The Form and Function of Music In Ancient India (A Historical Study) (In Two Volumes)

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Item Code: IDJ950
Author: Paramahamsa Prajnanananda
Edition: 1989
Pages: 547
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.7" X 7.3"
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Book Description

Music And Music-Materials of Ancient India have paved the glorious path of the epitome of art and culture of Indian Music. Music can be divided into two phases, art and culture, and these two phases are fashioned or created by different races or tribes who inhabit the soil of India by dint of their daily habits of works and doings, motivated by their intellects and intuitions. Really men are the fruits of different societies, as they design and fashion many plans, skills and activities to enrich them in the fields of cultures and civilization. Music is one of the materials of education that can develop peoples' ideas of high living and high culture and high standards of aesthetic feeling and enjoying, thus helping them in progressing toward the perfection of their lives as well as their societies, in which they live or have their beings.

It is commonly said that morning shows the day, which means that if the peoples of the societies can reap the best harvest in the first phase of their life i.e. the childhood, they can surely make the remaining days of life fruitful and beautiful. So the Indian peoples look back to the prosperous days of their cultural past and thus try to march forward for making their remaining days bright and worthful. Now, if we look behind the pages of the history of music, we find that in the Vedic and post-Vedic time I the ages of the Natyasastra of Muni Narada and Bharata, the vedic and the gandharva types of music have left behind them a brightful legacy which inspired and energized them to create many beautiful things, i.e. and strives. The different prabandha-types of music, druvapada, kheyal, thumri and others have enriched the artistic levels and lives of the peoples not only of India but ignored and despired, rather they should be looked upon or taken as the helpful steps as well as progressing levels of our different arts and culture of India,

This book has been divided into three volumes"
I. The Volume One comprises the discussions on primitive music, prehistoric music and Vedic music of India.
II. The Volume Two comprises the discussions on the music-materials contained in the Brahmana literature, pratisakhya and Siksa literature.
III. The Volume Three comprises the discussions on the music-materials of Narada's Naradisiksa, Muni Bharata's Natyasastra, Dattila's Dattelam. And Matanga's Brihaddesi (5th Century A. D.).

There have occurred some printing mistakes due to overlook and regligence of the proofreaders and the press also. We shall correct them in the next impression.

I sincerely offer my thanks with a sense of gratitude to Swami Paramatmananda the General Secretary of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, Swami Ashesanand and Swami Satyakamananda of the Publication Department for helping me in various ways. I also offer my thanks to Shri Asim Kumar Saha, the Proprietor of the Parrot Press.

The Prelude

"The Earth was born as a separate planet from the solar system about 5000 million years ago. It took birth as a gaseous nebulate, which took a few million years to evolve itself into the present form of layered structure-the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and the lithosphere with further layers of differentiated rock-masses Earth is a dynamic body; it has been revolving around the Sun, the Parent body, and ha been undergoing changes in continuity. The geological history of the Earth involves several interesting episodes; they are represented by the natural events like earthquakes, volcanic activity, changes in the distribution of land and water, mountain building activity, uplift of the ocean basins and sinking of the continental areas. All these are known as diastrophic changes. In addition to the above, water, wind and glaciers have been active as natural agents causing weathering of rocks, erosion, transportation of material and deposition throughout the period, although the resulting changes are slow." (Vide Dr. Kailash Chand Jain: Prehistory and Protohistory [1979], p. 4).

Dr. K. C. Jain further said: "The history of ancient India from the earliest times to the sixth century B. C. may be studied under two heads Prehistory and Protohistory. Prehistory deals with Stone Age Cultures of the period when man was savage. The main sources of Prehistory are stone tools, fossils, terraces of the rivers, etc. these sources help in determining the distinct. Geological Ages and Stone Ages, and they give information about he climatic changes, the environments and habits of the people. Protohistory studies those traits which make up civilization. Man gradually became more civilized. There was shifting of civilization from the stage of food-gathering to food-production. No written record identifying the archaeological cultures of the Protohistoric period is available; but foundations of building, pottery objects, grains, terracottas, metal objects, beads and ornaments the Purana are the literary sources for the study of Protohistory, but they are not definitely dated." (p. 22)

Recently some scholars have attempted to write works on Prehistory and Protohistory of India utilizing this vast scattered archaeological material. B. SUBBA RAO made such a pioneering effort in his work 'The Personality of India' (Ind. Ed. 1958). D. H. GORDON and STUART PIGGOT have written respectively 'Prehistoric India to 1000 B. C. (1960).' As by the discovery and excavation of new sites, the knowledge of this subject has been increasing so fast that these works seem to have become in some sense antedated. The proceedings of a seminar held under the auspices of the department of Archaeology, Deccan College, Poona on some of the important problems of Prehistory and Protohistory were published as 'Indian Prehistory -1964' under the editorship of V. N. MISRA and M. S. MATE. B. ALLCHIN and RAYMOND published the work 'The Birth of Indian Civilization' (1968), and 'The Roots of Ancient India' (1971), is the famous work of W. A. FAIRSERVIS. H. D. SANKALIA's Second edition of the book Prehistory and Protohistory in India and Pakistan (1974) covering somehow upto-date knowledge of archaeological discoveries and excavations up to 1960 is a monumental work. Naturally these works on the subject of Prehistory and Protohistory nowhere deal with the Vedic Civilization seems to have remained a source of inspiration to the subsequent civilizations. Even some modern religious and social customs are traced from the civilization.

There are works, which deal with Vedic Culture, but of course, the archaeological material has not been fully utilized by their authors. It is true that this vast archaeological material was not brought to light when some of these works were written. The Cambridge History of India, Vol. I edited by E. J. RAPSON deals with the history of ancient from the earliest times to about the middle of the first century A. D. P. L. BHARGAVA has tried to reconcile the Vedic and Puranic traditions, but not archaeological sources in order to reconstruct the history of India in the Vedic age. In the 'Vedic Age', edited by R. C. MAJUMDAR, archaeological materials have not been given the adequate treatment they deserve in relation to the Vedic sources. Besides, much more material has been brought to light after the publication of this work, D. P. MISHRA' Smonograph 'studies in Protohistory of India' is an attempt to interpret the proto-historical period of Indian history, mainly in the light of the traditional accounts preserved in the two epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata. This type of work may have its own value but not in line with the scientific approach as this subject is understood." (Cf. Dr. Jain: Prehistory and Protohistory of India 1979.)

From the Jacket

The From And Function of Music in Ancient India has paved the path to the grand structure of art and culture of India.

The music of ancient India with its various forms, materials functions and artistic beauty and aesthetic lusture is the base or foundational ground upon which the structure of Indian Music is constructed, and, therefore, this should be cultured with keen interest, love and care to get the entire history and complete knowledge of music of glorious India.

This book has been divided into three volumes"
I. The Volume One comprises the discussions on primitive music, prehistoric music and Vedic music of India.
II. The Volume Two comprises the discussions on the music-materials contained in the Brahmana literature, pratisakhya and Siksa literature.
III. The Volume Three comprises the discussions on the music-materials of Narada's Naradisiksa, Muni Bharata's Natyasastra, Dattila's Dattelam. And Matanga's Brihaddesi (5th Century A. D.).
So as to get the complete picture of music of India. This book is, therefore, very important and most essential or rather an indispensable on for the students, teachers and lovers of Indian Music.

About the Author

Swami Prajnanananda born in August 1907-Initiated by Swami Abhedananda, the direct disciple of Ramakrishna Paramahansa, in September, 1924 -Joined the Ramakrishna Vedanta Math in May. 1927 -Took Sannyasa initiation from Swami Abhedananda -Adept and efficient in both practical and theoretical art and knowledge of music-Awarded the Sisir Memorial Prize for the research-work on Sangit-O-Sanskriti (Bharatiya Sangiteer Itihas, Vol. I & II) in 1958-Awarded the Rabindra Memorial Prize for the book. Historical Development of Indian Music, under the auspices of the Centenary Celebration of Rabindranath Tagore in 1960-Awarded the Fellowship by the Sangit Natak Akademi, New Delhi, in 1963-Awarded the D. Litt. By Rabindra Bharati University in 1970-Awarded the Sarojini Gold Medal for Modern Literature and Language by Calcutta University in 1972-President of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, Calcutta-President of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Ashramas at Darjeeling, Kurseong and Siliguri-Author of many books on Philosophy, Literature, and Music in English and Bengali-Connected with many educational and cultural centers.

Preface From The Second Volume

Music that breathes the air and atmosphere of India, is known as Indian Music. It took its birth in the hoary antiquity of pre-historic India. Before the settlement of the Vedic Aryans in the land between Saraswati and Drisvadvati, the vast land of the pre-historic Mohenjo-daro, Harappa, Kalivanga and other places were occupied by the so-called non-Aryans. The non-Aryans were the original dwellers of different cities of pre-historic India. They were cultured, developed and art-loving peoples, though some of them were nomadic aboriginal type of men. Among the original dwellers of the pre-historic cities of India, there were the Panis, Rakshasas in their races. It is said that the Gandharvas were one of the dwellers of those antique pre-historic cities. They loved the art of music and fashioned a new type of music, Gandharva, which was different in type and character than those which were created by the Vedic Aryans. The Vedic Aryans were more cultured, and when they settled in the land between the holy rivers, Saraswati and Drisvadvati as has been said before, they composed the Rgvedic hymns.

The Vedic hymns, meant for sacrifices or Yajnas, were known as the Yajurveda and those which were meant for singing, were known as the Samaveda. The Samavedic hymns were practically known as the Vedic songs, samaganas of different forms.

The historical fact is that the Rgvedic hymns, which were mainly meant for Vedic sacrifices, were really the Yajurvedic hymns and when those hymns were added with Vedic notes i.e. set to tunes and were sung before the sacrificial fires by the priests, known as the Samagas, they were known as the Samaganas.

The Samaveda-samhita of the Kauthumas consists of two parts, the Archika or Purvarchika, 'the collection of stanzas', and the Uttararchika, 'the second collection of stanzas'. Both parts consists of verses or hymns all of which appear in the Rgveda. In the Samaveda, the text both in the Archika (i.e. Purvarchika) and in the Uttararchika are only a means to an end. What is essential is the melody, and the purpose of both parts was to teach the melodies. The first part of the Samaveda-samhita, the Archika (or Purvarchika) consists of 585 individual stanzas (Rik or Yoni, the womb), to which the various hymn-melodies (Samans) belonged and they were used during the Vedic sacrifices (Yajnas). The word saman, although used for denoting the text, were yet meant for singling and it meant originally the 'hymntune' or 'melody' (gana).

Uttararchika, the second part of the Samaveda-samhita consists of 100 songs, mostly of three stanzas each, from which the stotras were chanted (or sung) at the main sacrifices. The songs of the Uttararchika were orderly arranged according to agni, Indra, Soma, the presiding deities of the sacrifices. And it appears that the hymn-melodies for the Soma-sacrifices, performed in the village (grama), were different from those from the sacrifices of the hermits living in the forest (aranye),. Those two songs were known as the Gramageyagana and the Aranyageyagana. There were also two other books of songs, the Uhagana and the Uhyagana, which were known as the Rahasya-ganas. There was also a ritual book of the Samaveda, known as the Samavidhana-brahmana. Thus, the Sama-Veda-samhita is very valuable to the history of the Indian concept of sacrifice and their songs (ganas) are also very important for the history of Indian music.

From the study of the Vedic literature we know that though the four Vedas, Rk, Sama, Yaju and Atharva, are the important sources, yet the Samaveda can be considered as the most important and essential one for the Indian music. Dr. Radha Kumud Mukherjee has said that the Udgatris (the singers of the Samans) contributed some new elements, 78 out 1,549 verses, were added to the Samaveda. The portion of the verses of the Samaveda was taken out of the Rgveda mostly from its mandalas VIII and IX. These verses were arranged in the Samaveda into two parts: (1) The Archika of 585 single stanzas or Rks, and (2) Uttararchika comprising 400 charts, mostly of three stanzas each, as has been mentioned before.

The melody arose out of the Rk or stanza, which was called the Yoni (womb) of the melody. No doubt a stanza used to be sung to various melodies and one melody could be applied to different stanzas, but yet certain stanzas were marked out and fixed as the Yoni for certain melodies. The Uttararchika gave the stanzas out of which were formed stotras to be sung in the sacrifices, to the tunes which the Archikas taught.

The Samhita gave only the texts as they were spoken. Their melodies were taught by oral and also by instrumental renderings. Music was also known to the Rgveda, and used to produce also by the instruments by means of percussions, winds and strings.

The Samaganas or Vedic songs were different in forms in different branches (Sakhas) of the Vedas. The Kauthuma-Sakha used in their songs or Samaganas seven Vedic tones, whereas other vedic branches, Abhyarakas, Taittiriyas and others used different numbers of Vedic tones. The Samaganas were sung to please the presiding deities of different vedic sacrifices or Yajnas. the detailed descriptions of the vedic sacrifices and the vedic songs, as were used to be applied during the performance of the vedic sacrifices, were really a long amazing history.

It can also be said in this connection that the Gandharva type of music that evolved after the Vedic music Samagana, was different from the Vedic music, as the tones, used in the Vedic music, Samagana, were five, six or seven, and were in down-ward movement avarohana-gati, whereas the tones, as used in the Gandharva music, were seven in number and were in upward movement (arohana-gati). The names of the Vedic tones were prathama, dvitiya, tritiya, chaturtha, mandra, atisvarya, and krusta, whereas the names of the tones, as used in the Gandharva music, were sadja, risabha, gandhara, madhyama, panchama, dhaivata and nisada. The two ancient systems of music of India, Samagana and Gandharva, are quite different in form and structure though their real aim and object are the same.

In this second volume of "The Form and Function of Music in Ancient India", I have critically discussed the Rgveda and the Samaveda as viewed by the celebrated commentator, Sayana, the Samhita of the Samaveda which has particularly mentioned about the Soma-sacrifices and the Samaganas, the Rktantra, the Samatantra, the Pratisakhya of the Samaveda along with different types of ganas, purvarchika, uttararchika, uha and uhya, the Brahmans like Samavidhana, Arseya, Daivatadhyaya, Upanisad-brahmana, etc.

I have thoroughly discussed in this Volume the characteristics of the Rgveda and the Samaveda as viewed by the commentator Sayana, Somayaga-performances and their particulars, music in the Rktantra, the Samatantra or Puspasutra; music in the Mantra-brahmana, the interpretation and historical development of the older Samavedic texts in detail; the music in the Rk-pratisakhya and its special feature and application; the music (Vedic) in the Taittiriya-pratisakhya; the music in the Sukla-Yajur-pratisakhya (generally and critically), the rules regarding Svaras or accentuations in detail; the music in the Siksas like Naradi, Yajnavalkya, Manduki, Paniniya in detail; the Vedic Samaganas, their variants and methods of singing, the musical instruments in Vedic and ancient India and specially discussed about the Veena, it variants, its evolution and development along with the Tumbura-veena, and periodical bibliography.

The volume Three is now under preparation. It will be published as soon as the writing and editing will be completed.

I sincerely offer my thanks with a sense of love and gratitude to Swami Paramatmananda, the General Secretary of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, Swami Ashesananda and Swami Satyakamananda of the Publication Department for helping me in various ways. I express my sincere thanks and love to Prof. Kunja Behari Kundoo for helping me in translating the Bengali texts of the Siksas like Yajnavalkya, Mandaki and Paniniya in English and for helping in editing the texts of the book. I offer my sincere thanks and love to Swami Keshavananda and Swami Sudarshanananda for inspiring me for writing and publishing this critical book.

I also offer my thanks to Shri Asim Kumar Saha, the proprietor of The Parrot Press for neatly and carefully printing this book.

From the Jacket

In this volume, the author ahs critically discussed the Rik-Veda and the Sama-Veda as viewed by the celebrated Commentator, Sayana; the Samhita of the Sama-Veda which has particularly mentioned about the Soma-sacrifices; and the Samaganas, the Riktantra, the Samatantra, the Pratisakhya of the Sama-Veda along with different types of ganas, purvarchika, Uttararchika, Uha and Uhya; the Brahmanas like Samavidhana, Panchavimsa, Arseya, Daivatadhaya, Upanisad-brahmana, etc.

Among the subjects thoroughly discussed in this Volume Two are:-
Somayaga-Performance and their particulars.
Music in the Riktantra, the Samatantra or Puspasutra;
Music in the Mantra-brahmana;
Music in the Rik-Pratisakhya and its special feature and application;
Music in the Taittiriay-Pratisakhya;
Music in the Sukla-Yajur-Pratisakhya;
Music in the Siksas like Naradi, Yajnavalkyal, Manduki, Paniniya in detail;
Vedic Samaganas, their variants and methods of singing;
Musical instruments in Vedic and ancient India, specially veena, its variants, its evolution and development along with Tumburu-veena.

The Prelude1-2
Ancient period of India,-The Vedic sacrifices-The Vedic Gods-Ascertainment of the Periods,-The Gandharva-type of Music,-The materials of music,-The Naradi and Natyasastra.
Ethnological Study of the Races of India.
1 The Nomadic Tribes of India-2. The Lodhas of West Bengal-3. The Tribes of Madhya-Pradesh-4. The Asuras and other Tribes of Bihar 5. The Himalayan Borderland-6. The aboriginal Tribes in the North-East India-7. The aboriginal Tribes of Gujarat and their Culture-8. The aboriginal Tribes of Maharastra-9. The aboriginal Tribes of West Bengal-10. The aboriginal Tribes of Tamil-Nadu-11. The Hill-tribes of Darjeeling District-12. The aboriginal Tribes of Andhra-Pradesh-13. The aboriginal Tribes of Kerala 14. The Girijan of Himachal-Pradesh-15. The Tribes of Manipur, Assam.
1.Origin of Music-2. The problem of tones-3. The practice of Primitive Music-4. The beginning of Music-5 Development of Music in Primitive Time-6. Nature of Primitive Songs-7. Nature of Primitive Dance-8. Primitive Musical Instruments.
1. Dance and Music among the Garos-2. Dance and Music among the Lakhers-3. Dance and Music of the Nagas-4. Dance and Music among the Khasis-5. Music and Dance among the Santals-6. Music and Dance of the Bhils-7. Music and Dance of the Dublas-8. Music and Dance of the Grasias-9. Music and Dance among the Chenchus-10. Music and Dance among the Gonds and Baigas-11. Music and Dance among the Saoras-12. Music and Dance among the Khondas and other primitive Tribes-13. Music and Dance among the Nomadic Tribes.
1. The Grasias-2. The Festivals of the Grasias-3. Their Dances and other Recreations-4. The Character of the Grasias-5. Festive life of the Dublas-6. The Garos 7. The Kacharis-8. The Lakhers 9. The Rengma-Nagas-10. The Ao-Naga Tribe of Assam-11. The Khasis-12. Oraons-Turkistan. Appendix I-Santal Folk-songs,-Appendix II-Nature of Custom, Habit, Culture and Form of Art of the Primitive Tribes,-Appendix III-Some Observations in the Primitive Music.
1. Harappa-2. Mohenjo-daro-3. The Excavations at Mohenjo-daro-4. The Cultural Stream and the Tribes-5. Vedic Settlement-6. The Prehistoric Civilization and Music in Prehistoric Times 7. Civilization of the Indus Cities further reviewed-8. Materials of Music in the Prehistoric Indus Cities-9. Arts and Crafts found in the Indus Civilization-10. The Gandharvas-11. The Kinnaras-12. The Historical Interpretation of the Rigveda.
1. An Introduction-2. The Strata of the Rigveda-3. The Nature of the Rigveda-4. The Historical Interpretation of the Rigveda-5. The Vedic Metre-6. Division of the Verses of the Rigveda-7. Periods of the Rigveda -(a) Chart I, (b) Chart II - 7. Presiding Deities of the Rigvedic Hymns-8. Vedic Deities in the Brihad-devata-9. A Note on the Gods and Goddesses 10. Yaska and Sayana in Relation to Rigveda.
THE SAMA-VEDA (Book of the Vedic Songs)188-273
1. The Book of the Vedic Songs-2. Nature and Division of the Sama-Veda-3. Grouping of the Ganas in the Sama-Veda-4. Gramageya and Aranyageya-Ganas-5. Arrangements of the Riks according to the Samans-6. Sama-Veda is one of the Sources of Indian Music - 7. Stages of Development in the Sama-Veda-8. The Vedic Songs-9. The Somayaga-10. The Samans and Their Stages of Evolution-11. The Performance of the Vedic Sacrifices-12. Different Recensions of the four Vedas-13. Different Vedic tones Used-14. The Somayaga and its Requisite Materials-15. The Soma-sacrifice, Its Significance and Aim-16. The Soma Goes to the Devas-17. The Gandharva and the Soma-18. Speciality in the Soma-Sacrifice-19. The Scale of the Samagana-20. The Notations of the Samagana-21. The Samaganas in Different Vedic Sacrifices as described in the Satapatha-Brahmana-22. Bahispavamana-23. The Aitareya-Brahmana played the prominent part in the Vedic Sacrifices-24. Preparation of the Soma-Nectar-5. An Appendix-26. A Note on the Samagana-27. Samavedic Music - 28. A Special Note on the Samagana-29. The Second Specimen.
II Volume
The Characteristics of the Rgveda and the Samaveda as Viewed by Sayana11-14
Music In The Introduction To Sama-Veda By Sayana15-26
Music In The Rktantra27-47
Music And The Samatantra Or Puspasutra, The Pratisakhya of The Sama-Veda48-58
Music In The Samatantra and The Sama-Vidhana-Brahmana59-70
Music In The Mantra-Brahmana71-72
Music in The Panchavimsa-Brahmana73-99
Music In The Rk-Pratisakhya100-111
Music In The Taittiriya-Pratisakhya122-132
Music In The Sukla-Yaju-Pratisakhya133-167
Music In The Siksas168-208
Music In The Manduki-Siksa216-221
Music In The Paniniya-Siksa222-225
The Vedic Music Samaganas And Their Methods Of Playing226-230
Musical Instruments In Vedic And Ancient India231-251
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