About the Book
In this book the author has dealt
with the musical terms as found in the old sastras
and are also in common use. He has explained these terms in simple
language with reference to their history of origin. Description of
seventy-eight different musical instruments and forty-seven different talas are also there. This is an essential aid to
research-scholars and students of music.
About the Author
Bimalakanta Roychaudhuri was born in 1909 in an illustrious family of
musical heritage. He had his training in music from Sitalchandra
Mukhopadhyay, Sitalkrishna Ghosh, Amir Khan (Sarod) and then
from Inayet Khan, the foremost Sitar players of those
days. He also had his musical training from his maternal uncle Birendrakishore Roychaudhuri and
maternal grandfather Brojendrakishore Roychaudhuri. He took part in the translation of “Sangeet Ratnakara” from Sanskrit
to Bengali under the patronage of Brojendra kishore Roychaudhuri.
He was Chairman of the Board of Musical Studies of the
University of Calcutta. His work Raga Vyakarana (in
Hindi) has been published by the Bharatiya Jnanpitha.
The growing interest of the Western, especially
the English-speaking nations towards the North Indian Classical Music is more
evident now than ever before. It is no doubt a sign for us to be happy about;
at the same time it causes us deep concern whenever we try to appreciate the
great responsibility that has devolved upon us in
presenting the correct interpretation of musical terms of the ancient Sanskrit Sastras.
Aphoristic couplets of the ancient Sanskrit
Texts, as they mostly are, even with their annotations, easily lend themselves
to be misinterpreted today. Painfully bearing this in mind the author has
attempted this dictionary with great trepidations. He has depended solely on
his own inner resources in interpreting the musical terms rather than allowing
himself to be influenced by any other publications in English or in any other
languages, lest he should tread on the trap of terminological inexactitude. For the present author it has been a very
difficult task indeed primarily for two reasons-
1. The technical terms that we have in Indian
music are too difficult for a foreigner to comprehend fully unless these are
presented in the right manner of interpretation.
2. However much the author may have tried to
express himself in English, it is not his mother tongue and he is therefore,
not infallible in expression.
The author has also tried, as far as possible,
not to borrow terms used in the Western music to ease out the difficulty in
explaining Indian terms; that would have been apparently easier and would have
saved some amount of space but that short-cut would not have served the purpose
A few words are necessary to explain certain
features in the dictionary. It will be found that some of the Western musical
instruments that have long come to be used in Indian music have also been
described under the entry ‘Vadya’ (musical
instruments) for the benefit of those Indians who are interested in them, with
due apology to Western readers.
This dictionary, being the first comprehensive
attempt of its kind, would naturally call for improvement and corrections. The
author would feel gratified to have suggestions for improvement.
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