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....... 

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