Gramaraga, Grāmarāga, Grama-raga: 4 definitions



Gramaraga means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, the history of ancient India. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Natyashastra (theatrics and dramaturgy)

Source: Natya Shastra

Grāmarāga (ग्रामराग) is mentioned in the Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa but is ignored by the Nātyaśāstra. They are probably related to the grāmageya-gāna (songs to be sung in a village) of the Vedic Sāma-singers as distinguished from the Sāma-singers’ ārayṇya-gāna or forest songs which were taboo in villages. It seems that the term which may be earlier the Nātyaśāstra was not recognised by the Nātyaśāstra, for some reason or other.

Natyashastra book cover
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Natyashastra (नाट्यशास्त्र, nāṭyaśāstra) refers to both the ancient Indian tradition (śāstra) of performing arts, (nāṭya, e.g., theatrics, drama, dance, music), as well as the name of a Sanskrit work dealing with these subjects. It also teaches the rules for composing dramatic plays (nataka) and poetic works (kavya).

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (G) next»] — Gramaraga in Purana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Mārkaṇḍeya-purāṇa

Grāmarāga (ग्रामराग) possibly refers to “series of musical scales” and is mentioned in the Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa chapter XXIII.—According to the footnote:—“I do not find [grāmarāga] in the dictionary. Does it mean the “series of musical scales” that can be formed by taking each of the notes (svara) as the ‘key’ note? Thus there would be 7 scales, as there are 7 notes. But Raja S. M. Tagore calls this svara-grāma (Beng.), and he says that only 3 such scales were common in early times, via., those with ṣaḍja, gāndhāra and madhyama as key notes (Victoria-gīti-mālā, Introduction, p. 2)”.

Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous (G) next»] — Gramaraga in Jainism glossary
Source: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra

Grāmarāga (ग्रामराग) probably refers to “generic melody types” (i.e., prototypes of the modern rāgas), according to chapter 1.2 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra (“lives of the 63 illustrious persons”): a Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three important persons in Jainism. Accordingly, “[...] some gods made a rain of gold, as if wishing to add to the extreme wealth of mount Meru occupied by the Master. Some made a heavy shower of jewels that resembled stars descending to bow at the Master’s feet. Some sang to the Master, each with new grāmarāgas with sweet notes, surpassing a troop of Gandharvas”.—(cf. Clements, Introduction to Study of India Music, p. 3; )

Note: Popley (Music of India) thinks grāmarāga is the same as jāti, which he takes to be the ancient name of rāga.

General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geogprahy

Source: South Asian Arts

Grāmarāga (ग्रामराग) possibly refers to “series of musical scales” as mentioned in 7th-century Kuṭimiyāmalai rock inscription in Tamil Nadu state.—It is not clear just when the jāti system fell into disuse, for later writers refer to jātis merely out of reverence for Bharata, the author of the Nāṭyaśāstra. Later developments are based on musical entities called grāmarāgas, of which seven are mentioned in the 7th-century Kuṭimiyāmalai rock inscription in Tamil Nadu state. Although the word grāmarāga does not occur in the Nāṭyaśāstra, the names applied to the individual grāmarāgas are all mentioned. Two of them, ṣaḍjagrāma-rāga and madhyamagrāma-rāga, are obviously related to the parent scales of the jāti system. The other five seem to be variants of these two grāmarāgas in which either or both the altered forms of the notes ga and ni (F♯ and C♯) are used. In the Nāṭyaśāstra, the reference to the various grāmarāgas is far removed from the main section in which the jāti system is discussed, and there is no obvious connection between the two. Each of the grāmarāgas is said to be used in one of the seven formal stages of Sanskrit drama.

India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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