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Music in India during Vedic Period


Vedic Period 

It is supposed that the Vedic Period in Indian Subcontinent was supposed to be started in 3000-1500 BCE.However, nobody knows the actual date and time of the Vedic period. As per the mythology, it is believed that Vedic period was establish with the origin of Veda and it is supposed to be hundreds of thousand of year ago. The First Veda was The Rigveda and have compiled with thousands of Verses. The other Veda were Atharva Veda, Yajurveda and the Samveda. Among these four Vedas, Samveda is highly associated with music and musical terms. The early chanting of religious hymns was noted around 3000 BCE. The scientific analysis of the early music come to existence with the origin of RigVeda. The Literary and music tradition from this period in Indian Subcontinent. The Hindu and Sanatan Dharma- A compound belief and faith on god says that the text of the four Vedas were imparted to the sages by Lord Brahma, the creator of the Universe in the form of Spoken words and have been handed down from generation to generation in oral tradition. The Vedic scholars mesmerized in reciting the spiritual hymns of the Veda in the form of rise and fall of the tonality in much systematic and disciplined way. These rise and fall of the tonality and the recited verses of Rigveda are known by the Udat- Anudat and Swarit. Udat means the high notes or the taar, Anudat means the Mandra or the Low notes and the Swarit means the the Samata or the middle or the Madhya. According to the present swar system Rishav and Dhaivat are Udat, Gandhar and Nishad are Anudat and Shadaj, Madhyam and Pancham are Swarit notes.

The chanting Nada “Oum" or "Om" was considered as the basic note of the music. The Samveda was the first religious text in Indian Subcontinent to address the music as the singing component of verses and hymns of the Veda for religious and spiritual purpose. The recited verses of Samveda was called Samgaan. The Statotra and the Richas of the Vedic literature were sung during the period. The swar of Samveda was named as Yem and the name of the notes are Udat-Anudat and Swarit. The Musical octave was created with the ascent and descent of the the Yem. The Musical scale of Samgayan was the primordial in the history of Indian Music. In fact the transition from chanting to singing was a slow process so the music octave was slowly created with seven notes following the Shada Gram. It is the emergence of Solfa terms is said to be that, Sa and Ma (Shadaj -Madhyam) from Samveda, Ri and Ga (Rishav-Gandhar) from Rigveda, Dha and Ni (Dhaivat and Nishad) from Upanishads. The Concept of SA Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni and SA as the musical syllable is considered as an important and major turning point in the history of Indian Music in Vedic period and these seven notes are mentioned in the Narada Parivrajak Upandishad. These Musical terms and the name of Swar are found in the seventh century Kudumiya- Malai Inscription too.

The Vedic Literature were sung in three notes and different meters with aesthetic sentiments, accompanied by different musical instruments. Veena, Flute, Mridangam along with Khattaal and Shankh were used as the supporting instruments in Samgaan. The tone of Vedic music, Archik were in a descending series where as those of the the Desigeet and Laukikgeet, that evolves in the parallel of Vedic period were in ascending order. Sometimes the accent notes Anudat Swarit and Udat were mentioned in the Shikshas and Pratishikshas as to be used in the Saam as tone of seven Vaidik and Laukik Swar.

It is said that the Samveda is the fundamental sources of Indian Classical Music. The spiritual and religious Samveda is further divided in two part called as Purvavarchik (Pri-Phase) and Uttararchik (Post-Phase). Again the Purvavarchik is divided in two parts called as Gramegeya Gaan and Aranyege Gana, and Uttararchik divided into two parts called as Uha and Uhya. The Samgaan of Samhits and Gaan was further divided into six or seven categories, and they were Hunkar means the beginning of the singing, Prastora- means the person or the religious guru to begin the Sama, Udgita- means the repetition of the saamgaan or the accompaniment of tune; Pratihara- means the process of singing of Saam after third verses; Upadrawa-means the sing at the end of third verses; Nidhan-means the sacrificial priest during the end of Saam and the seventh one is Pranava- means conclusion of Saam with Omkar Dhwani.

In the gradual process of development of musical concepts during post Vedic period, various alteration had been noticed to form the Gram and its Murchan. It is believed that the three Gram- Shadaj Gram Madhyama Gram and Gandhar Gram were altered with Udat-Anudat and Swarit in Post Vedic Period to form the musical scale. Some of the opinion has defined that the Vedic scale was as similar as the Kafi thaat of Hindustani Sangeet or the Kharaharpiya of Carnatic Mela. Few of the Opinion refers that Vedic Scale was as similar as the Bhairavi or Hanumattodi Mela but all these these are only the hypothetical concepts. In fact, it is very difficult to identify the real musical essence and ascertain the exact melodic structure during Vedic period.


Raga Ramkali

Raga Ramkali     

        The morning raga Ramkali is a prominent raga in Hindustani Classical Music. It is the Bhairvang Raga with the unique combination of Both Madhyam and Both Nishad, However Tivra Madhyam and Komal Nishad is inputted in a particular style, without spoilage the spirit of Ragang.  Raga Ramkali is classified under the thaat Bhairav. Along with Both form of Madhyam and Nishad, Rishav and Dhaivat are komal in Raag Bhriav and rest of the notes are in Natural/ Suddh.  Pancham in the Vadi of Raga but some of the music exponent favour komal Dha as Vadi of the Raga, Shadaj in the Samvadi swar of the Ramkali perhaps bias among the musician regarding Vadi-Samvadi so, mostly follow the Samvadi note as Rishav but it is exceptional and does not relay the grammatical sequences of Vadi-Samvadi concepts of the Raga. It is observed that all there notes, Dhaivat, Pancham and Rishav in Ramkali are of great importance and cannot be eliminated or shadowed. If Dhaivat is considered as Vadi then Rishav should be Samvadi and if Pancham is regarded as Vadi swar then Shadaj should be samvadi as per raga principle but the Position of Rishav is notable in this Raga. Tivara Madhyam and Komal Nishad is applicable with specific position, Ma Pa dha ni dha Pa, Ga ma re Sa. All the seven notes are used in both Aroh and  Avaroh so the Jati of the Ramkali in Sampurna-Sampurna Dhaivat in uttrang and Rishav in Purbang are the main note with semi andolan (vibration) coming to pancham and shadaj simultaneously. Rishav, Pancham and Dhaivat are Nyas swar or the sustain notes where musicians hold the notes and breathe while music rendering. Singing time of this raga in first phase of morning.

    Ramkali is a widespread raga but consider as an unstable raga in comparison to Bhairav in Hindustani Classical Music. The nature of the raga in profound with the characteristic of semi-seriousness and depth. There are few raga having Bhairavang close to Ramkali. Raga Kalingada, Raga Gauri and Bhairav itself is very much closer to Ramkali but this raga have a distinct character that distinguished a different character from above three raga.  Sa re Sa, Ga Re Re, Ga ma re Sa, Ga Ma dha …Pa, Ma Pa dha ni dha Pa, ma Ga re, Sa,   dha Pa Ma Pa Ga ma re Sa are mostly commonly use in Ramkali.

Aroh        :        Sa re Ga ma, Pa dha Ni Sa

Avaroh    :        Sa Ni Dha Pa, Ma Pa dha ni dha Pa,  Ga  ma re Sa

Pakad         :    dha Pa, Ma Pa dha ni dha Pa, Ga ma re re Sa



Note: Ma- Tivra Madhyam, ma- Suddha Madhyam 


Music During Natyashastra Period

    Natyashastra Period 

        Natyashastra was written by the Acharya Bharat belongs to a sage descendent in near about 2nd century. It has been a huge controversy among scholars about the exact time period of Bharat Muni and inscribes of Natyashastra. Few of the scholars believe that Bharat is like the post or the title held by the supreme Sage Sect and others believe that Bharat is only a person. Swami Prajnanananda wrote in his book, History of Indian Music, Bharata was really a title, and it was used to be conferred upon those who were efficient in arts and science of drama, and as such there were many personages with the title. He further wrote, Bharat in ancient times, such as vriddhabharat or Brahmabharat, Sadashivabharat, Kashyapbharat, and Nandibharat, to name only a few. If we go with the opinion with a large number of scholars in Literature and Performing Arts, the historic book on Indian drama and its component along with music and dance were compiled by Acharya Bharat during 2nd century BCE to 2nd century CE (Prajnananda, 2002).

    Natyashastra was the first evidence and the written text in Indian Drama and its allied subject describes the various fundamental principle in Drama, Music, and Dance. In this epic text, Acharya Bharat has explained the development of a methodical and scientific system of Indian classical music along with dance and drama. It is a large collection of 12000 verses describing the various aspect of music and drama in a total of thirty-six chapters. Among the huge collection of Shlokas, 6000 verses of Natyashastra are found available in a part. Natyashastra is also called the Natyaveda which forms one of the four Upavedas, covering over 36000 verses supposed to be written by Lord Brahma. It is compiled in 36 chapters (Kashi edition whereas the Kavyamandal edition, Bombay contains 37 chapters). Content related to Music is defined in chapters twenty-eight to thirty-three. The twenty-eighth chapter deals with the classification of musical instruments in 4 categories (Tatvadya, Avanadhyavadya, Shushirvadya, and Ghanvadya), and the definition of Gandharva music and its major division and the meaning of Kutup. In this chapter, he also describes the Shruti and its determination from a Sarana-chatushtai meaning and characteristic of eighteen Jatis among which seven Suddha Jati and 11 Vikrit Jatis, seven swar, Vadi, Samvadi, Anuvadi, and Vivadi tones and ten characteristics (Das Lakshyana) of Jati. Chapter twenty-nine deals with the Jatits and their emotions- Rasa, four kinds of Alankars, Geetis, and Dhatus. 

    This chapter also defines all about the playing technique of Vipanchi and Chitra Veena. Here Bharat illustrates 9 String Vipanchi Veena played with Plectrum (Kona) and seven string Chitra Veena played with fingers. The thirtieth chapter of the Natyashastra deals with the wind instrument. Here he describes various aspects of sound and sound production in the Shushir Vadhya category. The thirty-First chapter of the book deals with the rhythmic formation of Indian Classical Music. In this chapter, Bahrat describes the Tala, Laya, and Kala along with the three subdivisions of Kala- Chitra, Vartika, and Dakshina. The thirty-Second chapter of the Natyashastra deals with the sixty-four Dhruvas and their characteristics, six special Dhruvas and Chhand. This chapter also deals with the qualities of Veena-Vadak and the merits and demerits of Gayak, Vadak, Nats, and Natis. Thirty Third chapter of the Natyashastra deals with the origin of Avandahya Vadhya, its division, and its playing technique in detail.
     Apart from these music chapters, a few other chapters relating to music and drama are also discussed in Natyashastra. Chapter second deals with the auditorium (Prekshagrihya) and its measurements. In this chapter, the writer defines the three different types of Auditorium and description and measurement of the various angle of the stage and audio. The third chapter deals with the rituals and sacred functions during Natyamanchan....... 
To be Continue....... 

साज़िश-ए मोहब्बत

 हाँये पहली मरतबा मोहब्बत की बारिश हुई है !
जारा सोच विचार कर लो कही तो साज़िश हुई है !
जो कल परसों तक गर्दन नापते थे हमारी
आज कौन सी नुमाइश हुई है ! 
ज़िद में अडे थे हम भी नहीं जायेंगे उसके चौखट पर,
नजाने ये कहाँ से आज फरमाइश हुई है!! 

बिखरे से थे साख और दिल पे उदासी छाई है !! 

ढकोसलों के शहर में दीवाली आई है !! 

बात बात पर कहते थे हमेंतु क्या चीज हो !! 

आज उसी बारूद खाने में इक चिंगारी आई है ! 

इम्तहान मत लो मेरे सब्र का यह सरगम,

सारे जहाँ मे क़यामत आई है!! 


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