Brihaddeshi: A Transition Period in Indian Music

        Brihaddeshi is another milestone text that spans the period from Natyashastra to Dattilam to Sangitaratnakara. It carries forward the tradition of Natyashastra and Dattilam; and, at the same time, it establishes the Desi Sangita on a firm pedestal. Brihaddeshi bridges the Marga and the Desi class of Music; and, it also provides the basis for the emergence of the Thaat/Mela system of classifying the Ragas.   One could say; Brihaddeshi gave a new birth to Indian Music; and, revitalized its creative genius by bringing the concept of Raga into the very heart of the Music traditions and their sensibilities.

        This text is one of the major references of many earlier authors whose work are now almost disapeare from the lineage of Indian Music. The text attributed by Matang in Brihaddeshi was the collective and conclusive study of the Natyashastra, Abhinaya Darpana and Dattilam. Further he also added references from the text of Kasyap, Durgashakti, Kohal, Maheshwar, Vallabh and Shardul to establish the concept of Raga, Jati Gayan, and Deshi- Marghi Sangeet and other components of Vedic music. Brihaddeshi was composed and released for bibliophile during the mid of seventh century. There is no any concered demography about the exact relase date of the book but it is assumed that Brihaddeshi time was approximately around mid of the seventh century. 

        The Edition of Brihaddeshi is a half lost verson, only of five hundred around Verses are available to us. The available Chapters and verses deal only with music and the term closely related to singing. The Chapters in this book deals with the Concept of Deshi- (Geeta- Vadhya-Nritya), a countryside music defining the characteristics of Grama – (Shadaj-Madhyam-Gandhar), Murchana, Nada, Shruti, Swara and component of vocal practices. He describes all togthere twenty-one Murchan, seven each from Shadaj, Madhyam, and Gandhar Gram.

After allotting a chapter to the Jaati-s, Matanga devotes a special chapter to the Ragas.  Here, he deals with Grama-raga; and the Desi-ragas: Bhasa, Vibhasa and Antarabhasa. These Desi-ragas are again classified into four categories as: Raganga, Bhashanga, Kriyanga and Upanga. Indeed, it is in this chapter of the Brhaddeshi we first come across the definition of Raga as given by Matanga. and, it is his definition that has guided all the later literature (lakshana grantha) on Classical Music. In the history of the Ragas, Brhaddeshi is, therefore, a landmark textThe term Raga seemed to have been in use even prior to 7th century. But it was not used in Music or in Music-theories in the way we know it and, in the way, use it now.  It is, therefore, difficult to say that the concept of Raga as it is understood today, had fully evolved and was recognized as such in the period prior to Matanga; say, at the time of Natyashastra (second century BCE)

        The Musical Scenario in India was quite unstable during the 8th century an onwards because of foreign invasion. The religious background and rituals beliefs in India was highly affected because of the political intervension by those rulars. The Turkish, Irani or the Afgans Muslims invasion suddenly changes the social structure of the society in the beginning of medieval period. The Bhakti Adnolan was the the commmandable social unity started by Adi-Guru- Shankaracharya to reform and reunited against the forceful conversion and religious attack by the Muslims Bharta Desh. The Movement was also the savior of the musical tradition in mediavial period, from Bangal to Gujarat, Assam to Multan, Lahore to Madras, Konchi to Kashi, Bhakit movement was widely accepted by the people of India for the resistance of their indegenious culture, tradition, rituals and religious belief. 


1 comment:

  1. Thankyou for sharing this precious & deep knowledge of hindustani classical music...🎵🎶


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