Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address info@exoticindia.com.

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
|6
Sign In  |  Sign up
Your Cart (0)
Best Deals
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend
Books > Hindu > Ramayana > Valmiki > Music In Valmiki’s Ramayana
Subscribe to our newsletter and discounts
Music In Valmiki’s Ramayana
Music In Valmiki’s Ramayana
Description
Back of the Book

Ramayana and Indian Classical Music are both indelible imprints on Indian consciousness and identity; and both may be traced to the original poet, Adi kavi, Valmiki.

Present within the Ramayana narration, Valmiki initiates Lava and Kusa (sons of principal characters Rama and Sita), to render musically the Ramayana itself, in the ‘Marga style’, the canonical approach of Indian Classical Music. This is the first-ever reference to the pre-eminent musical tradition of the Indian civilization.

Numerous other allusions recording values, principles, techniques, instruments, many of them valid and operational today, abound in the narrative.

Dr. Subhadra Desai, vocalist of India Classical Music and Sanskrit scholar, shares in the present monograph the insights of her stimulating research of the musical heritage of Valmiki’s Ramayana, explored and documented for the first time, from dual perspectives of Musician and Academic.

From the Jacket

The literary and cultural heritage of the Ramayana and Indian Classical Music are both living traditions and key constituents of the Indian identity. It is indeed impossible to imagine an India, of the past, present or future, without either. Reference to this musical tradition in the Ramayana, the earliest literary work in classical Sanskrit, is therefore a propitious context in which a composite legacy of Music-Literature may be examined.

Ramayana has a fundamental association with music. The poet Valmiki is himself present as a protagonist within the Ramayana narration, and initiates Lava and Kusa to render the Ramayana musically. Their music follows the tried and tested ‘Marga style’, the canonical approach of Indian Classical Music; its earliest references appear first in this first and definitive epic of India.

The musical heritage of Valmiki’s Ramayana is being explored and documented in the present monograph for the first time by Dr. Subhadra Desai, a vocalist of Indian Classical Music and Sanskrit scholar.

Subhadra’s research records references in Ramayana of technical terms of music and its principles and its principles and practices that apply to Indian Classical Music even today. The allusions to Gandharva, Marga, Sruti, Svara, Sthana, Murchana, Jati, Karana. Tala, Laya in the Ramayana establish the salient features of music of the epic-era, and relate it to musical traditions of the present time.

Valmiki does not confine himself to merely musical terms, he also ascribes value: of discipline, improvisation and emotion, in the preparation for the performance of Music.

In addition, many other references, such as the music intrinsic in nature, use and significance of a range of musical instruments, and also detailed accounts of interface of music and society, constitute the musical world of Valmiki.

Dr Subhadra Desai is a vocalist of Indian Classical Music whose performances have drawn attention for their contemplative character in music festivals and other for a in India and abroad. She is also a Sanskrit scholar and has taught at the Delhi University as visiting faculty.

Subhadra is an empanelled artist with Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and has often conducted lecture-demonstrations and workshops at the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training, Delhi.

As a student of Sanskrit, Subhadra draws close to the wellsprings of Indian tradition. This invests her rendering of devotional music with an intensity that moves her listeners.

Subhadra has composed presentations on selections of ancient texts in Sanskrit and Pali in classical Ragas as theme-based recitals, some of which are:

Advaita: The India philosophy of non-dualism or oneness of God and Creation

Astapadis from Gita Govindam.

Maha Mamgala Sutta, Ratana Sutta and other Buddhist texts.

Sanatana Vivaha mantra: Sacred hymns on Hindu marriage from Rgveda and Yajurveda.

Women Seers and Sages of India: Hymns from Rgveda, and songs of devotion by women poets of medieval India.

Subhadra’s dual interests of Music and Sanskrit resonate an affiliation that already exists in Classical Literature of India.

Preface

This study is a result of an academic project for a PhD thesis submitted to the Delhi University. An intellectual curiosity to acquire first hand knowledge of this great piece of literary work first drew me to the Valmiki-Ramayana. As a professional vocalist of Indian music, I was instinctively attracted to the references of musical techniques recorded in it and was fascinated by the manner in which they were used.

In my first readings I found that there were not only technical references to music in the epic, but it was itself intended by the poet to be sung. This dimension added a new delight to my study and led me to view it from a fresh new perspective.

The Ramayana is the earliest literary work in classical Sanskrit and an opportunity to investigate its musical heritage was a privilege as well as an immense responsibility. A few years elapsed in just reading it again and again. I tried to concentrate on only the musical references but was overwhelmed by the immensity of scale of the Ramayana. Surely this extraordinary experience is familiar to all who read it.

It is extremely difficult to reconstruct the nature of music of any given period in time without musical reference resources such as audio recordings or notation systems. However, in the course of my study I discovered that the Ramayana records technical terms of music, its principles and practices, theoretical concepts and their use, that apply to Indian classical music even today. The musical heritage of the Ramayana is thus not amorphous or ambiguous, but precise and meticulous, and ‘Marga Samgita’ or Indian classical music is indeed an unbroken tradition of Indian culture.

The final outcome of my research work owes a lot to assistance extended to me by many people to whom I will be always indebted. I record here my deep gratitude to all of them.

Dr. Sushma Kulshreshtha, my supervisor, and Professor Dipti Tripathy of the Department of Sanskrit, Delhi University guided me to study the subject from different perspectives. Professor Vedagya Arya, Department of Sanskrit and Hindi, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, offered motivation, warm advice and instructions: any formal expression of thanks to him is inadequate. Dr. Vasanti Krishnarao, Faculty of Music, Delhi University, and Padmashri Leela Samson, distinguished exponent of Bharatanatyam, have enlightened me on the musical traditions of the Ramayana in South India. Professor Ramanath Tripathy, a renowned expert of Ramayana-literature whose work is an inspiration for all students of the subject, referred me to ‘Ramakatha: Vividha Ayama’, from which I received insight in addition to comprehensive information about studies on the Ramayana in various Indian and foreign languages, and its influence on their respective cultures. Shri Amolak Chand Jain, Librarian, Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, extended ready and kind help in accessing academic resources.

Dr Gauri Dharmapal, Department of Sanskrit, Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata, I consider my guru in Sanskrit: hers is the abiding inspiration to all my academic effort; in a way this work forms a guru-daksina to her.

A special thanks is due to my music guru, Pandit Madhup Mudgal, from whom I have imbibed an enduring love for Hindustani Classical Music, which has helped in sure and certain ways to understand the inherent musicality of the Ramayana.

I am indebted to Shri Vinay Jain, who kindly agreed to design the cover of this book, and this adds great value to it.

I am also grateful to the National Museum, Delhi, for allowing me to access and incorporate a selection of precious manuscripts and paintings of the Ramayana.

The family’s support is important for all endeavour, and my deep involvement in the study over long periods would not have been possible without it. My parents Shri Amal and Smt. Manju Mitra’s faith in me and my projects, and my parents-in-law Shri Ramendra and Smt. Madhuri Desai’s care and support, were essential ingredients in the fulfillment of this mission. My young son Nandit and my husband Neerav helped me with the computer, and provided every technical and logistic facility so that I could work from home. My brother Siddhartha constantly guided me in my study with editorial inputs and suggested directions for critical approach and analysis.

I hope this research generates interest, and helps in some measure for more research studies on Sanskrit literature on related issues.

Introduction

'Samgitavatasahityam sarasvatyah netradvayam'

'Music and literature are the two eyes of Goddess Sarasvati',
This age- old Indian saying that connects the two disciplines of literature and music intimately to each other and to the Hindu deity of culture and scholarship, expresses a relationship that has existed in all human civilizations across space and time.

From time immemorial, literature and music have flourished in tandem, complementing each other. Both draw from the innermost recesses of human experience, communicating thought and feeling.

One of the earliest instances of the synthesis of literature and music are the Vedic hymns, dating to the Vedic period of Indian history. These were chanted in Vedic accents/ notes, 'Udatta, Anudatta and Svarita'. These fundamental notes later developed into seven notes of Indian music, the svaras. The svara is critically important, as the meaning of a 'mantra' changes with any incorrect use. As an example, if chanted in the designated svara, 'Indrasatruh' means 'Indrah satruh yasya sah' or 'Indra, the slayer or the enemy', and with the use of a wrong svara, the meaning changes to 'Indrasya satruh'or 'the slayer or the enemy of Indra'!

Saint-poets of medieval India adopted music as a medium of expression for their personal devotion as well as their deepest realization of Truth. The lyrical compositions of Meerabai, Surdas, Tulsidas, Kabir, Machhinder Pratap, Gorakhnath, Akka Mahadevi and others were a new literary form bearing penetrative insights on life and society, and indeed also reflected the wonderful lives of their authors. Thus they have become a timeless heritage of Indian music, literature and culture. In modem times, Rabindra- samgita, Tagore's poetry set to music by the poet himself, is a live and vibrant musical art form and has proved its enduring vitality through the last century. It has thus been a common feature in Indian tradition through history that great music coincided with great poetry.

Valmlki's Ramayana, bearing a sacred/ moral- ethical dimension has deeply moved humanity across time, and constitutes an overwhelming influence on Indian culture and civilization. It is the first poetic creation written in laukika Sanskrit, the so- called 'Sanskrit of the Common Man' that followed the earlier Vedic Sanskrit of the Vedas in the post-Vedic period, and is regarded as the "Adikavya" or the primordial poetry. In time and context it follows the "Apauruseya" Vedas, to which no formal authorship or point of time is ascribed. The verses of the Rgveda are 'Mantra', considered as 'discovered' by seers in meditation, and therefore distinct from poetry or literature in the general sense, despite their masterly use of language, metres, alamkara and choice of subject.

The Ramayana has a fundamental association with music. Within the Ramayana narration, Valmiki the poet himself is present as a protagonist, and it includes his role as an initiator to Lava and Kusa's musical rendition of the Ramayana in the presence of ascetics. The oral musical tradition of the Ramayana thus belongs to the narrative itself. Valmiki further emphasizes the musicality of his own present work by qualifying the language as lyrical and dulcet.' Lava and Kusa's musical offering is made with great absorption.' In all these references, Valmlki's clear motive of creating a composition that can be read as well as sung is discerned. Finally the outcome is a beautiful amalgamation of . Pathya' - that which is read, and . Geya' - that which is sung.

The Valmlki- Ramayana establishes direct references to music within the narrative in different ways. It is shown as being sung to the accompaniment of Tantri, a string instrument. Different characteristic features of Indian music, the physical nuances of vocal music,' the compositional elements of classical music," even the particular evaluation of musicians' abilities are designated.' (For details refer to 'Music in the Ramayana", Chapter 1)

The Ramayana is composed in 'Anustup' metre, a new metre that is somewhat different from the Vedic Anustup, The poet's grief on witnessing a bird lose its mate to the hunter's arrow fmds expression as a song, created in Anustup . The verse contains four lines, each of which has eight equal syllables, and can be sung with the accompaniment of 'Tantri', a string instrument!

In the narration, tracing the source of this original metre, a magnificent sequence of events unfolds, where finally Brahma, the Creator appears, and assures the poet that it is only through His will and inspiration that this verse is uttered. Thus the foundation is laid for the creation of the first poetry in classical Sanskrit! - Macchandadeva te brahman pravrtteyam sarasvati.

Bhavabhuti in his Uttara Ramacaritam states that Valmiki is the first poet to compose in a laukika metre that is somewhat different from its Vedic counterpart -

Amnayadanyatra nutanaschandasamavatarah

He also addresses Valmlki as the 'first poet' of laukika Sanskrit.

Tadbruhi ramacaritam adyan kavirasi.

The role of the new 'Anustup' of the Ramayana is of great significance, as it has an inherent musical quality, evident in its rhythm. The Valmlki- Ramayana is composed chiefly in 'Pathya: metre, an ancient form of Anustup, Anustup consists of 32 syllables, which are equally interspersed in its four lines. Thus, the pronunciation of the verse is simple and effortless as the syllables are not unnecessarily prolonged, which also results in an inherent natural sweetness.

In the present study, I have tried to investigate and analyse the intrinsic musicality of Valmlki's Ramayana and the development of music with reference to its grammar, musical instruments and its relevance to everyday life as depicted in the Ramayana.

Since this study deals with music, it may be appropriate to give an account of the fundamental technical tenets of Indian music, some of which (such as Gandharva, Marga, Svara, Sthana, Murchana, Karana, Tala, Laya, etc) are mentioned in the Ramayana. These references are extremely significant to the search for the salient features of music of the epic era.

Being a practical art form, music is subject to constant change/ evolution. The system of archiving/ preserving music by techniques such as audio recording and notation systems are also new. Therefore, to trace and reconstruct the music of the Ramayana, which dates back to a few thousand years, one has to rely on the internal evidences available in the body of the literature. The present study is therefore based on evidences available within the epic itself.

Contents

 

Preface 6
Introduction 12
CHAPTER 1  
Context 16
History of Sanskrit Kavya and the Ramayana
Traditional Tenets of Indian Music
 
i) References  
ii) Nada  
iii) Sruti  
iv) Svara  
v) Grama  
vi) Murchana  
vii) Jati  
viii) Raga  
Period of the Ramayana  
i) Introduction  
ii) Indian Perspective  
The Vedic Literature  
Panini’s Astadhyayi  
Mahabharata  
Other Sanskrit Literature  
Internal Evidences  
iii) Conclusion  
Adikavi and the Adikavya  
The Beginning  
The Feeling  
Anustup  
Anustup of the Ramayana  
Samgita  
The Music of the Ramayana  
CHAPTER II  
VOCAL MUSIC AND MUSICAL (TECHNICAL) TENETS WITH REFERENCE TO THE RAMAYANA 40
1. (a) Vedic Sacrifices and Chanting of Vedic Hymns  
(b) Vedic Chanting in the Ramayana  
2. Technical Tenets of Music in the Ramayana  
(a) Marga  
(b) Gandharva  
(c) Sthana  
(d) Karana  
(e) Murchana  
(f) Jati  
(g) Laya and Tala  
CHAPTER III  
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH REFERENCE TO THE RAMAYANA 60
1. Vadya (Musical Instruments)  
(a) Introduction  
(b) Utility of Musical Instruments  
2. Classification of Musical Instruments:  
(a) Tata  
(b) Avanaddha  
(c) Susira  
(d) Ghana  
3. Musical Instruments in the Ramayana  
4. Classification of Musical Instruments Mentioned in the Ramayana  
5. Tata Vadya (String Instruments)  
(a) Etymology  
(b) Ethmology of Vina, Vipanci and Vallaki  
(c) Tata Vadya in the Ramayana  
6. Avanaddha Vadya (Rhythm Instruments)  
(a) Genesis  
(b) Dundubhi
Dundubhi in the Ramayana
 
(c) Mrdamga
Mrdamga in the Ramayana
 
(d) Pataha
Pataha in the Ramayana
 
(e) Panava
Panava in the Ramayana
 
(f) Bheri
Bheri in the Ramayana
 
(g) Dindima, Adambara, Celika, Madduka Dindima, Adambara, Celika, Madduka in the Ramayana  
7. Susira Vadya (Wind Instruments)  
(a) Etymology  
(b) Susira Instruments mentioned in the Veda and Ancient Treatises  
(1) Vamsi  
(2) Samkha  
(3) Turya  
(c) Susira Instruments in the Ramayana: Samkha and Turya  
8. Ghana Vadya (Percussion instruments made of metal)
Ghana Instruments in the Ramayana
 
CHAPTER IV  
THE CULTURAL BACKDROP OF MUSIC INT EH RAMAYANA - ERA 90
(a) Gandharva and Apsara: The Celestial Musicians  
(b) Gandharva and Apsara in the Ramayana  
(c) Music in the Society  
(1) Professional Singers: Suta, Magadha and Bandin  
(2) Nata, Nartaka, Nata-nartakasamgha, Vadhu-natakasamgha  
(3) Royal Patronage  
(4) Training  
CHAPTER V  
Music in Nature 100
Conclusion 108
APPENDIX I 116
Influence of the Ramayana on the Music and Culture of the Subcontinent  
Appendix II  
Selected References of Music in the Valmiki-Ramayana  
Appendix III  
Definitions of (Technical) Musical Terms  
APPENDIX IV  
Additional References  
Bibliography 136
Sanskrit | Hindi | English  

Sample Pages









Music In Valmiki’s Ramayana

Deal 10% Off
Item Code:
IHG001
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
2008
Publisher:
ISBN:
8182901537
Language:
English
Size:
11.3” X 8.8”
Pages:
141 (Illustrated Throughout In Color and B/W)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 760 gms
Price:
$55.00
Discounted:
$49.50   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
You Save:
$5.50 (10%)
Add to Wishlist
Send as e-card
Send as free online greeting card
Music In Valmiki’s Ramayana

Verify the characters on the left

From:
Edit     
You will be informed as and when your card is viewed. Please note that your card will be active in the system for 30 days.

Viewed 12101 times since 25th Sep, 2015
Back of the Book

Ramayana and Indian Classical Music are both indelible imprints on Indian consciousness and identity; and both may be traced to the original poet, Adi kavi, Valmiki.

Present within the Ramayana narration, Valmiki initiates Lava and Kusa (sons of principal characters Rama and Sita), to render musically the Ramayana itself, in the ‘Marga style’, the canonical approach of Indian Classical Music. This is the first-ever reference to the pre-eminent musical tradition of the Indian civilization.

Numerous other allusions recording values, principles, techniques, instruments, many of them valid and operational today, abound in the narrative.

Dr. Subhadra Desai, vocalist of India Classical Music and Sanskrit scholar, shares in the present monograph the insights of her stimulating research of the musical heritage of Valmiki’s Ramayana, explored and documented for the first time, from dual perspectives of Musician and Academic.

From the Jacket

The literary and cultural heritage of the Ramayana and Indian Classical Music are both living traditions and key constituents of the Indian identity. It is indeed impossible to imagine an India, of the past, present or future, without either. Reference to this musical tradition in the Ramayana, the earliest literary work in classical Sanskrit, is therefore a propitious context in which a composite legacy of Music-Literature may be examined.

Ramayana has a fundamental association with music. The poet Valmiki is himself present as a protagonist within the Ramayana narration, and initiates Lava and Kusa to render the Ramayana musically. Their music follows the tried and tested ‘Marga style’, the canonical approach of Indian Classical Music; its earliest references appear first in this first and definitive epic of India.

The musical heritage of Valmiki’s Ramayana is being explored and documented in the present monograph for the first time by Dr. Subhadra Desai, a vocalist of Indian Classical Music and Sanskrit scholar.

Subhadra’s research records references in Ramayana of technical terms of music and its principles and its principles and practices that apply to Indian Classical Music even today. The allusions to Gandharva, Marga, Sruti, Svara, Sthana, Murchana, Jati, Karana. Tala, Laya in the Ramayana establish the salient features of music of the epic-era, and relate it to musical traditions of the present time.

Valmiki does not confine himself to merely musical terms, he also ascribes value: of discipline, improvisation and emotion, in the preparation for the performance of Music.

In addition, many other references, such as the music intrinsic in nature, use and significance of a range of musical instruments, and also detailed accounts of interface of music and society, constitute the musical world of Valmiki.

Dr Subhadra Desai is a vocalist of Indian Classical Music whose performances have drawn attention for their contemplative character in music festivals and other for a in India and abroad. She is also a Sanskrit scholar and has taught at the Delhi University as visiting faculty.

Subhadra is an empanelled artist with Indian Council for Cultural Relations, and has often conducted lecture-demonstrations and workshops at the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training, Delhi.

As a student of Sanskrit, Subhadra draws close to the wellsprings of Indian tradition. This invests her rendering of devotional music with an intensity that moves her listeners.

Subhadra has composed presentations on selections of ancient texts in Sanskrit and Pali in classical Ragas as theme-based recitals, some of which are:

Advaita: The India philosophy of non-dualism or oneness of God and Creation

Astapadis from Gita Govindam.

Maha Mamgala Sutta, Ratana Sutta and other Buddhist texts.

Sanatana Vivaha mantra: Sacred hymns on Hindu marriage from Rgveda and Yajurveda.

Women Seers and Sages of India: Hymns from Rgveda, and songs of devotion by women poets of medieval India.

Subhadra’s dual interests of Music and Sanskrit resonate an affiliation that already exists in Classical Literature of India.

Preface

This study is a result of an academic project for a PhD thesis submitted to the Delhi University. An intellectual curiosity to acquire first hand knowledge of this great piece of literary work first drew me to the Valmiki-Ramayana. As a professional vocalist of Indian music, I was instinctively attracted to the references of musical techniques recorded in it and was fascinated by the manner in which they were used.

In my first readings I found that there were not only technical references to music in the epic, but it was itself intended by the poet to be sung. This dimension added a new delight to my study and led me to view it from a fresh new perspective.

The Ramayana is the earliest literary work in classical Sanskrit and an opportunity to investigate its musical heritage was a privilege as well as an immense responsibility. A few years elapsed in just reading it again and again. I tried to concentrate on only the musical references but was overwhelmed by the immensity of scale of the Ramayana. Surely this extraordinary experience is familiar to all who read it.

It is extremely difficult to reconstruct the nature of music of any given period in time without musical reference resources such as audio recordings or notation systems. However, in the course of my study I discovered that the Ramayana records technical terms of music, its principles and practices, theoretical concepts and their use, that apply to Indian classical music even today. The musical heritage of the Ramayana is thus not amorphous or ambiguous, but precise and meticulous, and ‘Marga Samgita’ or Indian classical music is indeed an unbroken tradition of Indian culture.

The final outcome of my research work owes a lot to assistance extended to me by many people to whom I will be always indebted. I record here my deep gratitude to all of them.

Dr. Sushma Kulshreshtha, my supervisor, and Professor Dipti Tripathy of the Department of Sanskrit, Delhi University guided me to study the subject from different perspectives. Professor Vedagya Arya, Department of Sanskrit and Hindi, St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, offered motivation, warm advice and instructions: any formal expression of thanks to him is inadequate. Dr. Vasanti Krishnarao, Faculty of Music, Delhi University, and Padmashri Leela Samson, distinguished exponent of Bharatanatyam, have enlightened me on the musical traditions of the Ramayana in South India. Professor Ramanath Tripathy, a renowned expert of Ramayana-literature whose work is an inspiration for all students of the subject, referred me to ‘Ramakatha: Vividha Ayama’, from which I received insight in addition to comprehensive information about studies on the Ramayana in various Indian and foreign languages, and its influence on their respective cultures. Shri Amolak Chand Jain, Librarian, Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, extended ready and kind help in accessing academic resources.

Dr Gauri Dharmapal, Department of Sanskrit, Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata, I consider my guru in Sanskrit: hers is the abiding inspiration to all my academic effort; in a way this work forms a guru-daksina to her.

A special thanks is due to my music guru, Pandit Madhup Mudgal, from whom I have imbibed an enduring love for Hindustani Classical Music, which has helped in sure and certain ways to understand the inherent musicality of the Ramayana.

I am indebted to Shri Vinay Jain, who kindly agreed to design the cover of this book, and this adds great value to it.

I am also grateful to the National Museum, Delhi, for allowing me to access and incorporate a selection of precious manuscripts and paintings of the Ramayana.

The family’s support is important for all endeavour, and my deep involvement in the study over long periods would not have been possible without it. My parents Shri Amal and Smt. Manju Mitra’s faith in me and my projects, and my parents-in-law Shri Ramendra and Smt. Madhuri Desai’s care and support, were essential ingredients in the fulfillment of this mission. My young son Nandit and my husband Neerav helped me with the computer, and provided every technical and logistic facility so that I could work from home. My brother Siddhartha constantly guided me in my study with editorial inputs and suggested directions for critical approach and analysis.

I hope this research generates interest, and helps in some measure for more research studies on Sanskrit literature on related issues.

Introduction

'Samgitavatasahityam sarasvatyah netradvayam'

'Music and literature are the two eyes of Goddess Sarasvati',
This age- old Indian saying that connects the two disciplines of literature and music intimately to each other and to the Hindu deity of culture and scholarship, expresses a relationship that has existed in all human civilizations across space and time.

From time immemorial, literature and music have flourished in tandem, complementing each other. Both draw from the innermost recesses of human experience, communicating thought and feeling.

One of the earliest instances of the synthesis of literature and music are the Vedic hymns, dating to the Vedic period of Indian history. These were chanted in Vedic accents/ notes, 'Udatta, Anudatta and Svarita'. These fundamental notes later developed into seven notes of Indian music, the svaras. The svara is critically important, as the meaning of a 'mantra' changes with any incorrect use. As an example, if chanted in the designated svara, 'Indrasatruh' means 'Indrah satruh yasya sah' or 'Indra, the slayer or the enemy', and with the use of a wrong svara, the meaning changes to 'Indrasya satruh'or 'the slayer or the enemy of Indra'!

Saint-poets of medieval India adopted music as a medium of expression for their personal devotion as well as their deepest realization of Truth. The lyrical compositions of Meerabai, Surdas, Tulsidas, Kabir, Machhinder Pratap, Gorakhnath, Akka Mahadevi and others were a new literary form bearing penetrative insights on life and society, and indeed also reflected the wonderful lives of their authors. Thus they have become a timeless heritage of Indian music, literature and culture. In modem times, Rabindra- samgita, Tagore's poetry set to music by the poet himself, is a live and vibrant musical art form and has proved its enduring vitality through the last century. It has thus been a common feature in Indian tradition through history that great music coincided with great poetry.

Valmlki's Ramayana, bearing a sacred/ moral- ethical dimension has deeply moved humanity across time, and constitutes an overwhelming influence on Indian culture and civilization. It is the first poetic creation written in laukika Sanskrit, the so- called 'Sanskrit of the Common Man' that followed the earlier Vedic Sanskrit of the Vedas in the post-Vedic period, and is regarded as the "Adikavya" or the primordial poetry. In time and context it follows the "Apauruseya" Vedas, to which no formal authorship or point of time is ascribed. The verses of the Rgveda are 'Mantra', considered as 'discovered' by seers in meditation, and therefore distinct from poetry or literature in the general sense, despite their masterly use of language, metres, alamkara and choice of subject.

The Ramayana has a fundamental association with music. Within the Ramayana narration, Valmiki the poet himself is present as a protagonist, and it includes his role as an initiator to Lava and Kusa's musical rendition of the Ramayana in the presence of ascetics. The oral musical tradition of the Ramayana thus belongs to the narrative itself. Valmiki further emphasizes the musicality of his own present work by qualifying the language as lyrical and dulcet.' Lava and Kusa's musical offering is made with great absorption.' In all these references, Valmlki's clear motive of creating a composition that can be read as well as sung is discerned. Finally the outcome is a beautiful amalgamation of . Pathya' - that which is read, and . Geya' - that which is sung.

The Valmlki- Ramayana establishes direct references to music within the narrative in different ways. It is shown as being sung to the accompaniment of Tantri, a string instrument. Different characteristic features of Indian music, the physical nuances of vocal music,' the compositional elements of classical music," even the particular evaluation of musicians' abilities are designated.' (For details refer to 'Music in the Ramayana", Chapter 1)

The Ramayana is composed in 'Anustup' metre, a new metre that is somewhat different from the Vedic Anustup, The poet's grief on witnessing a bird lose its mate to the hunter's arrow fmds expression as a song, created in Anustup . The verse contains four lines, each of which has eight equal syllables, and can be sung with the accompaniment of 'Tantri', a string instrument!

In the narration, tracing the source of this original metre, a magnificent sequence of events unfolds, where finally Brahma, the Creator appears, and assures the poet that it is only through His will and inspiration that this verse is uttered. Thus the foundation is laid for the creation of the first poetry in classical Sanskrit! - Macchandadeva te brahman pravrtteyam sarasvati.

Bhavabhuti in his Uttara Ramacaritam states that Valmiki is the first poet to compose in a laukika metre that is somewhat different from its Vedic counterpart -

Amnayadanyatra nutanaschandasamavatarah

He also addresses Valmlki as the 'first poet' of laukika Sanskrit.

Tadbruhi ramacaritam adyan kavirasi.

The role of the new 'Anustup' of the Ramayana is of great significance, as it has an inherent musical quality, evident in its rhythm. The Valmlki- Ramayana is composed chiefly in 'Pathya: metre, an ancient form of Anustup, Anustup consists of 32 syllables, which are equally interspersed in its four lines. Thus, the pronunciation of the verse is simple and effortless as the syllables are not unnecessarily prolonged, which also results in an inherent natural sweetness.

In the present study, I have tried to investigate and analyse the intrinsic musicality of Valmlki's Ramayana and the development of music with reference to its grammar, musical instruments and its relevance to everyday life as depicted in the Ramayana.

Since this study deals with music, it may be appropriate to give an account of the fundamental technical tenets of Indian music, some of which (such as Gandharva, Marga, Svara, Sthana, Murchana, Karana, Tala, Laya, etc) are mentioned in the Ramayana. These references are extremely significant to the search for the salient features of music of the epic era.

Being a practical art form, music is subject to constant change/ evolution. The system of archiving/ preserving music by techniques such as audio recording and notation systems are also new. Therefore, to trace and reconstruct the music of the Ramayana, which dates back to a few thousand years, one has to rely on the internal evidences available in the body of the literature. The present study is therefore based on evidences available within the epic itself.

Contents

 

Preface 6
Introduction 12
CHAPTER 1  
Context 16
History of Sanskrit Kavya and the Ramayana
Traditional Tenets of Indian Music
 
i) References  
ii) Nada  
iii) Sruti  
iv) Svara  
v) Grama  
vi) Murchana  
vii) Jati  
viii) Raga  
Period of the Ramayana  
i) Introduction  
ii) Indian Perspective  
The Vedic Literature  
Panini’s Astadhyayi  
Mahabharata  
Other Sanskrit Literature  
Internal Evidences  
iii) Conclusion  
Adikavi and the Adikavya  
The Beginning  
The Feeling  
Anustup  
Anustup of the Ramayana  
Samgita  
The Music of the Ramayana  
CHAPTER II  
VOCAL MUSIC AND MUSICAL (TECHNICAL) TENETS WITH REFERENCE TO THE RAMAYANA 40
1. (a) Vedic Sacrifices and Chanting of Vedic Hymns  
(b) Vedic Chanting in the Ramayana  
2. Technical Tenets of Music in the Ramayana  
(a) Marga  
(b) Gandharva  
(c) Sthana  
(d) Karana  
(e) Murchana  
(f) Jati  
(g) Laya and Tala  
CHAPTER III  
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS WITH REFERENCE TO THE RAMAYANA 60
1. Vadya (Musical Instruments)  
(a) Introduction  
(b) Utility of Musical Instruments  
2. Classification of Musical Instruments:  
(a) Tata  
(b) Avanaddha  
(c) Susira  
(d) Ghana  
3. Musical Instruments in the Ramayana  
4. Classification of Musical Instruments Mentioned in the Ramayana  
5. Tata Vadya (String Instruments)  
(a) Etymology  
(b) Ethmology of Vina, Vipanci and Vallaki  
(c) Tata Vadya in the Ramayana  
6. Avanaddha Vadya (Rhythm Instruments)  
(a) Genesis  
(b) Dundubhi
Dundubhi in the Ramayana
 
(c) Mrdamga
Mrdamga in the Ramayana
 
(d) Pataha
Pataha in the Ramayana
 
(e) Panava
Panava in the Ramayana
 
(f) Bheri
Bheri in the Ramayana
 
(g) Dindima, Adambara, Celika, Madduka Dindima, Adambara, Celika, Madduka in the Ramayana  
7. Susira Vadya (Wind Instruments)  
(a) Etymology  
(b) Susira Instruments mentioned in the Veda and Ancient Treatises  
(1) Vamsi  
(2) Samkha  
(3) Turya  
(c) Susira Instruments in the Ramayana: Samkha and Turya  
8. Ghana Vadya (Percussion instruments made of metal)
Ghana Instruments in the Ramayana
 
CHAPTER IV  
THE CULTURAL BACKDROP OF MUSIC INT EH RAMAYANA - ERA 90
(a) Gandharva and Apsara: The Celestial Musicians  
(b) Gandharva and Apsara in the Ramayana  
(c) Music in the Society  
(1) Professional Singers: Suta, Magadha and Bandin  
(2) Nata, Nartaka, Nata-nartakasamgha, Vadhu-natakasamgha  
(3) Royal Patronage  
(4) Training  
CHAPTER V  
Music in Nature 100
Conclusion 108
APPENDIX I 116
Influence of the Ramayana on the Music and Culture of the Subcontinent  
Appendix II  
Selected References of Music in the Valmiki-Ramayana  
Appendix III  
Definitions of (Technical) Musical Terms  
APPENDIX IV  
Additional References  
Bibliography 136
Sanskrit | Hindi | English  

Sample Pages









Post a Comment
 
Post Review
Post a Query
For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy
Based on your browsing history
Loading... Please wait

Items Related to Music In Valmiki’s Ramayana (Hindu | Books)

The Ramayana Culture: Text, Performance and Iconography
Item Code: IDE811
$25.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Tolpava Koothu {Shadow Puppets of Kerala}
by G. Venu
Hardcover (Edition: 2006)
Sangeet Natak Akademi
Item Code: IDK371
$27.50
SOLD
Ramkatha in Narrative, Performance and Pictorial Traditions
by Molly Kaushal
Hardcover (Edition: 2015)
Aryan Books International
Item Code: NAK084
$50.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Indian Concept of Rhythm
by A. K. Sen
Hardcover (Edition: 2008)
Kanishka Publishers
Item Code: NAL850
$30.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
The  Nayikas of Annamacharya: An Interpretation for Dance
by Dr Anupama Kylash
Hardcover (Edition: 2016)
Anupama Kylash, Hyderabad
Item Code: NAM416
$35.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
A History of Indian Music
by SwamiPrajnanananda
Hardcover (Edition: 1997)
Ramakrishna Vedanta Math
Item Code: IDK575
$20.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Performance Tradition in India
by Dr. Suresh Awasthi
Paperback (Edition: 2001)
National Book Trust
Item Code: NAL980
$15.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Movement and Mimesis (The Idea of Dance in the Sanskrit Tradition)
by Mandakranta Bose
Hardcover (Edition: 1991)
D. K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: IDK120
$30.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Concise Dictionary of Indian Theatre
by M. L. Varadpande
Hardcover (Edition: 2007)
Abhinav Publications
Item Code: IDJ963
$60.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Sanskrit Drama (Its Aesthetics and Production) (A Rare Book)
by Dr. V. Raghavan
Hardcover (Edition: 1993)
Giri Trading Agency Pvt. Ltd.
Item Code: NAG781
$40.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Rukmini Devi (Dance Drama)
Hardcover (Edition: 2003)
Kalakshetra Publications, Chennai
Item Code: NAM785
$75.00
Add to Cart
Buy Now
Testimonials
I have always been delighted with your excellent service and variety of items.
James, USA
I've been happy with prior purchases from this site!
Priya, USA
Thank you. You are providing an excellent and unique service.
Thiru, UK
Thank You very much for this wonderful opportunity for helping people to acquire the spiritual treasures of Hinduism at such an affordable price.
Ramakrishna, Australia
I really LOVE you! Wonderful selections, prices and service. Thank you!
Tina, USA
This is to inform you that the shipment of my order has arrived in perfect condition. The actual shipment took only less than two weeks, which is quite good seen the circumstances. I waited with my response until now since the Buddha statue was a present that I handed over just recently. The Medicine Buddha was meant for a lady who is active in the healing business and the statue was just the right thing for her. I downloaded the respective mantras and chants so that she can work with the benefits of the spiritual meanings of the statue and the mantras. She is really delighted and immediately fell in love with the beautiful statue. I am most grateful to you for having provided this wonderful work of art. We both have a strong relationship with Buddhism and know to appreciate the valuable spiritual power of this way of thinking. So thank you very much again and I am sure that I will come back again.
Bernd, Spain
You have the best selection of Hindu religous art and books and excellent service.i AM THANKFUL FOR BOTH.
Michael, USA
I am very happy with your service, and have now added a web page recommending you for those interested in Vedic astrology books: https://www.learnastrologyfree.com/vedicbooks.htm Many blessings to you.
Hank, USA
As usual I love your merchandise!!!
Anthea, USA
You have a fine selection of books on Hindu and Buddhist philosophy.
Walter, USA
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2019 © Exotic India