 
tones, and has 'termed them as 'jails' or the ddhdras 
of ithe 22 microtones. \ Thus we get in the 2nd 
century A. D. the jdii-vyakti or sdnidnya-vishesa 
(janaka-janya} relation between the series of 
microtones, diptd, dyatd, karund, etc. and tivra, 
kumudavati, mandd, etc. Bharata has also deter- 
mined the exact bases of the seven tones, shad] a, 
etc. (svarasthdnas} in the ratio of 4 : 3 : 2, making 
experiment upon two veenas of equal size, chala 
and achala (i.e., one veetvA with shif table frets and 
other with fixed frets). He has determined the 
22 microtones in relation to 5 jdtis (diptd, etc.) 
thus : 
nos. of the 
names of the 
jdtis and their 
madhva. . . . 
.... Ri 
. ayata 
. . . dipta 
. . . . . mridu 
tios. of the 
names of thfc 
jdtis and their 
. ...madhya 
. . . . ... .madhya 
This division of the shrutis, according to the 
jdtis, is also accepted by the authors on musip of 'the 
Karnatic system. It should be remembered that 
all the names of the Shrutis bear full significances 
of their own, and these significances are given 
according to eight aesthetic sentiments and moods 
(rdsa and bhdva}. On the basis of aesthetic 
sentiments and moods of the 5 jdtis i.e. jdti-shrutis 
of Narada, the 22 shrtO&s of Bharata are classified 
dipta = excited, bright, radiant. 
ayata extended, broad, wide. 
mridu soft, tender, mild, gentle. 
madhya = central, proper tolerable, middling. 
karuna = sympathetic, compassionate, 
tenderness, merciful. 
II. Evolution of Tones (svaras) : 
The primitive tribes of all countries of the world 
used to sing monotonous songs with one high tone 
at first. Gradually two tones, high and low came 
into practice. In the Vedic period, this practice also 
prevailed, though the order of the tones used to be 
more systematic. In the Brdhmana literature, we 
find references as to the method of chanting hymns 
with one tone only (ekasvari-gdyana) , and it was 
also known as the drchika-gdyana. Similarly refer- 
ences to gdthd-gdyana (system of chanting or 
singing the hymns with two tones, high and low) 
and sdmika-gdyana (system of chanting or singing 
of the hymns with three tones, high, medium and 
low) are found in the Vedic literature. 
\ The Vedic music, sdmagdna was the earliest 
scientific method of singing in India. It became 
systematic when three base tones like amtddtta, 
svarita and itddtta evolved. The svarita was the 
harmonizing (samdhdra) or balancing middle tone 
that was a combination of the partial tones of the 
anuddtta and nddtba. Well has it been said by 
Prof. Sambamoorthy : "The Rigveda was recited 
to the three notes, uddtta, anuddtta and svarita, 
corresponding to ri } ni and sa of frequencies 10 1 9, 
8(9 and 1 respectively, the nishdda being a note 
belonging to the lower octave". The nucleus of 
the scale (thdta } mela or melakartd} was formed 
in the arrangement of the three basic tones, 
svwrita and uddtta. 
The emergence of the solfa syllables, sa, ri, ga, 
ma, pa, dha, ni of the post-Vedic period, says Prof. 
Sambamoorthy, "is the earliest landmark in the 
history of music. * * The European solfa system, 
doh, ray, mi, fdh, soh, la, si originated only with 
Guido d' Areezzo (10th century A.D.) The solfa 
syllables sa, ri, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni laid the foun- 
dation for the development of Indian musicography 
(notation)". But it should be remembered that 
the seven Vedic tones, prathama, dvitiya, tritiya, 
chaturtha, mandra (panchama), atisvdrya (sastha) 
and krusta (saptama) evolved earlier in the Vedic 
society, and they are, therefore, anterior to the posi- 
Vedic laukika solfa syllables like sa, ri, ga, etc. 
There welre "some subsidiary tones like jdtya, abhi- 
nihita, kshaipra, praslista, tairovanjana, pdda- 
vritta and tathdbhdvya. Besides these, there 
evolved some other subsidiary tones like vinardi, 
anirukta, etc. The Vedic music, sdmagdna used to 
be sung with different tones, which evolved in a 
gradual process from one to seven, thus creating 
different strata like drchika, gdthika, sdmika, 
svardntara, audava, shddava and sampurna. When 
the Vedic music became more systematised, they 
were used to be sung with four, five, six and seven 
tones. The Vedic tones evolved in downward 
process (avarohana-krama) thus: 
Uddtta krusta (pa) 
prathama (ma) 
dvitiya (ga) 
Svarita tritiya ( ri ) Vide the Taittiriya- 
{ medium) pratishakhya : 
chaturtha (sa) "tesham diptijno- 
mandra (ni) (dha) 
Anudatta atisvdrya (dha) (ni) 
According to the Y&jnavalkya, Naradi and other 
Shikshds, the laukika (gdndharva and desi) tones 
or solf a syllables evolved thus : 
anudatta swrita udatta 
ri, dha, scr, ma, pa, ni, ga 
The solf a syllables, sa, ri, ga, etc. evolved in accord- 
ance with the concept of basic or adhara-shadja, 
according to which the tones or tunes of the stringed 
and percussion instruments, and even the tones of 
the vocal music are harmonized even to 'this day, 
or it can be said that it is a common practice even 
to this day that all rdgas and musical compositions 
are sung to the basic key-note, ithe adhara-shadja. 
The fourth and fifth tones are the samvddi-svaras 
(consonance) of the adhara-shadja. 
All the tones of music before the Christian era 
were pure and not displaced (vikrita}. In ! the 
Ndtyasdstra of the 2nd century A. D., we find two 
itcnes as displaced (vikrita) and they were gdn^ 
dhara and nishdda (i.e., antara-gandhdra and 
kdkali-nishdda) . So in the beginning of the 
Christian era, the tones were divided into two, 
shuddha and vikrita, sharp and flat. The displace- 
ment in the tones were due to the shifting of the 
subtle microtonal units (shrutis) of the tones. 
During the time of Sharangdeva i.e., in the early 
13th century A. D., we find the use of a number 
of displaced (vikrita) tones in classical music, and 
their numbers were 19 i.e., 7 sharp and 12 flat- 
19 'tones in all. During Pandit Ramamatya's time 
(1150 A.D.), their numbers were minimised and 
only 7 displaced tones were used, which meant that 
7 sharp and 7 displaced^H tones were used in the 
North Indian system of music. During Venkata- 
makhi (1620 A.D.) and Tulaja's time (1729- 
1735 A.D.), the displaced or flat tones were limited 
to five, and 'the total number of tones used were 12 
(7 sharp and 5 flat 12), and these numbers are 
still in practice in the North Indian system of music. 
But in the South Indian system, the pure (shuddha) 
and displaced (vikriba} tones are 12, and they are 
set forth in the following two tables: 
Table I. 
ri 1 
ri 2 
ri 3 
g 1 
g a 
g 2 
g 8 
d 1 
d 2 
n 1 
n 2 
n 3 
Table II. 
Svuth Indian 
North Indian 
shad j a = 
shadj a 
sadharana- = 
G 1 
prati-madhyama = 
shuddha- = 
chatushniti- = 
kaishika- = 
N x 
kakali-nishada = 
shadj a- ( tara ) ~ 
III. Evolution of Murcchand, Varn, Alamkdra, 
Tdna and $\t\hdya: 
We find the practice of murcchand, varna, 
alamkdra, tana, sthdya and other music-materials 
prevailing in India in the pre-Christian era. In the 
Great Epic like the Rdmdyma of (the 400 B. C, it 
has been mentioned : "sthdna-murcchana-kovidau" 
i.e., the wandering Bards like Lava and Kusha were 
well-versed in the art and science of the gdndharua, 
type of music: (a) "tau tu gdndharvortattvajnau" 
(b) "bhrdtardn svararsaynpannau gadharvavivar 
rupinam" (vide IV canto). From these it is 
e rident 'that in the gdndharua type of music, songs 
were sung with the seven shuddha jdtirdgas, having 
seven tones, murcchand, sthdna or register, rhythm 
and tempo, and aesthetic sentiment and mood 
(rasa and bhdva} : "jdtitihih saptabhir-yuktaw, 
tantri-laya-samanvitam, * * rasair-yuMam bdvya- 
metadgdyatdm" (vide IV canto). The alamkdras 
were also in practice, along with the songs, and it 
has been mentioned in the Rdmdyana, while it 
states: "pdthye gcyc cha madhuram". Abhinava- 
gupta has stated in the commentary Abhinava- 
bhdrati that when any composition (sdhitya) 
possesses six alamkdras and sweet tones, it is 
known as a pdthya. These six alamkdras are, 
according to Abhinavagupta, svara or tone, sthdna 
or register, varna, kdku, alamkdra and anga. So 
the kdvya or sdhitya of a song is called the pdthya, 
when it is embellished by those six alamkdras. 
Bharata has also explained pdthya in the 
Ndtyasdstra (XVII. 102), and has said: 
"pdthyam prayunjitam saddlamkdrasamyuktcwn" 
Abhinavagupta has followed Bharata in this 
respect. Bharata has divided pdthya into two, 
Sanskrit and Prakrit. Therefore it is clear from 
the texts and commentaries that murcchand, 
alamkdra, varna and tana had already evolved in 
the pre-Christian era, in the beginning of the 
classical period. 
(a) During the beginning of the Christictn 
era, we come across the clear definitions and des- 
criptions of the music-materials like murcchand, 
varna, alamkdra, etc., in ithe treatises like the 
Ndradishikshd of the 1st century A. D., the 
Ndtyasdstra of the 2nd century A. D., the Brihad- 
deshi of the 5th-7th centuries A. D. Ndrada of the 
Shikshd has said: "tdna-rdga-svara-grdma- 
murcchand tu lakshanam" (II. 1). Bharata has 
stated that a murcchand is but a series of the closely 
connected tones: "kramayutdh". In the 5th-7th 
centuries A. D., we find a definition of murcchand 
in the Brihadde^hi, in which Matanga has 
said: "murcchdmoha-saniitcchrdyayoh", i.e., murc- 
chand is no other than the elaboration of 'the seed- 
form of the rdga, and this is possible when the 
seven tones of a rdga make themselves manifest 
by ascent and descent processes. 
The murcdha'nds evolved from the gramas as 
their base, and so twenty-one murcchands evolved 
from the three main gramas, shadja, madhyma 
and gdndhdra. Each murcchand possessed 
a special unit of aesthetic sentiment. Though 
Narada has roughly said about twenty-one 
and Bharata about fourteen ("dvaigramikshcha- 
turdasha") murcchanas, yet by different arrange- 
ments of seven tones (^sa ni dha pa ma ga ri), 84 
(7 X 12=84) variations of murcchana might have 
During the 5th-7th centuries A.D., we come 
across a new school, which maintained murcchand 
with 12 tones. From the history of Indian music we 
come to know that Kohala, Nandikeshvara and to 
some extent Matanga, were the upholders of this 
school. In the Brihaddeshi, Matanga has said : "sd 
murcchand dvibhidha sapta-svara-murcchand 
dvadasha-svara-murcchand chcti", i.e., murcchand 
was of two kinds: one, having 7 tones and the 
ether, having 12 tones, (a) The murcchand with 
7 tones was divided into four parts: pwrna, 
shddava, audwvita, and sddhdr&na, The purna 
or heptatonic one contained 7 tones, hexatonic one, 
6 tones, petnatonic one, 5 tones and the sddhdrana 
one, two displaced (vikrita} tones, antara-gdridhdra 
and kdkali-nidhdda. (b) The murcchand with 12 
tones used to manifest themselves in three registers 
(sthdna), low, medium and high (mandra, 
madhya and tdra). As for example, Kohala has 
Yojaniyo vudhair-nityam kramo 
Samsthapya murcchana jatiraga- 
bhashadi-siddhyaye | \ 
And Nandikeshvara has said, 
D vadasha-svara-sampanna j naty avy a 
murcchana vudhaih) 
Jati-bhashadi-siddhyartham tara- 
mandradi-siddhaye 1 1 
(b) The function of a varna is 'to manifest a song 
(along with a raga), and, therefore, i't is known 
as the gdnakriyd. The varna is of four kinds, 
drohi, avarohi, sthdyi and sanchdri. Different 
alamkdras evolved from those four varnas. The 
alamkdras are so called, because they adorn the 
rdgas and the gdnas. Now, from the drohi-varna 
evolved 12 alamkdras (varndlamkdras} such as, 
vistirna, nishkardha (together with its gdtravarna), 
vindu, etc. From the avarohi and sthdyi varnas 
similar alamkdras evolved, and from the sanchdri- 
varna } evolved 25 alamkdras. 
x (c) It has already been said that the tanas 
evolved during the pre-Christian era, and there 
were many tdnas, which were named after different 
sacred sacrifies ("yajnandmdni tdndni" vide the 
Vdyu-purdna, Matanga's Brihaddeshi, Narada's 
Sangita-makaraMa, etc.). In the beginning of 
the Christian era, 49 tdnas evolved (vide the 
Ndradishikshd, III. 8). Narada has said in the 
Shikshd that 20 tdnas evolved from the 
madhyamagr&ma, 14 from the shadjagrdma and 15 
from the gdndhdragrdma (= 49 tdnas). But, dur- 
ing Bhara'ta's time (2nd century A,D.), 84 tdnas 
-evolved ("chaturashiti", NS. 28.33). Bharata has 
said that there are 49 tanas with six tones and 35 
with five tones ( 84), and besides -these, there exist 
tanas with 7 itones (sampurna-tdna} . Bharata has 
further said about the tanas, applicable >to musical 
instruments (veend, etc.), and they were divided 
into pravesha (low or soft) and nigraha (touch). 
Dattila has said that besides the simple tanas, there 
evolved gradually thousands of intricate or kitta^ 
tanas (5033) in the later period, from different 
methods of plucking the strings of 'the musical 
instruments like veend, etc: "krama-niutsrijya 
(d) Similarly different gamakas and kdkus 
evolved during the pre-Christian era. The gamakas 
like tiripa, sphurita, kampita, Una, dndolita, vali, tri- 
bhinna, kitrula, dhata, ullasita, pldvita, gumphita, 
wudrita, namtit\a, and mishrita, and kdkus like 
svara-kdku, rdga-kaku, anya-kaku, desha-kaku, 
kshetra-kdkit and yantra-kdku, etc. evolved in a 
gradual process. In the Rdmdyana, we find that 
Lava and Kusha used to sing rdmdyana' gdna with 
the application of kdku: 
Tarn sa shushrava kakusthah p-urvacharya- 
vinirmitam | 
Apurvam pathyajatim cha geyena 
samalamkritam 1 1 etc. 
(e) The kdkus are the variations of the vocal 
sound for expressing different ideas. Abhinava- 
gupta, Visvanath Chakravurty, Raja Bhojadeva of 
Dhara, Sharangdeva, Bhanuji Dikshit and others 
have explained the term 'kdku' in different ways. 
In the 2nd century A.D., we find that the kdkus 
were used to express the eight aesthetic sentiments 
(rasas), which have been made explicit by Bharata 
in the NdPyasdstra. The experts have observed 
that kdku originates from a conjunction of palate, 
apex and vocal shord, 
(f ) The sthdyas or musical phrases also evolv- 
ed in the pre-Christian era, as the songs used to be 
improvised at that time with the jdtirdgas and 
grdmardgas (vide the Rdondyana, the Mahdbhdrata 
and the Harivamsha). The sthdyas or thdyas are 
the outlines of musical frames (dkdra), upon which 
the structures of the rdgas are built. From the 
5th-7th to 9- llth centuries A.D., the sthdyas began 
to be conceived and scientifically arranged, upon 
which different anga-rdgas like bhdshd, vibhdshd, 
anParabhdshd, along with the ancient jdti and grama 
rdgas began to be evolved. Different kinds of 
sVhdya like vena, gati, jdyi, anujdyi, vali, etc., 
evolved as different bases (sthdnas) of the rdgas. 
IV. Evolution of Ten Essentials (dasha-laksh- 
manas) : 
The ten essentials of Indian music reached high 
watermark in their evolutionary process, when the 
music-consciousness of the people of the society be- 
came mature and keen. The ten essentials like 
initials (graha)^ sonant (amsha), higher (tdra), 
lower (mandra), concluding (nydsa), medial 
(apanydsa}, rare (alpPva), abundance (vahutva}, 
hexatonic (shddava), and pentatonic (audava) 
evolved as qualities, for determining the genuine 
form and nature of the melodic -types or rdgas. 
The essentials became necessary when the folk 
tunes of different countries and nations began to 
infiltrate into the stock of the classical music, and 
so they were considered as the means for preserv- 
ing the intrinsic purity of the rdga^iorms. 
In the 2nd century A.D., we come across 
those essentials in Bharata's Ndtyasdstra in a very 
definite form, and this fact undoubtedly proves the 
existence of the essentials even in the pre-Christian 
era. The essentials had in them theoretical-cum- 
gramma'tical value. Gradually 'there happened many 
admixture in the domain of rdgas, indrga and desi, 
urban and rural, from the 3rd-4th centuries to 
5th-7th centuries A.D., and as such the ten essen- 
tials played an important role at that time, for 
determining their classical character, and even upto 
this time that tradition is upheld and followed with 
Bharata has said, 
Grahamshau tara-mandrau cha 
nyasopanydsa eva cha| 
Alpatvam cha vahutvam cha 
shadavauduvite tatha|| 
It has been mentioned before that the essen- 
tials were known as the determining factors of <the 
rdgas, and through them the real forms and natures 
of the rdgas used to be ascertained. As Bharata 
has admitted that he owed his debt to the ancient 
preceptor, Brahma, in compiling his book on the 
dramaturgy (i.e. the Ndtyasdstra), it can further 
be taken for certain that the ten essentials existed 
before him, either in seed form or in somewhat 
obscure manner, and he knowingly adopted them 
in his system and applied them for practical pur- 
It may be interesting to note that though 
Bharata has scientifically used those ten essentials, 
yet there were some indefiniteness in the connota- 
tion of some of 'the essentials. As for example, 
Bharata has used the 'terms, graha and amsha in 
one and the same sense, and again he has used the 
terms, amsha and vddi side by side. Besides, he 
has ascertained more than one amsha of a 
rdga (jdtiraga). Regarding the essentials, graha 
and amsha, he has said, 
Grahastu sarva-jatinamamsha eva hi kirtitah] 
Yat pravrittam bhaved-ganam so'msho graha 
vikalpitah 1 1 
That is, where-from a song or a part of song 
takes its start ("yat pravrittam bhaved gdnam"), 
it is known as a graha, whereas when a rdga fully 
manifests itself from its starting point ("tatva 
amsho ndma* * yasmin vasati rdgastit yasmdc- 
chaiva pravartcuPe"), it is known as amsha. But 
Matanga's statement or definition in this respect 
appears to be more clear, when he has said that 'the 
starting tone of a raga is the initial or graha ("ap- 
radhdnabhuttati'}, and the dominant tone is the 
amsha ("pradhdnabhu\t<ah"). In fact, the signi- 
ficance of the term graha used to be altogether 
different from that of amsha, during Matanga's 
time, in the 5th-7th centuries A.D. Matanga has 
stated that the sonant (amsha or vddi}, being uni- 
versal and cause of the manifestation of the rdga, 
is prominent or predominant: "rdga-janakatvdd 
vydpakatvdccha amshasya prddhdnyani". Again, 
during Bharata's time (2nd century A.D.), both 
the terms, wmsha and vddi came to be used for 
determining a rdga with different significances to 
seme extent, whereas during Sharangdeva's time, 
in the early 13th century, these two terms came to 
be used in 'the identical sense. The commentator, 
Kallinath has stated : "^a vddi tyogyatdvashdt amsha 
sydt rakti-vydnjakatvdt" , i.e. both amsha and vddi 
used to convey the idea of creating the pleasing 
sensations of the rdgas. 
The term, nydsa conveys the idea of the con- 
cluding tone: "nydso hi anga-samdpftau" . The 
apanydsa means the medial stop, and it is used in 
the compositions of the songs, which are known 
as viddri. The samnydsa means a tone which is 
not antagonistic to the sonant or vddi, and consti- 
tutes the latter part of ithe song. The term alpatva 
conveys the idea of rare use of tones in a rdga. It 
is used in two different ways : tones that are drop- 
ped other than the sonant (anabhydsa) and the 
tones that rarely touch -the composition of a rdga 
(lamghana). The vahutva means abundance of 
tones in a rdga. In relation to vahutva, there is a 
subsidiary essential, known as antaramdrga which 
generally avoids nydsa, apanydsa, vinydsa, 
sanydsa, graha and amsha or vddi, and, from time 
to time adopts the role of alpaPua in its dual aspects 
in consonance with amsha or vddi. The mandra 
signifies the tone or tones of the lower octave, 
whereas shddavatva and audavatva signify the 
hexatonic and pentatonic forms of the rdgas. 
Besides these essentials, we find the practice 
of tones, sonant (y&di), consonant (samvddi), 
assonant (anuvddi) and dissonant (vivddi). All 
these determining categories evolved in relation to 
the dominant tone sonant (amsha or vddi). The 
tones, consonant and dissonant ones are subordi- 
nate to 'the sonant, whereas the dissonant or vivddi 
brings disharmony and want of raktibhdva (pleas- 
ing quality) in the rdgas. 
V. Evolution of the Concept of Rdga: 
A rdga is the product of permutation and com- 
bination of tones which creates sweet and sooth- 
ing impressions (samskdra) in the mind. This 
definition we get from Matanga's Brihad$e$hi of 
the 5th-7th centuries A.D. It is said that in the 
beginning of the classical period, when Brahma or 
Brahmabharata innovated the new system of the 
gdndharva or mdrga type of music, incorporating 
most of 'the materials of the" Vedic music, seven 
pure (shuddha) jdtis were used in the songs 
(gdnas). In the Rdmdyana (400 B.C.), we find 
that seven shuddha jdtis (jdtirdgas) were used in 
the rdmdyana-gdna. In the Mahdbhdrata (300 
B.C.) and the Harivamsha (200 B.C.), we 
find mention of six grdmardgas. Bharata has said 
in the Ndtyasdstra ithat not only the grdmardgas, 
but also the rdgas, gandharva and desi, evolved 
from the jdtis i.e. jdtirdgas. Bharata has 
not only described in the Ndtyasdstra (2nd 
century A.D.) the seven shuddha jdtis, but 
also 11 more mixed jdtis (7+11 18 jdtis). 
He has mentioned their specific ten charac- 
teristic (dasha-lakshmanas) so as to determine 
them as rdgas. But he has not given any definition 
of the word f rdga', whereas Matanga has defined 
it in his Brihaddeshi. Some are of opinion 
that the rdgas of the regional or desi type of music, 
being the product of an admixture of different 
rdgas, were more pleasing to the heart (hridaya- 
ranjaka) than those of the gdndfoarva or mdrga 
types. Prof. Sambhamoorthy has said that 
the hridaya-ranjaka character was the tie of 
the desi music and possessed more vigour and 
attractive feature, and so Matanga has significantly 
styled his musical work as Brihaddeshi. But what- 
ever may be the controversy regarding the pleasing 
character or ties of gdndharua and desi music, 
we may arrive at the conclusion from a close 
scrutiny of the ancient treatises on music that the 
evolution of the clear concept of rdga was at work 
in the beginning of the classical period in the 
600-500 B.C., though it is believed to have existed 
in a nucleus form in the Vedic period. 
VI. Evolution of the Rdga : 
Definite form of rdgas emerged during the 
classical-cum-epic period. Before the Rdmdyana 
was compiled in a book form (400 B.C.), seven pure 
(shuddha} jails (jdtirdgas) evolved in the begin- 
ning of the classical period (600-500 B.C.). In 
the Rdmdyana (vide canto IV), we find the use of 
seven suddha jdtis or jdtirdgas in songs. The jdtis 
were the causal or basic rdgas, from which evolved 
all kinds of rdgas, mdrga and desi. The term 'jdti* 
connotes the idea of the universal (sdmdnya) like 
the Brdhma/iia, Kshatriya castes, etc. It is like a 
main die wherein all 4he rdgas were casted alike. 
It is, therefore, regarded as the main source or 
fountainhead of all the melodic forms. In the 
Mdhdbharata-HarivamJha (300-200 B.C.), we 
find the use of six grdmardgas (dhad-grdmard- 
gdti'} in different kinds of song. These six or 
seven grdmardgas have fully been dealt with by 
Narada in ithe Ndradishiksd of the 1st century A.D. 
Further development in the jdtis or jdtirdgas 
is evident in Bharata's Ndtyasdstra of the 2nd 
century A.D. Bharata has mentioned about 7 
(shuddha) and 11 (mkriia} 18 jdtis or jdtirdgas, 
and from this it is evident that before or during 
the time of Bharata eleven more jdtirdgas evolved, 
Dattila (2nd-3rd centuries A.D.) has also described 
about 18 jdtirdgas in the DaMlam. The grdma- 
rdgas also existed side by side with the jdtirdgas 
during Bhajata and Dattila. 
The names of the six or seven grdmardgas 
have been mentioned in Narada's Shiksd as well as 
in the Kudumiamalai Rock-Inscriptions in the 
Padukotai State, South India. These Rock- 
Inscriptions were caused to be inscribed by Raja 
Mahendravurman in (the 7th century A.D. The 
names of the 18 jdtirdgas have been given in the 
Ndtyasdstra (vide Kdshi ed. chap. 28th). The 
names of the seven grdmardgas (as the 
Ndrodishiksd, and the Kudumiamalai Rock- 
Inscriptions have mentioned) are: shadjagrdma, 
madhyamagrdma, shddava, sddhdrita, panchama, 
kaishika and kaishika-madhyama. The correct 
notations of these 7 grdmardgas remain 'engraved 
on the Kudumiamalai Rock-Inscriptions, and 
Narada has also described about their tonal forms 
(svara-rupas) in verses. 
The periods, raging from the 5th to 7th centuries, 
are very important in the history of Indian 
music, because during this time, numerous regional 
tunes were incorporated in the fold of the classical 
tunes or rdgas. The bltddhdrdgas (subordinate 
melodic types) evolved from the grdmardgas. The 
bhdshdrdgas were divided into four classes, and 
they were: mula (original), samkirna (mixed), 
dcshaja (regional) and chdydshraya (dependent). 
Now let us show how the mdrga and formalised 
desi rdgas evolved in a gradual process : 
(a) Evolution of the Jdtirdgas : 
It should be remembered that the gdndhdragrdma 
(ancient ga-scale) became obsolete during the time 
of Bharata of the Ndtyasdstra fame. The pure or 
shuddha jdtirdgas were named after seven laukika 
tones, shadja, rishabha, gdndhdra, madhyama, pan- 
chama, dhavuata and nishdda, and, therefore, their 
names were : shddji, drshabhai, gdndhdri, madhya- 
md, panchami, dhaivati and naishddi or nishadavati. 
These seven shuddha jdtirdgas evolved respectively 
from shadja and madhyama gramas thus : 
FVom the shadjagrdma shadji, drshabhi, 
dhaivati and nijhddavati, 
From the madhyamagrdma gdiidhdri, madhya- 
md and panchami. 
The mixed (displaced or vikrita) jdtirdgas 
(eleven) evolved from the admixture of the suddha 
(placed or pure) seven jMrdgas from the two 
gtdmas, shadja and madhyamd ithus: 
1 , Shadjfrkaishiki from the admixture of shadji and 
shddji and 
gandhari and 
gandhari and 
shddji,^ ^ 
and dhaivati, 
and naishadi, 
and panchanm. 
shddji and 
and dhaivati, 
and naishadi. 
(b) Evolution of the Grdmardgas: 
The six (those that have been mentioned in 
the Harivamsha-purdna) or seven (those that have 
been described in the Ndradishiksd and Kudumi- 
2. Shadja-madhama. . . 
3. Gandhara-panchami 
4. Andhri 
5. Shadjodichyawti.... 
6. Karmaravi 
7. Nandayanti 
8. GandharodichyaVa.. 
9. Madhypnodichayavd 
10. Raktagdndhdri 
11. Kaishiki ., 
amalai Inscriptions) grdmardgas were pure or 
shuddha ones, and afterwards 23 mixed (displaced 
or modified) grdmardgas evolved. There was a 
time (5th-7th centuries A.D.), when some gitis 
were known by their rdgas, and so they came to be 
known as the rdgagiPis. Though there are contro- 
versies as regard their number, yet most of the 
ancient musicologists are of opinion that there were 
five main rdgagitis, and they were dhuddha, bhinnd, 
gauda, veshardand sadd } hdrani (vide Brihaddeshi) . 
I> has been said that the pure type of the grdma- 
rdgas were six or seven in number. In course of 
time, the vikrita grdmardgas evolved and were 
incorporated in bhinnd and other rdgagitis. 
The seven shuddha grdmardgas evolved from 
the two grdmas, shadja and madhyama thus : 
I. Shuddhd . . 7 
(a) evolved from the shadjagrdma: 
1. kaishika-madhyama, 
2. sadharita, 
3. shadjagrama, 
(b) evolved from the madhamagrdma: 
4. madhyamagrama, 
5. shadava, 
6. panchama, 
7. kaishika. 
II. Bhinnd. .5 
(a) evolved from the shadjagrdma: 
1. bhinna-shadja, 
2. kaishika-madhyama, 
(b) evolved from the madhyamagrdma: 
3. kaishika, 
4. tana, 
5. bhinna-panchama. 
III. Gauda. .3 
(a) evolved from the shadjagrdma: 
1. gauda-kaishika-madhyama, 
2. gauda-panchama, 
(b) evolved from the madhyamagrdma: 
3. gauda-kaishika. 
IV. Beshard..8 
(a) evolved from the shadjagrdma: 
1. takka, 
2. veshara-shadava, 
3. sauviri, 
(b) evolved from the madhyamagrdma: 
4. botta, 
5. malava-kaishika, 
6. malava-panchama, 
(c) evolved from both the dhadja and 
madhyama gramas: 
7. takka-kaishika, 
8. hindola. 
V. Sddharani. .7 
(a) evolved from the Shadjagrdma: 
1. rupa-sadharana, 
2. shaka, 
3. bhasmana-panchama, 
(b) evolved from the madhyamagrdma: 
4. narta, 
5. gandhara-paiichama, 
6. shadja-kaishika, 
7. kakubha. 
(b) Evolution of the Bhdshdrdgas or Angardgas: 
Again from these grdmardgas, emerged different 
kinds of subordinate or bhdshd or anga rdgas, and 
Sharangdeva has said that 268 rdgas evolved from 
the grdmardgas: 
Sarveshamiti raganam mili'tanam shata-dvayam| 
Chatu'shashtyadhikam vrute shrangi 
shrikaranagrani 1 1 
which means, 
gramaragas 30 
uparagas 8 
ragas = : 20 
ragangaragas ~ 8 
(those were ancient) 
ancient bhashangaragas . . . .= 11 
krianga-ragas =" 12 
upanga-ragas = 3 
fohasharagas = % 
vibhasha-ragas = 20 
antarabhasha-ragas == 4 
raganga-ragas (those were 
practised during 
Shrangadeva) = 13 
bhashanga-ragas == 9 
krianga-ragas 3 
upanga-ragas *=* 27 
Total ragas = 264 
It should be remembered tha't the evolution 
of 'the rdgas was in a gradual process. As for 
example, the grdmardgas evolved from the jdtis 
or causal jdtirdgas, the bhdshdragas from the 
grdmardgas, the vibhdshdrdgas from the bhdshd- 
rdgas, and the antarabhdshd -rdgas from the 
vibhdshdrdgas. The bhdshd, mbhdshd and antara- 
bhdshd rdgas were all anga or subordinate rdgas. 
The rdgdnga, bhashdnga, kriydnga and updnga 
rdgas all came out from the grdmardgas which may 
be considered as their f ountainhead. As regard the 
evolution of the mediaeval and modern rdgas and 
rdginis, it can be said that all of them owe their 
origin ito the grdmardgas or jdtirdgas. The janya- 
janaka system of the rdgas evolved later on, and so 
we get ithe janaka rdgas as six or more than that 
and janya rdgas as thirty or thirty-six or more. 
It will be fruitful to consult the books on music, 
written by Vidyaranya Muni, Pundarika Vitjthala, 
Somanath, Sri Kantha, Damodera Misra, Ahobala, 
Srinivasa, and others in this context. All /the 
mediaeval and modern rdgas evolved from the 
basic scales or fihdtas or melas or melakartfds. 
Venkatamakhi has devised 72 melakartds, and in 
relation to those melakartds numerous rdgas 
evolved to enrich the treasury of the South Indian 
music (vide the Chaturdandiprakdshikd). 
VII. EvoliMori of the Scales: 
The scales (Latin scala ladder) are the 
arrangements of different tones (seven (tones) 
which are the fountainhead of the melodic types 
or rdgas. The sdman scale is the most ancient one 
in Indian music. It is said that the scale of the 
sdman singing began with the Vedic tone, kmsta, 
corresponding to the laukika tone panchama of 
the lower octave in a downward process (avaro- 
hann-kramd). The civilized nations of yore were 
conversant with 'the process of deriving modal 
shift of tonic or basic tone. Well has it been said 
by Prof. Sambamoorthy in connection with this 
method that "the scale to which the process is 
applied, is referred to as the basic scale. By taking 
each note of the basic scale as the tonic or ddhdra- 
shadja and playing the self-same notes of the 
original scale, new scales result. New scale results 
because of the re-distribution of intervals, conse- 
quent on the shifting of the ddhdra-dhadaja. 
This process is popularly known as graha-bhedam, 
grahasvara-bhedam and shruti-bhedam" . 
Some are of opinion that the ancient sdman scale 
evolved in a gradual progress. At first, the 
sdmagdnas were sung with the basic tones like 
uddtta, anud&tta and svarirta, which corresponded 
with the laukika (post-Vedic) tones, rishabha, 
nishdda and shadja (of frequencies of 10 1 9, 8|9 
and 1). These three base tones really formed a 
scale. Gradually this scale of (three base tones 
developed "into a quadratonic scale wiith the addi- 
tion of ga (32 1 27), a semi-tone above ri", and,, 
therefore, the scale formed as ga, ri, ni, $a was in 
a svardntara cast. Next the tone, dhaivata (dha 
5)6) was added, and consequently the pentatonic 
scale ga, ri, ni, sa, dha evolved. After it, we find 
the hexatonic scale with six tones like ma, ga, ri, 
sa, ni, dha, with the addition of madhyama 
(ma 4|3) above. At last the heptatonic scale with 
seven tones evolved and we got 'the tone-series as 
ma, ga, ri, ^ra|and sa, ni, dha, pa; with the addition 
of the tone panchama (pa 3|4) below. "The scale 
of the sdmagdna", says Prof. Sambamoorthy, "was 
a downward scale, and ma, ga, ri, sa and sa, ni, dha, 
pa were perfectly balanced and systematic tetra- 
chords, 'the extreme notes of each tetrachord bear- 
ing the ratio 3 : 4. Thus the sdmagdna scale 
may be regarded as a madhyama scale. When sa, 
n, d, p was sung, an octave higher, the idea of an 
octave was perceived. The sdma-saptaka gave 
birth to the shadjagrdma, -the primordial scale of 
Indian music". 
It is said that the shadjagrdma was the fixed 
scale of the Vedic music, sdmagdna, and this scale 
was of .three kinds, low, medium and high, accord- 
ing to their bases in the three registers, mandra, 
madhya and tdra. The Rik-prdtishdkhya has 
supported it when it says: "Uririi mandram 
madhyama-muttaman cha, sthdndnydhuh sapta- 
yamdni vdchah". It should be remembered that all 
the tones in the scale of the sdmagdna were pure 
We know that there were three basic scales 
or gramas in ancient India and they were dhadja, 
madhyama and gdndhdra. The shadjagrdma first 
evolved in the Vedic time, and it has already been 
said that the shadjagrdma was the scale of the 
Vedic songs, sdmagdna and it consisted all the 
shuddha svaras. The madhyamagrdma and the 
gdndharagrdma evolved gradually after it. The 
grdmas used to play the role of scales in the ancient 
music system of India. Gradually (the murcchands 
evolved from the grdmas i.e. from the seven tones 
of the grdmas, and they were 21 in number. In 
the ancient treatises on music, it has been mentioned 
that the svaras evolved from the shrutis, the 
grdmas from the svaras, murcchands from the 
grdmas, the jdtis from the mnrcdha l nas and the 
rdgas from the jdtis. In fact, when the murcchands 
came into being, they began to play 'the role of 
the scales, being recognised as the receptacles 
(ddhdra) of the rdgas. The murchhands were 
framed out of the seven tones, and so the mur- 
chhands of die three grdmas were 21 in number as 
it has been said before. Matanga and Nandikesh- 
vara have mentioned about the murchhands, con- 
stituted out of 12 svaras ("dvddasha-svara-sarn- 
panna"), whereas Bharata and most of the post- 
Bharata musicologists have recognised murckhands 
with only seven svaras ("sapta-svardtmikd"). 
During Bharata's time (2nd cenltury A.D.), the 
gdiidhdragrdma became out of practice, and so he 
mentioned about 7+7=14 imirchhands of ithe 
grdmaS; shadja and madhyama. Narada of the 
Shikshd fame, Narada of the Makaranda, the 
Purdnakaras, Kalidasa and others have mentioned 
about the murchhands of the gdndharagrdma. 
Gradually the murchhands came to be replaced 
by the new scales or melas or thdtas 
or melakartds or samsthdnas. Thus we find the 
stages of the scales as (1) grdma-scale, (2) 
murchhand-scale, and (3) mela or melakariti- 
A clear-cut definition of the mela we came across 
for the first time in Pandit Somanath's Rdga- 
vibodha of the early 17th century A.D., and there 
we find the name thdta of Persian origin. The 
name, melakartd was given by the music authors 
of the Karnatic system. But it should be remem- 
bered that the definite form of mela evolved long 
before Pt. Somanath. As we find that 
Madhavacharya-Vidyaranya (14th century A.D.) 
formulated 19 melas in his SangiPasdra, Pandit 
Ramamatya (1550 A.D.) formulated 20 melas in 
his Svaramelakaldnidhi and Pt, Pundarika Vitthala 
(1590 A.D.), 19 melas in his Sadrdgachandrodaya. 
Pt. Vitthala lived during the time of Emperor 
Akbar (1556-1605 A.D.). Somanath has said that 
as ithe series or arrangements of tones unify the 
melody-types or rdgas they are called 'mela'. Some- 
times they are known as 'thdta' ("milanti vargi 
bhavanti rdga yatreti \fiaddshrdyah svarasamthdna- 
vishesd meldh, f thdta' iti bhdshdyam, te kathyante 
* * "). Pt. Somanath has further said that by 
different arrangements of sharp (shuddha) and 
flat (vikrita) tones, 960 mclas could be evolved. 
After Pt. Somanath, we find different numbers of 
melas in the works of different authors on music 
of different times. In the 1620 A.D., Pandit 
Venkatamakhi formulated 72 mclakartds, though 
most of them were out of practice during his life- 
time. In the middle of the 17th century A.D., we 
find 12 melas or samsthdnas in Kavi Loch ana's 
Rdgatarangim, and it seems that on that basis, 
Pandit V. N. Bhatkhande devised 10 mclas to deter- 
mine all kinds of rdgas. The melas, as selected 
by Bhatkhandeji, are: (1) vilavala, (2) kalydna, 
(3) khdmbdj, (4) bhairava* (5) purvi, (6) maravd, 
(7) kdphi, (8) dsavari, (9) bhairavi and (10) 
todi. Again some have devised 32 melas of 
shuddha-ma and tivra-ma, with the admixture of 
the first and last parts (4+4) of these 10 melas of 
Bhatkhandeji. These 32 melas are known as the 
purva-mela and the uttara-mela. 
VIII. Evolution of \t%e Gitis and the Prabandhas : 
The evolution of different types of giti and 
prabandha are required to be studied from the 
theoretical, practical and historical viewpoints. 
Well has it been said by Prof. Sambamoorthy that 
/the enternal law of music is the survival of the 
beautiful in the realm of lakshya or musical com- 
positions and the survival of the useful in the realm 
of lakshana or musicology. The ancient musical 
form was the sdmagdna, which was known as the 
Vedic music. In the classical period, different 
kinds of gitis, composed for the purpose of drama- 
tic performances (abhinaya) evolved, and they are 
in evidence in Bharata's Ndtyasdstra and also in 
different Sanskrit dramas and poetics. Those gitis 
possessed some determining characteristics like 
varna, alamkdra, sthdna, dhdtu, vritti, jdti, rasa 
and tthdva, efic. 
The songs, which were used to be sung either 
with seven shiiddha or berth shuddha and vikrita 
jdtis (jdtirdgas), were known as the jdfigdna. In 
the Rdmdyana (400 B.C.), we find that Lava and 
Kusha used to sing the jdtigdna with the sdhitya 
as the episode of Ramchandra. In the Ndtya- 
sdstra, Bharata has mentioned about 'dhntvd- 
vidhcwa kartiavyd jdtigdne prayatnatah" (vide 29th 
Chapt. Kashi ed.). The jdtigdnas were surcharged 
with aesthetic sentiments (rasa) and moods 
( bhdva) . He has also mentioned about, the brahma- 
gitis which were no other than madraka, apardn- 
taka, ullopya, prakari, robindaka and ufttara ( = 7) 
-t chandaka, dsdrita, vardha$ndnaka, pdnika, richa> 
g&tihd and sdma ( =7) = 14 types of gitis. Jtjs cer- 
tain thalt those types of songs (gitis) were practised 
even before the Ndtyasdstra (2nd century A.D.)- 
The compositions (sdhitya) of the brahmagitis 
were panegyrics of Lord Siva ('sivaMtti'). Besides 


Bharalta (vide the Ndtyasdstra, XXXII, 416), 
Matanga, Parshvadeva and specially Sharangdeva 
have elaborately dealt with those classical gitis 
(vide the Sangita-Ratndkara, Chap^ \ T ^tdladhyavd) 
describing their specific forms and giving precise 
definitions. The kapdla and kambala types of the 
gitis were also current in ancient times, and 
Sharangdeva has described those types in the 
Again Bharata has described about the gitis, 
mdgadhi, ardha-mdgadhi, sambhdmtd and prithuld 
in the Ndtyasdsfra. He has said, 
Atah urdham prabakshami gitanamapi 
lakshanam 1 1 
Prathama magadhi jneya dvitiya 
chardha-tnagadhi | 
Sambhavita ttritiya cha chaturthi 
prithula smrita j | 
NS. XXXI. 76-77. 
It has been said that the giti, magadhi was named 
after the country Magadha (Magadha-desha), and 
so some scholars consider it, to be a regional type 
of song ( f magadha-deshaja). Bharata has observ- 
ed that the mdgadhi-giti used to be sung with the 
help of three vrittis, the ardha-mdgadhi with half 
of those vrittis, sambhdmtd with heavy sounding 
letters (Jgwrvakshara-samanvita') and prithuld 
with light sounding letters. According to Abhi- 
navagupta, ithese gitis were sung along with the 
classical dramatic song dhruvd, and they possessed 
different varnas, alamkdras, chhandas and 
During- the 2nd 5th-7th century A.D., 
some of the rdgagitis like shuddhd, bhinnd 
or bhirtnakd, gaudi or gaudikd, rdga, sddhdrani, 
bhdshd, and mbhdshd evolved. Regarding the 
numbers of these rdgagitis, there remain contro- 
versies, for Matanga has admitted them to be 7, 
Durgashakti 5, and Yashtika 3. Matanga has 
defined these 7 kinds of rdgagM in the Brihad- 
dcshi (vide slokas 285-90). The rdgagitis were 
so called because they were known by their respec- 
tive rdgas. To describe some of the salient features 
of these seven rdgagitis, it can be said: (1) the 
nature of the shuddhdgiti was mild. The tones 
(the movement of the tones) were straight and 
stretched in three registers (sthdrtas), mandra, 
worthy a and tar a. (2) The tones of >the bhinnd were 
crooked (i.e. undulating in movement), but subtle 
and possessed gamakas. (3) The tones of the gaudi 
were closed together and the gamakas that were 
used, were played in three parts. The tones of the 
lower register (mandrd) were produced with 
repeated sounds of a-kdra and u-kdra from the con- 
junction of chin and breast (chibuka and vaksha), 
(4) The rdga was rhythmic and soothing, and 
possessed gamakas and four varnas, and was sur- 
charged with aesthetic sentiments and moods (rasa 
and bhava). (5) The tones of the sddhdrani were 
straight in movement, and rhythmic, and were pro- 
duced in rapid tempo. This giti was produced with 
plain kdkus. The sddhdrani was known by the com- 
bination of all the gitis, (6) The bhdshd which 
possessed kdkus and some tremulous tones, was 
sweet and soothing, (7) the vibhdshd was very 
pleasing to all. It was majestic and at the same 
time graceful. It possessed gamakas, and its tones 
were drawn upto high (tar a) register. 
From those rdgagitis numerous grdmardgas 
evolved, and from -the grdmardgas, evolved bhdshd, 
vibhdshd and antarabhdshd rdgas (it has already 
been discussed before in connection with the evolu- 
tion of the rag as). 
Now, simultaneously with the gitis, mentioned 
in the preceding paragraph, different kinds of 
prabandha-gitis evolved to enrich the coffer of 
Indian music. In the 5th-7th century A.D., we 
find emergence and use of many desi (classico- 
regional) prabandhas ('deshikdra-prabandha') like 
kdnda, vritta, gadya, dandaka, varnaka, dryd- 
pidhdyaka, karshita-gdthd, dvipathaka, vardhati, 
kaivdta, dvipadi, vard'ani, dhenki, ekatdli, etc. (vide 
details in Ma'tanga's Brihaddeshi). In the 9th-llth 
century A.D., Parshvadeva has given full descrip- 
tion of different kinds of prabandhas in the Sangita- 
samayasdra, and Sharangdeva in a more systematic 
and detailed manner in the $angita-Ra { Mdkara. 
During Parshvadeva's time (9th llth A.D.), 
we find that the prabandhas were divided 
into three classes, prabandha, rupaka and vastu. 
He has defined prabandha as "chaturbhir- 
dhdtubhih shadbhishcha-angairyah sydt prar- 
bandhate tasmdt prabandhah" i.e. the giPis, 
which were formed of four or six music parts 
(dhdtus), were known as prabandha. Or it can be 
said that the prabandhas possessed three, four, five 
or six dhdtus, though Parshvadeva has divided the 
prabandhas into only three classes: "dvidhdturvd 
ii"idhdturvd dhaturdhdturathapi vd, prabandha- 
strividhdh". The prabandhas were again sub- 
divided into two classes, niryaukt\a or nibaddha and 
aniryukba or anibaddha. The niryuklPa or nibaddha 
prabandha used to be measured by time-beats or 
tdlas, whereas aniryukta or anibaddha was without 
tdla. The anibaddha was like the dldpa or elabora- 
tion of the tones of a rdga. 
The prabandhas further possessed six limbs 
(angas) like pdta, tena or tenaka, viruda pada, 
tdla and svara. The padas (sdh&ya) of the 
probandhas were composed in Sanskrit, Prakrit and 
Apabhramsha languages. The prabandhas were 
determined by 5 jdtis like medini, dnandini, dipani, 
bhamni and tdrdvali. 
During the 9th- llth century A.D., the pra- 
bandhas came to be divided into three catego- 
ries, suda, dli and viprakirna. Sharangdeva has 
followed Parshvadeva in this matter. The suda was 
again divided into two parts, shiiddha (pure) and 
sdlaga (mixed), (a) The suddha-suda-prabandha 
again was divided into 8 parts, and they were eld, 
karana, dfaenki vartani, jhombada, lomba, rdsa 
and ekatdli. (b) The sdlaga-suda-prabandha was 
divided into 7 parts, and they were dhrwua, pnawtha, 
pratimantha, nissdruka, adda, rasa, and ekatdli. 
(c) The dli-prabatidha was divided into 25 parts 
arid they were varna, varnasvara, gadya, kaivada, 
tmgachdrini, danda, turangalila, gajalila, dvipadi, 
etc. (vide Sangita-Ratndkara, prabandha chapter). 
(d) the viprakirna-prabandha was divided into 
shrirariga, \tripadi, chatushpadi, shatpadi, vastu, 
vijaya, etc. (e) other praband ] has were virashrin- 
gara, chaturanga, sharabhalila, suryaprakasha, 
chandraprakasha, ranaranga, nandana and nava- 
ratna. There were also other prabandhas with 
different parts. Some of the musical compositions 
(prabandhas) evolved under the head of different 
elds like gana, mdtrd, varna,varnamdla, deshdkhya, 
etc. and these have elaborately been described by 
Parshvadeva and Sharangdeva. These eld type of 
musical compositions possessed chhanda, alamkdra, 
rasa, etc. (vide Matanga's Brihaddeshi, p. 147). 
Gradually other prabandha- gitis evolved after the 
designs of ithe ancient ones, to suit the taste and 
temperament of the new society, and they were 
dhruvapada or dhrupad (the rectified form of the 
sdlaga-suda dhruva-praband<ha, and this form was 
patronised by Raja Man Tonwar (14861517 
A.D.) and the then stalwart musicians 
Baksu, Macchu Bhanu and others of Gwalior), 
dhdru, and different types of modern 
prabandha like dhdmdra, khcydl, tappd, thumri, 
dddrd, gazal, kdjri, rasid, bhajan astapadi, 
tar and, lavani,phatkd, kirtanam, git am, rdgamdlikd, 
kriti, padam, jdvdli, tilldnd, svarajdti, jdtisvaram, 
varna, odam, devara, mangalam, ,etc. In Bengal, 
there evolved the paddvali-kirtana, vdul, bhdtiydli, 
kavigdna, gambhird, jdri, sari and many other 
modern gitis and prabandhas. In Maha- 
rastra, abhangas^ composed by different mystic 
saints, doMras, kirtanas, ovis, etc. also evolved 
during different periods. 
IX. Evolution >of the Veend, Venn and Mridanga 
(Drum) : 
Of the musical instruments, veend, vetm and 
mridanga are the most ancient ones. In the 
Samhitds like Rigveda, Sdmaveda, Yajnrveda and 
Atharvaveda, and in different Brdhmanas, there 
are references of crude form of durms, known as 
bhumi-dundubhi, dundubhi, panava, karkari, etc. 
The bhumi-dundubhi was perhaps the most ancient 
and primitive form of drum. It used to be curved 
in earth in the form of a large hollow or pit and 
covered with the thick skin of any wild animal. It 
used to be struck with one or two log or logs 
o wood, and a deep resonant sound was produced. 
The sound of the bhumi-duridubhi could be heard 
from 1 a very long distance. Afterwards the dun- 
dubhi came into use. It used to be shaped out 
of the hollow trunk of a tree, the upper part of 
which was used to be covered with the skin of the 
animal. The dundubhi was somewhat a refined 
form of the bhumi-dundubhi. The pudhkara, mri- 
danga, bhdnda-vddya, etc. of the later date were 
the prototypes of the ancient bhumi-dundubhi and 
dundubhi. Even the pdkhwaj and tihola of our 
time are later emanation from the same. 
The veend is an ancient musical instrument, 
and it evolved from the primitive bow-instrument 
(dhanuryantram} . The bow was the most import- 
ant weapon of the primitive hunting people. They 
used ito hunt all kinds of wild animals with the 
help of bows and arrows. Like the bhumi-dundubhi 
the bows were used to produce high sounding 
notes, serving as signals in times of danger. The 
primitive hunting people of the ages long gone by 
used to produce the reverberating grave 
sounds by pulling (the gut strings of the bows 
(dhanuryantram) . Even the aboriginals of modern 
times do the same. That sound might have been 
the source of inspiration for shaping the crude 
form of musical instruments among the primitive 
men. The curvature of the bow supplied the idea 
of constructing the body of their crude veend 
with the connecting gut strings. The shap<e of the 
primitive veend was curv/ed like the body of a 
bamboo bow. It was like the ancient lyres and 
harps. In the beginning, a single gut spring was 
used to produce the mono sound. Gradually im- 
provements were made by additions and altera- 
tions in the frets and strings. The veend with one 
string (ekatdrd) first evolved from the bow-string. 
Gradually the veena with two strings (dotard) 
evolved, and a number of gut strings were added 
to produce a number of tones in later times. 
The violin (behold), esrdj, sitar, tanpurd or 
tumburd, etc. are the string instruments of the 
ancient veend class, and as such, it may be 
said that they, like the veend, were shaped after 
the bamboo bow. 
In the third stage, there evolved the flute or 
pipe (venu or vanish a). It is said that the sound, 
produced from the friction of air against the hollow 
parts of the trunks of the trees, gave rise to the 
development of the flute or pipe. The pipe was 
probably made out of the reed, by making holes in 
it. At first, the flute contained a single hole only, 
and in course of time, holes were increased. 
The veend was a very sacred musical instru- 
ment in ancient times, and it was the forerunner of 
all kinds of string instruments of later ages. In 
the Vedic period, the veend was used as instru- 
mental support in songs and dances during the 
performance of sacred sacrifices. It consists of 
five parts, shira (head), udara (bowl) and ambhana 
{sounding board), tantra (string) and vddana 
(plectrum). Most of the veends of different kinds 
and different sizes of the later period evolved 
after the model of these parts. The veends 
of the ancient 'time were made of wood and some 
of them of bamboo. The audwmbari-veetid was 
made of udamvara-wood and it used to be 
played by the wives of the sdmagas during the 
sdmagdnas, before the sacrificing altars. The 
picchord or picchold veend was also made of wood, 
and it was used to be played by the wives of the 
sacrificial priests during the sacrifices. Not only 
from the Vedic times, but also from the prehistoric 
time down to the present day, the practice of veend 
is being maintained. 
In course of time, all the musical instruments 
came to be divided into four classes like tantri or 
\tata, sushira, avanaddha and ghana. Some divide 
them into three broad classes like tata, vitctita and 
tata-vitata. The Wantri or tata class of musical 
instruments were of the vend-jdti. When dif- 
ferent kinds of veend were shaped out from the 
crude ekatt\antri or dvitantri, necessity arose for 
their classification, and that classification was made 
according to the numbers of the cords or strings 
as well as arrangements of the frets. 
In the Vedic period, we "find the use of vaends 
like vanaspati, vdna, audumvari, kshoni, picchord or 
picchold, etc. The vdna-veend contained hundred 
strings, made of mimjd grass or entrails (antri) 
of the animals. The vdna seemed to appear like 
the modern Kashmerian veend saint our (saritir of 
Persia). The references to the veend, vdna are 
generally found in the Rigveda, and during the 
Brdhmana and Kalpasutra periods, the kdftydyani- 
veend, with hundred strings of grass or entrail, 
were shaped out after the pattern of the Vedic vdna. 
Gradually different veends of different designs 
evolved according to the taste and temperament of 
the society. The veends like ghoshakd, kinnari, 
brdhmi, nakuli, mahati ddravi, gdtra, chitrd, 
vipanchi, sarasvaii, kubjikd, rdvwni, parivddini, 
jayd, kurmi, pindki, dldpani, etc. evolved gradually 
from the beginning of the Christian era upto the 
15th-17th century A.D. In the Ndradishikshd ( 1st 
century A.D.), we find the method of playing the 
veena, and from it we imagine how the method 
traditionally came down from the beginning of 
the classical period (600-500 B.C.), nay, from the 
Vedic time. Besides those we find references 'to 
the veends like kaildsa, dkddha, kurma, gauri, 
sayambhu, bhoja, kaldvati, vallaki, missdra, etc. 
In the treatises like Veendtantra, Sangita-Ratnd- 
kara, Sangitasudhdkara, Sangitamakaranda, 
Svarwnelakaitfonidhi, Rdgavivodha, Chaturdandi- 
prakdshikd, Sangitasudha, Sangitasdrdmrita, dif- 
ferent types of veends have been described (Cf . also 
Prof. Sambomoorthy's History of Indian Music, 
Madras, Chap. XV, and Swami Prajnanananda's 
Historical Development of Indian Music, Calcutta, 
Chap. X). 
In the Vedic time, we find the use of the 
sushira class of musical instruments, made of 
bamboo and wood. From the prehistoric Indus 
Valley mounds, crude type of flutes of bone have 
been excavated, which go to prove the antiquity of 
the flute class of musical instruments. In the Vedic 
literature, we get references about flutes like 
kdndaveend or dc/hdti, etc. From the excavation of 
Ruper, a representation of a veend with four 
strings has. been unearthed. It has been said before 
that it has been stated in the Archaeological Report 
that there are some terracotta figurines of the 
Sunga and Kushan styles, which also include a 
seated figure of a lady, playing on lyre, reminiscent 
of Sumudragupta's figure in likewise position on 
the coins. The date of the Ruper terracotta 
f/gurines has been estimated to be circa 200 B.C. to 
600 A.D. The avanaddha or drum class of 
musical instruments like bhumi-dundubhi, 
dundubhi, patdha, karkari, panava, etc. were 
in use in the Vedic society. During the classical 
period, we find references as to the use of drums 
like pushkara, bhdnda, mridanga, etc. The crude 
form of drums have also been excavated from the 
prehistoric Indus Valley mounds. 
X. (a) Evolution of Dance in India and Its 
Significance : 
Dancing in its earliest form was prevalent ia 
the primitive society not only in India but also in 
all the countries of the world. The primitive tribes 
used to dance and sing to rhythm and tune, but 
that dance and song were crude and undeveloped. 
The art of dancing was also in practice in 
the prehistoric Indus Valley cities, and it 
has been proved by the statuette of a 
bronze dancing girl and that of the __ dancing 
Nataraja Siva, excavated respectively from the 
mounds of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa. In 
the Vedic time, the sdmagdnas were sung before 
the blazing fire of the sacrificial alters, and it has 
been mentioned in the Samhitd and the Brdhmana 
literature that the devoted wives of the sdman 
singers used to dance around the alters during that 
t?me, by clapping their hands and sometimes by 
playing the picchord-veend. Their rhythms of 
dances were kept by the beating of drums. But 
unfortunately no definite form of their dances has 
come down to us. 
References as to the definite form of dances 
we come across, for the first time, in Bharata's 
Ndtyasdstra of the 2nd century A.D. In the clas- 
sical dramas, written by Kalidasa, Bhavabhuti, Sri- 
Harsa and others, we find mention of different 
types of classical dances, hand-poses (mudrds) 
and gestures and postures, which used to be 
performed according to the strict observance of 
the rules of Bharata's Ndtyasdstra. Nandikeshvara 
or Nandibharata has also mentioned about classical 
dances as well as their different motifs, hand- poses 
and gestures and postures. 
Dhananjaya (10th century A.D.) has divided 
dance into two classes, mdrga and desi classical 
and popular or folk, in his Dasharupaka. He has 
said that ^nritya is mdrga and nritta is desi. In the 
classical period, the art of dancing was closely 
associated with dramatic performances (abhinaya), 
and so the word nritya has always been mentioned in 
connection with ndtya. But it should be remember- 
ed that the art of nritya and that of ndtya are quite 
different from each other in their techniques and 
applications. "The word ndtya is derived from the 
nata meaning avaspandana i,e. quivering", whereas- 
the word nritya is derived from nriP, meaning 
gdtravikeshapa or throwing of the limbs. Again 
it should be observed that ndtya is meant for arous- 
ing aesthetic sentiments or rasas, whereas nritya 
is meant for arousing moods or bhdvas. Dhanika 
has differentiated ndtya from nritya in the sense 
that natya, being rasdshraya, is vdkydrthabhina- 
ydtmaka, whereas nritya,, being bhdvd^hraya, is 
paddrthdbhinaydtmaka. Again we find references to 
both nritya and nrittta in the Ndtyasdstra, the 
Ahinayadarpana and many other Sanskrit dramas 
arid books on music. Some say that the term nritya 
is used for the classical or mdrga type of dance, 
whereas nrittia, for desi or folk type, In fact, 
nritya is a suitable medium for expressing aesthe- 
tic mood or bhdva (bhdv&hetu) , while writtia is a 
beautifying factor (shobhdhetu) . Nandikeshvara 
has defined nritya and nritta in the Abhinayadar- 
pana (I. 15-16) thus: 
Bhavabhinaya-hinam tu nritta- 
mityabhidhyate | 
Rasabhava-vyanjanadiyuktam nritya- 
mityuchyate 1 1 
That is, the type of dance, which does 
not express moods (bhdva) by means of 
dramatic performances (abhinaya), is called 
nritta, and the dance, which suggests sentiments 
(rasa), is called nritya. The nritya is always fit to 
find a place in the courts of the great kings. But 
still there is no end of controversy regarding the 
difference between nritya and nritta. 
Bharata says that the art of dancing (nritta) 
evolved from he ecstatic dance of the Lord Siva. 
Siva taught Tandu this art and Tandu in his turn 
preached it among the art-loving people (vide 
NdPyasdstra, Kashi ed. Chapt. IV. 257-58). But 
it should be remembered that different dancing 
figures, with different motifis, are engraved on the 
railings of the Bharut, Amaravati, Sanchi Stupas 
and on the walls of different rock-cut temples, 
which were built before the Christian era, go to 
prove the antiquity of practice of the art of danc- 
ing in India. Moreover Panini has mentioned 
about two works on the nataswfrra, one by Shilali 
and the other by Krishashva, which undoubtedly 
prove that the practice of dancing was prevalent 
during Panini's time in the 5th century B.C. 
Pantanjali has mentioned about the art of 
dancing in the Mahdbhdsya, in connection with 
the stage (rangamancha) and dramatic plays 
(abhinaya). In 'the Rdmdyana (400 B.C.), the 
Mahdbhdrad\a and the Haribhamsha (300-200 
B.C.), the practice of classical dances was current. 
At the court of Pushyamitra (150 B.C.), there was 
a theatre auditorium (prekshdgriha) as well as a 
separate music-hall (sangitashdld) for the practice 
of singing and dancing. 
According to Bharata and Nandikeshvara, the 
earliest classical dance was divided into two classes : 
tdndava and Idsya. The term 'tandava' connotes 
the idea of dance that was designed and developed 
by the dancer Tandu, and the type of the dance 
was called after him: "nritya-prayogah shristo 
vdh sa tdndawa iti smritah" (NS. IV. 258). The 
dance that was executed by Parvati, was known as 
Idsya or sukumdra. The dance, tandava was a 
violent one, whereas Idsya was gentle and tender. 
But, in the strict sense, says Bharata, tdndava and 
Idsya, the virile and the gentle are both included 
in the category of tdndawa (vide NS. IV. 266). 
Bharata has described various classical dances 
like vardhamdnaka, dsdrita, gangdvatarana, etc. in 
the Ndtyasdstra. It has been mentioned in the 
Abhmayadarpana that Bharata taught Tandu 
the tdndava dance and Tandu, in his turn, taught 
it to all lovers of art in the human world, similarly 
Parvati taught Idsya to Usha, the daughter of 
demon-king, Bana, who, in her turn, taught it to the 
cowherdesses of Dwaraka. Prof. Ghurye is of 
opinion that Kalidasa appears to be the earliest 
writer to make a pointed reference to the daily 
evening dance of Siva. In his Meghaduta, 
Kalidasa has described the evening dance of Siva 
or Rudra, in connection with his description of 
Ujjain and its temple of Mahakala by way of 
request to the cloud to pay a visit to the city. In 
the Mdlavaikdgnimitra, Kalidasa has described 
about the dance or ndfiya of Siva, together with 
tdndava and Idsya. In the Vikramorvashiya, 
Kalidasa has mentioned that Chitralekha and 
?ahajanya were adepts in the dances like jam- 
bhalikd, khandadhdrd, charchari or charcharikd, 
khuraka, bfainnakd, etc. 
Shri-Harsa has described about dances like 
kkandadhdrd, dvipadika, charcharikd, etc. in his 
RaPndvali, in connection with Mtya (abhinaya). 
Damodaragupta has also mentioned about those 
dance-types, as described in the Ratndvali, in his 
Kuttinimatam. Abhinavagupta, the Kashimirian 
scholar has characterised the dances, tdndava and 
Idsya. Saradatanaya (before 13th century A.D.) 
has fully described about different kinds of 
dance in the Bhdvaprakdsan, in connection with 
tatidava and Idsya. Sharangdeva (early 13th 
century A.D.) has mentioned about the difference 
between riritya and nritta, and has described about 
different kinds of classical dances in the Sangita- 
Ratndkara. He has divided the dances, tandaua 
and Idsya into two, and they are tdndava-nritya and 
tdndava-nritfta, and Idsya-nritya and lasya-nritta. 
He has divided the dances into three classes and 
they are vishma, vikata and laghu. In the 1349 
A.D., Jain Sudhakalasha has also dealt with the 
dances, tdndava and Idsya and many other types 
of dances in his SangiPopanishad. In the 1449 
A.D., Rana Kumbha of Mewar has described 
dances in the Sangitardja. In the 14th century 
A.D., Haripaladeva has fully dealt with the dances, 
tdndava and Idsya, and has described many marga 
and desi types of dances in the Sangitasudhdkara. 
In 1590 A.D., Pandit Pundarika Vifcthala has 
elaborately dealt with the problems of dances in 
the Nartana-nirnaya. So, if the art and culture of 
dance be surveyed in this way it will be found that 
they were traditionally handed down from genera- 
tion to generation, and preserved it inspite of many 
changes in its motifs and techniques. By way of 
gradual process, 'the classical type of bharata- 
ndtyam and kathdkali dances evolved in the South, 
kathaka in Lucknow, manipuri in Manipur, Assam, 
Kanduyana in Cylone, Seraikhela, chhau and 
rdibense, etc. in Bengal with various chdris, 
karanas, mudrds, mandate's, etc. In modern time, 
Rabindranath Tagore also innovated some new 
types of dance. 
(b) Evolution of the Hand-poses (Mudrds) : 
Ordinarily the term 'mudrd' means coin. In the 
Khas language, it is called munro; in Hindi, it is 
called mundrd or mudrd; in Sindhi, it is known 
as mundri, and in Pali, it is called muddd. 
According to Prof. F. Hommel, the term 'mudrd' 
originated from the Assiriyan word 'masaru' 
(musaru mujrd mudrd). Profs. Junker and 
Luders have not accepted this theory of 
Prof. Hommel. But in all the languages like 
Bengali, Kanari, Hindi, Marathi, Sindhi, Khas, 
etc., mudrd is known as a coin. According 
to Luders, the word nwdrd might have been 
derived from the Khotani language, 'mur*, 
which also means the coin. But the term 'mudrd' 
which is used in the art of dancing ('nartana-kald'), 
is derived from the root muda, which means 
'dnandam' or joy: "mud-am dnandam rail daddti". 
From this it is understood that the word mudrd, 
that is used in the art of dancing, is the cause or 
origin of joy and pleasure which are out- 
come of pleasing aesthetic sentiment (rasa) 
and mood (bhdva). In dancing, mudrd connotes 
the idea of symbolic language which expresses the 
ideas of the dancer, and becomes the source of 
pleasure and joy. 
It is most probable that the hand-poses (mudrds), 
that are used in dancing, evolved from the mudrds 
or different settings of the fingers of the hands of 
the sdmaga BrShmins, when they used to sing the 
sdmagdnas before the blazing fire on the sacred 
sacrificial altars in the Vedic time, and so it Was 
neither invented by Bharata of the Ndtyasdstra 
fame, nor by Nandikeshvara of the Abhinayadar- 
pana and Yashtika and others. But Bharafe, 
Nandikeshvara and others have afterwards recast 
them in new forms and colours, and applied them 
in classical dances. 
In the Vedic period, the base-tones (sthdna- 
svaras) like uddtta, anuddtta and suarita, together 
with the tones, prathama, dvitiya, etc., were used 
to be symbolized by different positions or move- 
ments of 'the fingers of the hands as well as by dif- 
ferent movements of the upper parts of the bodies 
of the sdman singers. The tradition of expressing 
the tones of the Vedic music, by moving the fingers 
of the right-hand, is very old. This tradition was 
at least current and common with the followers of 
the Rdndyaniya and the Kauthuma recensions 
(shdkhds) of the Samaveda. While singing the 
sdmans, the singers used to intonate their special 
musical tunes, with the help of their five fingers 
of the right-hand thus; (a) the first finger, the 
thumb (august ha) used to stand for denoting the 
prathama tone, to sing; (b) the second finger 
(tar jam), next to the thumb, used to denote the 
dvitiya tone, lower than the first; (c) the third 
finger middle one (madhyamd) used to denote ,the 
tritiya tone, lower than the second; (d) the fourth 
finger (andmikd), next to the middle one, and 
(e) the last finger (kanisthikd) used to denote the 
chaturtha and the mandra of the sdman. The 
thumb was made to move and touch the other 
fingers, and thus helped the singers to sing the 
sdmagdna with proper intonation. 
This tradition is still in practice among the 
sdman singers of modern India. In -the Ndradi- 
shikshd of the 1st century A.D., we find the mention 
of both the processes of. the fingers of the right- 
hand as well as different parts of the body. As for 
(a) Angus thasyottame krushtohyagushthe 
prathamah svarah| 
Pradeshinyam tu gandhara- 
rishabhastadanantaram 1 1 
Anamikayam shadjastu kanishthi- 
kayam cha dhaivatam | 
Tasyadhastaccha yonyastu nishadam 
tatra vinyaset 1 1 
Here Narada has mentioned about the laukika 
or desi tones, and it should be remembered that 
wadhyamaprathama, gdndhdra, = dvitiya, risha- 
bhatritiya, shad ja = chaturtha, dhaivai\a = mandra, 
mshddaatisvdrya, and panchamakrusta. 
(b) Krustasya murdhani sthanam lalate 
prathamasya tu| 
Bhruvormadhye dvitiyasya tritiyasya 
cha karnayo|| 
Kanthasthanam chaturthasya mandra- 
syorasituchyate [ 
Atisvarasya nichasya hridisthanam 
vidhiyate 1 1 
Which means that a sdman singer will touch 
respectively the middle part of his head, forehead, 
middle part of the eyebrows, ears, throat, thigh 
and heart, when he will use the Vedic tones 
prathama, etc., during the sdman singing. The 
Mdndukishikshd has mentioned it in some other 
ways: "vdhydngushtham tu krustam sydt angush- 
the madhyamah svarah" , etc. Now the hand-poses 
(mudrds), which were adopted in the religious 
functions (pujd) of the Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, 
Vaishnavas and others (updsand-mudras) as well 
as those, which were adopted in the art of dancing 
(nartana-mudrds) in the later period, evolved 
from the settings of the fingers (mudrd} during 
(the sdman singing in the Vedic period. Similarly, 
the gestures and postures of dancing evolved from 
the movements of the parts of the body of the 
Samagas during the sdman singing. 
In ancient India, dance and music were the parts 
and parcels of drama (abhinaya}. The Hindu 
drama was mainly divided into four different 
branches, and they were: dngika, vdchika, dhdrya 
and sdttvika. Bharata has said regarding them: 
Cha'turvidhaschaiva bhavennatyabhinayo 
dvijahj ' 
Aneka-bheda-vahulyam natyam hyasmin 
pratishthitamj j 
Anagiko vaohikaschaiva aharyah 
N.S. VII. 8-9. 
Among these four, the vdchika abhinaya was 
important, and other three used to depend on it. 
The hand-poses (mudrds) and gestures and 
postures belonged to the dngika abhinaya. The 
vdchika abhinaya mainly consisted of correct 
pronunciation, modulation of voice, accents and 
rhythm. The dhdrya abhinaya was mainly con- 
cerned with the costumes, paintings, etc., and the 
sdttvika abhinaya was concerned with eight condi- 
tions like motionlessness, perspiration, horripila- 
tion, change of voice, trembling, change of colour, 
tears and fainting. 
Numerous hand-poses (mudrds) evolved before 
the Christian era. Bharata, Nandikeshvara and 
others have divided them into two main categories, 
single (asamyuta) and double or combined 
(samyuta). According to Bharata, the asamyuta 
yrwdrds were 24 in number, and they were : patdka, 
tripatdka, kartwimukha, ardhachandra, arala, 
shukatunda, mushti, shikhara, kapittha, katakd- 
mukha, sudhi, padmakosha, sarpashirsha, mriga- 
shirshq, Idwgula, iM\palapodma or alapadma, 
chaturq, tyhrwmara, hamsasya, hamsapaksha, 
sandamsha, mukula, urnaiidbha and \fdmrachuda 
(vide NS. 9. 4-7). According to Nandikeshvara, 
they were 28. Again, according to Bharata, the 
samyuta mudrds were 23 in number, and they were : 
anjalij kapota, karkata, swastika, dota, puspaputa, 
utsanga, shivalinga, katakavardhana, kartari, 
shakata, shankha, chakra, sampMa, pasha, kilaka, 
matsya, kurma, varaha, garuda, ndgavandha, 
khatva, bherunda. (vide NS. 9. 11-17, 184-209). 
Nandikeshvara has supported Bharata regarding 
this number. It should be mentioned in this con- 
nection that the numbers of the hand-poses differed 
according to different schools. For detailed infor- 
mation about the hand-poses, one may consult 
Bharata's Ndtyasdstra, Nandikeshvara's Bhara- 
tdrnaua, Nandikeshvara-samhitd (MS), Abhmaya- 
darpana, and Dr. A. K. Coomarasvami's Mirror of 
Gestures (London). 
XL Evolution of Rhythm and Tempo : 
To describe about the evolution of the concepts 
of tola and laya, it can be said that they evolved 
with the appearance of the world-process. In the 
epic or paurdnic age, it was interpreted that the 
source of rhythm and tempo was Siva, the Maha- 
kala and Sakti, the Mahakali. In fact, the term 
f tdla' evolved from the concept of vibrations or 
spandana. The terms tdla and kdla are synonymous. 
The eternal time^sefies aTre~3ivi3e3 into hundreds 
and thousands of parts, and they are known as 
the units of kdlakald or tdla. As in the most 
ancient primitive and prehistoric times, there were 
songs and dances, so there prevailed indeed the 
practices of rhythm and tempo, though they were 
not systematised and not considered as very 
essential. In the Ndtyasdstra, Bharata has said: 
''kdlasya Pit pramdnam vai vijneyam tala-yoktri- 
bhih". Really the existence of time (kdla} is easily 
perceived with the help of rhythm (tdla) and vice 
versa. The term 'tempo' is known as laya as well 
as mdna, and the term 'rhythm' as tdla or pat a. 
The laya is but the intervening time or space 
between two units of time or kdla, so laya is con- 
ceived as evolved from kdla or tdla ( (f tdlaja kdla"). 
Bharata has said: "kdla-kald-pramancna tdla 
ityabhidhiyate", i.e., the term f tdla' conveys the idea 
of the combination of kdla and kald. 
Well has it been said by Hans Tiscler : "Rhythm 
is fundamental in all arts. In music, specifically, 
rhythm means the ebb and flow of longer and 
shorter tones and tone groups". The idea of 
*meter' is also connected with that of rhythm. 
Now, what do we mean by a meter? A meter is 
a certain regularity in rhythmic or temporal 
patterns, a regularity marked by accents. So by 
tapping all the tones we become aware of the dif- 
ferences in their duration (=rhythm), whereas by 
tapping only the beats, the regularity of music 
(=meter) becomes apparent. In the Vedic time, 
we find the use of meters (chhanda), composed of 
different letters (akshara). The gdyatri, jagati, 
etc. meters have been mentioned in the Vedic litera- 
ture. The Vedic hymns were chanted or sung with 
some accents, and those accents used 'to be observed 
according to the measuring units of hrasva, dirg'ha, 
pluta, guru, etc. In the Rik-prdtishdkhya, the 
varnas (syllables) are known as svara or sound. 
The svara is divided into hrasva, dirgha and pluta. 
The hrasva sound lasts for only one mdtrd, the 
dirgha, for two mdtrds, and the pluta, for three 
wdtrds. Bharata says in the Ndtyasdstra that the 
eternal time was divided into different parts like 
nimesha, kdla, kdsthd, etc. Again nimesha was 
divided into five parts: "nimesha panchmdtrd- 
sydt". The tempo or laya was also divided into 
three units of time-speed like vilambita (slow), 
mctdhya (medium) and druta (rapid). Gradually 
there evolved three time-units like chit'ra, vdrtika 
and dakdhina, composed of 2, 4, 8 mdtrds respec- 
tively. The ten vital characteristics (prdnas) like 
bshana, laya, etc., together with some measuring 
units (angas) like anu-druta, druta, laghu, guru, 
pluta and kdkapdda (or hansapada) also evolved. 
A basic potency or energy (sakti) of time (kdla or 
tald) was conceived. Gradually that potency or 
sakti was divided into two, sa-shabda and nis- 
shabda (beatings with sound and without sound). 
The nis-shabda was again known as kdla, and the 
From the 
sa-shabda as pdta. From those sakti-units evolved 
eight tdlas as, 
1. Avdpa, in which the fingers of the 
raised hands will be closed. 
2. Nishkrdma, in which the fingers 
of the hands be stretched down- 
3. Fikshepa, in which the fingers 
should be stretched to the right- 
4. Prabesha, in which the fingers 
are to be directed downwards in 
a contracted (kunchita) manner. 
1. Dhruva i.e. the sound for pro- 
ducing rdgamdrga. 
2. Shampd i.e. to produce sound by 
the right-hand. 
From the 
3. Tdla i.e. to produce sound by 
striking with raised left-hand. 
4. Sannipdta i.e. to produce sound by 
both the hands in a straight way. 
The Mas were again divided into two main jdtis, 
tryashra, consisting three mdtrds and chaturashra, 
consisting four mdtrds. Besides, there were three 
other jatis like khanda, mishra and samkirna, con- 
sisting five, seven and nine mdtrds respectively. 
The tdla, chachatputa belonged to tryashraj&ti, 
consisting the angas like guru+laghu+laghu+ 
S, and the chackatpuPa belonged to the 
chaturshrajdti, consisting the angas like guru+ 
guru+laghu+phtta$ S | S S. The mishrajdti 
evolved from a combination of tryashra and chaPur- 
ashra-jdtis. The shatpitdputraka-^tdla belonged to 
the mishrajo)ti^> S | S S | S S. It will be inter- 
esting to note that 35 tdlas of the Karnatic system 
evolved from these five jdtis. 
Different grakas also evolved in the sphere of 
rhythm. The term 'graha' connotes the idea of 
'beginning of something' (drambha). The names 
of different grahas were samagraha, atitagraha. 
andgatagraha and vishamagraha. They were also 
known as sainapdni, avapdni, uparipani and visha- 
wapdni (pdni means ghdta or pdfia), or as tala, 
vitdlu, amttdla, and pratitdla. 
The ycvti or movement-unit also evolved 
to regulate the rhythm, and they were saind, 
srotogatd, mridanga, pipilikd and gopuccha. The 
sa?nd was possessed of three units of tempo, 
one in the beginning, one in the middle, and the 
last one in the end. The srotogatd was so called 
because its movement was just like the current of 
a river. The names mridanga, pipilikd and 
gopucchd were given because their respective move- 
ments were like that 1 of a drum, an ant and a 
bushy tail-end of a cow. The specific characteristics 
of those yatis were: 
(a) The $wndy<xti possessed rapid, medium and 
slow (druta, madhya and vilambita) tempi, and 
they were equal in series. 
(b) The srotogatd possessed a successive series 
of tempo like slow, medium and rapid. 
(c) The mridanga possessed (i) rapid tempo 
at the beginning and end, and slow in the middle, 
(ii) rapid a ( t the beginning and end, and medium 
in the middle, (iii) medium at the beginning and 
end, and slow in the middle. 
(d) The pipilikdyati consisted of (i) slow 
tempo both at the beginning and end, and rapid in 
the middle, (ii) medium both at the beginning and 
end medium in the middle. 
(e) the gopucchd consisted of either rapid, 
medium and slow or medium, medium and slow 
tempo successively. 
The category of prastdra was also evolved to 
measure the lime of the rhythm, as p*uta, gum, 
laghu, dnda, etc., whereby the intricacy of tola was 
fully appreciated. Now, according to the method 
of prastdra, 108 tdlas evolved in gradual progress, 
and they have been fully described by Sharangdeva 
in the Sangifra-Ratndkana (vide the tdlddhyaya), 
though Bharata has not described them in detail 
in the Ndtyasdstra. The 108 talas, evolved, were 
chacchatpitta of 8 mdtrds, chachaputa of 6 mdtrds, 
shatpitdputraka of 12 mdtrds, udghaUam of 6 
indtrds, dditdla of 1 mdtrd, darpana of 3 mdtrds, 
charchari of 18 mdtrds, etc. (vide ScwigitorRatna- 
kara, the tdlddhydyd). But Nandikeshvara has 
described 112 tdlds in the Bharatarnava. 
Different rhythms evolved in the Karnatic 
system of music, on the basis of the ancient designs 
of tdlas, and it has been said that they were 
mainly 35 in number. These tolas were divided into 
5 jdtis like tryadhra, chaturashra, khanda, mishra 
and samkirna, as has been described before The 
Karnatic tdlas like dhruvd, mantha, rupaka, 
jhampa, triputa, adda, ekatdla, etc. were composed 
of different mdtrds. The 35 tdlas evolved as 7*5 
35. As for example, 
Dhrava= ' O ' ' = laghu, druta, laghu and laghu **$% matras, 
tryashra contains 3 + 2 +3 + 3 =11 letters 
Chaturashra 4+2+4+4 "14 
Khanda 5 + 2+5 + 6 17 ,. 
Mishra 7+2+7 + 7 -23 
Samkirna tt 9+2+9 + 9 =29 
The mdtrds were in the form of letters or aksharas. 
Likewise different modern tdlas evolved with 
different mdtrds in the North Indian system of 
music, and they were chautdla or chdratala of 12 
mdtrds. It is said that chatustala, chdratala or 
chawtdla evolved after the form of the Karnatic 
addatdla of the charashrajdti of 4+4+2+2=12 
mdtrds. The ekatdli of 12 mdtras, trittila of 16 
mdtrds, ddd-chautala of 14 mdtrds, jhampa of 10 
mdtrds, rupaka of 7 mdtrds, dhdmdra of 14 mdtrds, 
surphdnk of 10 mdtrds, dipachandi of 14 mdtrds, 
dhimd of 16 mdtrds, jhumrd of 14 mdtrds 
*dddtheka of 16 mdl^rds.madhyamana of 32 
(mainly 16 mdtrds, but they are presented in slow 
or vilambita tempo with the duration like 16X2 
32), along with many other itdlas. The words and 
bols (sdhitya or language), though meaningless, are 
significant for expressing the mdtrds. 
The rhythm and tempo are necessary for bring- 
ing a measured system in the entire field of music, 
and, consequently, they are essential for bring 'the 
whole nervous system of the human body under 
control, which ultimately bring permanent peace 
and tranquility to the human life. 
XII. Historical Evolution of Philosophical Concept 
in Music : 
The philosophical concept evolved in the field of 
Indian music, in relation to historical evolution 
of the musical sound, which constructs the forms 
of svara, rag a, grdma, murcchand, alamkdra, 
\tdna } mela, varna, etc. The sound has been re- 
garded as the fountainhead of music. We, for the 
first time, come across the concept of causal 
sound or ndda in a definite way, in the 5th-7th 
century A.D., in Matanga's Brihaddeshi. But this 
concept evolved long before the Christian era, 
in the days of the Mahdbhdrata (300 B.C.), as we 
find in the dshvamcdhikaparva, 53.52-54, the sound 
has been described as the quality (guna) of the 
ether (dkdsha), and even the seven laukika tones 
like shadja, rishabha, etc., have been described 
as the attributes of the ether. The Mahdbhdrata 
has stated : 
Tatraika-guna akashah shabda 
ityeva sa smritah | 
tasya shabdasya vakshyami 
vistarena vahun gunan 1 1 
Shadjarshabhah gandharo 
madhyamah panchamah smritah | 
Atah-param tu vijneyo nishado 
dhaivatastatha 1 1 
* * shabda 
akasha-sambhavah 1 1 
So it seems that; Matanga, being an eminent author 
on music, has borrowed his philosophical idea of 
music (i.e. of the musical sound) from the Mahd- 
bhdrata. But it is interesting or rather strange 
enough that Bharata of the Ndtyasdstra fame and 
his followers like Kohala, Yashtika, Dattila, Durga- 
shakti, Vishvakhila and others have not clearly 
dealt with this idea of musical sound in 'their works. 
However it can be said that the philosophical 
idea of Indian music evolved long before Bharata, 
Matanga and others, and it was practically applied 
in the field of Indian music in the 5th-7th century 
A,D., in the following manner, as has been described 
by Matanga in the Brihaddeshi: 
Idanim sampravyakshyami nada- 
lakshanamuttamam | 
Na nadena vina gitam na nadena 
vina svarah 1 1 
Na nadena vina nrittam 
tasmannadatmakam jagat | 
Here we notice two kinds of idea, one, Vaishnavaite 
and the other, Tantric. As for example, 
Nadarupah smrito brahma 
nadarupo janardanah| 
Nadarupa parashaktir-nadarupo 
meshavarah 1 1 
Again the Tantric idea, regarding the origin of the 
causal sound or ndda, also evolved in this period. 
As for example, 
Yaduktam brahmanah sthanam 
brahmagranthischa yah smritah|[ 
Tanmadhye samsthitah pranah 
pranat vahni-samudgamah | 
samupajayate 1 1 
Nadadutpadyate vindur-nadat 
sarvam cha vangmayam 1 1 
Here the idea of origin of the causal sound of 
music grew in this way: the vital air or prdna 
resides in the brakmagranthi (naval base), and 
from the vital air, the fire or heat-energy evolved, 
and with the admixture of tjhe vital air and the fire 
or heat-energy, the causal musical sound, ndda 
In this period, we come across the evolu- 
tion of five grades of sound-units from one 
basic sound. Matanga has described it in the 
following manner: 
Nado'yam nadaterdhatoh sa cha 
pancha-vidho bhavet| 
vyakto Vyaktascha kritrimah j | 
That is, sukshma, axtisukshma, vyakta, avyaktta and 
kritrima (subtle, most subtle, manifested, unmani- 
fested and artificial) sounds evolved from the 
ndda. The sukshma or subtle sound is known as 
'guhavasi' i.e. residing in the depth of the sub- 
conscious mind, and when it manifests itself in 
the breast (hridaya), it comes to be known as 
atisukshma or most subtle. Again, when the 
sound is manifested in the throat (kantha), it 
becomes vyakta or manifested, and when it is 
evolved in the palate, it is known as avyakta 
or unmanifested, and when it is manifested in 
the mouth, it is known as artificial. These are 
but the grades of evolution of the musical sounds. 
In the chapter on the musical composition or 
prabandha of the Brihaddeshi, Matanga has 
mentioned about the philosophical concept of the 
prabandhas : "deshikdra-prabandho'yam (?) hara- 
vaktrdbhi-nirgatah" (sloka 373). 
In the 9th-llth century A.D., this philosophical 
concept of the causal sound (ndda) was expressed 
in a clearer way. In the Sangitasamayasdra, we 
find that the causal sound (ndda) has been defined 
as Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshvara: "ndddtma- 
nas'trayo devd brahmd-wshnu-maheshvarah" . In 
this period, we find also five different grades of it. 
As for example, Parshvadeva has said : 
Sa cha pancha-vidho nado 
matanga-muni-sammatah | 
ati-sukshma-sukshmascha pushto 
'pushtascha kritrimah 1 1 
Moreover, Parshvadeva has divided the causal 
sound into four more subsidiary units, and they are 
kabula, bambala, ndrdta and mishra: "dhvani- 
schaturvidhah proktah." 
The philosophical concept, regarding the melodic 
types or rdgas, evolved in the mediaeval time, and it 
Devolved on the basis of the Siva-Sakti principle. 
I. Music in the Primitive Time : 
The evolution of music had its root in the most 
primitive time, and it evolved through countless 
processes. Well it has been said by Hans Tischler : 
"Human living involves 'five basic processes: 
work, defence, social organization, propagation 
and death. For each of these a specific type of 
music evolves in most primitive societies: work 
songs, war songs, ballads, ritual dances and chants. 
It is easily seen that much of the music we hear 
around today, stems from these five types, which 
are called functional music". Primitive men were 
mainly tthe food-gathering, hunting, pastoral and 
agricultural people. Their joy, hope and content- 
ment in life got expression in monotonous dance 
and music. It was the practice of the primitive 
people to utter words with high sound, and they 
did it because they lived in the thick forests or dark 
caves of the hills or mountains, and so they spoke 
and sang songs with high or raised voice for throw- 
ing their voices i.e. sound to distant places. Their 
music consisted at first of words, added with one 
note only and that note was in a high pitch. It 
was monotonous and recitative. Gradually they 
added one or two notes more, having high and low, 
or high, medium and low pitches. To quote H, B. 
Alexander, in this regard: "the primitive savage 
melodies were never long; they consisted of few 
notes, and a phrase tended to be endlessly repeated. 
A primitive people like the Veddas had two-note 
songs with a descent from the higher to the lower 
tone". Joy and emotive feelings of the most primi- 
tive nomadic tribes used to be expressed with 
the help of the movements of hands and legs, 
and thus their dance and clapping of hands found 
an outlet of their feelings. Their dances were 
always supported by songs, and vice versa. Mr. 
Hambly is of opinion that as they (primitive 
people) used to live in the jungles surrounded by 
wild animals, their vocal efforts originated in imita- 
tion of the cries and calls of the animals and even of 
birds. Their rhythms of dances also evolved in 
imitation of the movements of the wild animals, 
2nd so their dance and music were generally of 
very crude and wild nature. Their songs consisted 
of harsh guttural chants, and were meant for 
increasing animal fecundity and agriculture, and 
also for renewing the fertility of soil and crops, 
and for invoking the spirit-gods for curing the 
The primitive people sang and danced when they 
felt something positive to express and enjoy. 
Singing and dancing were, therefore, the spontane- 
ous outbirsts of their simple and sweet thoughts. 
To observe time and to create stirring emotion, they 
clapped their hands, nodded their heads and moved 
the limbs. They very much loved love-songs, 
erotic songs, animal songs, hunting songs, rain- 
songs, war-songs and songs of lamentations, songs 
of medicine and weather charms. They fashioned 
pipes and crude type of lutes out of wood, bamboo 
and bone. They used fibres of palm-leaves, grass 
and entrails of the animals for strings of their 
musical instruments of lute type. They made 
drums out of wood and earth, and covered the 
mouths with the skins of the animals. Sometimes 
they dug holes in the earth and covered their mouths 
with the skins of the wild animals. This drum was 
called the bhumi-dundubhi in the ancient Vedic 
Now with the expiry of hundreds or thousands 
of years, light of a new civilization and culture 
has illumined the horizon of the world every- 
where. Though most of the primitive people 
of the bygone days have now been civilized, 
yet there exist some aboriginal stocks of 
those ancient nomadic tribes and they are Toda, 
Kota, Irula, Paniyan of the Nilgiri Hills, Baiga, 
Bondo, Bhuiya, Saora Lohar of the Middle India, 
Oraon, Munda, Ho, Santal, Kolarian of the 
Chhotanagpur District, Aka, Apa, Tani, Bori, 
Dafle, Dobang, Miri of the North-East Frontier, 
Andamans, Kadars and Pulayans of Cochin and 
Travancore Hills, the aboriginal tribes of Moha- 
kosal, Maikal Hills, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Assam 
and other places. They have also preserved the 
ancient tradition of their forefathers of the primi- 
tive days, and their crude musical instruments bear 
Similarity with the instruments of the most primi- 
II. Music in the Prehistoric Time: 
The crude and undeveloped dance and music of 
the primitive time were gradually developed in the 
prehistoric time. Many remnants of their musical 
instruments have been discovered from the mounds 
of Mohenjo-daro, Channu-daro, Harappa, etc., the 
dates of which have approximately been fixed by 
the archaeologists and historians as 4500 to 5000 
B.C. In 1922, Rakhaldas Banerji first discovered 
'the mound of the Dead' on the lower Indus, 
twenty-five miles south of Larkana. Sir John 
Marshall, Nani Gopal Mazumder, Rai Bahadur 
Dayarama 'Shahani, Earnst Mackey, Rai Bahadur 
Ramaprasad Chandra, Rai Bahadur K. N. Dikshit, 
Wheeler and others excavated the mounds and 
came to the finding that they were most ancient and 
civilized cities, inhabited by different classes of 
people, most of which were the merchants or Panis. 
They had ships with masts and went by the seas 
and oceans to different distant countries like Egypt, 
Greece, Mesopotemia and other foreign countries 
for trade and commerce. There were also land 
routes through khdibdr-pass and bolan-pass over 
Central Asia and other places of the Middle East. 
Rai Bahadur Dikshit, Dr. Laksman-svarup, Daya- 
ram Shahani and others have said that the earliest 
siring instruments and drums ane to be traced 
to the Indus Valley civilization. "In one of the 
terracotta figures, a kind of drum is to be seen 
hanging from the neck, and on two seals we find a 
precursor of the modern mridanga with skins at 
either ends. Some of the pictographs appear to be 
representations of a crude stringed instrument, a 
prototype of the modern veena, while similar to- 
castanets, like the modern karatdla, have been 
found". Besides them, a bronze statuette of danc- 
irg girl was discovered by Rai Bahadur Dayaram 
Shahani. It is nude with a large number of bangles 
on one arm. It is in a dancing posture. 
From the recent reports of the Indian Archaeo- 
logical Survey, it is found that different musical 
findings like lute or veend, flute of stone or bone, 
drum, etc., have been unearthed from the most 
ancient mounds of Ruper, 60 miles north of 
Ambala on the Sutlej, Prabhas Patan (Somnath), 
Behal on the Girna in the Upper Deccan, Nagar- 
junakonda in the district of Guntur, Brahmagiri, 
etc. From the Ruper excavation, the statuette of 
a lady playing a lute (veend} with four strings,, 
reminiscent of Samudragupta's veend-playing 
figure on his coins, has been found among the tera- 
cotta figurines in Sunga and Kushan styles. The 
culture of Ruper, datable to 200 B.C. to 600 A.D. is 
analogous to the chalcolithic culture of Harappa 
and Mohenjo-daro. Again from the Lothal exca- 
vations "a shell piece with grooves at two places, 
which must have been used as a 'bridge' in some 
musical instruments, has been unearthed". S. R. 
Rao, Superintendent, Department of Archaeological 
Excavation Branch, Nagpur, has said: "In this 
case we find that two strings must have been used. 
The shell piece is complete. It comes from the 
middle levels of the Harappa culture at Lothal 
datable to 2000 B.C.". 
Now, from all these ancient findings or records, 
ii is most probable that though there are much con- 
troversies regarding the prevalence of the Vedic 
culture in the prehistoric Indus Valley cities, yet 
it cannot be denied that the people of those antique 
days used to culture fine arts like dancing and music, 
with some definite motifs which are unknown 
to us today, to evoke in their heavy hearts joy and 
temporary tranquility. From the Ruper findings, 
datable to 200 B.C. to 600 A.D. it is proved that 
existence of four stringed lute or veend and that 
mosit of the veenas of those days generally possessed 
four strings to produce four notes. Again, from 
the Lothal findings, datable to 2000 B.C., it is found 
that most of the crude string instruments of the 
prehistoric days were probably fitted with two or 
three strings to produce two or three musical notes. 
Music in the Vedic Time : 
We find that in the Vedic time, a definite and 
systematic form of music used to be practised 
before the sacrificial alters and different religious 
functions as well. From the four Samhitds, 
Brdhmanas, Sikshds and Prdtishdkhyas and other 
Vedic literature we come to know that the Vedic 
music, sdmagdna was sung with a definite scale, 
having three registers, different meters and 
aesthetic sentiments, accompanied by different 
musical instruments like veend, venu, and mridanga. 
The sPobhas or syllables like ] hdu, hdu, him, huvc, 
haya, hovd, iha, etc. were used along with the songs 
or Vedic gdnas. The stobhas were, therefore, 
classified according to warna, pada and vdkya. 
Different numbers of Vedic tone were used in the 
songs (gdnas) according to the traditions of 
different Vedic recensions (shdkhds). The names 
of the recensions have been mentioned in the Puspa- 
sutra, the Prdtishdkhya of the Samaveda and the 
Ndradishiksd. Generally four or five tones were 
used in the sdmagdna. Sometimes six and seven 
tones were used. 
The women would devote much of their time each 
day to dancing, singing and playing the musical 
instruments. The girls were first taught to prepare 
the Soma juice; next, they were instructed in 
dancing, and after that they were trained in the 
procedure of the sacrificial ceremonies. In the 
Vedic period, the dancing was so common among 
the girls, even the servant-girls would attain a high 
stage of proficiency in the art. In the Krishna- 
Yajurveda (7.5.10), it has been mentioned that 
where the mdrjdliya fire used to burn, all the 
servant-girls used to rhythmically dance around 
the fire, carrying the water pitchers. Songs (gdna) 
accompanied the dance. In the Kaushitaki- 
brdhmana (29.5), it has been stated that the arts 
of dancing, singing and playing the musical instru- 
ments formed an important part of certain Vedic 
rites. Well has it been said by Amulya Charan 
Vidyabhushan : "It was incumbent on all at that 
period (Vedic), to conduct their sacrifices strictly 
according to the Vedic rites, and music played an 
important part in the ceremonies. In the conduct 
cf the Ashvamedha-yajna (Horse Sacrifice), two 
fcwn^-players were required to play their instru- 
ments. One of these was to be a Brahmin, who 
would play by day, and the other a Kshatriya, who 
performed at night. For the Purushamedha-yajna 
(Human Sacrificial Ceremony), the veend and a 
great many other musical instruments were played. 
There would also be songs and dances. In the 
Mahdvrata ceremony, there was a large variety of 
both songs and dances. While this ceremony was. 
in progress, young girls would dance all around the 
sacrificial grounds. Before their dance was com- 
pleted, married women too would join in a dance". 
In the Rigyeda, a musical instrument like mandird 
v/as in use in dancing, and it is said that this 
musical instrument was known at that time as 
dghdti. In the Purushamedha-yajna, the drum- 
mers were engaged, and they were known as 
The tones of the Vedic music were in a descend- 
ing series (nidhdna or auarohana prakriti), whereas 
those of the laukika gdndharva and formalised 
desi types of music, that evolved in the beginning of 
the classical period, were in a ascending series 
(drohana prakriti). Sometimes the accent-notes,, 
anuddtta, svarita and udatta (low, circumflex and 
raised or high) were mentioned in the Shikshds and 
the Prdtishdkhyas as to be used in the gdnas as tones 
or svaras, and the seven vaidika and laukika tones, 
it is said, have been evolved from those accent or 
register notes. Some subsidiary notes like jdtya, 
abhiniha, prdshilis\fia, etc. were also used in the 
Vedic songs, so as to make the compact of the tunes 
or melodies sweet and harmonious. There was a 
harmony between the speech and the tune. The 
timing of the songs used to be observed by the helpt^ 
of the fingers of 'the hands or by movements of 
different parts of the body. Different musical 
instruments, percussion and string like dundubki, 
bhumi-dundubhi (drums), karkari, piachola, 
kshauni, vana, audamvari, nddi (veend variants) 
were used, supporting- the songs. The vana was a 
vcena with hundred strings of grass. In Katya- 
yana's Kalpasutra, it is found that veend with 
hundred strings (shata-tantri) has been called as 
the kdtydyam-veena. It is probable that the Vedic 
veend, vana was again introduced in a modified 
form with the new name of f kdtydyani-ue\ena' in the 
Kalpasutra period, in the post-Vedic time. 
It is said that the Samaveda is the prime source 
of all kinds of music. The Samaveda has been 
divided into two, purvdrchika and uttardrchika. 
Again the purvdrchika is divided into two, grdme- 
geyagdna and aranyegeyagdna, and the uttardr- 
chika is divided into, uha and uhya. It is generally 
believed that the songs that were practised by the 
common people of the community, were known as 
'grdmegeya', and those that were sung by the 
singers (sdmagas) in the forests, were known as 
'aranyegeya*. The uha and uhya were included in 
the category of the aranyegeyagana, and they were 
known as the mystic songs (rahasyagdnd) . The 
word 'uha' connotes the idea of repetition, and it is 
said that uhyagdna evolved from the admixture of 
the gdnas, uha and aranyegeya. So we get both 
samhitds and gdnas from the Samaveda: 
SamhiPd: Gdna (sdmagdna) 
(a) Purvarchika, (a) Gramegeya, 
(b) Aranyaka, (b) Aranyegeya, 
(c) Uttararchika. ( c ) Uha, 
,(d) Uhya. 
The sdmagdna or singing process of the sdmans 
was divided into six or seven categories, and they 
were (1) humkdra, i.e., the priest will utter 'hum' 
(yes) at the beginning of the singing; (2) prastora 
i.e., which the Prastotris (prastotri priest) used 
to sing at the beginning of the sdmagdna; (3) 
udgitha, i.e., which the Udgdtris used to repeat 
the tune of the sdmagdna; (4) pratihara, i.e., the 
Pratihdtris used to sing the part of the song after 
the third stanza of the sdmagdna; (5) upadrava, 
i.e., which the Udgdtris used to sing at the end 
of the third stanza; (6) nidhdna, i.e., that used to 
be sung by the sacrificial priests at the end of the 
sdmans; and (7) pranava, i.e., omkdra. The sama- 
gdna used to be sung in this way before the blazing 
fire on the sacrificial alters, invoking the presiding 
The Vedic songs, sdmagdnas had their base 
in a fixed scale, which was framed out of 
five, six or seven Vedic tones. The scholars of the 
present time admit two kinds of scales, reversed 
(yakra) and straight (riju), and it should be re- 
membered that both the scales, vakra and riju 
possessed seven tones. As for example, 
Vakragati Rijugati 
Vedic tones laukika tones Vedic tones 
laukika tones 
Prathama Ma Prathama Ma 
dvitiya Ga dvitiya Ga 
iritiya Ri tritiya Ri 
chaturtha Sa chaturtha Sa 
mandra Dha mandra Ni 
atsvarya Ni atsvarya Dha 
krusta Pa krusta Pa 
Pandit Lakshmana Sankar Bhatta-Dravida is in 
favour of the straight (riju) scale in a descending 
process (avarohana-krama^Ma, Ga Ri Sa|Ni 
Dha Pa, whereas M. S. Ramasvami Aiyar admits 
the reverse (vakra) one in a descending process 
^Ma Ga Ri Sa|Dha Ni Pa. But it should be noted 
that Narada himself was in favour of the vakragati 
scale (=Pa Ma Ga Ri Sa Dha Ni). From all of 
them, we get the medium (madhya-saptaka) scale 
of the Vedic music thus: 
-tritiya, mandra 
3 5 
chaturtha, prathama, and 
4 1 7 
atsvarya, dvitiya 
6 2 
In both the vaidika and laukika scales, seven tones 
scan be arranged to form a complete scale, and the 
vaidika-sdmagdna-scalt was formed with the down- 
ward series of Vedic tones thus: Pa Dha Ni|Sa 
Ri Ga Ma 1 1 -Ma Ga Ri Sa | Ni Dha Pa (bass). 
There were various modes of singing in different 
recensions (shdkhds) of the Vedas: "sarvdhd 
shdkhdha prithak prMak". Specially the priests 
of the Kauthuma recension used to sing the 
sdmagdnas with seven tones. It should be remem- 
bered that the methods of presentation of the 
sdmagdnas used to differ from one another accord- 
ing to the six variations (ucchdrana-vikdra) like 
vikdra, vishleshna, vikarshana, abhydsa, virama and 
stobha. Shavara Swami has said in this connec- 
tion : "samawede sahasram gityupdydh. aha ka ime 
gittyupdyd ndmaf uchyate, gitirndma kriyd 
hyabhantara - prayatna - janii\a - svara - msheshd 
namabhivyanjika, sama - shavddbhilapyd. sd myata 
pramdnd; richi giyate. tatsampddandrtho'yamri- 
gaksharavikdro vishlesho vikarshanamaUhydso 
virdmah stiobha ittyevamddayah sarve samavede 
samdmndyawfte" . Acharya Sayana has said in the 
introduction of the Samaveda: ff sdma^shabdasya 
gdnasya svarupam rigakshareshu krustddibhih 
saptabhih svarai - rakshara - vikdrddibhishcha. 
nishpddyrttie". (Cf. also the Pushpasutra 8.87, 
6.153, and 7.1). The term f stobha' signifies the 
inclusion of different words, syllables and some- 
times entire sentence or stanza. Regarding stobha, 
Sayana says : "kdlakshepamatrah&tum s'habda- 
rdshim stobha itydchakshate" , i.e., the stobha is no 
other than the words (sometimes! meaningless 
words) used as a pause. 
Again four kinds of sdmagdna were practised in 
the Vedic society, and they were, as has been said 
before, prakriti-gana or grdmegeyagdna, aranyege- 
yagdna uhagdna and uhya or rahasya gana. The 
tones of the ganas used to be indicated by the 
figures, 1, 2 and 3. 
Some are of opinion that the sdman melody was 
somewhat like the rdga kharaharapriyd or a deriva- 
tive there of, like modern b hair am, "but the exact 
svarasthdnas" says Dr. V. Raghavan, "are slightly 
different from the corresponding one of the music 
of today". In fact, it is very difficult 'today to 
ascertain the exact melody of the Vedic music. 
Music M the Classical and Epic Times. 
In course of time, Vedic music gradually came to 
be replaced by the more developed form of gdn- 
dharva or mdrga type of music towards the 
beginning of the classical period, in the 600-500 
B.C. The gdndhwrva or mdrga type of gitis was 
known as Icmkika other than the vaidika or Vedic 
music. The gdndharua music was known as 
mdrga (mrg to chase, to follow anveshane'}, 
because the gdndharua type of systematised music 
was constituted out of the collected materials of the 
Vedas i.e., Vedic music sdmagdna. Therefore, as 
it was designed on the method as well as from the 
materials of the sdmagdna, it was known as mdrga. 
Gradually the taste and temperament of the society 
began to change, and <the practice of the Vedic 
music became obsolete during the classical period, 
and, consequently, the gdndharva type of music, 
with new forms of tunes or melodies, rhythms and 
tempi, came into being. 
The gdandharua itype of music possessed seven 
pure (shuddhd) jdtis. These jdtis were the rdgas 
by themselves, as they used to create a pleasing 
and soothing sensations in the hearts of living 
beings. The jdtis were known as the jdtirdgas 
and the musical compositions, added with the 
jdtirdgas, were known as jdtigdna (vide the 
.sdstm). The jdtis or jdtirdgas were the cause or 
matrix or norm of all kinds of rdgas (melodies). 
It has been said in Bharata's Ndtyasds,tra: 'jati- 
sambhwtatvdt grdmardgdndmiti. Yat 'kinctyiidetat 
giyate loke tat sarva jdtishu sthitamiti', i.e., the 
grdmardgas evolved from the jdtis or 'jdtirdgas 
and all the gitis (i.e., rdgagitis and rdgas), which 
were sung by the people, had their origin in the jdtis 
(vide also Brihaddeshi, p. 87). 
The real Significance of the Word Rdga. 
Rdga has been defined as : "ranjay&ti iti rdgah" 
i.e., that, which produces pleasing and soothing 
impressions in the mind, is a rdga. It is like a 
colour that tinges the hearts. According to 
musicology, a rdga is a product of combination 
and permutation of tones, and as they produce 
sweet and pleasing impressions (samskdras) in the 
minds of men and animals, they are known as 
'samgita' or music. 
Music in the Works of Pdnini and Patanjali : 
In Panini's Astddhydyi, we find aphorisms, com- 
posed in connection with the bhikshus and natas 
(monks and dramatic players), and from them it 
is understood that the culture of music, dance and 
drama was prevalent during Panini's time (500 
B.C.), Panini has described the practice of musical 
instruments as a part and parcel of art (shilpa). 
Bhattaji Dikshit has mentioned about the names of 
some musical instruments like madduka, jharjhara, 
etc. The madduka was a kind of drum, covered with 
skin, and jharjhara was commonly known as 
jhdnjhara, made of brass. 
In the 3rd-2nd century B.C., Patanjali has 
mentioned about the stage for dramatic function 
(mancha) and players (nata). Different kinds of 
musical instruments like mridanga, veend, dundubhi, 
etc., have been mentioned in his commentary 
(Mahdbhdshya) . From the writings of the Greek 
historians we come to know that in (the Royal courts 
of Champa, Rajgriha, Koshala, Vaishali, Kau- 
shatnvi, Pataliputra, Kalinga (in Southern 
Orissaa), classical dances and music were fully 
encouraged. The temple dancing girls (devaddsis) 
were engaged in the Royal harems, and even the 
ladies of the Royal household were allowed to 
culture dance and music. In the 2nd century B.C., 
VdPsdyana has mentioned about 64 kinds of art 
including dance and music, and has said that they 
were freely cultured even by the married and 
unmarried girls. ! 
Music in the Buddhist Period. 
Gautama Buddha was born in the year 566 B.C. 
and the Buddhist era began with the advent of 
Buddha. In the Buddhist Avaddnas, Jdtakas, 
Pithakas and other literature, we come across many 
references to music, musical instruments, and 
dances with different hand-poses (mitdrds). 
Buddhist hymns and songs like thera, theri and 
sthavira, etc., were sung by the Bhikshus and 
Bhikshunis. The tkeras consist of 107 poems and 
1279 gdthds (sltanzas) and theris, of 73 poems 
and 552 gdthds. The historians are of opinion 
that those gdthds or hymnal songs were composed 
in the fifth century A.D. But, in truth, the com- 
position of the gdPhds was in practice long before 
the advent of Lord Buddha, and they were known 
as the gdthd-ndrasami. In the Atharvaveda, we 
find mention of the gdthd-narasamni; "itihasasca 
. . . . gdthdsca-narasamsca" (15.6). In the Aranya 
and Brdhmana literature, we also get such songs, 
which were sung in the Vedic rituals and Royal 
ceremonials and functions. 
In the Jdtakas like Nritya, Bherivada, Matsya, 
Bhadraghatd, Guptila, Vindura-pandita, Kusha and 
Visv&ntara, we get references to music and veend. 
The Jdtakas were compiled during the third-second 
century B.C. In the Matasya-jdtaka, we find 
mention of the metfhagiti. Some scholars are of 
opinion that the meghagiti was but the meghardga, 
as the rdgas were known as the rdgagitis in 
ancient times. But this too is a mere con- 
jecture, as we have known from the old treatises on 
music that meghardga did not evolve before the 
middle of the Christian era. In the Gupttta- 
'jdtaka, Gandharva Guptila Kumar has been des- 
cribed as efficient in the playing of vecnd with seven 
strings. This v&ena resembled the chitrd-veend, as 
described by Bharata in the Ndtyasdstra (29.114). 
Bharata has said that the chitrd-veend was fitted 
with seven strings, and fthe vipandhi, with nine 
strings. The name of these two veends are also 
found in the Rdmdyana (400 B.C.) and the Maha- 
bhdrata-Harivamsha (300-200 B.C.). The Sapta- 
tantri-vecnd of the Jataka and the chitrd-vecnd of 
the Ndtyasdstra are the forerunners of the modern 
setdra. Bult the sctdra is generally believed to be of 
foreign origin, introduced by Amir Khusrau in 
the reign of Sultan Ala-ud-din Khalji (13th-14th 
century A.D,). But that is not correct, as the 
practice of veend with seven strings were prevelent 
in India long before the advent of Amir-Khusrau. 
In the Padakiishala-jdtaka, we find mention of 
the mahdvccnd and the veena with hundred 
strings. Besides, we get the description of musical 
instruments like kwtumba and dindima in the 
Vidura-jdtaka. The Licchavis of India used to 
observe different kinds of festivals like sabbalat- 
tichdra, etc., in which songs were sung to the 
accompaniment of drums and different kinds of 
musical instruments. 
We find references to music in the Mahdydna 
tests like Bodhisattvdvaddna, Mahdvamsha, 
Lankdvaitira-sutra (first century A.D.) Miliiida- 
paha, Sumangalervildsini, etc. In the Lankd- 
vatdrasutra, the names of seven notes have 
been mentioned, and they are saharsya (shad j a) 
rishabha, gdnadhdra madhyama kaisthika, dhaivata 
and nishdda. The note kaishika, says Sharang- 
deva, is the modified (vikrita) form of the kaishika- 
panchama, which is one micrdtonal unit below the 
unmodified-pa or shuddha-panchama. It is, there- 
fore, probable that the author of the Lcvnkdvatdra- 
sutra has accepted the ancient scale of the middle 
clef or madhyama-grdma. Besides, we find many re- 
ferences to music, musical instruments, dressed and 
nude dancing na$as and natis and yakshinis in the 
sculptures of different Hindu temples and Buddhist 
Chaityas and monasteries. As for example, 
immediately within the interior of the Pandulena- 
Chailtya-Hall (first century A.D.) at Nasik, there 
are grooves and sockets for fixing the gallery of the 
musicians which is fixed inside the Hall. While 
describing the Buddhist rock-cut architecture of the 
vihdras of Nasik of the early second century A.D., 
Prof. Percy Brown says that the days of the monas- 
tic dwellers of these vihdras began with a burst of 
recitals of hymnal songs> blowing of the trumpets 
and strumming of drums from the ministrels 
gallery in the Chaitya-Hall facade, and they no 
doubt presented the days of their pride. 
In the records of travels, left by Fa Hien, it is 
found that in the days of the Gupta Kings dance 
arid music were extensively cultivated. Bright 
pictures of the cultivation of these arts are to be 
found in the dramas of the time. "On the 8th of 
Jyaistha (May- June) Fa Hien witnessed the 
Buddhist car-festival at Pataliputra. He says that 
to the image of Buddha seated on the car, flowers 
and other fragrant things were offered to the 
accompaniment of dance, song and music". Again 
in the account, left by Hiuen Tsang, it is found that 
when Harsavardhana was on the throne, dance 
and music were lavishly provided in the temporary 
pavilion that was erected for the great festival 
which he witnessed through the city on the occasion. 
Every day the festivities were held with dance and 
music. Prof. B. K. Sarkar has said that among 
the injunctions of Buddhism the ringing of bells, 
the singing of religious songs, etc., were among the 
inviolable duties of the Buddhist. 
Music in Sculptures and Bas-reliefs. 
In the railings of Amaravati Stupa (second century 
A.D.), we find some panels with figures of Lord 
Buddha, his father and mother, officials, male and 
female attendants, and natas and natis. In the 
middle panel, some handsome officials are depicted, 
as carrying in a procession an idol of an elephant, 
symbolising a child and dancing with graceful 
gestures and postures. One of the natas is playing 
on a lyre or harp tha 1 ! resembles the Indian rabdba 
or saroda. The correct name of saroda is shdradiya- 
veend. Capa'tain C. R. Day is of opinion that this 
musical instrument resembles the Assyrian harp or 
African sanko (sanco). One dancer is bolwing a 
flute, which looks similar to vamshi. Some are 
dancing and beating drums and cymbals. One of 
them is dancing an ecstatic dance like Nataraja 
Siva. Some natis (dancing girls) are dancing in 
sitting postures. Similar dancing figures are also 
to be found on the railings of Sanchi (first century 
A.D.) and Barhut Stupas (150 B.C.). Captain 
Day has discerned some Roman type of musical 
instruments, carved on the railings of Sanchi. 
Regarding 'the music in stones, Rajendra Lai Mitra 
has mentioned in his Antiquities of Orissd : "Nor 
are they wanting at Sanchi Amaravati and Bhu- 
banesvara * * of the first class harps of two 
kinds are shown at Sanchi and Amaravati. * * 
The Amaravati harp is in appearance very like an 
ancient Egyptian instrument, but it was held on 
the lap in a horizental position. * * The harp 
like veend of Amaravati looks like the harp of 
Orpheus. It has seven keys but no bars, and a 
female player is playing that harp or seven-stringed 
veend with both of her hands". 
As regards the Sanchi sculptures, Dr. Mitra 
further says : "At Sanchi there is a corps of musi- 
cians dressed in kilts and wearing sandals tied to 
the legs by crossed bands, very much in the same 
way in which the ancient Greecians fastened their 
sandals". A grill, containing a dancing Nataraja 
with eight hands, is found attached to the wall of 
the Muktesvara temple of the sixth-seventh cen- 
tury A.D. at Bhubanesvara. Different kinds of 
hand-poses (mudrds) are represented in the hands 
of Nataraja. By the right side of him, Ganapati or 
Ganesa is blowing some pipe or flute like instru- 
ment in unision with Siva's dance. By the left 
side a man is found sitting on a four-legged seat 
and beating with his hands two drums or pushkaras 
of identical size to highten as it were the tempo of 
the rhythmic dance of Nataraja. Similar dancing 
Nataraja is also found in the cave temple of Badami 
(sixth century A.D.) in Bombay. This figure of 
Nataraja is represented as having sixteen hands, 
nand almost in each hand is to be found majestic 
hand-poses (mudrds) true to the spirit of the 
shdstra. He holds a tridant in one of his right 
hands. The god Ganesa is seen standing on his 
left side, blowing some pipe or flute. By the side of 
Ganesa a drum player is bealting a drum in a recum- 
bent posture with his hands and another drum is 
at his front. These drums are known as pushkara. 
The two drums of identical-size, that have been 
depicted in the temple-halls of Muktesvara and 
Badami are the forebears of the modern tabal and 
bdydn, which are erroneously taken to be the two 
halves of the mridanga (or pdkhawdj), introduced 
during the Mohammedan period, or by Amir 
In ithe temple of Kapilesvara (sixth-seven 
century A.D.) at Bhubanesvara, we find a grill, 
containing the standing figures of natas and natis. 
In the topmost panel, the figure of Lord Siva 
remains carved in a sitting posture with his divine 
consort Gauri and an attendant (Nandi ?) to his 
left side. In the middle panel, there are to be seen 
figures of three natas and four natis, and among 
them three natas are dancing with different ges- 
tures and postures, and of the four natis one is 
singing, one is playing a flute, one is plucking a harp 
or veend, while the other is dancing in unision with 
their concert. 
A similar figure is to be found in the Para- 
suramesvara temple (sixth-seventh century A.D.) 
of the same place wherein three natas are seen 
in the upper panel with their graceful body move- 
ments and four natis in the lower one. One of 
the natis is dancing in a sitting posture, one is 
beating a peculiar type of damaru-sized drum with 
her right hand, one is blowing a pipe, and the fourth 
one is playing on the cymbal for keeping the time 
in the musical concert. 
All these above mentioned figures, ranging from 
the first century B.C. to the eighth century A.D., 
together with the beautiful statue of the dancing 
Nataraja of Chidamvaram (eleventh-'twelveth cen- 
tury) in South India, and not as and natis with 
drums and cymbals and different musical instru- 
ments of the Konark temple (thirteenth century), 
prove beyond doubt that there prevailed full- 
fledged practice of xhdstric music in its triadic 
forms, singing, dancing and druming (nritya, gita, 
vddya), both in the Hindu and Buddhist India. 
-Again in different inscriptions, especially those of 
the Magadha and Maurya-Scythian eras, we find 
mention of dancing, singing and druming. 
Setback and Reconstruction in Indian Music : 
There was a time when music, together with danc- 
ing and drama were not looked upon with favour. 
In some of the Dharmsutras, Smritis viz., Manu, 
Gautama, Vishnu, Pardshara, Apastambha, etc., 
the culture of music has been discouraged, and 
musicians, dancers and players (natas) have been 
ascribed a lower position in the society. As for 
example, Manu has said ; "ria nritycdathvd 
gdyen na vdditram vadayet. But Yajfiavalkya has 
encouraged the arts of music and dancing as a part 
of culture. Yajfiavalkya has said, 
Veena-vadana-tattvajnah shruti-jati- 
Talajnaschaprayasena mokshamargam 
niyacchati 1 1 
Gitajno yadi gitena napnoti paramam 
padam | 
Rudrasyanucharo bhutva tenaiva saha 
modate 1 1 
From these lines of the Ydjnavalkya-samhM (III. 
115-116), we know that during Yajnavalkya's time 
(4th century A.D.), jdtirdgas were practised 
with microtones, rhythm, tempo and other music 
materials, and music was considered sacred. In 
the Narada, Vrikaspchti, Kdtydyana and other Sam- 
Jntds of the early period, we find music in a develop- 
ed form, and this music was handed down 
from Narada of the Shikshd and Bharata of the 
Ndtyasdstra. In the Arthasdstra (300 B.C.), 
Kautilya has sanctioned remuneration (vritti) for 
patronising the musicians, dancers, flute-players, 
and others. 
Music coming into definite Form : 
It has already been said that the practice of 
melodic form or rdga existed during the time of the 
Rdmdyana, the Mahdbhdrata and the Harivamsha 
(400 B.C. 200 B.C.). Valmiki has mentioned 
about 'the wandering bards like Lava and Kusha 
who used to sing the songs in praise of Rama. 
The songs used to be sung in seven jdtirdgas like 
shddji, drshabhi, gdndhdri mddhyami panchami, 
dhaivati and naishddi, which have fully been defined 
and described in Bharata's Ndtyasdstra. Valmiki 
has described in the Rdmdyana (1. 4. 8 34): 
"jdtibhih sapWabhiryuktam tantri - laya - samanvi- 
tam", etc., which means that Lava and Kusha 
used to sing the rdmdyana-gima with seven jdtis, 
to the accompaniment of the musical instrument 
like veend. Lava and Kusha were well-versed in 
art and science of the gdndharva type of music: 
"gdndharva-tattvajnau sthdna-murcchandkovidau" 
like ftheir preceptor Valmiki. 
In the Mdhdbhdrata and the Harivamsha, six 
grdmardgas ('shad grdmardgani'} have been men- 
tioned, and they have fully been described in the 
Ndradishikshd of the 1st century A.D. as well as 
in the Kudumiamalai Rock-Inscription of the 7th 
century A.D., caused to be inscribed by Raja 
Mahendra Varman of the Padukotai State, South 
India. It seems that during the time of the Hari- 
vamsha (200 B.C.), the practice of the gdndhdra- 
grdma was in vogue, because the Purdnakdra has 
said that the grdmardgas used to be sung upto the 
gdndhdragr'dma. The mention of the gdiwihdra- 
grdma is also found in the classical Sanskrit litera- 
ture and dramas. Different kinds of musical ins- 
truments of percussion and string also accom- 
panied the songs in the Epic period. 
ContacU of India with Other Countries : 
In the beginning of the classical period (600-500 
B.C.), Indian music travelled to other ancient 
countries like Mesopotemia, Greece Egypt, Assyria, 
Chaldia, etc. Specially itjhe music of Greece was 
indebted to Indian music, which was introduced 
to Greece by Pythagoras and 'the Pythagoreans. 
It is said thalt Pythagoras visited India and return- 
ed to Greece, carrying with him the cultural, reli- 
gious and philosophical ideas of India. Some 
scholars are of opinion that Indian music was 
greatly influenced by the music of Greece in the 
classical period. But it still remains a disputable 
subject. Because it is a fact that most of the 
historians, both of the East and the West, have 
admitted that India is the motherland of world 
civilization and culture. There was cultural and 
commercial intercourse between ancient India and 
other ancient civilized countries, both by land and 
sea routes, and so it will not be wise to think that 
India alone was influenced by ancient Greece and 
other countries in the field of music and art, while 
others were not. 
It has already been proved that there was cul- 
tural and commercial contact between the prehis- 
toric Indus Valley cities and Greece, Rome, Meso- 
potemia, Chaldia, Ur and other most ancient 
civilized countries. Bult we notice that in the 
beginning of the 3rd-4th century A.D., there was 
contact between India and Middle and East Asia, 
through the medium of trade as well as of religious 
and cultural missions. There was also a contact 
between India and China. During the reign of 
Harshavardhana (6th century A.D.), this contact 
became closer owing to the visit of the Chinese 
traveller Hiuen Tsang. Emperor Harshavardhana 
was a great patron of classical dance and music, 
and there were open routes from India proper 
to Gandhara, Kashmere, Tibbet, Purushapur or 
Peshwar, Uddiyana, Kapisha, Kashgarh, Khotan, 
Kuchia (ch'iu-tzu). Indian music also travelled 
along those routes to those countries through the me- 
dium of trade and cultural and religious missions. 
In 581 A.D., a band of musicians was sent from 
India to China at the invitation of the Chinese 
Emperor, and it is said that music missions were 
sent to the distarit lands like Samarkanda, Bukhara, 
Japan, Corea, Kamboja (Cambodia) and other 
Middle and East Asian countries. In 560-578 A.D., 
an expert Indian musician, Sujib by name was 
sent to China. He was also a noted veend-player. 
He taught the Chinese people the Indian melodies 
and rhythms (rdgas and tdlas) in a purely Indian 
method. From China, Indian music travelled fur- 
ther to Java, Bali, Sumatra, and other countries of 
Greater India. Sir Aurel Stein has discovered 
some Indian musical instruments like veend, 
mridanga and guiter from the sand-burried Khot&n, 
and from them it is proved that Indian music once 
used to be cultured by the music-loving people of 
ancient Khotan. From the history of the burried 
records of Chinese Turkesithan, we learn that music 
of India also travelled to Turfan-Karakhoja, 
Baazaklik, Kyzyle and other distant countries. 
Different Schools of Dance, Drama and Music : 
In the classical period (600-500 B.C.), there 
were four main schools (sampraddyas) of 
music, dance and drama, and they were: (1) the 
school of Brahma or Brahmabharata and Siva or 
Sadasivabharata, (2) the school of Gandharva 
Narada (3) the school of Muni Bharata, and (4) 
the school of Nandikeshvara. Some are of opinion 
that there were only three schools, and they were, 
( 1 ) The Naltya-sampradaya of Bharata 
(2) The Naradiya-gandharva-sampradaya, 
(3) Nandikeshvara-sampradaya. 
In fact, three or four schools of the classical 
period seem to be genuine. It is said that Narada 
composed a book on dance, drama, and music, 
known by Gdndharvarahasyam. But this book 
is not available now, and we also doubt whether 
Narada of the Shikshd (1st century A.D.) did com- 
pose or compile that book, and it seems that some 
other Narada mighit have composed it, as there 
were authors under the name and title of Narada. 
Be that as it may, the two later schools of Bharata 
and Nandikeshvara were indebted to that of 
Brahma or Brahmabharata. Specially Bharata has 
admitted the debt of Druhina Brahma in his 
Ndtyasdstra, and he called it a 'collection' or 
'samgrahds-grantha'. Brahma, the prime author 
of science and art of dramaturgy was not same as 
Brahma the four-faced Creator of the universe. 
He appeared, so far it is known, in the beginning of 
the classical period. It is said that he, for the first 
time, composed the Ndtyasdstra which was known 
as the Brahmabharatam on scientific basis, and it 
contained the laws and formulas of dance, drama, 
hand-poses and music. Muni Bharata of the 2nd 
century A.D. incorporated most of Brahma's mate- 
rials and method of treatment. Sadasivabharata 
also followed Brahma. Brahma and Sadasiva were 
known by their common title, 'bharata' which 
means 'not a* or 'an expert in the art of drama'. 
Narada was either known as a person or 
title. Narada of the Shikashd belonged to 
the semi-divine Gandharvas, who were, it is said, 
the inhabitants of Gandhara (modern Kandahara) 
in the North- West Frontier of India. Though there 
were many Gandharvas, conversant with the art 
of dance and music, yet Narada was the foremost 
among them. He composed the Shikshddhdstra 
(Ndradi) or science and grammar of the tones 
(svaras) and meters (cchandas) and the tonal 
bases (svarasthdnas}, which came to be used in the 
songs. He also established a school (sampraddya) 
of his own. But it should be remembered that 
there were at least four Naradas, who were adepts 
in the art and science of dance and music in 
different periods. As for example, the author of 
the Ndradishikshd is known as Narada I (1st 
century A.D.); the author of the Panchamasara- 
samhitd (1440 A-D.) is known as Narada II; the 
author of the SangiPamakaranda (generally 
ascribed to the 7th to the llth century A.D., but 
its exact date seems to be the 14th-15th century 
A.D. or more than that) is known as Narada III; 
and the author of the Rdganirupana (16th-17th 
century A.D.) is known as Narada IV. 
Narada of the Shikshd (Narada I) has described 
about the seven tones, both vaidika and laukika, 
three gramas, shadja, madhyama and gdndhdra 
twenty-one murcchands, and forty-nine tanas which 
formed the svaramandala. Narada has said, 
Sapta-svarastrayo grama 
murcchanastekavimshatih | 
Tana ekonapanchashadityetat 
svaramandalam] | 
The svaramandala was considered to be holy and 
purifying, and it helped the songs to create a 
sacred atmosphere that used to bring peace and 
eternal tranquility in the hearts of the singers as 
well as that of the audiences. It should be noted 
that though Narada has mentioned about the 
gdndhdragrama, yet it became obsolete during his 
time, and so Bharata has not mentioned about 
it in the Ndtyasdstra. Narada has des- 
cribed about the five causal microtones (jdti- 
shrutis} like dipPa, dyatd, karund, mridu and 
madhyd, which afterwards formed the bases of the 
twenty-two microtones, scientifically arranged by 
Bharata in the Ndtyasdstra. He has defined the 
term, gdndharva, and instead of describing the 
jatis (jdtirdgas), he has mentioned about the six 
grdmaragas like shddava, panchama, madhyama- 
grdma, shadjagr&ma, kaishika and kaishika- 
rnadhyama, which were in use from the time of the 
Mahdbhdrata-Harivamsha (300-200 B.C.) up to 
the time of the Pallava Ruler, Mahendravarman, in 
the 7th century A.D. 
Narada has mentioned about the ten gunavrittis 
like raktam, purnam, alamkritam, prasannam, 
vyaktam, vikrusfiam, shlaknam, samam, sukupndram 
and madhuram, which used to embellish the com- 
positions (sdhitya) as well as the melodies (rdga) 
of the songs, both vaidika and laukika. He has 
rendered a valuable service to the music world, by 
discovering a connecting link between the tonal 
pitches of seven tones of both vaidika and 
laukika music. He has said that the pitch-value of 
the tone, prat ham a of the Vedic music is equal to 
that of the tone, madhyama of the laukika music, 
and in this way it can be shown that the tones, 
praPhama, dvitiya, tritiya, chaturtlia, panchama, 
shastha or atisvdrya and sapfama or krusta are 
equivalent in their sound values to those of the 
tones, madhyama, gandhdra, rishabha, shadja, 
dhaivata, nishada and pandiama of the laulika 
music. They can be shown by the help of the chart 
thus : 
vaidika laukika 
tones tones 
prathama . . . . madhyama 
dvitiya . . . . gandhara 
tritiya . . . . rishabha 
chaturtha . . . . shadja 
mandra . . . . dhaivata 
atisvarya . . . . nishada 
krusta . . . . panchama 
Narada has described about the veends like 
ddravi and gatra, which were used in the sdmagdna 
and gdndharva-gdna. Narada has said regarding 
these veends, 
Daravi gatra-veena cha dve veene 
gana-jatisu | 
Samiki gatra-veena tu tasyah shrinuta 
lakshanam [ | 
Gatra-veena tu sa prokta yasyam 
gayanti samagah| 
It is said that the gdtra-veend possessed a 
gourd and a wooden stem, having five or six or 
seven gut strings for tones. It used to be played 
holding it in a recumbent position, with the help 
of the fingers, and used to be placed on ithe thighs 
of the player. Narada has given full description 
of the method of z/mid-playing in the Shikshd. 
Bharata, the Father of fihe Methodical System of 
Music : 
Bharata also belonged to the Gandharva sect. 
He is known as Muni Bharata. He flourished in 
the 2nd century A.D., though .there rages a con- 
troversy regarding his date. 'Bharata' was really 
a title, and it used to be conferred upon those who 
were efficient in art and science of drama, and 
as such there were many personages with the title. 
Bharata in ancient times, such as Vriddhabharata 
or Brahmabharata, Sadasivabharata, Kasyapa- 
bharata, and Nandibharata, to name only a few. 
He compiled the Ndtyasdstra, by collecting the 
materials of the Ndtyasdstra, composed by Brahma 
or Brahmabharata, and so, it has already been said 
before that his Ndtyasdstra is known as the 
'samgrdha-grantha' or collection of the ancient 
In fact, Muni Bharata brought a renaissance 
in the domain of dance, drama and music, and 
scientifically devised laws and principles of 
twenty-two microtones (shrutis) or subtle tones 
on the basis of five microtones (jdti-shrutis), as 
promulgated by Narada of 'the Shikshd. Bharata 
was perhaps the founder of the tone-relationship of 
the octave (saptaka), the fifth (S-P) and the fourth 
(S-M) i.e. the shadja-panchama and shadia- 
madhyama bhduas, which were similarly devised 
by the Greek philosopher, Pythagoras, who lived 
about 582-507 B.C. Pythagoras devised these 
relationships for a diatonic scale, following the 
series of fifths=F+C+G+D+A+E+B. Edward 
Macdowell is of opinion: "It was said of Pytha- 
goras that he had studied 12 years with the Magi 
in the temples of Babylon; had lived among the 
Druids of Gaul and the Indian Brahmans; had 
gone among the priests of Egypt, and witnessed 
their most secret temple rites". Some are of opinion 
that Pythagoras came to India and learned the 
arrangement of scales, microtones and tones from 
the Indian experts, and after returning to Greece, 
applied them in his own system. But most of the 
scholars do not believe this fact. They say that the 
two systems of the two most ancient countries 
independently developed in a parallel line and sur- 
prisingly enough they coinsider that there remains 
no question of borrowing from either side. 
In fact, in ancient Greece, there were in use over 
15 different modes (scales), each one common to 
that part of the country in which it originated. At 
the time of Pythagoras there were 7 modes in 
general, and each mode was composed of two sets 
of 4 tones 4+4 8. Pythagoras found that the 
tone-relationships of the octave, the fifth and the 
fourth, correspond to the numerical relationships of 
2:1,3:2, 4:2. He supposed that the three 
simple ratios were the basis of a principle which 
could be extended to define the intervals of the 
third, the sixth and the second. Again the struc- 
ture, which the Greek musicians developed from 
Pythagoras's fundamental discoveries, was based 
on a grouping of sounds, called the tetrachord. 
Probably the first step was the discovery that a 
seven-tone scale could be explained as being two 
joined tetrachords. This took place in connection 
with a large kithdrd which had seven strings with 
two tetrachords, upper and lower. Again an eight- 
strainged kithdrd made necessary the theory for a 
scale of eighlt tones. So we find that the Greater 
Perfect System and the Lesser Perfect System 
summed up the theory, underlying most of the 
aspects of Greek music. Although we find some 
similarities between the two systems, Greecian and 
Indian, yet there remains a sea of difference. 
Bharaba's Method of Determining the Twenty-two 
Shrutis : 
It is true that Bharata has determined the 
22 shrutPis on the basis of the 5 jdti-shrutis, as ex- 
pounded by Narada of the Shikshd, but his method 
of determining the shrutis was unique, and he 
determined them by means of two 'uecnas of equal 
size, chala (the frets of which were shif table) and 
achala or dhruva, (the frets of which were fixed) 
in the two gramas, shadja and madhyama. One 
of the two vccnds was set to the madhyamagrdma 
(middle cleft), by lowering panchama one shrnti 
only, and then again the madhyamagrdma-veend 
was changed into the shadjagrdnia-veend, by re- 
storing the lowered panchama to its original pitch 
i.e. by taking it as a real shadjagrdmic panchama, 
consisted of four shrutis. Bharata has said: (( Yathd 
dve veene \tulya-parmdna-tantryii,pavddana-dandas- 
mnrcdhite shadjagrdmdshrite kdrye. Tayorekata- 
rasydm madhyamagrdmikwn krityd panchama- 
sydpakarshe shrutim. Tdmcva paiicfamavashdt 
shadjagrdmikim knrydt" etc. To make Bharata's 
statements clear, let us quote Pandit V. N. 
Bhatkhandeji. He says : "To begin with, Bharata 
says that the two veends are first to be tuned to the 
shadjagrdma scale- We will say that there are only 
seven wires to represent the seven notes of the scale 
on each of the two veends. Evidently then, seven 
wires are to be tuned to the seven correct notes of 
the shadjagrdma scale. I have already said that 
Bharata pre-supposes in his reader a perfect 
knowledge of the panchamas of the two gramas and 
an ability to tune the veends according to the dicrec- 
tions he proposes to give. When one of the veends 
is to be made madhyamagrdmic, all that he means 
is that the wire representing the panchama in the 
shadjagrdma is to be slightly loosened so as to make 
it produce the panchama of the modhyama, all other 
notes remaining in their original positions. The 
second direction of the author is most important. 
He directs that the madhyamagrdmic veend to be 
converted again inlto a shadjagrdmic veend, but he 
wants this to be done not by restoring the panchama 
to its original pitch, but by accepting the changed 
panchama as a proper panchama for the new 
shadjagrdmic veend. Now we know that this 
can be accomplished only by lowering all the other 
notes of the veend by one shruti and that is what 
Bharata says will be the result. He says: 'evam 
sd veend shnti-yapakriskta bhavati'. That is when 
the chala-vccnd is thus made shadjagrdmic, the 
pitch of 'sa' will be three shrutis, tha't of W will 
be six shrutis, of 'ga' eight shrutis and so forth. 
By repeating this process, another series of shmtis, 
namely, two, five, seven, fifteen, eighteen, twenty 
will be discovered. But the 'ga' and W of the 
cliala-veend will now coincide with the 'ri' and 'dha' 
of the achalar-veend. On another repetition of the 
same process, the svaras *sa ma pa' of the chala- 
veend will coincide with the 'ni, ga' and 'ma' of the 
achala or dhmva-veend". 
A Short Survey of Bharata's NdtyasdsitYa: 
Though it is true that the Samaveda is the 
womb (yoni} or fountainhead of Indian music, 
yet Bharata's Ndtyasdstra is an important 
treatise that informs us about the development of 
methodical and scientific system of music of the 
classical type, and so the students of history of 
Indian music should be acquainted with the Ndtya- 
sdstra, for their fuller knowledge of evolution of 
earlier type of music. It is said that Bharata 
belonged to the Gandharva class of semi-devine 
people, who were specially gifted in the art and 
science of dance, music and drama. 
There are controversies regarding the exact 
date of the Ndtyasdstra. Some are of opdnion that 
it was composed in the 5th-4th century B.C., while 
others hold that it was written between the 2nd 
century B.C. and the 2nd century A.D. Then again, 
some believe that it was compiled in the Gupta 
period in the 5th century A.D. According to Dr. 
P. V. Kane, the NdPyasdstra was written before the 
2nd century B.C., as he says : "The Hathigumpha 
Inscription of Kara vela styles Kharabela (the 
King of Kalinga) 'gdndharvavedavudhah' (vide 
the Epigraphia Indica, vol. XX, at p. 79). 
That Inscription is generally assigned to the 2nd 
century B.C. Therefore the Gdndharvaveda must 
have been recognised some centuries before Christ,, 
and the Ndtyavcda which includes its principles 
and practices may very well be placed about 200 
B.C.". But Dr. Kane's view does not seem to be 
sound for many reasons. Most of the scholars are 
of opinion that the present form of the Ndtyasdstra 
was not written before the 2nd century A.D. 
Saradatanaya (1175-1250 A.D.), the author of 
the Bhdvaprakdshan, informs us that the original 
edition of the Ndtyasdstra consisted 12,000 shlokas 
and afterwards it was reduced to 6,000. Such is the 
opinion of Dhananjaya, the author of the Dasha- 
rupakam. The late MM. Ramakrishna Kavi has 
supported the views of Saradatanaya and 
Dhananjaya. MM. Kavi has said: "It (the Natyd- 
sdstra of Bharata) is known as sutra ("shattrim- 
shakam bharatasutramidam"), as it embodies 
principles set out in a very concise form. This 
work is also called as 'jhastisdhasri', meaning 6,000 
(granthas). This appears to be an epitome of an 
earlier work, called 'dvddasha-sahasri* , which means 
12,000 (grartthas). This larger work is now only 
in part available. Both these works seem to have 
been based upon a still older one, called N&tyaveda, 
which forms one of the four Upavedas, extending 
over 36,000 shlokas, written by Brahma himself". 
Muni Bharata has admitted that he has 
collected most of the materials of his Ndtyasdstra 
from the Natyaveda, written by the prime-author,, 
Brahma or Brahmabharata ('bharata' being the 
title of Brahma) : "shruyat&m ndtyavedasya sam- 
bhabo brahma-nirmitah" (I. 7.). The Ndtyasdstra 
is divided into 36 chapters ( Kashi edition, whereas 
the Kavyamdld edition, Bombay contains 37 
chapters). The 1st chapter deals with the topics 
of primary functions like mangaldcharanam, 
particulars of the stage (ndtyamancha) , the charac- 
teristics of the drama (ndtaka), the method of 
worship of the presiding deity of the stage 
(manchadevatd) , etc. The 2nd chapter deals with 
the topics of three kinds of auditorium (prekshd- 
grihd) and their measurements, descriptions of 
different kinds of parts of the stage and the 
auditorium, etc. The 3rd chapter deals with 
the topics of sacred functions, regarding the 
drama, together with its materials, etc. The 
4th chapter deals with definitions and des- 
criptions of 108 karanas, 32 angahdras, 4 
rechakas like pada, kati, hasta and gribd; the dances 
like tdndava and Idsya, together with the dance-types 
like vardhamanaka, dsdrita, etc. The 5th chapter 
deals with principles (vidhi) and limbs (anga) 
of the purvaranga and their divisions, i etc. The 
6th chapter deals with 8 kinds of aesthetic senti- 
ments (rasas), their divisions and subdivisions, the 
proper application of them in the dramatic func- 
tions (abhinaya) , together with 2 dharmas, 4 
vrittis, 4 pravrMs, 2 kinds of siddhi, 2 kinds 
of svara, 4 kinds of dtodya, 5 kinds of gdna, etc. 
J The 7th chapter deals with different kinds of 
emotive feeling or bhdva and their application in 
the dramatic functions. The 8th chapter deals with 
the materials of dramatic performances (abhi- 
naya-vastii) like the movements of the head, eyes 
(sight), the face and the neck, in accordance with 
different aesthetic sentiments (rasas), etc. The 
9th chapter deals with the hand-poses (hastdbhinaya 
or mudrd), their definitions and applications in 
abhinaya and nritya, together with 4 kinds 
of karana of the hands, etc. The 10th chapter 
deals with movements of the body (different 
limbs of the body). The llth chapter deals with 
principles and applications of different chdri and 
their two main divisions, according to bhitmi 
(earth) and dkdsha (sky), etc. The 12th chapter 
deals with mandalas, pertaining to bhumi and 
dkdsha, together with their methods of application. 
The 13th chapter deals with the gatiprachdra or 
nature of movements of the legs and other limbs 
of men, women and ttapumsakas, in accordance 
with emotional sentiments (rasas), etc. The 
14th chapter deals with the pravrittis like- 
avanti, ddkshindtya, pdnchdli and mag ad hi, etc. 
two divisions of abhinaya, lokadharmi and ndtya- 
dharmi, etc. The 15th chapter deals with 
vdchikdbhinaya, two kinds of pathya like Sanskrit 
and Prakrit, two nibandhas, and different kinds of 
gdna, etc. The 16th chapter deals with the vrittis 
and their examples. The 17th chapter deals 
with vdgdbhinaya (performance of speech) and 
their 36 characteristics, 4 kinds of alamkdra, 
defects or demerits of kdwya and their 10 
divisions, merits of kdvya, application of 
alamkdras as well as mditrds, etc. The 
18th chapter deals with the languages of the 
characters of the drama, different kinds of language 
like magadhi, ardha-mdgadhi, prachyq, shaurascni, 
ddkshindtya, shabara, valhika, shakara, etc. The 
19th chapter deals with the application of 7 svaras, 
according to aesthetic sentiments, 3 thdnas (re- 
gisters), 4 varnas (gdna-kriyas} , 2 kakus, 6 alam- 
kdras, 6 an gas and pdthyas, adorned with 
svaras and alamkdras, etc. The 20th chapter deals 
with ten kinds of rupakam and their angas. The 
21st chapter deals with different characteristics of 
the itivriHa, 5 sandhis like mukha, prartimukha, 
garbha, vimarsha and nirvahaita, together with 
their angas and specific natures. The 22nd 
chapter deals with different kinds of vrittis like 
bhdrati, s&t\tvati, kaishiki, arabhati, etc. and their 
divisions. The 23rd chapter deals with dhdryabhi- 
naya } its characteristics and divisions, etc. The 24th 
chapter deals with sdmdnydbhmaya and its 
different alamkdras, gestures and postures, different 
mental preparations, 8 ndyikds like vdsakasajjd, 
preshittabhaxtrikd, etc. The 25th chapter deals with 
the external upachdras. The 26th chapter deals 
with tihvtrdbhinaya i.e. the performances of differ- 
ent aspects of the day (morning, midday, evening), 
the three aspects of the sun, the moon, the seasons, 
etc. The 27th chapter deals with different kinds 
of siddhi in different times. The 28th chapter deals 
with 4 kinds of musical instruments, like \tata, 
avanaddha, ghana, and sushira, the definition of 
kutapa, the definition of gdndharva music and 
its three main divisions, seven svaras, the 
vddi, samvddi, anuvddi and vivddi tones, shmtis 
and their determination with the help of 
two veends of equal size, chala and achala 
or dhruva, murcchands, tanas, sddhdranas (jdti 
and svara), 7 $huddha+ll vikrita jdtis 
(~18 jdtirdgas) and their characteristics, ten 
essentials (dasha lakshanas) and their definitions, 
2 kinds of anyatva like langhwla and abhydsa, 
3 kinds of mandragati (amshapara, nydsapara and 
apanydsapara) , etc. The 29th chapter deals with 
the jdtis or j&tirdgas and their respective senti- 
ments (rasas), 4 kinds of the varndlamkdras like 
prasannddi, prasamidnta^ prasanriadyaiita and 
prasannamadhya, 4 kinds of gitis like mdgadhi, 
ardhamagadhi, sambhdvitd and prithuld, -the 
characteristics of vddya and their divisions like 
vistdra, karana, dviddha and vyanjana, 4 kinds of 
dhdtus of the vddya like samghdtaja, samavdyaja, 
vistdra] a and anwvandha, 10 kinds of dhdtus as 
applicable to the veen& 9 the c'hitravritti and the 
dakshwwvritti (of vddya), veends like dhitrd with 7 
strings and vipanchi with 9 strings, (the c/wra was 
used to be played with the help of the finger, and 
vipanchi with the plectrum (kona), the vahirgita 
and their characteristics like dshrdvana, arambha, 
vakrapdni, etc. The 30th chapter deals with the 
sushira and the produced svaras. The 31st chapter 
deals with the topics of rhythm or tola and tempo 
or laya, 3 kalds like chitra, vdrtika and dakshina, 
the tdlas like chat chat put a and chdchatpwta, etc. the 
brahmagitis, viddri, 3 kinds of vivadha, 7 kinds 
of gitis like madraka, etc., the conception of 
vastu of the giti, 2 kinds of prakriti like kulaka 
and chedaka, niryukta and aniryukta padas, 
the characteristics of the brahmagMs like nc, 
gdthd, panika, etc. the characteristics of the 
mdt^rds of the ^Viy like magadhi, etc. the dances, 
tdndava and Idsya, the /aya^ like samd, srofiogatd 
and gopucchd, etc. The 32nd chapter deals with 
64 dhruvds and their characteristics, the definition 
of the term 'gdndharva', 3 kinds of vritta of the 
dhruvds, 5 kinds of gr^na like prdveshiki, dkdhepiki, 
prdsddiki, etc. for the drama, 6 special dhruvds 
like shirshaka, itddhata, amwandha, vilamvita, 
addita, and apakrishta, the grdmardgas like 
madhyafnagrama, sddlidrita, kaishika-madhyama, 
kaishika, etc., the characteristic of the ^^7^d-player, 
merits and demerits of ftata,? and natttis, etc. 
The 33rd chapter deals with the origin of 
avanaddha type of musical instruments, their divi- 
sions and methods of playing. The 34th chapter 
deals with characteristic of prakriti. The 
35th chapter deals with different parts, played by 
nat\as and natis. The 36th chapter, an 
epilogue, deals with different Rishis, interested in 
the art and science of drama, etc. 
Bharata has described mainly two vewiaSj chitrd 
and vipanchi, and he has said, 
Saptatantri bhavecchitra 
vipailchi nava-tantrika 
Vipanchi kona-vadya syat 
chitra changulivadana| I NS. 29.114. 
It has been said before that the chitvd-veend 
possessed seven strings, and used to be 
played with the help of the fingers, whereas 
the vipanchi, with nine strings, used to be 
played with the plectrum or kona. Now from the 
mention of the veend with seven strings in the 
NdtyasdsVra it should not be taken that the sapta- 
tantri-veend came in vogue only during the time 
of Bharata or immediately before him. From the 
archaeological findings we know that it was 
prevalent even in the pre-Christian era. It will 
be interesting to learn that recently three 
sculptural representations of the saptatantri-veend 
have been excavated from the Buddhist Caves of 
Pitalkhora, carved in the Satmala range, known 
also as Chandora, on the northern fringe of 
Aurangabad District of Maharastra State. The 
Caves of the Pitalkhora lie 50 miles to the north- 
west of the Ajanta Caves and 23 miles to the 
north-west of the Ellora Caves. Though some 
descriptions of the Caves were previously given 
by John Wilson and later by Furgusson and 
Surges, yet in more recent years, fresh light has 
been thrown upon these Pitalkhora Caves by M. G. 
Dikshit. In 1941, Mr. Dikshit discovered three 
portraitures of the saptatantri-veeiwi that were 
found engraved on stone slabs, 'excavated from the 
debris in the forecourt of the Cave No. 4 of Pital- 
khora. It is said that the development of the rock- 
cut architecture of the Pitalkhora started in the 
2nd century B.C., culminating in its final form in 
the 6th-7th century A.D. So it is proved with- 
out any shadow of doubt that veend with seven 
strings (s-aptatantri-veend) was also prevalent in 
the pre-Christian era. It is necessary to note in 
this connection that from the fragmentary pieces of 
the sculptures of the three sapVatantri-vccnds, 
engraved in the Caves of Pitalkhora it appears that 
they were played with the help of the plectrums. 
It has also been mentioned before that orchestra 
(kutapa} and group-singing (ganagiti or urinda- 
g ay ana} were prevalent during the time of 
Bharata. Abhinavagupta has defined the word 
kutapa in the Abhinavabhdrati as ku means 
rangam+tapah means ujjvalayat\i i.e. that which 
enlightens or enriches the theatrical stage, is known 
as kutapa. The Aitareya-brdhmana and the Puspa- 
sutra, the prdtishdkhya of the $ amove da have 
mentioned about the group-singing or gana-giti. 
The kutapa was specially used in the dramatic per- 
formances (abhinaya). Bharata has mentioned 
about three kinds of kutapa, and they were : (1) 
a combination of four kinds of musical instru- 
ments like bhanda, etc.; (2) a combination of four 
kinds of musical instruments like vccna, venii, mri- 
danga, etc., and (3) that was formed by a combina- 
tion of different musicians and instrumentalists. 
Evolution of the Tuning-method (mdrjand} : 
We come across, for the first time, the systematic 
method of tuning in Bharata's Ndtyamstra in the 
2nd century A.D., and from this it is evident that 
this method evolved in India undoubtedly before 
Bharata, and Bharata has only followed the tradi- 
tion. This method of tuning of the musical instru- 
ments were known as pndrjand. This method used 
to be observed in the drums, known as the pnshkara. 
In different rock-cut temples of India, these drums 
are seen engraved. Three drums (pnshkaras} are 
generally seen carved, and among them two are 
horizontal and large and one is leaning and small. 
The small one is known as dlinga. Bharata has 
fully and nicely described about the methods of 
timing in the Ndtyasdstra (vide the Kdshi 
edition, chapter XXXIII, and the Kdvyamdld 
edition, chapter XXXIV). He has said, 
Mayuri hyrdha-mayuri tatha karmaravi punah | 
Tisrastu marjana jneyah pushkareshu 
svarashrayah 1 1 etc. 
That is, there were three kinds of tuning method 
(mdrjand), mdyuri, ardhamdyiiri and karmaravi. 
Among these methods, the mdyuri used to be tuned 
in the middle cleft (madhyamagrdma) , the ardha- 
mdyuri, in the first cleft (shadjagrdma) and the 
karmdravi, in the third cleft (gdndhdragrama) , 
based on the sddhdrana. The term 'sddhdrana' 
connotes the idea of an intermediate tone between 
two tones. The tones, to which the pushkara 
drums were tuned, were bas'ed on the microtones 
or shruti-sddhdrana, and were also sustained and 
used in the tuning method. The remaining tones 
of the scale were shiftable or transferable. In the 
method of the mdyuri-mdrjana, the tone, gdndhdra 
used to be tuned on the left pushkara (as there 
were three pushkaras}, the tone, shadja, on the 
right, and the tone, panchama, on the upper push- 
kara. In the karmdravi-mdrjana , the tone, risha- 
bha used to be tuned on the left pushkara, the 
shadja on the right, and the panchama on the upper 
pushkara. The tone, rishabha which is the con- 
sonance or samvddi to these three tones and is 
related to the rdgasvara of the jdti (jdtirdga}, used 
in the mdrjand of the alinga. 
Now, from this statement we find that in the 
mdyuri-mdrjana, the pushkara drums were tuned to 
the shadja, madhyama and dhaivata, and in the 
karmdravi-mdrjana, they were tuned to the tones, 
rishabha, panchama and nidhdda. In each of the 
processes of tuning, those three tones were con- 
sidered as the primal ones of the gramas. Some 
are of opinion that in the mdyuri-mdrjana of the 
middle cleft (madhyamagrdma) , the positions of 
the microtones and the tones were exactly the same 
as those prevailing in the modern standard pure 
scale (shuddha thdta), vilavala of the North Indian 
school of music and the Diotonic Ma j ore scale of 
Europe. The dhuddha thdta vilavala is no other 
than the sddhdrana-grama, as maintained by 
Sharangdeva of the Sangita-Ratndkara of the early 
13th century A.D. 
In modern time, the method of tuning is gene- 
rally worked out by the method of tempering two 
of the strings of the tdmburd, in mostly the tones, 
shadja and panchama or shad j a and madhyama. 
The shadja being the drone or tonic, the tones, 
rishabha and gdndhdra are produced from the 
vibrations of the shadja of the middle base 
(muddrd) and dhaivata and nishada, from the 
vibrations of the shadja of the lower base (tiddrd), 
and the rest, madhyama is produced from the con- 
cordant tone, panchama. There prevail some dif- 
ferent views regarding it, but yet it should be 
remembered that the modern method of tuning is 
done always in the shadjagrdina, which is very 
Nandikeshvara and His Works: 
Nandikeshvara or Nandi was also an authority 
on music and dance, and it has already 
been said that he created a new novel school 
(sampraddya}, as Bharata of the NatyasdsPra 
fame did. He appeared sometime in the 
2nd-3rd century A.D. Matanga has mentioned 
about him, in connection with the mur- 
cchand, possessing twelve tones ("dvddasha-svara- 
murcchand") in the Brihaddcshi. . Sharangdeva 
has also mentioned about him in some of the chap- 
ters of the Sangita-Ratndkara. It is said that 
Nandikeshvara composed a Samhitti (Nandi- 
keshvara-samhitd, together with the Avinaya- 
darpana, the Kdishikdvritti and the Bharatiarnava. 
"Five works of Nandikeshvara", says Vasudeva 
Shastri, "find mention in our texts. Nandikcshvara- 
samhitd, quoted by Simhabhupala in his commen- 
tary on Sangita-Ratndkara, is one. fiharatdmava, 
said to be consist of 4,000 shlokas, is the second. 
Bharatdrnava-samgraha, said to be an abridge- 
ment of the second, is the third. Gnhcsha-bharat- 
arnava, being the version of Bharatarnava, as 
redacted by Guha or Skanda, is the fourth. * * 
It is possible that the contents of Guhesha-bharat- 
drnava are on the same lines as the ancient treatises 
en Ndtya and Nartana in the Tamil country, whose 
tradition of Sangita and Ndtya goes far back into 
some millenniums. There is a Tamil work, called 
'Bharata-setidpatiyam', which, by its Sanskrit 
name, suggests that it may be a Tamil version of 
a Sanskrit work solely created by Senapati or 
Skanda. There is a work in Tamil, mentioned as 
an ancient work by the name Pancha-bharatam 
which is ascribed to Narada. It is just possible 
that Narada, the authority on music, made a digest 
of five redactions of works on N art ana and Ndtya 
and called it Paiicha-bharatam". 
But 'there lie different opinions whether Nandi- 
keshvara of the Nandikeslwara-sainhitd and 
Nandikeshvara of the Abhinayadarpana, the VriWi 
and the Bharatdrnava were one and the same 
person. MM. Ramakrishna Kavi, Pandit Vasudeva 
Shastri and others have identified Nandikeshvara 
with Tandu, the inventor of the masculine and 
heroic dance-type, tdndava. Vasudeva Shastri has 
said : "In the treatise of Kohala, quoted by Kalli- 
nath in his commentary on the Sangita-Ratndkara, 
an author by the name Bhatta Tandu is referred to 
as an authority. It is just possible that Tandu 
referred to here is no other than Nandikeshvara, 
though the word Bhatta suggests that the author 
may be some Brahmin of that name". Like Bharata, 
Nandikeshvara introduced different kinds of 
dances, hand-poses (hastdbhinaya or mudrd), 
chdris, mahdcharis, etc. for the dramatic perform- 
ances (abhinaya). Bharata has introduced 
five kinds of dhruvdgfoi, known as prdveshiki, 
waishkrdmiki, prdsadiki, dksJicpiki and antard in 
the abhinaya, for the characters entering, at the 
beginning, at the end, and in between the acts (vide 
the NdPyasdstra) , and though Nandikeshvara did 
not mention them, yet, as has been said before, he 
defined and introduced karanas, angahdras, etc. 
for the dngikdbhmaya. 
To give a short analysis of the celebrated work, 
Bharatdrnawa, it can be said that it has been des- 
cribed in the Bharatdrnava-samgraha that the 
Bharatdrnava consists of 4000 stanzas. In the 
Bharatdrnava, published from the Sarawati 
Mahal Library, Tanjore, we find three kinds 
of colophones ( 1 ) "Nandikeshvara-virachite 
bharcbt&rnave" , (2) "Nandikeskvara - mrachite 
bharatdrnave sumati-bodhake" , and (3) "Nandi- 
keshvara-virachite bharatdrnave pdrvadi-prayukta 
bharatachandrikdydm katfhita ndndrtha hasta- 
prakaranam". "The title-page calls the work 
'Bharatdrnavacjranthdh Nandikcshvara-virachitah'. 
The first page, however, gives two names 'Bha- 
ratdrnavah nandik^eshvara-virachitah? and ( Guhe- 
sha-bharat\a-lakshman>am\ It is clear that this 
work, though mainly consisting of the original 
Bharatdnava, has been added to form other 
sources namely f Guhcsha-bharata^-lakshanam', 
'$umatibodhaka-bharat\dmava and 'Pdrvati- 
prayukta-bharatdrtha-chandrikd'. The chapters 
in the book deal with padabhedas, stlhdnakas, their 
uses, sankara-hastas, 108 \tdlas, charts, anc/aharas, 
ndndrtha-hasfias, shringa-ndtya, sapta-ldsya and 
Age of New Awakening : 
In the begining of the Christian era, we find 
some new trends of thought and creation in the 
field of Indian music, as many formalised regional 
or desi type of gitis and rdgas flourished side by 
side of the gdiidhcwva music, the nucleus of which is 
to be found in Narada's Ndradishiksha, Bharata's 
Ndtyasdstra and Matanga's Brihaddeshi. The 
period, covering the lst-2nd century A-D. and 
5th-7th century A.D. may be considered as the 
period of renaissance. From this time onwards i.e. 
upto 13th-14th century A.D., many regional 
tunes were included into the fold of classical music, 
so as to enrich the coffer of Indian music. 
In the Ndradishikshd of the 1st century A.D., we 
find discussions about both vaidika and laukika 
types of music. Narada has discussed about the 
svaramandala, composed of seven tones, three 
gramas like shadja, madhyama and gdndhara, 
twenty-one murcchands, and forty-nine tanas, 
different methods of singing according to different 
Vedic recensions, ten kinds of quality of the gitis 
("dasha-vidha gunavrM"), definitions of six or 
seven grdmardgas like shadjagrama, madhyama- 
grdma, sddharita, srhddava, panchama, kaishika 
and kaishika- madhyama, which have also been 
depicted on the Kudumiamalai Rock-inspriptions in 
South India, the tonality of seven tones of both 
vaidika and gdndharva types of music, descriptions 
of the ddravi and gdtra veends, together with 
methods of their playing, etc. It has been said 
hefore that Narada also dealt with five microtonal 
units (shrutis) like diptd, dyata, karund, mridu and 
wadhyd, which were known as the kdraiia (cause) 
or jdti-shrutis .during the time of Bharata. 
Bharata has classified the twenty-two microtoncs 
(shrutis) on the basis of those above-mentioned 
causal microtones, as described by Narada. v 
Aryan and Non-Aryan Elements in Indian Music : 
Four great kingdoms like Avanti, Koshala, Vatsa 
and Magadha were recognised as the Hindu pro- 
vinces or janapadas in ancient India, and the people, 
inhabiting them, were considered to be highly 
civilized and art-loving Eastern nations. Many 
other semi-civilized aboriginal tribes like Shabara, 
Pulinda, Kamboja, Kirata, Valhika, Dravida, 
Anga, Vanga, Kalinga and others were in existence 
with their distinct cultures and arts. The Aryans 
incorporated many of the tunes of the non-Aryans 
with new names and techniques, and this intermix- 
ture between the Aryan and the non-Aryan music 
became possible owing to the policy of absorption of 
ideas and ideals and the system of inter-marriage, 
prevailing between the two. During the lime of 
Bimbisara (545 B.C.), Gandhara, a province in the 
North- West of India, was very famous for its art 
of music. It is said that the Gandharvas were the 
settlers in that region. They were a semi-divine 
people, considered as adepts in arts of singing 
and dancing. The type of music, prevalent among 
them, was known as the 'gdndharvam', as described 
by Muni Bharata, in the Ndtyasdstra in the second 
century A.D. Some are of opinion that as the 
Gandharvas were the immigrants from Greece, 
their music evolved on the ideal of the music of the 
Greeks. But it is a mere conjecture. Most of the 
historians are of opinion that as the artists of the 
Gandhara school of art had their hands of the 
Greeks and hearts of the Indians, so the ydndharva 
type of music was also Indian in origin and spirit. 
And even the Persian and Macedonian invasions 
of the North West Province of India did never 
influence the gdndharua music. 
The Age of Renaissance: 
The 2nd century A.D. is a memorable period, as 
Muni Bharata compiled his encyclopaedic work, 
Ndtyasdstra or the science of dramaturgy during 
this period. It can also be called the age of the 
Ndtyasdstra. Tradition says that Bharata collected 
most of the valuable materials of the Ndtyasdstra 
from the works of his venerable predecessor, 
Brahma or Brahmabharata, and so, as has already 
been said before that his book was known 
as the 'samgraha-grawtlw'j meaning 'the book 
of collection'. It is said that Brahma or 
Brahmabharata composed the book, Brahma^ 
bliaratam, containing science and art of 
drama, together with the laws and formulas 
of the gandharva music. Sometimes it is believed 
that the author Brahma was no other than the 
prime-creator of the universe, known as Brahma- 
kamalaja Prajapati. He is also known by the name 
of 'Druhina'. But great controversy rages round 
this belief. In fact, Bharata compiled the Ndtya- 
sdstra, collecting most of the materials from the 
Ndtyasdstra, compiled by Brahma or Brahma- 
bharata. Brahmabharata was sometimes known as 
Adi-bharata or Vriddha-bharata. In fact, 'bha- 
rata' was the surname of a person. The term 
Bharata also signifies a nata or player. According 
to Abhinavagupta, Bharata was also indebted to 
Sadasiva, another playwright of the pre-Christian 
It has already been said before that the 28th 
to 36th chapters of the Ndtyasdstra have mainly 
been devoted to the discussions on music in relation 
to drama. We find eleven more mixed jdPis (jdPi- 
rdgas) in Bharata's time, and they have been 
scientifically defined and determined with the help 
of ten essentials like graka, amsha, tdra, 
maiidra, nydsa, upanydsa, alpatva, vahutva, 
shddava, and audava. The eighteen jdtis or 
jdtirdgas were at that time practised with 
murcchands, tdnas, lakshanas, rasas and bhavas, 
and those eighteen jdtirdgas were: shddji, 
cirsabhi, gdndhdri, madhyamd, pandliami, dhaivati 
and naishdda or nishddavati (pure or suddha) + 
shadjodichyavcWi, shadjokaishiki, shadjomadhyaind, 
raktagdndhdri, gdndhdrodichyava, madhyamodi- 
chyava, gdndhdrar-panchami, andhri, nandayanti, 
karmdram and kaishiki ( mixed or vikrita). 
Bharata has determined two kinds of common 
tones, which were known as 'sddhdrana'. Those 
two common tones were the svara-sddhdrana and 
the jati-sddhdrana, as one was concerned with the 
tone or svard and the other with the melody or rdga. 
The svara-sddhdranas were the -tones like kakah 
(nishada) and antara (gdndhdra). The jdti- 
sddhdrana was essentially known by one of the tones 
in a grdma or basic scale : ff eka-grdmdngshdndm", 
and thus we get the tone, shadja as shadja- 
sddhdrana (jdti-sddhdrana} in the srhadjagrdma, 
and the tone, madhyama as madhyama-sddhdrana 
(jati-sddhdrana} in the madhyamagrdma. 
Again the alamkdras like prasanna, prasanndnta, 
prasannamadhya and prasannddyanta, and varnas 
like drohi, avarohi, sthdyi and sanchdri, etc. were in 
use in music. The gitis like mdgadhi, ardha- 
indgadhi, sambhdmtd and prithidd; dh&tus (for 
vddya} like vistdra, karana, dviddha and vanjana, 
and their varieties; prakritis like kitlaka and 
cchcdaka; vrittis (of the gratay) like chitra and 
dakshina were in use in the songs. The vccrids like 
chitrd (with seven strings) and vipanchi (with 
nine strings) ; kalds, yatis, tdlas> the seven <r/ifo\? like 
n>adraka, apardnta, etc. vastu, prabandhas like 
nirynkta (nivaddha) and aniryukta (anivaddha), 
the brahmagitis like kapdla, kambala, etc- shiva- 
sl'utis; the dances like tdndava and Idsya; the 
grdmardgas like madhyainagrama, sddhdrita, etc. 
were also prevelent. 
Now, it can be asked as to what was the true 
significance of the term '/dtf'f. It has already been 
said that /a/u were the prime-source (yom) of all 
kinds of rdgas of the posi-jdtirdga. The term 
'ya^' was used to denote the universal (sdmdnya) 
like the brdhmana-jdti, kshcutriya-jati, etc. As 
hundreds and thousands of men and women used 
to be signalized by a particular ]M or race, so all 
kinds of rdgas came to be known by the term 'jdt? 
and such was the considered opinions of Bharata, 
his followers and commentators. The jM was 
really the moiher-rdgas, the prime-source, and all 
the rdgas that evolved later were her offsprings 
as it were. 
Again Bharata has determined 64 classical 
jdtigdnas (songs), known as the .dhruva. 
These 64 dhrwuds were like the musical 
settings of the drama, and contained five 
parts, prdveshiki ( entrance ) , naishkrdmiki 
(exit) and three others, occur ing during 
the personation of the characters on the stage. 
These gitis or songs "were also of significance as 
giving an idea to the audience of the whole context, 
place, person, etc. of a particular scene, as in 
Bharala's idealistic theatre, scenic trappings or 
elaborate stage directions were dispensed with". 
The dhruvds were sung along with 4 kinds of 
kutapa or orchestra, composed of drums, flutes and 
string instruments like veend. 
It has already been said that Bharata has 
formulated the theory of twenty-two microtones 
(shrutis) and tonal bases (svarasthdnas), on the 
basis of Narada's five jdti-shrutis, distributing 
them in seven notes as 4, 2, 3, 4, 4, 3, 2. He has 
also defined the secret of consonance (svara- 
samvdda) between the notes, shadja and madhya- 
wa, and shadja and panchama. In short, Bharata 
has expounded the theory, art and science of 
Indian music in a very methodical way for the 
purpose of drama. 
Culture \of Music in the Gupta arid Maurya Periods : 
The Gupta and Maurya periods (32 B.C. 600 
A.D.) can be considered as the golden age of 
Indian culture. These two periods were not only 
glorious for their classical Sanskrit literature, art 
and architecture, but also for fine arts like 
music and dance, specially for the art of painting 
and sculpture, which attained high watermark of 
glory. The fine fresco-paintings of the Ajanta 
Caves are the products of this age. The Licchavi, 
Saka and Kushana dynasties were very advanced 
in culture at the time, and it is most probable that 
Indian culture was greatly influenced by them. 
That Maharaj Samudragupta was a noted musi- 
cian, is evidenced from his ^em-playing posture, 
depicted on his coins. He was well-versed in the 
art of music as well as a great patron of Indian 
classical music and dance, and this fact is proved, 
by the Allahabad Inscription, now adorning the 
Lucknow Museum. Regarding this inscription, 
J. N. Samaddar has written in the Glories of 
Magadha (1924): 'I will also refer to the very 
curious piece of sculpture an inscribed stone-horse 
of this great hero, 'who by his sharp and polished 
intellect and choral skill and musical accomplish- 
ments established his title of 'King of Poets', by 
various poetical compositions that were fit to be 
the means of subsistence of learned people". It 
is said that Samudragupta inherited the art of 
music from his mother's side, as his mother 
Maharani Kumara Devi was well-versed in the art 
and science of music. Kumara Devi came from the 
Licchavi clan, which was noted for their culture 
of art and letters. The Sakas or Scythians were 
also art-loving nations, and their national tune, 
shaka was incorporated into the stock of Indian 
classical music. The Pahlavas (Parthians) had also 
interest in music. 
We also get copious references of culture of 
classical type of music, as sanctioned by Bharata's 
Ndtyasdstra, from the classical Sanskrit literature 
of that time. Kalidasa, Bhavabhuti, Sri-Harsha, 
Banabhatta, Shrudraka, Vishnu-sharma, Magha, 
Bharavi and others have described more or less 
about the arts of music and dance, in connection 
with their dramas, fables and moral tales. In 
Kalidasa's works (1st century B.C. 400 or 
450 A.D. ?), we find mention of the word 
'sangita\ which meant a combination of the 
art of singing, dancing and drumming. He 
has dealt with the subjects like murcchands 
of the three grawws, and specially with 
those of the gdndhdragrama (vide Meghadutam, 
ufltaramegha), the practice of which had already 
become obsolete at that time. The prabandha- 
gitis (g^y a) like mangala, charchari (chdnchara),. 
jambhalikd, dvipadikd etc, musical instruments like 
vallaki (veend), vemi, mridanga, etc. have also been 
mentioned by him. In his Meghadwtam, Kalidasa 
has made reference to dance in the temple of 
Mahakali at Ujjaini, by way of a request to the 
cloud to visit (Ujjaini). He has also referred to 
the daily evening dance, performed by Siva- 
Pashupati in the same book. In the Mdlavikdgni- 
mitram, Kalidasa has given reference to Siva's 
natya. "Kalidasa ascirbes through Ganadasa, one 
of the royal dance-masters, to the Ardhandri- 
naVesvara form of Siva or Rudra, the two-fold 
dance, continued by Siva in this particular form 
of his, half the body representing Uma or Parvati". 
The two-fold dance is evidently 'tdndava' and 
It is said that Malavika used to perform her 
songs and dances, accompanied by mridanga or 
muraja, and they were surcharged with aesthetic 
sentiments. "Ganadasa, the dance-master of 
Malavika, informs us", says Prof. Ghurye, "that 
Malavika was very quick of understanding and 
dexterous in practice of expressive movement 
(bhdvikamy. Prof. Ghurye has further informed 
us that Malavika was expert in the representative 
gestures and portures of the five limbs, known as 
panchdngdbhinaya. This type of abhinaya, with 
five limbs, has been sanctioned by Bharata of the 
Ndtyasdstra fame. Prof. Ghurye further says: 
Jr appears that in Vidarbha, of which dominion 
Malavika was a princess, not only the princesses 
but also the female attendants (vide Mdlavikdgni- 
mitram, V. 9. 19-20) of the royal household, were 
versed in 'sangittf, which, in accordance with 
usual usage, must be interpreted to mean the 
complex of the three arts of dance, song and 
In the Vikramorvashi, Kalidasa has dealt with 
the technical aspects of music and dance. Through 
the medium of Chitralekha, a friend of Urvashi 
and Sahajanya, he has described the techniques of 
dances like dvipadikd, jambhdlikd, khandadhdrd, 
charchari, bhimtaka, valdntikd. From all those 
references, we know that Kalidasa himself pos- 
sessed a fair knowledge of dance and music, and 
it is also a fact that during his time, the arts 
of dance, drama and music were cultured and fully 
appreciated by the people of the society. Now 
it can be asked what was the real forms of those 
classical dances. The dance, khandadhdrd was 
one variety of dvipadi or dvipadikd. Similarly it 
has been said that jambhdlikd was also another 
type of the dvipadikd. From these we come to 
know that the dance-type, dvipadikd was the main 
or basic dance, and many other dances like khanda- 
dhdrd, jambhdlikd, etc. evolved from it, A kind 
of song was also known as dvipadikd. Similarly 
there was a dance-type, named khandaka or 
khandikd, which had no connection with the dance- 
type, khandadhdrd. 
Regarding dvipadikd, we further notice in 
Shri-Harsha's Ratndvali that it has been 
referred to as dvipadi. The commentator of the 
Ratndvali has quoted a passage from Bharata's 
Ndtyasdstra, which "gives at least four varieties of 
dvipadi or dvipadikd, out of which khanda is one; 
but later, he speaks of jambhdlikd also as sub- 
variety. Mr. Ramakrishna Kavi has mentioned 
about it in his BharaPakosha, where he has given 
the description of dvipadi and not of dvipadikd. 
Again we find a reference, where dvipadi or 
dvipadikd used to be danced as an alternate or as a 
variety of the Charchari dance. 
The dance, charchari was not also connected with 
the song, charchari, consisted of three or four lines. 
To quote Prof. Ghurye, it can be mentioned in this 
connection : ''When the distracted hero enters the 
stage, a new dvipadikd or a complete song in 
Prakrit is sung behind the curtain. After the re- 
cital of one Sanskrit verse by the king, the dvipadikd 
is sung again. Similarly, once more the sequence 
is repeated. Therafter the king recites one verse 
at the end of which the stage direction reads : 'now 
is the charchari' * * * The stage-direction 
thereafter reads 'so dancing', which means quite 
clearly that the hero-king actually enacted the dance 
referred to in the charchari, sung immediately 
before. * * At this point the stage-direction 
contemplates the recital of the charchari and at its 
end bhinnakd. The bhiimakd, according to the 
commentator, is a particular musical mode (rdga)". 
In fact, the charchari or charcharikd was a female 
dance, a kind of Idsya. Both Vema-Bhupala (about 
1400 A.D.) of Andhra and Rana Kumbha of 
Mewar have mentioned about it as a nriPya or 
dance, though they have differences of opinion 
about its application, as the former holds that the 
dance, charchari was applied only in the prime- 
sentiment, shringdra, and the latter, in any of the 
rasa, rdga and tdla. Again the charchari 
(chdnchara) was a prabandha type of song, and 
it has been described in the prabandha chapter of 
Sharangdeva's Sangita-Ratndkara. It should be 
remembered that the prabandha, charchari had no 
connection with the charchari-nritya. Kalidasa 
has also mentioned about the dance-types like 
khuraka, kutilika, galitaka etc. (vide author's 
Bhdratiya Sangecter Itihdsa, Vol. II, pp. 409-412.). 
From Shudraka's Mric6hakatika, we also come 
to know that the people of his time were conscious 
of the beauty and grandeur of Indian music and 
dance. Pandit Vishnu-sharma has described about 
music in the form of a fable of a donkey and a 
jackel, in his Panchalttontram. His description 
about music is no other than a representation of 
the art and science of shdstric classical music of 
Tiis time. He has mentioned about seven notes 
(Icviikika), three gramas, twenty-one murcchands, 
forty-nine tanas, three mdtrds (short, middle and 
long), three lavas, thirty-six rdgas, nine rasas 
(aesthetic sentiments), forty bhavas (etnotive 
feelings), hundred and eighty-five gitdngas, etc. 
Banabhatta has also described about music in his 
In Shri-Harsa's Ratn&vali-n&iaka, we also get 
ample evidence of classical dances, which are again 
mentioned in Damodaragupta's Kuttinimatom. 
G. S. Ghurye, while giving examples of dance-types, 
as described in Damodaragupta's book, has said: 
"The most significant information that Damodara- 
gupta gives to us is that the dance-expert who met 
the Berar Prince in the temple of Kasivisvanath at 
Banaras, was well-versed in setting the drama 
Ratndvali to music and dance, and that his troupe 
of dancers at Banaras has so far mastered and 
presented it to the public as to enable the dance- 
itiaster to earn a competence. The leading figure 
in his troupe was the dancer, Manjari. And he re- 
quested the Berar Prince, who had shown uncom- 
mon interest in the vicissitudes of the dance-master's 
life, to see at least the first Act of Ratmdvali, enacted 
by Manjari and the other members of the troupe". 
Now, from the detailed descriptions of Harsa's 
Rtitndvali, Damodaragupta's KuWini}nata-m we get 
also copious references to dance, music, stage and 
dramatic as Well as dancing costumes. 
Indian Music in the posfi-Bharata Period: 
The names of the post-Bharata musicologists like 
Kohala, Dattila, Durgashakti, Yashtika, Shardula, 
Svati, Vayu, Vishvavasu, Nandikeshvara, 
Matanga, Matrigupta and others are worth- 
mentioning in connection of history of Indian 
music. All these savants added numerous materials 
for the onward progress of Indian music and thus 
paved the path for writing a history of music. To 
mention about them, it can be said: 
(1) It is said that Kohala compiled the work 
Sangitameru in dialogue form. It is in anustupa 
verses. Its first part deals with drama and dance, 
and the latter part, with music. Dr. Raghavan has 
said : "The name of Kohala is as great in the his- 
tory of drama and dramaturgy, as it is in that of 
iimsic. The Sangitameru must be a very volumin- 
ous and valuable work. In dramaturgy and 
rhetoric, Kohala is always quoted even by later 
writers as the writer who first introduced the 
upa-rupakas, minor types of dramas, totaka, 
sattaka, etc." There are also some books, which 
are ascribed to Kohala, and they are Kohaliya- 
abhinaya-sMstra, Kohala-rahasya, etc. 
(2) Dattila seems to be contemporary of or a 
little later than Bharata of the Ndtyasdstra fame. 
Dattila followed the path of Bharata in com- 
piling his work, DaUilam. Dattila discussed 
about music that are mostly applicable to drama, 
and not only Dattila but Bharata and all the post- 
Bharata poetics have also described about dance and 
music in connection with drama- Dattila des- 
cribed about 18 jdtis or jdtirdgas (seven pure or 
shuddlw and eleven mixed or vikrita), different 
murcchands, sixty-six tdnas, ten essentials or dasar- 
lakshanas of the rdgas, different rhythms (tdlas), 
different tempi (lay as), yatis, prakaranas and clas- 
sical prabandha-gitis like madraka, apardntaka etc. 
like Bharata. He also mentioned about the 
names of some ancient musicologists like Kohala, 
Narada (of the Shikshd), Vishvakhila and others. 
(3) Shardula was an ancient musicologist, and 
his name has been mentioned by Kohala in the 
Sangitameru. Matanga (5th-7th century A.D.), 
Sharangdeva (early 13th century A.D.) and others 
have mentioned about his name in their respective 
works, Brihaddeshi, Sangita-Ratndkara, etc. 
(4) Yashtika was also an ancient authority on 
drama and music. It is said that he wrote the book 
Sarv&gama-satrihita, which dealt about dance, 
drama and music. Yashtika has been quoted by 
Matanga, Sharangdeva and others. 
(5) Durgashakti has been quoted by Matanga, 
while discussing about the rdgagitis and other 
topics on music. Durgashakti was an authority on 
drama and music, and he has also been mentioned 
by Sharangdeva for several times. 
(6) Vishvakhila has been quoted by Dattila, 
Matanga, Abhinavagupta and others as one of the 
ancient musicologists. 
(7) Visvavasu was a Gandharva, and his name 
has been mentioned by Matanga, Sharangdeva, 
Simhabhupala and others, along with the name of 
(8) Svati has been mentioned by Bharata in the 
Ndtyasdstra, in connection with bhdnda-vddya as 
a Rishi. Some are of opinion that Svati was a 
mythical person. But; Sharangdeva has quoted him 
several times as an authority on music. According 
to Abhinavagupta, Svati was the inventor of the 
drum pushkara, which has been mentioned and 
described by Bharata in the Ndtyasdstra, in con- 
nection with three kinds of mdrjand or tuning 
(9) Utpaladeva has been mentioned by Abhi- 
navagupta in the jatyddhydya i.e. in the chapter on 
jdti. It is said that he was the Paramaguru of 
(10) Kirtidhara has been mentioned by 
Sharangdeva in his Sangita-Ratndkara, as one of 
the commentators of Bharata's Ndtyasdstra. 
(11) It is said that Lollata was one of the com- 
mentators of the Ndtyasdstra Jike Saunaka. He 
discussed about dance and music. He seemed to 
have been flourished in about 9th ceniury A.D. It 
is said that Udbhata was also an earlier commenta- 
tor than Saunaka. Udbhata was the court-poet of 
King Jayapida of Kashmere in 778-813 A.D, 
(12) Nandikeshvara seemed to have been 
flourished between 3rd-5th century A.D. He was 
a great authority on music, dance and drama like 
Bharata of the Ndtyasdsfra fame. He has been 
quoted by Matanga in the Brihaddeshi as one of the 
authorities on drama and music: "Nandikesh- 
varena'pi uktam" etc. From it, it is understood 
that Nandikeshvara was senior to Matanga, who 
flourished in the 5th-7-th century A.D. After 
Matanga, Sharangdeva and his commentators, 
Simhabhupala and Kallinath and even Raja-Raghu- 
nath Nayaka of Tanjore of the 17th century A.D. 
have regarded Nandikeshvara as an authority on 
music and dance. It is said that Nandikeshvara 
formulated a separate school of drama and music 
like Bharata. He composed a masterly treatise 
Nandikeshvara-samhitd, which is now extremely 
rare. Some are of opinion that he also composed 
the book on gestures and postures, together with 
diflferent hand-poses (mudrds), applicable to the 
science and art of drama and dance. It is said that 
the Abhinayadarpana is an abridged form of the 
great work Bharatdrnava, containing 4,000 shlokas. 
But there lies a controversy whether the author of 
the Nandikesvara-samhM and that of the 
Abhinayadarpana, was one and the same person. 
Nandikeshvara's Bharat&rnava has been 
published from the Saraswati Mahal Library, 
Tan j ore, under the editorship of K. Vasudeva, 
Shastri. In the introduction, Shastriji has said that 
Nandikeshvara was otherwise known as Tandu. 
who was the first disciple of Paramasiva. "Nandi- 
keshvara's treatise is naturally the first .... five 
works of Nandikeshvara find mention in our texts. 
Nandikeshvara-samhitd quoted by Simhabhupala in 
his commentary on the Sangita-Ratndkara is one. 
The Bharatdrnava said to consist of 4,000 shlokas 
is the second. Bharatdrnava-samgraha said to 
be an abridgement of the second, is the third. 
Guhesa-bharc&ttirnava being the version of 
Bharatdrnava as redacted by Guha or Skanda is 
the fourth. . . .". In the treatise of Kohala, quoted 
by Kallinath in his commentary on the Sangita- 
Ratndkara, an author by the name Bhatta-Tandu 
is referred to as an authority, and it is possible that 
Tandu, referred to here, is no other than Nandi- 
keshvara. There is an allusion that Siva or 
Paramasiva ordered Tandu alias Nandikeshvara 
to teach Bharata the elements of his own dance, 
and the dance, taught by Tandu, was known as 
tdndava. From this allusion it is understood that 
Nandikeshvara was a contemporary of Bharata of 
the Ndtyasdstra. But this allusion requires to be 
sanctioned by history and reason. 
(13) Matanga is sometimes known as Matanga- 
bharata, being included under the category 
of Panchabharata. Matanga flourished in the 
5th-7th century A.D., and brought a renaissance in. 
the field of Indian music. He composed the 
book Brihaddeshij which means .the great collection 
of formalised desi, or regional songs with tunes 
(brihat+desi}. Many of the formalised regional 
tunes (melodies) and songs (gitis) were named 
after different regions and tribes. The seven gitis 
like shuddha, bhinnd or bhinnakd, gaudika or 
'joudi, rdga sddhdrani or sddhdrana, bh&shd and 
vibhdshd were known by their respective ragas, 
and so they were known as 'the rdgagitis. Matanga 
quoted the reference of Yashtika, and said that, 
according to Yashtika, rdgagUis were five, and they 
were shuddhd, bhinnd, veshara, gaitdi and 
sddhdrita. Numerous gitis originated from them. 
Matanga included them under the category of 
:Iassical music and determined them by the ten 
essentials (dasalakshana) . 
During Matanga's time, the word 'rdgas' for 
tune or melody was properly defined in its true 
significance, as Matanga said: ff rdga-mdrgasya 
vad rupam yannoktam bharatddibhih, nirupyaPc 
ttxlasmdbhir-lakshya-lakMma^samyuktam" ( SI. 
279), i.e. 'the definition of a rdga, which was not 
rlctermined by Bharata, Kohala, Dattila and other 
ancient authors, is now defined by us in its true 
significance/ From this it is understood -that the 
:redit of defining a rdga does not only go to 
Matanga alone, but also to his contemporaries. 
Some of the foreign tunes i.e. rdgas like \turuska- 
tadi, todi, shaka, shaka-tilaka, khdmditihor khdmdj, 
bhasmdna-panchama or Ihdrmdna-panchama, botta,. 
etc. were included in the Indian classical stock. The 
names 'turuska' and 'shaka' have been used for 
Turky and Scythia, and the name 'botta' for 
bhotadesa (Tibet, Sikkim and their adjacent 
places). Similarly the formalised desi rdgas like 
nidlava, saindhavi, sairashtri, savari or saveri, 
crdvidi, pulindikd, gaiida or gaudi, sdlavdhdnikd, 
dndhri, gurjari, ddksitidtya, mahdrdshtri, bhairava, 
bhairavi, dhiri etc. were the regional and tribal 
tunes, and they were allotted a place of great 
honour in the domain of shdstric classical music. 
Some of the rdgas were named after seasons, 
deities, etc. 
Matanga defined most of the rdgas, and 
systematically enumerated them in the Brihaddeshi. 
He described about the characteristics of jdtirdga,, 
grdmardga, bhdfhdraga, etc. He did further 
mention about different kinds of prabandhas and 
other materials, essential to music (gitis), 
(14) Matrigupta lived probably during 607-647 
A.D., in the reign of King Harsa. Sharangdeva 
has mentioned about him as one of the authorities 
on music. 
(15) An unknown author composed the Ndtyd- 
lochand sometimes between 800-1000 A.D. It is a 
comprehensive treatise on drama, and some 
portions of it have been devoted to music. The 
rdgas have been divided in it into pure (shuddha),.. 
impure (sdlanka) and mixed (sandhi or samkirna)^ 
It deals with about fortyfour rdgas, of which 8 
ragas are pure, 10 are impure and 22 are mixed. 
(16) Utpaladeva was a musicologist, and he has 
been mentioned by Abhinavagupta in the commen- 
tary, Abhinavabhdrati. Dr. Raghavan is of 
opinion : "But we can surely rely on the prashisya's 
evidence and take Utpaladeva as an early writer 
on Sangiia. Abhinava quotes him four times in 
his AbhinavaVhdrati," . It is said that Utpaladeva 
wrote his book on music in the anusftabha metre. 
He flourished probably at the end of the 10th and 
the beginning of the llth century A.D. 
(17) Abhinavagupta wrote the commentary 
(Bharatabhasyam) on the Ndtyasdstra, namely 
Abhinavabhdrati. It was probably written in 
1930 A.D. He was also a noted philosopher. Some 
are of opinion that Abhinavagupta of the Tantric 
faith and Abhinavagupta as 'the commentator of the 
Ndtyasdsttra were not one and the same person. 
However Abhinavagupta elaborately dealt 
with <the problems of drama, dance and music, as 
have been described and explained in Bharata's 
Ndtyasdstra. He very often referred to Kohala 
as an ancient authority both in ndtyddhikara and 
geyddhikdra. He mentioned the names of 
many other ancient musicologists in support of his 
views and arguments. 
(18) It is said that Mammatacharya wrote the 
Sangita-ratnamdld sometime in the llth century 
A.D. He classified the rdgas in the genus- 
species (janyor-janaka) method. The principal 
rdgas, according to him, are karndta, nata, mallara, 
desdkha, mdlava, vasanta, etc. Mammata differed 
from Parshadeva as regards the relation between 
bhairava and bhairavi, because according to him, 
bhairavi is a subordinate rdga or rdgini of vasanta, 
whereas, according to Parshadeva, bhairavi is the 
principal rdgini of the rdga bhairava. Mammata 
described the rdgas and most of the music 
materials that were current in the lOth-llth 
century A.D., and he undoubtedly followed the 
method of Bharata, Matanga and other contem- 
porary musicologists in this respect. 
(19) Parshvadeva was a Jain musicologist. He 
followed Matanga and Bharata in depicting 
the forms and characteristics of the rdgas, pra- 
baridhas and other music materials. He flourished 
probably in the 9th-llth century A.D. He 
divided his book Sangitasamayasdra into nine 
chapters. In the first chapter he dealt with the 
evolution of the causal sound or ndda, different 
manifestations of the causal sound and 'their bases 
in the human body, the characteristics of the songs 
or gitis and their differences, the problems of dldpa 
and dlapPi, varnas and different alamkdras. In the 
second chapter, he defined the differences of 
dlapti, sthdya or musical phrases, their meaning 
and characteristics. In the third chapter, he 
explained about the melodies (rdgas), tones 
(svaras) and their arrangements, kriydnga, and 
updnga rdgas, and definitions of various ragas like 
madhyamddi, todi, vasanta, bhairava, bhairavi, 
varieties of vardti, varieties of gauda and gurjari, 
etc. In the fourth chapter, he defined the 
prabandhas like dhenki, lambaka, rdsaka ekatdli, 
etc. together with eleven kinds of dhruvd, and the 
process of the gitis (gdnakrama). In the fifth 
chapter, he mentioned about vddya and 
different positions of the hands. In the sixth 
chapter, he described about the nature of 
drama. In the seventh chapter, he dealt with 
the problem of rhythm or tdla; in the eighth chap- 
ter, with the definitions and determinations of the 
vadya, and in 'the ninth or last chapter, with the 
characteristics of tdla like prastdra, druta- 
samkhyd, laghu-samkhyd, nastam, uddistam, 
etc. In the prabandha chapter, Parshvadeva 
defined the nature of 'the dhruva^prabandha, which 
are still known as dkruvapada or dhrupad. 
(20) King Nanyadeva, also known as Nanya- 
bhupala, was supposed to be the prince of a later 
branch of the Rastrakuta or Karna'taka dynasty in 
Mithila between 1097-1133 A.D. His capital was 
at Simarampur (modern Simraon), situated on the 
border of Nepal. He wrote a commentary on 
Bharata's Ndtyasdstra, which is known as the 
Sarasvati-hridaydlankdra (commonly known as 
the Bharatabhdshyam. He followed Bharata 
as well as differed much from him. While 
explaining different materials and problems 
of gitis, rdgas, prabaiidhas, etc., he described 
about the jdtis or jdtirdgas, grdniardgas and 
other subordinate rdgas, depicted in Matanga's 
Brihaddeshi. He elaborately dealt with the 
forms and characteristics of the rdgas both gdn- 
dkarva and desi. Prof. O. C. Gangoly has said 
that Nanyadeva derived most of his materials from 
Narada of the Shikshd, Yashtika, Kasyapa and 
Matanga. The mukhya-rdgas have played a pro- 
minant part in his discussions on the rdgas, because, 
he said that 'they possess extremely soothing- 
qualities'. He used a new term 'svardkhya, 
rdgas' i.e. the melodies which took the names, 
according <to the innitial letter of the tones, such 
as shddji, drsabhi, gdndhdri, etc. A similar term 
has been used in desdkhya rdgas i.e. melodies which 
borrowed their names from the countries, provinces 
or regions of their origins. They are five in 
number, and are classed as uparaga, ddkshindtya, 
saurdstri, gurjari, bdngdli and saindfhavi. We 
come across some new names of the rdgas like 
stambha-patrikd and tumburupriyd in his commen- 
tary. An interesting information has been cited 
by the author as to the authorship of the well- 
known rdga, revagupta. It is said that a person, 
called Samgramagupta was the inventor of this 
melody (vide Prof. Gangoly: Rdgas and Rdginis 
pp. 30-31). ' , 
Nanyadeva dealt with the rdgagitis like 
shtiddhd, bhinnd, gatida, veshara and sddhdrana 
etc., as have been described in Matanga's Brihad- 
deshi. He mentioned about 8 principal bhdshd 
rdgas, 10 vibhdshd rag as and different antara- 
bhdshd-rdgas and kriydnga-rdgas. Some of the 
peculiar names of rdgas, as mentioned by Nanya- 
deva, are: protakhya, bhasali mddhuri, sdlavdhani, 
kumudakriti, hanukriti, sivakriti, ndmakriti, tfri- 
netrakriH, bhavakriti etc. 
(21) Someshvara was an authority on science 
of drama and music. Saradatanaya mentioned 
about him, along with King Bhoja of Dhara in 
the Bhdvaprakdshan. Parshvadeva also men- 
tioned about him, along with Dattila ("Some- 
shvara - Dattila-prabhritibhistdla - svarupam purd 
proktam") in the Sangitasamayasdra (vide chapt. 
IX). Someshvara was also recognised as the pro- 
mulgator of a separate school (sampraddyd) of 
music. But there is a controversy as to who 
was the real authority on music of two Some- 
shvaras. We know that of the two Someshvaras, 
(1) one was the Chalukya King, Someshvara III, 
who composed the encyclopaedic work, Mdno- 
sclldsa or Abhildsdsartha-chMfamani, and (2) the 
other, known as the author of the work, Sangita- 
Ratndvali. It seems that Someshvara, the 
Chalukya King and the author of the Mdnosolldsa 
has been profusely quoted by most of the au'thors 
on music. Someshvara lived in the 12th century 
Someshvara dealt with the systems of mdrga and 
desi music, as described in Matanga's Brihaddeshi. 
But still he dealt with numbers and names of 
rdgas current in his time, in a different way. He 
said that five shuddha rdgas were in practice in 
his time, and they were: sthuddha-shddava, 
shuddha-panchama, shuddha-sddhdrita } shuddha- 
kaishika-madhyama and shuddha-kaishika. But it 
should be remembered that Narada of the 
Shikshd, Matanga and other ancient musicologists 
described them as 'the grdmardgas, and their 
numbers were six or seven. The names of the 
seven grdmardgas are still evident from the 
Kudumiamalai Rock-Inscription of South India. 
However Someshvara also mentioned about five 
bhinna-rdgas and they were tdna, kaishika- 
wadhyama, panchama, kai^hika and shdjda. 
Besides, he described the varieties of the rest of 
the rdgagitis. In his list of the rdgas, we get the 
names of botta of the bhotadesa, Vakka, narta, 
shaka, gdndhdra-panchama, soma, harshapuri, 
saveri, karnata-bdngdla, etc. and different varieties 
of the vardti, kriti or kri, todi, etc. Well has it been 
said by Prof. O. C. Gangoly: "This is an inter- 
esting list and helps us to realise that many of 
the melodies has come into existence of a century 
before Sharangdeva wrote his treatise. * * The 
original form of the name, veld-ulli, apparently 
an aboriginal melody, later sanskritized into 
vddvali, also deserves notice". It is also inter- 
esting to note that the name veld-ulli or veld-uli 
is found in most of the ancient Bengali literature. 
(22) Saradatanaya, who composed the work on 
dramaturgy (ndt\aka) and aesthetic sentiments 
(rasa), known as the Bhdvaprakdshan, belonged 
to the 1175-1250 A.D. In the 7th chapter of the 
book, he discussed about music, and elaborarely 
dealt with the problem of the causal sound (ndda). 
the fountain-head of music. He mentioned in 
his book about an earlier work, Shdradiyd, 
while discussing about music: "may apt shdradiyd- 
khya prabaiidhe siishthu darshiPam." 
In connection with Saradatanaya's Bhava- 
prakdshan, Dr. V. Raghavan has said that 
Saradatanaya "describes three types of theatres in 
the palace of the King, each for the presenting of 
a different kind of dance. At the beginning of 
his work he says that he wrote the book on seeing 
thirty different kinds of dramas, presented by one 
Divakara, from whom he learnt the Ndtyaveda". 
Further he has stated: "He (Saradatanaya) 
assigns to the circular theatre only the chitra 
variety of the mishra dance, i.e. the style in which 
both mdrga and desi are mixed. * * Here (in 
the circular theatre) all sorts of mishra dance and 
music could be conducted. In ,the triangular 
(theatre) * * The dance conducted in this 
theatre should be of the mdrga style only". 
Besides them, we find references with regard to 
the authors on music as well as the commentators 
like Kashyapa, Brihat-Kashyapa, Anjaneya or 
Maruti (who has been quoted by Saradatanaya in 
the Bhdvaprakdshan, Sharangdeva in the Sangito^ 
Ratnakara, Pandit Ahobala in the Pdrijdta and 
Raja Raghunath Nayaka of Tanjore in the SangitOr 
sudhd. According to Anjaneya, the main rag as 
are 6 and iipardgas are 30 in number. Pandit 
Damodara discussed about the rdgas and 
rdginis in the Sattgitadarpana, according to the 
Anjaneya school. Shri-Harsha, (it is said that Shri- 
Harsha wrote a Vantikd on Bharata's Nutyasdstra 
in both prose and poetry. He has been quoted by 
Saradatanaya, Abhinavagupta and others), Ghan- 
taka, Bhattayantra, Rudrata, Surya, Parvata, 
Raibhya, and the Paramara King Bjoja, (who 
lived .about the time of Abhinavagupta, and ruled 
at Dhara, was a great Patron and prolific writer, 
A.D. 1010-1055). But we do not know whether 
he wrote any work on music and dance. We also 
find 'the names of Bhatta Somacharana, Digam- 
vara, Vyasa, Agasta, Vasuki, Yogamala and 
others in this context. 
Role <of Bengal in the Domain of Music. 
From the Hathigumpha Inscription of Khara- 
vela, dated about the 1st century B.C. or 2nd 
century A.D., we come to know that King of 
Orissa (of Greater Bengal) was proficient in the 
Gandharvaveda. Prof. Ghurye has mentioned: "one 
of the items through which he carried out the 
celebrations was by public shows of nritya, gita 
and vdditra, * *. For valedictory celebrations he 
is said to have organised a concert, in which sixty- 
four musical instruments were assembled and 
played upon". Dr. B. M. Barua has also stated 
that Kharavela caused a magnificent religious 
edifice to be built in the 14th year of his reign, on 
the walls of which sixty-four panels, depicting 
various scenes of music, were moulded in stone or 
were painted. Thus Kharavela towards the end 
of the first century B.C., being well-versed in the 
Gandharvaveda or the science of dance, song and 
music, conformed in his practice to the dictum of 
Bharata as to when dance, song and music were 
to be performed in daily life. 
In the Gupta period (4th century A.D.), classi- 
cal dance and music were used to be patronised by 
the Gupta Rulers. Bengal (i.e., Greater Bengal) 
was then the seat of culture of classical drama, 
dance and music. Samudragupta's famous victory- 
inscription at Allahabad, says Prof. Ghurye, dated 
about A.D. 330-375, describes him as having sur- 
passed or rather put to shame the divine person 
ages Tubburu and Narada by his own 'gdn- 
dharva' and ( lalita\ It has already been said that 
Samudragupta was fond of playing on the veend, 
''so much so that one set of his coinage bears his 
squatting figure in the act of playing on the veend". 
The type of veend, as used by Samudragupta, was 
similar to one, depicted on the sculptures of Bharut 
balustra and gateway of nearly the five centuries 
old. The successor of Samudragupta, Maharaja 
Chandragupta II Vikramaditya (380-413 A.D.) 
was also a great patron of Indian classical dance 
and music. 
King Harsavardhana of Kanauj (7th century 
A.D.) was also a great patron of classical dance, 
drama and music. He (Shri-Harsa) described 
about different types of classical dances like char- 
chari, diripadikd, khandadhdrd, etc. which have 
been elaborately described by Kalidasa in Vikram- 
orvasi. Kalhana, the author of the Rdjatarangini 
and Damodaragupta, the author of the Kuninima- 
tam inform us that Jayapida, the King of Kashmere, 
while once entered in disguise the city of Paundra- 
vardhana in the Gaudaclesa, Bengal, he chanced 
to see a dance, being performed to the accompani- 
ment of vocal and instrumental music, and that 
historic dance was performed according to the 
laws of Bharata's Ndtyasdstra. It is said that a't 
that time there were current two prominant schools 
of dance: one of Bharata and other of Nandikes- 
vara or Nandibharata. Some are of opinion that 
in the 7th-8th century A.D., the school of Nandi- 
kesvara was specially followed in Bengal, and King 
Jayapida found the hand-poses (mudrds) and 
different gestures and postures of classical dances 
were used to be performed according to the rules 
of Nandikesvara's Abinayadarpana. But Kalhana 
informs us that most of the classical dances of 
that time used ,lo be performed according to the 
dictums of Bharata's Ndtyasdstra,. 
The Pala and Sena Rulers also lent their support 
for the promotion and preservation of the ancient 
culture of classical dance and music in Bengal. 
The temple dancing girls used to be engaged in 
different Kartikeya and Siva temples of Bengal 
and Orissa- From the excavations of the mounds 
at Mainamati-Lamai Ridge at Commilla district 
and Paharpur at Rajshahi district, many figurines 
of musicians and musical instruments like veend, 
vcnu, trumpet, karatdla or cymbal, gang have been 
unearthed, and they undoubtedly prove the healthy 
culture of music in the periods, extending from 
Gupta to the Pala and Sena ones. Different ballads 
of Gopichandra, Mainamati and others were com- 
posed and sung. 
During the 7th to the middle of the 12th cen- 
tury A.D., the culture of music, architecture, 
sculpture and folk arts reached its zenith. During 
the time of Mahipala (978-1030 A.D.) the 
practice of Tantric magic and mysticism 
were in full swing. During this .time, the 
mystic poets composed the Bauddha Gdn-o- 
Dohd, which are known as the charyd and 
vajra gitis. The Siddhacharyas and Yogis like 
Sarah, I_ui-pa, Savari-pa Darika-pa, and others 
composed many Buddhist songs in Bengali code 
language (sandhya-bhdshd) , and tuned them to 
different rdgas. The earliest Siddhacharya Lui-pa 
(Pag-Sam-Jon Zan in Tibetan) composed the 'Song 
Book' namely Luipdd-gitika and introduced 
his songs both to Bengal and Uddiyana 
or Assam. The name of the veend, as an import- 
ant musical instrument, is also found in some 
charydgitis. The veena along with cymbal and 
drum accompanied the prabaridhar-gMs of the 
Vajrayani Acharyas. The songs, composed by an 
Acharya Veena-pa, are also found in the list of the 
charydgiti. It is said that Archarya Veena-pa was 
born in a Kshaitriya family in Gahur or Gauda, and 
he was an accomplished w<?;ia-player. The Tantric 
Shanti~pa also composed some gitis. Different uni- 
versities like Uddandapura (Odantapura) and 
Yikramasila were constructed and the artists like 
Dhimana and Vitapala, the missionaries, Pandit 
Dharmapala and Atisha Dipankara and the scholars 
like Chakrapani and Sandhyakara flourished 
during the Pala period. It is said that during 
Ramapala, music of Bengal was purely in its 
shdstric form. 
Ramapala was a very powerful king. He de- 
feated Bhim, the Kaivarta King, with the assistance 
of the neighbouring Rulers, and established there 
a beautiful city, named Ramavati, which became 
culturally famous for its fine arts and specially for 
classical and folk music. It should be remembered 
in this connection that during the Pala rule, many 
of the regional tunes like shavari (srdvcri}, gdn- 
dhdri, kdmboja, idlava, karndta, gurjari, dhdnasri, 
etc. were introduced in Bengal. There were current 
also some specific tunes like bdngdl, tirotd-dhdnar 
skri, gdbdd, gauri or gaudi, etc. Some special type 
of music like bdul, ndchddi or Idchddi, gambhira, 
etc. were also current at that time. 
The method of singing (gdyana-shaili) of the 
charydgiti have been mentioned by Sharangdeva 
of the early 13th century A.D. He has said that 
the charyd-prabandha used to be sung along with 
meters (chhanda). At the end of the lines of the 
compositions of the songs anuprdsas were used, 
and it means that there was a harmony between 
the two letters (varnas) at 'the end of the 
two lines (padas). The songs were of 
the spiritual nature. The dvitiya pada was divided 
into two classes, puma, with complete meters, and 
apurna, with incomplete meters. Again they were 
divided irito two, samadhriwd, with the repetition of 
the pad as and vishamadhruvd> with the repetition of 
the dhruva-anga or music-part of dhruva only. 
The Sena power was established over almost the 
whole of Bengal by the middle of the 12th century 
A.D., and it ended with Vallalasena's son Laksh- 
manasena (1178-1179 A.D. and some ascribe 
1184-1185 A.D.) due to ihe sudden attack of 
Malik Ikhtiaruddin Muhammad Khalji towards 
the close of the 12th or the early 13th century A.D. 
Raja Lakshmanasena (11784179 or 1184-1185 
A.D.), was a great lover as well as patron of 
classical dance and music. It is said that during 
his time also, dancing girls (devaddsis) 
were engaged in different Siva, Vishnu and 
Kartikeya temples to exhibit the classical 
dances, together with music, according to the 
rules, described in Bharata's Ndtyasdstra. Thakur 
Jayadeva flourished during his time, and it is said 
that he was the court-poet of Raja Lakshmana- 
sena. Thakur Jayadeva was born in the village, 
Kenduvilva or Kenduli, in the district of Birbhum, . 
West Bengal. The village, Kenduvilva is situated 
on the bank of Ajaya that flows between Birbhum 
and Burdwan. His father's name was Bhoja- 
deva, and mother's Vamadeva and wife's Padma- 
vati. He died at Kenduvilva in happy retirement 
in about 1120 A.D. His anniversary is annually 
celebrated by his admirers and followers on the 
shukld-saptami in month of pausa. 
Jayadeva's memorable contribution is the Gita- 
govinda. Though it is mainly known as a Shrin- 
gara-mahdk&vya in Bengali-cum-Sanskrit, yet it is 
regarded as a book of the prabandha type of songs, 
composed in praise of the emotive sports of Radha 
and Krishna (rddhd-krishna-lila} , and set to 
music with classical rag as and tdlas. Two more 
books are ascribed to him and they are Rdmagita- 
govinda and Rddhdkrishnavilasa. It is said that 
the songs of the Gitagovinda were held in high 
esteem in Orissa, and that it was afterwards 
ordered to be sung in the temples by King Pratapa- 
rudradcva. Gradually the practice of singing of 
the songs spread to most of the temples both in 
the North and South India. The songs of the Gita- 
govinda are known as the prabandha-gi\tis f because 
they are systematically bound up or composed of 
sahitya, rdga, tola, dhdtu, anga, murcchand, rasa 
and bhdva. The rag as therein are karnain (Le. 
kdndda), keddra, bhairava, bhairavi, rdmakeli, 
gauri, dhdnashri, shri, gitnakcli (or gunakri) etc., 
and tdlas are mantha, pratimantha, yati, ekatdli 
and rupaka. It should be remembered that the 
rar/a-forms of the Gitagovinda, composed in early 
12th century A.D. were quite different from those 
of the modern time, as the standard scale of that 
time was mukhdri, somewhat like modern kdphi, 
different from the modern standard scale, bildvala. 
The melodic structures of those rdgas can be 
exactly ascertained at the present time, with the 
help of those, as depicted in Lochana Kavi's Rdga- 
tarangini of the middle of the 17th century A.D., 
and Hridayanarayana's Hridayakautuka, composed 
after [he Rdgatarangini (vide author's book: His- 
torical Development of Indian Music. Chapt. V). 
Further it should be remembered that Rana 
Kumbha of Mewar made an attempt to change their 
original 'limes or melodic types, as given, so as too 
suit the taste and temperament of the contemporary 
society. The rdgas, \i\dlas and names of the pra~ 
bandhas, as given, were quite different from those 
as selected by Jayadeva (vide Rana Kumbha's 
Commentary, Rasikapriyd on the Gitagovinda, 
Nirnayasagara ed. Bombay). To give an example 
how the original tunes of the Gitagovinda were 
changed during the time of Rana Kumbha of 
Mewar, in the 14th century A.D., Dr. Krishnama- 
chariar has quoted P. R. Sundara Iyer of Trichino- 
poly, who has said : "There has been some doubt 
among musicians here about the authenticity of 
the rdgas assigned to each ashtapadi. Let us 
examine the rdgas of the ashtapadis as per 
Kumbha. The rdga assigned to the first ashtapadi 
as per heading is mdlava. Kumbha clearly 
states that he is making a change and signs 
the first ashtapadi in madhyamddi (shddava) 
in madhyamagrdma. He states as his reason 
that the thought that is conveyed has to 
be adjusted and expressed in that rdga 
alone. He says: 'pratyajfiayi prabhandho yo 
jayadwewa dhimatd, na tasya vidyate lakshma 
sarvarigairupalakshitam * *', which means: 'the 
composition was made by Jayadeva and it is musi- 
cally imperfect in so many ways. I shall, there- 
fore, provide it with the svaras and the alher limbs 
of music and give it its true colour', etc. So, 
Kumbha a musician himself, of course an expert 
musician of the northern region, clearly means that 
the music of Jayadeva, in the original, was bad, and 
he was constrained to effect a change in the melody, 
as evidenced by the further statement in the preface 
gamakdldpa-peshalataya madhy^magrdme sftdda- 
vena madhyamagrahena madhyamddirdgena 
giyate, which means that as it is provided with 
flourishes and is fit for sweet singing as a rdga, it 
has to be sung in madhyamddi a sh&dava rdga 
(six note rdga) of the madhyamagrdma". 
Now, without commenting upon it myself, let 
me quote the comment, made by Dr. Krishnam- 
achariar. Dr. Krishnamachariar has said: "It 
has to be noted that Kumbha of Me war, a musician- 
king as he was, had the necessity to change the 
original tunes of Jayadeva even as early as the 
14th century. Perhaps or more than that the 
same necessity was felt by the musicians of the 
South, and for the very reason, assigned by Rana 
Kumbha, the Southern musicians, have adjusted the 
ashtapadi to the South India rdgas now current. 
By the way, there is in South India, a system in 
which particular rdgas are assigned to particular 
ideas for the expression of the lover in particular 
stages. Take the ndyaki in sixteenth ashtapadi 
punnagavardli has been specially selected for the 
expression of the same stage of the same sentiment 
by the musicians of the South like Kshetrajfia" 
(vide History of Classical Sanskrit Literature, 
1937, p. 340, foot-notes). The songs may be consi- 
dered as the earliest examples of regular musical 
compositions, though we find some fragments of 
the charyd and vajra gitis of the Vajraydni 
Buddhist mystics of the 10th- llth century A.D. 
Many later writers, both in the North and the 
South, wrote the kdvyas and the gitindtyas 
on the model of the Gitagovinda. It is said 
that Purushottamadeva (1470-1497 A.D.) com- 
posed the Abhinavagitagovinda on the model 
of Jayadeva's GiVagovinda. Besides it, Git a- 
gauripati of Bhanudatta, Krishnagita of Soma- 
natha, Gitardghava of Prabhakara, Gitardghava of 
Ramakavi, Gitagirisha of Rama, Sangitamddhava 
of Govindadasa, Gitagangddhara of Kalyana, 
Sangitaraghunandana of Vishvanaih, Sangita- 
sundara of Sadashiva Dikshit, Sivdstapadi of 
Shri Chandrashekharendra Sarasvati, Rdmdsta- 
padi of Ramakavi, Krishtialildttarangini of Nara- 
yana Tirtha, etc. were written on the model of the 
Gitagovinda of Jayadeva. 
Well has it been said by Prof. Sambamoorthy 
that the germ or nucleus of Indian opera or dance- 
drama (gitindtya) can be traced in the Gitagovinda 
of Jayadeva. Prof. Macdonnel has also said that 
the work, Gifiagovinda marks the transitional stage 
between pure lyric and pure drama, and a lyrical 
drama, which, 'though dating from the twelfth 
century, is the earliest literary specimen of a pri- 
mitive type of play ithat still survives in Bengal and 
must have preceded the regular dramas. 
In the South, the ashtapadis are mostly pre- 
sented in the kirt ana- form, having divisions of 
pallavi, anu-pallavi and charanas. It seems that 
during Jayadeva's time the gitis were sung in 
the prabwidhariorms, accompanied by dance and 
different musical instruments. 
Role of South India in the Field of Music : 
It is a historical fact that the Samaveda was 
the fountain-head and the common source of 
music both of North and South India. Again both 
the systems, Northern and Southern, have drawn 
their inspirations and borrowed raw materials from 
Bharata's Ndtyasdstra, which was compiled from 
the ancient authoritative books, composed by both 
Brahma or Brahmabharata and Siva or Sadasiva- 
bharata in the 600-500 B.C. Music has been dis- 
cussed in the Ndtyasdstra, in connection with 
diama, hand-poses (mudrds) and dances. The 
musicologists of the South unanimously admit the 
Samhitds, Brdhmanas, Shikshas and Pratishdkhyas 
and other Vedic literature to be the main source of 
the South Indian music. 
South India is commonly known as the Tamilnad 
which means the 'land of the Tamils'. South 
India is also known as the Karndtakadesa. 
So far as we know about an ancient source book 
of Sou'th Indian music, is the Tamil epic Silappadi- 
karam. It was written by Ilango in about the 5th 
century A.D. It is an authoritative work on 
poetry, music and drama of the Tamilnad. 
Adiyarkkunallar wrote a gloss upon this epic, and 
it is regarded as an earlier one. From the Silap- 
padikaram and its gloss, we come to know about 
certain numbers of Tamil trea'tises on dance and 
music. The Jain dictionary, Tivdkaram is also 
Known as one of the ancient books that discussed 
about music of the Tamilnad. According to Popley, 
the Tivdkatfckm was written during -the 'time of 
Silappadikaram. Prof. Sambamoorthy is of opinion 
that the T\evdram is really the earliest musical 
book composed, as found in the South Indian 
system of music. It is said that the Tevdram is a 
collection of sacred hymns, and they were composed 
mainly by three great saints, Tirujfianasambandar, 
Appar or Tirunavukkarasu and Sundaramurti 
Nayanar. Their dates appear to be from 7th to 
9th century A.D. The Tevdram-hymns were 
included in the category of Tamil music. The 
pans added ( to the hymns were the rag as or melody- 
types. The Tevdrams possessed "(1) drohana 
and avarohana,, (2) varjya-varjakrama, (3) 
graha-svaras, (4) nyasa-svaras, (5) amsha- 
svaras, (6) rakti- pray o gas, (7) dhdtu-prayogas 
and (8) characteristic shruPi and gamakas". It 
has already been said before that the pans used in 
the Tevdram were classified into three jdtis 
or classes, widava-shddava-sampurna, shud- 
dha-chdydlaga-samkirna, and updnga-bhdshanga. 
Again the pans were divided into (1) pagal-pan 
i.e. the rdgas those were sung during day time, 
(2) iravup-pan i.e. the rdgas those were demons- 
trated in the night time, and (3) podup-pan i.e. the 
rdgas which were sung at all times. 
It is said that the standard or shitddha scale of 
the Tamil music was harikdmbhoji. They were 
handed down by oral tradition like the sacred 
hymns of the Vedas. They were mainly presented 
in the Temple by both men and women. 
Popley has mentioned about the book Paripadal. 
The Paripadal was composed in the beginning 
of the Christian era, and the book also dis- 
cussed about some Tamil music. Regarding 
other ancient Tamil works, those dealt on 
irmsic, dance and drama, Dr. Raghavan has 
said: "We may just note the names of 
these Tamil music and dance works and 
their authors : the work of Seyirriyanar, Perunarai, 
Perumkuruku, Panchabharatiya, of Devarshi 
Narada, Bharata, Agattiya, a work ascribed to the <