Natyashastra (English)

by Bharata-muni | 1951 | 240,273 words | ISBN-13: 9789385005831

The English translation of the Natyashastra, a Sanskrit work on drama, performing arts, theater, dance, music and various other topics. The word natyashastra also refers to a global category of literature encompassing this ancient Indian tradition of dramatic performance. The authorship of this work dates back to as far as at least the 1st millenn...

Chapter XXVIII - On the Instrumental Music (ātodya)

Three Classes of Instruments

I shall now explain the formal aspects (lit. rule) of the instrumental music (ātodya). They are as follows:

1. Regular musical instruments[1] are of four kinds, such as ‘stringed’ (tata),[2] ‘covered’ (avanaddha),[3] ‘solid’ (ghana)[4] and ‘hollow’ (suṣira).

2. [Among these,] the ‘stringed’ are those with strings, the ‘covered’ means the drums, the ‘solid’ the cymbals and the ‘hollow’ the flutes.

3. In connexion with the dramatic performance (nāṭaka) they have threefold application: [that in which] the stringed instruments (tata) [preponderate], [that in which] the drums (avanaddha) [preponderate], and their [general] application during the dramatic performance (nāṭyakṛta).

4-5. In the Orchestra of the stringed instruments (kutapa)[5], [appear] the singer (gāyana) and his attendants[6] and players of Vipañcī,[7] Vīṇā[8] and flute. Players of Mṛdaṅga (earthen drum), Paṇava[9] and Dardura[10] are [collectively] called the Orchestra of the covered instruments (lit. in the rule of the covered instruments).

6. The Orchestra related to actors and actresses (prakṛti)[11] of the superior,’ the middling and the ordinary type, occupies different positions[12] on the stage during the production of plays (nāṭyayoga).

Music of all kinds embellishes the Drama

7. Thus the song (gāna), the instrumental music (vādya) and the acting (nāṭya)[13] having different kinds of appeals (vividhāśraya, lit. depending on different things)[14] should be made by the producers of plays like a brilliant entity (alātacakra-pratima.).[15]

Characteristics of the Gāndharva

8. That which is made by the stringed instruments and depends [as well] on various other instruments, and consists of notes (savra), Tāla (time-measure) and verbal themes (pada) should be known as the Gāndharva.[16]

9. As it is very much desired by gods and as it gives much pleasure to Gandharvas, it is called the Gāndharva (i.e. a thing belonging to Gandharvas.)

Sources of the Gāndharva

10. Its source is the human throat (lit. body), the Vīṇā and the flute (vaṃśa). I shall describe the formal aspects of (lit. arising from) their notes.

Three kinds of the Gāndharva

11. The Gāndharva is of three kinds[17]: that of the notes (svara), that of the Tāla and that of the verbal theme (pada). I shall describe the characteristics and the function of the three.

Two Bases of Notes

12. The notes (svara) have two bases: the human throat (lit. body) and the Vīṇā. I shall speak about the formal aspects of the notes arising from the two.

Formal Aspects of Music of the Vīṇā

13-14. Notes (svara)[18], Grāmas, Mūrchanās[19], Tānas[20], voice-registers (sthāna), Vṛttis[21], Overlapping (sādhāraṇa) notes. Varṇas, Alaṃkāras, Dhātus[22], Śrutis[23] and Jātis which are constituted by the regular notes (vidhisvara), are available (lit. united) in the wooden Vīṇā.

Formal Aspect of Music of the Human Throat

15. Notes, Grāmas, Alaṃkāras, Varṇas, voice-resisters Jātis and Overlapping notes are available in the Vīṇā of the human throat.

Aspects of the Verbal Theme in Music

16-17. Consonants[24], vowels, euphonic combinations (sandhi), case-endings (vibhakti), nouns (nāma), verbs (ākhyāta), prefixes (upasarga), particles (nipāta), secondary suffixes (taddhita), and syllabic and moric metres always relate to the verbal themes of music (pada). These are of two kinds: composed (nibaddha) and improvised (anibaddha, lit. not composed).

Twenty Aspects of the Tāla

18-20. Now I shall speak of the Tāla[25]. Āvāpa[26] Niṣkrama, Vikṣepa, Praveśaka, Śamyā, Tāla, Sannipāta, Parivarta, Vastu, Mātrā, Vidārī, Aṅga, tempo (laya), Yati, Prakaraṇa, Gīti, Avayava, Mārga, Pādabhāga, and Pāṇi are the twenty[27] formal aspects of the Tāla. These [are] in brief about the Gāndharva. Listen next in details about the same.

The Seven Notes

On the Notes (svara):

21. The seven notes are: Ṣaḍja (sa), Ṛṣabha (ri), Gāndhāra (ga), Madhyama (ma), Pañcama (pa), Dhaivata (dha) and Niṣāda (ni).

Mutual relation of the Notes

22. [According] as they relate to an interval of [more or less] Śrutis, they are of four classes, such as Sonant[28] (vādin), Consonant (saṃvādin)[29] Assonant (anuvādin[30], and Dissonant (vivādin)[31].

The Sonant and the Consonant Notes

That which is an Aṃśa[32] [note] anywhere, will in this connexion, be called there Sonant (vādin). Those two notes which are at an interval, of nine or thirteen Śrutis from each other are mutually Consonant (saṃvādin) e.g. Ṣaḍja and Madhyama, Ṣaḍja and Pañcama, Ṛṣabha and Dhaivata, Gāndhāra and Niṣada in the Ṣaḍja Grāma. Such is the case in the Madhyama Grāma, except that Ṣaḍja and Pañcama are not Consonant while Pañcama and Ṛṣabha are so. [On these there] is a [traditional] Śloka:

23. In the Madhyama Grāma, Pañcama, and Ṛṣabha are Consonant while Ṣaḍja and Pañcama are so in the Ṣaḍja Grāma [only].

The Dissonant Notes

The notes being at an interval of [two or] twenty Śrutis are Dissonant[33] e.g. Ṛṣabha and Gāndhāra, Dhaivata and Niṣāda.

The Assonant Notes

Now Sonant, Consonant and Dissonant notes having been determined (lit. established) the remaining ones are to be called Assonant[34], e.g. Ṛṣabha, Gāndhāra, Dhaivata and Niṣāda to Ṣaḍja; Madhyama, Pañcama and Niṣāda to Ṛṣabbā; and Madhyama, Pañcama and Dhaivata to Gāndhāra; Dhaivata, Pañcama and Niṣāda to Madhyama; Dhaivata and Niṣāda to Pañcama; Ṛṣabha, Pañcama and Madhyama to Dhaivata. [All these are ] in the Ṣaḍja Grāma. In the Madhyama Grāmā too, Pañcama, Dhaivata and Niṣāda [are Assonant] to Madhyama; Ṛṣabha Ṣaḍja, and Gāndhāra to Pañcama; Ṣaḍjā, Ṛṣabha and Gāndhāra to Dhaivata; the same (Ṣāḍja, Ṛṣabha and Gāndhāra) to Niṣāda. As a note [prominently] sounds it is called Sonant; as it sounds in cosonance [with another] it is Consonant; as it sounds discordantly [to another] it is Dissonant, and as it follows [another note] it is called Assonant. These notes become low or high according to the adjustment of the strings, and the varying condition (lit. diversity) of the beam of the Vīṇā and of the sense-organs. So much about the aspects of four classes of notes.

Description of the Two Grāmas

Now, there are two Grāmas[35]: Ṣaḍja and Madhyama. Each of these two (lit. there) include twenty-two Śrutis in the following manner:

24. Śrutis in the Ṣaḍja Grāma are shown as follows:—three [in Ṛṣabha],[36] two [in Gāndhāra], four [in Madhyama], four [in Pañcama], three [in Dhaivata], two [in Niṣāda] and four [in Ṣaḍja].

In the Madhyama Grāma Pañcama should be made difficient in one Śruti. The difference which occurs in Pañcama when it is raised[37] or lowered by a Śruti and when consequential slackness[38] or tenseness [of strings] occurs, will indicate a typical (pramāṇa) Śruti.[39] We shall explain the system of these [Śrutis], The two Vīṇās with beams (daṇḍa) and strings of similar measure,[40] and with similar adjustment of the latter in the Ṣaḍja Grāma should be made [ready]. [Then] one of these should be tuned in the Madhyama Grāma by lowering Pañcama [by one of Śruti]. The same (Vīṇā) by adding one Śruti (lit. due to adding of one Śruti) to Pañcama will be tuned in the Ṣaḍja Grāma. This is the meaning of decreasing a Śruti (lit. thus a Śruti is decreased). Again due to the decrease of a Śruti in another [Vīṇā] Gāndhāra and Niṣāda will merge with Dhaivata and Ṛṣbha respectively, when there is an interval of two Śrutis between them.

Again due to the decrease of a Śruti in another (Vīṇā) Ṛṣbha and Dhaivata will merge with Ṣaḍja and Pañcama respectively when there is an interval of [three] Śrutis. Similarly the same [one] Śruti being again decreased Pañcama, Madhyama and Ṣaḍja will merge with Madhyama, Gāndhāra and Niṣāda respectively when there is an in interval of four Śrutis between them. Thus according this system of Śrutis, [each of] the two Grāmas should be taken as consisting of twentytwo Śrutis. [The following] are the Ślokas to this effect: Śrutis in the Ṣaḍja Grāma

25-26. In the Ṣaḍja Grāma, Ṣaḍja, includes four Śrutis, Ṛṣabha three, Gāndhāra two, Madhyama four, Pañcama four, Dhaivata three and Niṣāda two.

Śrutis in the Madhyama Grāma

27-28. [In the Madhyama Grāma] Madhyama consists of four Śrutis. Pañcama three, Dhaivata four, Niṣāda two, Ṣaḍja four, Ṛṣabha three and Gāndhāra two Śrutis[41]. [Thus] the system of [mutual] intervals (antara) has been explained.

The Mūrchanās

Now about the Mūrchanās[42]. They are of fourteen kinds in the two Grāmas[43].

Mūrchanās in the Ṣaḍja Grāma

29-30. Based on the Ṣaḍja Grāma there are seven Mūrchanās: the first Uttaramandrā, the second Rajanī, the third Uttarāyatā, the fourth Śuddhaṣaḍjā, the fifth Matsarīkṛta, the sixth Aśvakrāntā and the seventh Abhirudgatā. The first notes of these are [respectively]: Ṣaḍja, Niṣāda, Dhaivata, Pañcama, Madhyama, Gāndhāra and Ṛṣabha in the Ṣaḍja Grāma.

Mūrchanās in the Madhyama Grāma

In the Madhyama Grāma [occur the following Mūrchanās].

31-32. Based on the Madhyama Grāma there are seven Mūrchanās: the first Sauvīrī the second Hariṇāśvā, the third Kalopanatā, the fourth Śuddhamadhyā, the fifth Mārgavī, the sixth Pauravī and the seventh Hṛṣyakā.

[The first] notes[44] of these are respectively Madhyama, Gāndhāra, Ṛṣabha, Ṣaḍja, Niṣāda, Dhaivata and Pañcama.

Initial Notes of the Mūrchanās in the two Grāmas

[Thus] the first notes of these serially are: in the Ṣaḍja Grāma—Uttaramandrā [is to begin] with Ṣaḍja, Rajanī with Niṣāda, Uttarāyatā with Dhaivata, Śuddhaṣaḍjā with Pañcama, Matsarīkṛtā with Madhyama, Aśvakrāntā with Gāndhāra, and Abhirudgatā with Ṛṣabha.

And in the Madhyama Grāma—Sauvīrī [is to begin] with Madhyama, Hariṇāśvā with Gāndhāra, Kalopanatā with Ṛṣabha, Śuddhamadhyamā with Ṣaḍja, Mārgī (Mārgavī) with Niṣāda, Pauravī with Dhaivata, and Hṛṣyakā with Pañcama.

The Four classes of Mūrchanās

Thus combined in [different] orders, the notes constitute fourteen Mūrchanās of four classes, such as heptatonic (pūrṇa, lit. full), hexatonic (ṣaḍavakṛta), pentatonic (auḍavitīkṛta) and that including the Overlapping note (sādhāraṇakṛta).

33-34. The seven notes combined in [different] orders (lit. having an order) are called [full or heptatonic] Mūrchanās. Tānas[45] consisting of six and five notes are [respectively] called hexatone (ṣāḍava)[46] and pentatone (auḍavita).[47] Besides these, there is another kind of Mūrchanā which includes the Overlapping notes or is combined with the Kākalī notes or the intermediate notes (antarasvara), and this belongs to both the Grāmas (Ṣaḍja and Madhyama).

The same Mūrchanā is produced (lit. accomplished) in two ways. In this connexion, Gāndhāra being reduced to Dhaivata by an increase of two Śrutis in it, [the two terms] the Grāma and the Mūrchanā become differentiated in the Ṣaḍja Grāma, and due to that, Madhyama and the notes following it, become serially reduced to Niṣāda and the notes following it. In the Madhyama Grāma too, Dhaivata being softened (curtailed in Śrutis) and Niṣāda being augmented, the two [terms] are differentiated. [In case of this Grāma too] there being an interval of the same [number of] Śrutis, the difference of terms [becomes justified]. The interval between Pañcama and Dhaivata is of four Śrutis; similarly due to an increase of Gāndhāra, the interval will be of four Śrutis. The remaining Madhyama, Pañcama, Dhaivata, Niṣāda, Ṛṣabha and Ṣaḍja become reduced [serially] to Madhyama and the notes following it. This is due to an interval of the same number of Śrutis.

The system of [mutual] intervals has been explained in connexion with the system of Śrutis.

Eighty-four Tānas of the Mūrchanās

Tānas which depend on Mūrchanās are eighty-four in number. Among these the hexatonic ones are forty-nine, and the pentatonic ones thirty-five.

The Hexatonic Tānas

The hexatonic ones have seven varieties, e.g. four Tānas devoid of Ṣaḍja, Ṛṣabha, Niṣāda and Pañcama in the Ṣaḍja Grāma; three Tānas devoid of Ṣaḍja, Ṛṣabha and Gāndhāra in the Madhyama Grāma. Thus these being worked in all, the Mūrchanās [in the two Grāmas] will give rise to forty-nine Tānas.

The Pentatonic Tānas

The pentatonic ones have five varieties e.g. three Tānas devoid of Ṣaḍja and Pañcama, of Ṛṣabha and Pañcama, and of Gāndhāra and Niṣāda in the Ṣaḍja Grāma, two Tānas devoid of Ṛṣabha and Dhaivata, and of Gāndhāra and Niṣāda in the Madhyama Grāma. Thus these being worked in all, the pentatonic Mūrchanās [in the two Grāmas] will give rise to thirty-five Tānas, twenty-one in the Ṣaḍja Grāma and fourteen in the Madhyama Grāma.

The Two Ways of Tānas

There are two ways of working the Tāna in the string (tantrī): Entrance (praveśa) and Arrest (nigraha). The Entrance is made by sharpening (lit. emphasizing) the preceding (adhara) note and by sortening (mārdava) the succeeding (uttara) note. And the Arrest is non-touching, i.e., not touching the Madhyama note. The Mūrchanā is indicated by the Madhyama note of the Vīṇā, because it is constant (anāśī. lit. not perishable). Hence the Entrance and the Arrest [do not] relate to the Madhyama note. The variety of the Tānas and the Mūrchanās thus [arising], provides enjoyment to the hearer as well as to the musician (prayoktṛ, lit. producer). The Mūrchanā [and Tāna] are also of use [because their practice helps] the attainment of the voice-registers (sthāna-prāpti).[48]

There are three voice-registers. Their description has been given in the rules regarding the Intonation (kākū).[49]

The Overlapping

I shall now relate the rules regarding the Overlapping of notes (sādhāraṇa-vidhi). The Overlapping (sādhāraṇa) means the quality of a noce rising between two [consecutive] notes [in a Grāma]. Why? The thing which exists between the two [similar things, partly merging into each other] is overlapping (sādhāraṇa), e.g., the transition of a season.

35. In the shade one feels cold, but while staying in the sun one sweats (lit. the sweat comes out). [ It seems that at this time ] neither has the spring come [fully], nor has the winter gone away completely.

This is an example of the overlapping season.

Two kinds of Overlapping

There are two kinds of Overlapping: Overlapping in notes (savarasādhāraṇa) and Overlapping in Jātis (Jātisādhāraṇa).

The Overlapping Notes

The Kākalī and the transitional note (antarasvara) are the Overlapping notes (svarasādhāraṇa). Now if two Śrutis are added to Niṣāda, it is called Kākalī Niṣāda and not Ṣaḍja; as it is a note rising between the two (pure Niṣāda and Ṣaḍja), it become Overlapping. Similarly [the two Śrutis being added to it] Gāndhāra becomes transitional Gāndhāra and not Madhyama, because it is a transitional note (antarasvara) between the two (Madhyama and Gāndhāra). Thus the Overlapping notes [occur].

Why is Niṣāda called Kākalī? Because it is an indistinct second, or it is produced with [slight] pulling (akṛṣṭatva[50]) or due to its very fineness (saukṣmya[51]) or because it behaves like the crow’s eye (kākākṣi)[52] and relates to the two [notes, Niṣāda and Ṣaḍja], it is called (kākalī). Just as salt among the six [kinds of] taste (rasa), is called Kṣāra (corrosive), so Niṣāda is called Kākalī, and the Overlapping note is called the transitional note.

The Overlapping Jāti

The Overlapping Jāti (jātisādhārana) [arises] from observing in another Grāma the notes which belong to the minor limbs of two or more Jātis which are in the same Grāma and have common Aṃśas. The Overlapping note (svarasàdhāraṇa) belonging to the two Grāmas (Ṣaḍja and Madhyama) is of two kinds. Why? For, occurring in the Ṣaḍja Grāma it is the Overlapping Ṣaḍja, and in the Madhyama Grāma it is Overlapping Madhyama. The Overlapping here is a special nature of the note. This is so in the Ṣaḍja Grāma, and the same [also] is the case in the Madhyama Grāma. Due to the delicacy of its production (proyoga-saukṣmya) it is fitly called Kaiśika (capillary). This is the Overlapping note which is used in Jātis where Niṣāda and Gāndhāra are weak (alpa). On these points there are the two Ślokas:

36. The transitional note (antarasvara) should always relate to the ascending scale (ārohin) and be made especially weakened (alpa), but it should never be in the descending scale (avarohin).

37. If it is made in the descending scale whether weak or strong, the transitional notes will lead Śrutis to the Jāti-rāgas.

The Jātis

We shall now explain the Jātis.

38-39. The Jātis[53] relating to the Overlapping notes are three in number: Madhyama, Pañcamī and Ṣaḍjamadhyā. Their constituent parts are Ṣaḍja, Madhyama and Pañcama of which the Pañcamī will be distinct, but weaker than the rest in its own note (i.e. Pañcama).

Seven Jātis in the Ṣaḍja Grāma

40-41. The seven Jātis[54] in the Ṣaḍja Grāma are; Ṣāḍji, Ārṣabhī, Dhaivati, Naiṣādi, Ṣaḍjodīcyavatī, Ṣaḍjakaiśikī and Ṣaḍjamadhyamā.

Eleven Jātis in the Madhyama Grāma

42-13. The eleven Jātis[55] in the Madhyama Grāma are; Gāndhārī, Raktagāndhārī, Gāndhārodīcyavā, Madhyamodīcyavā, Madhyama, Pāñcamī, Gāndhārapañcamī, Āndhrī, Nandayantī, Karmāravī and Kaiśikī.

44. There are the eighteen Jātis of which I spoke before. I shall now describe the Nyāsa (terminal note) and Apanyāsa (semi-terminal note) which they include.

Two kinds of Jātis

Of these eighteen, seven owe their names to the seven notes. They are of two kinds pure (śuddha) and modified (vikṛta). In the Ṣaḍja Grāma the pure (Jātis) are Ṣāḍjī, Ārṣabhi, Dhaivatī and Niṣādavatī (= Naiṣādī) and in the Madhyama Grāma they are Gāndhāri, Madhyama and Pañcāmī. ‘Pure’ (śuddha) in this connexion means having Svarāṃśa[56] (= Aṃśa), Graha[57] and Nyāsa[57] consisting of all the [seven] notes (lit. not difficient in notes). When some of these [Jātis] lack two or more of the [prescribed] characteristics except the Nyāsa, they are called ‘modified’ (vikṛtā). Hence (lit. due to this) those indeed are pure Jātis, and these indeed are modified ones (i.e. Jātis). In the observation of the Nyāsa in the [pure], Jātis the note should be regularly Mandra; but in case the modified Jātis, there is no rule [about it]. The modified [Jātis] are eleven in number and they grow from combination. [These] eleven are formed from their mutual combination, as follows:

45. Jātis are pure as well as modified, and the [latter] arises from the combination [of other Jātis]. Among them seven are pure while the remaining eleven are modified.

The modified Jātis

46. I shall now speak in due order and with proper brevity, of Jātis which grow out of notes, and Aṃśas of these [pure] Jātis.

47. The Ṣaḍja-madhyama[58] is formed by the Ṣāḍji, the Madhyama. The Ṣaḍjakaiśiki[59] Jāti is formed by the Ṣāḍji and the Gāndhārī.

48. The Ṣaḍjodīcyavatī is formed by the Ṣāḍji, the Gāndhārī and the Dhaivatī combined or associated with one another.

49. The Gāndhārodīcyavā is formed by the Ṣāḍjī, the Gāndhārī, the Dhaivatī and the Madhyama.

50. The Madhyamodīcyavā is formed by the Gāndhārī, the Pañcamī, the Dhaivatī and the Madhyama.

51. The Raktagāndhārī is formed by the four: the Gāndhāri, the Pañcamī, the Naiṣādi and the Madhyama.

52. The Āndhrī is formed by the Gāndhāri, and the Ārsabhī[60]. The Nandayantī is formed by the Gāndhāri, the Pañcamī and the Ārṣabhī.

53. The Gāndhārapañcamī is formed by the Gāndhārī and the Pañcamī.

53-54. The Karmāravī is formed by the Naiṣādi, the Ārṣabhī and the Pañcamī, and it is heptatonic (lit. full).

The Kaiśikī is formed by the Sāḍjī, the Gāndhārī, the Madhyama, the Pañcamī and the Naiṣādī (lit. the pure Jātis except the Dhaivatī and the Ārṣabhī).

55. These are the distinct Jātis growing out of mutual combination of notes in the two Grāmas.

The Number of Notes in the Jātis of the two Grāmas

56. Of these the four heptatonic (saptasvarā) and the ten pentatonic (pañcasvarā) and the four hexatonic (ṣaṭsvarā)[61].

Jātis in the Ṣāḍja Grāma: The Heptatonic Jātis

57. [Of these] the Madhyamodīcavā, the Ṣaḍjakaiśikī, the Karmāravī and the Gāndhārapañcamī are heptatonic (lit. full) Jātis[62].

The Pentatonic Jātis

58-60. The Gāndhārī, the Raktagāndhārī, the Madhyama, the Pañcamī, the Kaiśikī, the five [Jātis] in the Madhyama [Grāma], the Ārṣabhī, the Dhaivatī, the Naiṣādi, the Ṣaḍjamadhyamā and the Ṣaḍjodīcyavatī, [the five Jātis] in the Ṣaḍja Grāma, are the ten pentatonic Jātis[63].

The Jātis in the Madhyama Grāma: The Hexatonic Jātis

60-61. The Gāndhārodīcyavā, the Nandayantī and the Āndhri, [the three Jātis, in the Madhyama Gramā, and the Ṣāḍji alone in the Ṣaḍja Grāma, are hexatonic.

62. The Jātis (lit. those) which have been described as pentatonic and hexatonic. may on rare occasions be changed respectively into hexatonic (ṣāḍavībhūtā) and pentatonic (auḍavīkṛtā)[64].

The Heptatonic Jātis

63-64. The Karmāravī, the Madhyamodīcyavā and the Gāndhārapañcamī are the heptatonic (lit. full) Jātis in the Madhyama Grāma, and the heptatonic Jāti in the Ṣaḍja Grāma is the Ṣaḍjakaiśikī. 64-65. (A variant of 60b-61a.)

Aṃśas in the Jātis

65-69. So much about the Jātis in the two Grāmas. I shall now describe their different Aṃśas.

The Ṣaḍjamadhyamā should have no hexatonic treatment including Niṣāda (lit. the seventh), and there should be no Gāndhāra there, because of an elimination of its Consonant note; and the Gāndhārī, the Raktagāndhārī and the Kaiśikī should have no Pañcama, and the Ṣāḍjī should have no Gāndhāra, and the Ṣāḍjodīcyavā no Dhaivata in their hexatonic treatment. These seven [notes] are to be discarded in connexion with the hexatonic treatment of the Jātis named, because of the elimination of their Consonant notes.

69-71. The Gāndhārī and the Raktagāndhārī Jātis should have no Ṣaḍja, Madhyama, Pañcama and Naiṣāda in their pentatonic treatment, and the Ṣāḍjī and the Madhyama respectively should have no Gāndhāra and Niṣāda, and the Pañcamī no Ṛṣabha, and the Kaiśikī no Dhaivata in their pentatonic treatment. These are the twelve notes which should be discarded in the pentatonic treatment.

72-73. Hence these Jātis should always be without pentatonic treatment. From the Jātis any of (lit. all) the notes may be left out; but Madhyama should never be left out. For the great sages who chanted the Sāmans, expressed an opinion in the Gāndharva Kalpa that Madhyama the best of notes, is indispensible (lit. imperishable).

The Characteristics of the Jātis

74.[65] Ten characteristics of the Jātis are: Graha, Aṃśa, Tāra, Mandra, Nyāsa, Apanyāsa, Reduction, (alpatva), Amplification (bahutva), hexatonic treatment (ṣāḍava), and pentatonic treatment (auḍavita).

The Graha

75.[66] Grahas have been like the Aṃśa of all the Jātis. That note which is taken up in the beginning [of a song] is the Graha, and is an alternative[67] term for the Aṃśa.

The Aṃśa

76-78. The ten characteristics of the Aṃśa[68] are [as follows]:—

The Aṃśa [is that note in the song] on which its charm (rāga) depends, and from which the charm proceeds; it is the basis of the variation into low (mandra) and high (tāra) pitches depending on the [first] five notes (pañcasvarapara), and in the combination of many notes it is perceived prominently (atyartham), and moreover other strong notes may be to it in relation of Consonance and Assonance, and it is related to the Graha, Apanyāsa, Vinyāsa[69], Saṃnyāsa[70] and Nyāsa [notes], and it lies scattered throughout the song.

Aṃśas of the Jātis

79. The Jātis in the two Grāmas have always sixty-three Aṃśas as well as Grahas. We shall now discuss the rule about the Aṃśa and the Graha [in relation to the Jātis].

80. Pañcama is the Aṃśa and the Graha of the Madhyamodīcyavā, the Nandayantī and the Gāndhārapañcamī Jātis.

81. Dhaivata and Ṛṣabha are the Aṃśa and the Graha of the Dhaivatī Jāti. Ṛṣabha and Pañcama are the Aṃśa and the Graha in the Pañcamī Jātī.

82. Ṣaḍja and Madhyama are the Aṃśa and the Graha in the Gāndhārodīcyvā, Ṛṣabha, Dhaivata and Niṣāda are the Aṃśa and the Graha of the Ārṣabhī.

83-84. Ṛṣabha, Gāndhāra, and Niṣāda are the Aṃśa and the Graha of the Naiṣādi.

Ṣaḍja, Gāndhāra and Pañcama are the Aṃśa and the Graha of the Ṣaḍjakaiśikī. Thus have been described [the three Aṃśas] and ths Grahas of the three Jātis.

84-85. Ṣaḍja, Madhyama, Dhaivata and Niṣāda are the four Aṃśas and the Grahas of the Ṣaḍjodīcyavatī.

85-86. Ṛṣabha, Pañcama, Dhaivata and Niṣāda are the four Aṃśas [and the Grahas] of the Karmāravī.

86-87. Ṛṣabha, Gāndhāra, Pañcama and Niṣāda are the four Aṃśas and Grahas of the Āndhrī.

87-88. Ṣaḍja, Ṛṣabha, Madhyama, Pañcama and Dhaivata are the five Aṃśas and the Grahas of the Madhyama.

88-89. Ṣaḍja, Gāndhāra, Madhyama, Pañcama and Dhaivata are the [five] Aṃśas and the Grahas of the Ṣāḍjī.

89-90. Ṛṣabha. Gāndhāra, Madhyama, Pañcama and Niṣāda are the [five] Aṃśas and the Grahas of the Gāndhārī and the Raktagāndhārī.

90-91. All the notes except Ṛsabha are the six Aṃśas [and the Grahas] of the Kaiśikī.

All the notes are the seven Aṃśas and Grahas of the Ṣaḍjamadhyamā. These are the sixty-three Aṃśas and Grahas in the Jātis. Aṃśas are always Grahas in all these Jātis.

92-93. Groups (gaṇa) of all these Jātis are made up of three of them. They are always to be arranged (lit. known) as consisting of increasing [number of] notes in ascending order, such as those of one note, those of two notes, three notes, four notes, five notes, six notes and seven notes.

The High Pitch Movement

The High pitch movement (tāragati) depending on the [first] five notes, e.g.

94. The raising of the pitch from the any of the Aṃśa [notes] should be up to the note fourth from it, or it may be to the fifth note even, but not to any beyond it.[71]

The Low Pitch Movement

Three kinds of the low pitch movement: that depending on the Aṃśa, on the Nyāsa, and on the Apanyāsa.

95. There is no pitch lower than that of the Aṃśa [notes]; in the Nyāsa such a pitch will be separated by two notes, and when the Gāndhāra is the Graha and the Nyāsa,. Ṛṣabha and Dhaivata are seen [to bear a low pitch].[72]

Reduction and Amplification

Reduction (alpatva)[73] is of two kinds: that due to skipping over (laṃghana) a note, and that due to non repetition of the same. Among these two (lit. there) the Reduction [of notes] due to skipping over, [leads to] the hexatonic and the pentatonic treatment of the Aṃśas of songs, when they reach the Antaramārga[74]; and the Reduction of notes due to their non-repetition, consists of enunciating them once according to the Jātis [in which a particular songs is to be sung].

The Amplification

The Amplification (bahutva)[75] is the opposite of the Reduction. Likewise the Movement[76] (saṃcāra) of the other notes which are strong, is of two kinds.

96. The Reduction as well as the Amplification always occurs from convention (lit. early fixation) in relation to [particular] notes of the Jāti, and the Reduction is of two kinds.

97.[77]The Movement (saṃcāra) of notes relates to the strong Aṃśa notes, and the Reduction to the weak notes. [These are] the two treatment of the Antaramārgas which gives character to the Jātis.

The Hexatonic Treatment

Hexatonic treatment (ṣāḍavita) relates to six notes [in a Grāma]. They are of fourteen kinds and have forty-seven subdivisions. These have been described before in their Jātis and Aṃśas.[78]

The Pentatonic Treatment

98.[79] The pentatonic treatment relates to five notes [in a Grāma] and is to be known as being of ten kinds. Its subdivisions are thirty and have been mentioned before.

99. [Groups of] six notes as well as of five notes have their application. Similarly [groups of] four notes also have their uses in the Avakṛṣṭā Dhruvās.

The Nyāsa and the Apanyāsa

Now about the Nyāsa[80]. It occurs at the conclusion of the song (lit. limb) and is of twenty-one kinds. The Apanyāsa similarly occurs within the song (lit. limb)[81] and is of fifty-six kinds.

100. The Nyāsa at the conclusion on the song (lit. limb)[82] should be made of twenty-one kinds, and the Apanyāsa occurring within the song is of fifty-six kinds.

Jātis with their Characteristics

101-102. I have thus spoken properly of the charateristics of the Jātis[83]. I shall now speak of their Nyāsa and Apanyāsa.

The Ṣāḍji

103-104. In the Ṣāḍjī Jāti, the Aṃśa is of five notes [of the Grama], Niṣāda and Ṛṣabha being excluded. Its Apanyāsa is Gāndhāra and Pañcama, and Nyāsa Ṣāḍja, and Niṣāda (lit. the seventh) should be dropped from it. Its hexatonic treatment should exclude Niṣāda (lit. the seventh). In it, Dhaivata and N iṣāda should, be reduced; and Ṣaḍja and Gāndhāra as well as Dhaivata and Ṣaḍja should move together, and Gāndhāra should be amplified.

The Arṣabhī

105-107. In the Ārṣabhi Jātī, the Aṃśa is Ṛṣabha, Dhaivata and Niṣāda. These are its Apanyāsa, and the Nyāsa is known as Ṛṣabha, Skipping over Pañcama in the ascending scale will be its Reduction giving rise to a special hexatonic treatment. Its [ordinary] hexatonic treatment will exclude Niṣāda, and the pentatonic treatment Pañcama. In it, the moving together of the Dissonant notes has been prescribed.

The Dhaivati

108-110. In the Dhaivatī Jāti the Aṃśa is Ṛṣabha and Dhaivata, the Nyāsa Dhaivata, the Apanyāsa Ṛṣabha, Madhyama and Dhaivata, and the pentatonic treatments will exclude Ṣaḍja and Pañcama, and the hexatonic treatment Pañcama [only]. In it the two (the pentatonic and the hexatonic treatments) should be in an ascending scale, and Niṣāda and Ṛṣabha should be skipped over and Gāndhāra should be amplified (lit. made strong).

The Naiṣādī

111-112. In the Naiṣādī Jāti the Aṃśa is Ṛṣabha, Gāndhāra and Niṣāda, and the Apanyāsa the same, and the Nyāsa Niṣāda. Its hexatonic and pentatonic treatments will be like those of the Dhaivatī. And similar is its skipping over (Reduction) of notes, and strong notes (i.e., their amplification).

The Ṣaḍjakaiśikī

112-114. In the Ṣaḍjakaiśikī the Aṃśa is Ṣaḍja, Gāndhāra and Pañcama, the Apanyāsa Ṣaḍja, Pañcama and Niṣāda, and the Nyāsa Gāndhāra. No note will be omitted from it. Hence it is called a complete [Jāti]. In it Ṛṣabha and Dhaivata should be weakened (i.e., reduced).

The Ṣaḍjodīcyavā

115-117. In the Ṣaḍjodīcyavā Jāti, the Aṃśa is Ṣaḍja, Madhyama, Dhaivata and Niṣāda, the Nyāsa Madhyama, and the Apanyāsa Ṣaḍja and Dhaivata. The Aṃśa notes here are prescribed to come together (saṃ-car) with one another. Its pentatonic treatment excludes Ṛṣabha and Pañcama, and the hexatonic treatment Ṛṣabha. And Gāndhāra should be made strong (i.e., amplified).

The Ṣaḍjamadhyā

118-120. In the Ṣaḍjamadhyā (-madhyama) Jāti all the notes [in the Grāma] are the Aṃśa; the same are the Apanyāsa. Its Nyāsa is Ṣaḍja and Madhyama, and the pentatonic treatment is wanting in Gāndhāra and Niṣāda (lit. the seventh), and the hexatonic treatment in Niṣāda. Coming together (saṃ-cāra) of all its notes have been prescribed.

120-121. These are the seven Jātis depending on the Ṣaḍja Grāma. I shall now speak of those depending on the Madhyama Grāma.

The Gāndhārī

121-123. In the Gāndhārī Jāti the Aṃśa will be the five notes [of the Grāma] Dhaivata and Ṛṣabha being excluded, and its Apanyāsa Ṣaḍja and Pañcama, and the Nyāsa Gāndhāra. Its hexatonic treatment excludes Ṛṣabha, and the pentatonic treatment Ṛṣabha and Dhaivata. [Besides these] they (i.e., Ṛṣabha and Dhaivata) should be skipped over and Ṛṣabha should always go to Dhaivata1, and Ṣaḍja and Madhyama should be amplified in it.

The Raktagāndhārī

124-126. In the Raktagāndhārī all the characteristics, such as the Nyāsa, the exclusion of notes in hexatonic and pentatonic treatments, and the Aṃśa will be like those of the Gāndhāri. Its Dhaivata and Niṣāda should be amplified (lit. treated as strong), and Gāndhāra and Ṣāḍja will come together (saṃ-car) with notes other than Ṛṣabha, and its Apanyāsa should be Madhyama.

The Gāndhārodīcyavā

126-127. In the Gāndhārodīcyavā the Aṃśa is Ṣaḍja and Madhyama. There is no pentatonic treatment in it. Its hexatonic treatment will exclude Ṛṣabha. Its Reduction, Amplification, Nyāsa and Apanyāsa will be like that of the Ṣaḍjodīcyavatī.

The Madhyama

128-130. In the Madhyama the Aṃśa is Ṣaḍja, Ṛṣabha, Madhyama, Pañcama and Dhaivata, and they are the Apanyāsa, and the Nyāsa is Madhyama. The two notes of two Śrutis (i.e, Gāndhāra and Niṣāda) are to be weakened, and its pentatonic treatment excludes Gāndhāra and Niṣāda, while its hexatonic treatment excludes Gāndhāra. In it the

Amplification of Ṣaḍja and Madhyama, and weakness (Reduction) of Gāndhāra have been prescribed.

The Madhyamodīcyavā

131. In the Madhyamodīcyavā Jāti the Aṃśa is Pañcama. The rest of the rules, is similar to those of the Gāndhārodīcyavā.

The Pañcamī

132-134. In the Pañcamī, the Aṃśa is Ṛṣabha and Pañcama, the Apanyāsa is Ṛṣabha, Pañcama and Niṣāda, the Nyāsa is Pañcama; Ṛṣabha and Madhyama are dropped from it. The hexatonic and pentatonic treatments in it should be as in the Madhyama. And Ṣaḍja, Gāndhāra and Madhyama should be made weak (i.e., reduced), and Madhyama and Ṛṣabha should come together (saṃ-car) in it and go to Gāndhāra, and Niṣāda should also be made weak (i.e., reduced).

The Gāndhārapañcamī

135-136. In the Gāndhārapañcamī, the Aṃśa is Pañcama, the Apanyāsa Ṛṣabha and Pañcama, the Nyāsa Gāndhāra. and no note is wanting in it. Gāndhāra and Pañcama in it come together.

The Āndhrī

137-139. In the Āndhrī, the Aṃśa consists of four notes such as, Ṛṣabha, Pañcama Gāndhāra and Niṣāda, and similar is its Apanyāsa. Its Nyāsa is Gāndhāra and the hexatonic treatment is free from Ṣaḍja, and in it Gāndhāra and Ṣaḍja come together. [Besides these] its Dhaivata and Niṣāda should be amplified in an ascending scale, and Ṣaḍja should be skipped over (i.e., reduced) there should be no pentatonic treatment of it.

The Nandayantī

140-143. In the Nandayantī the Aṃśa is always Pañcama, the Apanyāsa Madhyama and Pañcama. In the hexatonic treatment it excludes Ṣaḍja which should be skipped over (i.e., reduced). Notes coming together (saṃ-cāra) in it are like those in the Āndhrī. And Ṛṣabha also should be skipped over, and there should be the low pitch (mandra-gati) there, and Ṣaḍja should be in the high pitch and it should not be in a descending scale (lit. go backward). Its Graha should be Gāndhāra and the Nyāsa also the same.

The Karmāravī

143-145. In the Karmāravī the Aṃśa is Ṛṣabha, Pañcama, Dhaivata and Niṣāda, and the same are its Graha. The Apanyāsa is [also] the same, and the Nyāsa is Pañcama, and no note is left out. Notes other than those in the Aṃśa are strong (i.e., are to be amplified) and Gāndhāra comes together with all other notes.

The Kaiśikī

146-149. In the Kaiśikī Jāti the Aṃśa consists of all the notes [in the Grāma] except Ṛṣabha, and these are the Apanyāsa, and the Nyāsa is Gāndhāra and Niṣāda, but when the Dhaivata and Niṣāda are the Aṃśa in it Pañcama will be the Nyāsa. In it Ṛṣabha is weak and it is skipped over, and sometimes Ṛṣabha will be its Apanyāsa.

Its hexatonic treatment excludes Ṛṣabha, and the pentatonic treatment Ṛṣabha and Dhaivata. Ṣaḍja (lit. the first) and Pañcama are strong notes (i.e., should be amplified) in it. And Ṛṣabha should be weakened and it will be specially skipped over, and coming together (saṃ-cāra) of notes should be as in the Ṣaḍjamadhyamā.

150-151. These are the Jātis with their ten characteristics. These should be applied in the song (pada) with dance movements (Karaṇas) and gestures suitable to them (lit. their own). I shall now speak of their distinction in relation to the Sentiments (rasa) and the States (bhāva). Listen about the manner in which they are to be applied in particular Sentiments.

Here ends the Chapter XXVIII of Bharata’s Nāṭyaśāstra, which treats of Formal Aspects of the Instrumental Music.

Footnotes and references:


“lakṣaṇānvitam ātodya” literally means ‘musical instruments possessed of auspicious marks’. NS. here considers only the traditional or well-known musical instruments as auspicious.


Explaining in detail the importance of stringed instruments (tata) in the production of a play Ag. says:

“tatra svagāṃśe tatamuṣirayorupayogaḥ | tau hi svarasya paramārthaṃ raktilakṣanaṃ vitarataḥ | gātaṇāṃ vākpāruṣyadidoṣopahatānāṃ svarastanvoveṇusvareṇa mukharatā nauyate svabhāvata eva tanmādhuryāt | vāṅmādhuyaṃ yāvaddhīnaṃ tadāhārthaṃ madhuraṃ niropitaṃ mādhuryam abhyāmād āhareyuḥ | tatānuvaddhatvāt svarasya na nū?nādhikabhāvāśaṅgā kācit tatra mūrcchitāyāṃ vīṇāyām aśiñcitenāpyabhihananena svaratvopalandhaḥ | natvecaṃ va(ṃ?)śa iti tatātīdyasyaiva prādhānyam.”

And after a while he explains why hollow instruments (suṣira) in spite of their affinity with the stringed ones, were not mentioned immediately after these, and then he discusses the position of ‘hollow’ and ‘solid’ instruments in the Orchestra. The relevant passage is as follows:

“muṣirasya svarātmakatvai'pi tadā(da)nantaraṃ tasyānabhidhānamiti cenna, vīṇāyā eva svarabhāge prādhānyāt | dhātuvādyaśeṣaśuṣkaprakṛtitvādyā(da)vanaṅgasya tanmānopakāritāñca dhanasya, vīṇeva (vīṇāyām eva) muṣirasya tata evāṃnupraveśaḥ | tatasyu vaṃśastatra caturvidhātodyamuparañcakam | uparañcanīyāścābhinaya iti tayorekatraṃ sanniveśāsmakaḥ samūhaḥ kartavyaḥ | tatra caturvidhamātodyaṃ svaratālaprādhānyā[da] hividhaṃ kṛtaṃ tatamavanaddhaṃ ceti | muṣiradhanayoḥ krameṇa tadaṃśaga[ta]va?t.”


“cārmabaddhanād avanaddham”, Ag.


“murtikāṭhinena dhanaṃ”, Ag.


“kutaṃ śabdaṃ pāti, kaṃ ca raddhaṃ tapatujjvalayati” Ag. The commentator again seems to give this word a new meaning. See Introduction to the Vol. I. pp. LXXVIf. Here kutapavinyāsa should be read as kutapavinyāse.


“parignaho gāyakasya tad yathā gāyakāḥ ko?sthatālikāhastāḥ” Ag. It appears from this that the singer had near him attendants with brass cymbals.


“hi(vi)pañcī apūrṇatantrīkā kāṃ?ṇavādanīyā vīṇātvekaviṃśatitatrīkā” Ag. Vipañcī seems originally to have been a ten-stringed Vīṇā to be played with a plectrum.


See note 3 above.


“paṇavo'ntastantrīko huḍuṃkāraḥ” Ag. Paṇava is a small drum or tabor.


“darduro mahādhaṇṭhakāraḥ” Ag. describes Dardura as being like a large gong made of bell-metal; some consider it to be a flute. See Apte sub voce. Dārdurika may however be derived from dārdura which means a conch-shell the valve of which opens to the right. See Apte sub voce. But in spite of all this, Dardura was a kind of drum. See XXXIII. 4.


See XXXIV. 1-12.


On the Ág. says: “tatāvanaddhayoḥ kutapayorniya5heśatā pupkarādhyāye vakṣyate | nāvyakutapasya tu prayogi mā bhūdyā(davya)vadhiriti sannidhimātram upayogi na tu deśaniyamaḥ”


This acting included dancing.


See note 3 below.


Kālidāsa uses this expression. See Vikram. V. 2. 0. Ag. explaining why these three different items are to be given unity, says:

“yanmād vividhāścayaṃ bhinnendriyagnāhya-vividhakriyārūpaṃ tammād yatrenāsaikatā saṃpādyā yenaikaṣuddhi-viṣayatā tat sāmājikasya gacchet |”

In this connexion he rejects the suggestion that the mere reading of plays can fulfil their purpose, and says:

“ane tu manth?ante gītātodyavihīnādapi prayogāt paṭhyamānādapi daśarūpakād bhavati siddhirityanena mūcitam iti | tattu na samyagiva (geva) tāvato hyaparipūrṇatā nāṭyasya, paripūrṇa asarvānugrāhi nāṭyasvarūpam abhidhitsitaṃ muneḥ”

Cf. Aristotle’s view of tragedy (see Introduction to vol I. pp. XLII-XLIII).


Gāndharva seems to be a combination of the vocal music and the music of instruments, such as vīṇā and flutes (See 10 below). From the Mṛcchakaṭika (III. 2. 1) we learn that viṇā as as well human voice charmed Cārudatta in a performance of Gāndharva. Ag.’s explanation of gāndharvamiti as “gāndharvo mitirmānaṃ vartanam antarbhaṃvo yasya” etc., seems to be fanciful. See XVII. 92, 94, 98, 102 etc. and XXI. 24, 25, 73, 77 etc. The expression should be taken simply as a combination of gāndharvam and iti.


The three kinds of gāndharva seem to be three kinds of musical performance in which individual notes, beating time, or songs respectively play their principal or only part.


This and the succeeding terms have been defined below.


It seems that Mūrchanās, Tānas, Vṛttis, Dhātu and Śruti related practically to the Vīṇā or the stringed instruments of its class.


See note 2 above.








This and the following terms have been defined in XV. 9, 33, 39ff. The ākhar of the Bengali kīrtan, is probably an example of the anibaddha pada.


Here tālagatasyāpi should be read as tālagataṃś cāpi.


This and the following terms have been defined later on.


The text ity ekaviṃśako should be read as ity evaṃ viṃśako.


For an explanation of this and succeeding terms see below and GS. I. pp. 462, 463, 467, 468; GS. II. pp. 117-123, MM. p. 9. MH. p. MI. pp. 27-28.

According to Dr. A. A. Bake (MM. p. 9.) “the sonant note is the melodic centre of the melody.” See below note 1 of 76-78.


See SR. I. 3. 47ff. Kn. says:

“yayoḥ svarayorantaragocarāḥ svādhāraśrutī vihāya madhyavartin?ḥ śrutayo hādaśāṣṭau vā dṛśyante tau miyaḥ saṃvādinau bhavataḥ iti |”

Sbh. too says:

“hādaśāṣṭau vā śrutayo yayorantare vartante tau mithaḥ parasparaṃ saṃvādinau bhavataḥ”

But Mataṅga (Bd. p. 14,11. 1-2) says:

“saṃvādinastu punaḥ samaśrutikatve sati trayodaśanavāntaratvenāvadoddhavyāḥ”;

and Dattilla (18) too says:

“mithaḥ savādinau jñeyau trayodaśanavāntarau”

The difference between the two views, is more apparent than real.

For Sbh. says

“yayauḥ śrutyoḥ svarāvasthilau te śrutī vihāya madhyasthā śrutayo hādaśāṣṭau vā yadi bhavanti tadā tayoḥ saṃvāditvam ityanenābhiprāyenaivam uktam | mataṅgādibhistu yo yasya saṃvādī tasyāvasthānaśrutimapi madhe gaṇayitvā trayodaśanavāntaram uktamiti na kaścid visaṃvādaḥ” (on SR. I. 3. 48-49).


See below note 2 on 23.


See below note 1 on 23.


From its several variants it appears that the term aṃśa is nothing but aṃga misread from some very early ms. For more about this see the Introduction.


Mataṅga (p. 15. 11 11-12) says : “hantaratvād vivāditvam uktam” and Dattila (19) too says: “hantarau tu vivādinau”;

Kn. says

“ekena śrutyantaritau parasparaṃ vivādinau iti lakṣaṇaṃ mūci(ṃ?)ta bhavati”

and reconciles this with the view of the NŚ, and other earlier writers as follows:

“iyorekakhādhāraśrutyā maha hantaratvasya vivakṣitatvādekaśrutyantaritatvamevārthaḥ” (on SR. I. 3. 49).

SR. (I. 3. 49) defines vivādī notes differently. It makes ni and ga, vivādī to ri and dha respectively.


Mataṅga (p. 144ff.) says that the mutually anuvādī pairs of notes are: sa and ri, pa and dha, sa and dha, pa and ri in the Ṣaḍja-grāma. Sbh. adds one more pair (ma and ri) to these (on SR. I. 3. 50).


The Grāma may be translated as ‘scale’. Strangway’s theory about its meaning does not appear to be sound (see MH. p. 106). Weber thinks that the Greek word gamma in its musical sense, is nothing but a derivation from the Sanskrit word grāma. Indische Streifen, 1.3. (Ref.MM. p. 10). According to Nārada there is one more Grāma named Gāndhāra (NāŚ. I. 2. 8). SR (I. 4. 5) too mentions this. For more about Grāma see MH. pp. 108-112.


Probably due to the exigency of metre, the NŚ. in describing here the Śrutis of each note, begins from Ṛṣabha.


Utkarsas (increase) tīvratā, apakarṣo (decrease) mandatā, Ag.


Mārdavam (slackness) tantryāḥ śithilīkaraṇam, viparītatvam āyatatvam (tenseness) Ag.


Śruti may be translated as ‘interval’. Early authorities differed from one another as to the nature and number of Śrutis. Viśvāvasu thought they were two, some authority considered that their number was three, some twenty-two, some sixty-six and some infinite. Views of the anonymous authorities are known from the following couplet of Kohala:

“hāviṃśati kecidudāharanti śrutīḥ śrutijñānavicāradakṣaḥ | ṣaṭṣoṣṭibhinnāḥ khalu kecidāsāmānantamane pratipādayanti ||”

See Bd. pp. 4, 5; Sbh on SR. I. 3. 8. 9. For an elaborate discussion on the nature of Śrutis in relation to the seven notes in the ancient Hindu scale see GS. I. pp. 298-379; GS. II. pp. 138-143. The following passage in NŚ. from “nidarśanaṃ tvāsām” to “hāviṃśati śrutayaḥ pratyavagantavyāḥ” occurs in the Bd. (pp. 5-6) with a slight modification. SR. too follows this (See I. 3. 11-22).


Ag. explains this ‘measure’ (prāmaṇa) as length and thickness, others include the number of strings also in this (pramāṇam ānāhapariṇāhau; tantrīṇāṃ tulyatvaṃ saṃkhyayā sthaulyādinā ceti kecit)


(27-28) 1 The Gāndhāra Grāma became obsolete at the time of the NŚ., which ignores it. For its Śrutis see SR. I. 4. 4-5 and MM. p. 10.


The ‘Mūrchanā’ has often been translated as ‘mode’ of the Western music (See GS. I. p. 284; MH. p. 106; MM. pp. 10-11). But we are not sure about the accuracy of this. For further details about the term see GS. I. pp. 285ff; GS. II. pp. 14, 83ff. Mataṅga explains the term as follows:

“mūrchanāśabdavutpattimūrchāmohe samucchaye | mūrchate yena rāgī hi mūrchanutyabhisajñitā” (Bd. p. 22).

Sbh. further explains this as follows:

“svarāṇāmeva mūrchanātvaṃ na tvārohaṇāvarohaṇarūpāyā kriyāyā ityapuktaṃ teneva (=mataṅgenaiva) ārodaṇāva royaṇakrameva svarasaprakam | mūrchanāśabdavācyaṃ hi vijñeyaṃ tad vicakṣaṇaiḥ” (on SR. I. 4. 9-11).

But curiously enough Ag. writes:

“kramān atikramenodhvaṃ yacch?vamāṇam ava(ā)rohaṇaṃ tadupalakṣitaṃ svarasaprakasvarūpacaho (hā) bhurchanā | mūrchanā hi samucchāy? paṭhyat?”


For the Mūrchanās of the Gāndhāra Grāma see NāS. I. 2. 9 and SR. I. 4. 25-26.


Though NŚ. is silent on the point, the SR. gives the differing pitch of notes as they appear in the Mūrchanās. (Seel. 12-14 and Sbh. thereon).


Tānas or pure Tānas are included into the Mūrchanās. Difference between them seems to be that the latter includes all the seven notes, while in the former, one or two notes except Madhyama in all Grāmas, and Dhaivata in the Ṣaḍja Grāma, and Pañcama in the Madhyama Grāma are so very weakly ‘worked’ that they are considered as dropped. For the two ways of working such Tānas see below. NŚ. does not seem to be quite clear about the function of Mūrchanās, and Tānas which they include. But Ag. says “tānāśca kutapa upayujyante”. It is doubtful whether the modern use of the term Tāna, is very old. The Mūrchanā in its original sense seems to have disappeared from the later Indian music (see MH. p. 106).

About the function of the Mūrchanā and Tāna, Sbh. says:

“nanu mūrchanāstāvaj jātirāgabhāṣā'diṣupayogintha iti yuktaṃ tāsāṃ kathanam; tānāstu? kutropayujyante? ucyante | iyorgrāmayorjātirāgānthetvapratipādapānārthaṃ prayogastānānāmitukta mataṅgena” (on SR. I. 4. 29-31).

But Mataṅga’s view given here, is not quite clear.


The term auḍavita and auḍava have often been read respectively as auḍuvita and auḍuva with a notion about their connection with uḍu (= star). Oḍava or auḍava which lies at the basis of these terms, appears to be a non-Aryan word meaning probably ‘five’, and ṣāḍava too may likewise be of the same origin, and may mean ‘six’, and its another form might have been ṣoḍava connected with ṣoḍa in ṣoḍaśa. This hypothesis may better explain in case of ṣaṭ, the appearance of a cerebral sound in place of I-E k.


See note 2 above.


It appears from this that by imitating the Mūrchanās and Tānas produced in the Viṇā, singers attained the facility of producing notes from, any voice-register they liked. See above note 2 on 13-14.


See XIX. 37ff before.


“cakṛṣṭa=īṣatkṛṣṭa (tadalpārthe naña) |”


“saukṣmaṃ vaivitraṃ nipuṇasādhyatā ca ||” Ag.


Cf. “kākākṣigolakanyāya”


On the meaning of Jāti, Kn. says “grāmahayāccāyanta iti jātyaḥ” and Sbh. “sakalasya rāgāderjanmahetutvājjātyaḥ” (on SR. I. 7. 3). See also Bd. pp. 55-56. But Jātis are the primitive melody-types from which Rāgas of later Hindu music developed. Jāti meaning ‘birth’ probably stands here for recognized melody-types of the day, which were considered to be of (pure) birth as opposed to other types which were hybrids. For the characteristics of the Jātis see 73-74 below.

“jāyate?śṛṅgabhinnagauḍarāgasādhāraṇabhāṣāvibhāṣātmakaṃ” (Ag.).


See SR I. 7. 17.


See SR. I. 7. 18. SR. (I. 7. 18-20.) classifies them also into (i), Purṇā (heptatonic), (ii) Pūrṇa-ṣāḍavā (heptatonic and hexatonic) and (iii) Pūrṇā-sādavauḍavitā (heptatonic, hexatonic as well as pentatonic).


See above note I of (40-41) and 41-42).


For a definition of these term see below 74ff.


The constitution of modified Jātis, has been given in Bd. in a slightly different language (pp. 54-55). The passage appears there as a quotation from Bharata, though actually it has been re-written. See also SR. I. 7. 10-16.


See note 1 above.


C. reads Ṣāḍjī instead of Ārṣabhī. But Bd. read (p. 54 “ārṣabhyāstu bhavedāndhī(?) gāndhāryāścaiva saṅgarāt”) See also SR. I. 7. 12.


See Bd. 188 (p. 55); SR. I. 7. 18.


See Bd. 189 (p. 55).


See Bd. 192, 191, 190 (p. 55).


See Bd. 194, 195 (p. 55).


This and the following nine terms have been defined below (75ff). A later writer adds the Antaramārga, Saṃnyāsa and Vinyāsa to these, and make the number thirteen (MM. pp. 36-37).


The Graha is the note in which the song begins. Mataṅga says

“jātyādiprayīgo gṛhyate yenāsau grahaḥ” (Bd. p. 66).

“ragādau sthāpito yastu sa graha svara ucyate” (wrongly ascribed by GS. to SR.);

“graha svara sa itukto yo gītādau samarpita | saṅgītanārāyaṇa” (The last two passages are quoted in GS. I. p. 121).

F. Strangway’s suggestion is that the term possibly means ‘clef’, though some writers differ from him. (See MM. pp. 12-13). But this view seems to be right, because the Graha and the Aṃśa are taken as synonymous by SR. See Sbh. and Kn. on. SR I. 7. 29-34. For a further discussion about it see GS. I. pp. 66-67, 121 and GS. II. p. 21. The assumption of a rule of the Graha as well as of the Nyāsa with regard to the Rāgas only, seem however to be erroneous. These two relate merely to songs in general (see GS. I. pp. 67, 121).


See below note 1 on 76-78.


This Aṃśa has been rightly compared to the Governing note or the Key-note of the Western music. It is also called Vādīn (Sonant) note and is the basis of the melodic structure of a song (gīta). For more about the term see GS. II. pp. 21, 29, 113, 117. See also above note 1 to 75. Though the Graha and the Aṃśa are synonymous, there is a distinction between the two. On this Kn. says,

“natyaṃ?o graha iti bharatādeśena sarveṣvapyaṃśadharmeṣu grahasya prāpteṣu grahāṃśayoḥ kā viśeṣa iti cet, ucyate—grahasyāṃśātideśatastu prāptaṃ na kevalaṃ vāditvameva dharmaḥ, api tu vāditvādicatuṣṭayamapīti tayorbhedaḥ iti | tayoktaṃ mataṅgena (p. 56) aṅgo vādeva(?) paraṃ grahastu vādyādibhedabhinnaścaturvidha iti (on SR. I. 7. 29-34)” (on SR. I. 7. 29-34).

On the etymological sense of the term Sbh. says

“nanu katham asyāṃśaśabdavācyatvam? aṃśaśabdena bhāga ucyate; athamapi jāti rāgādivibhāgakāritvādaṃśaśabdonācyate | ” (on SR. I. 7. 32-34).

‘Aṃśa’ in a few places has its variant as aṃga which seems to be the original form of the term. ‘Aṃga’ note means the note which is an essential requisite or component of the song. For this meaning see Apte sub voce.


See below note 1 of 101-105.


See below note 1 of 101-105.


Kn. gives the method of raising the pitch as follows.

“ṣaḍjamadhyamagrāmayoḥ prādhānyāt prā?lyācca ya?in grāme yaścatuḥśrutiko'śaḥ ṣaḍjo vā madhyamo vā bhavet | tārasthitāda higuṇāt tammāt ṣaḍjāṃda(?) vā madhyamāda vā parāṃścaturaḥ svarān | madhyamagrāme......tāramadhyamaparāmarśe(?) tammāditi tamārabhetyarthaḥ |... tena saha parāṃścaturo(?) mapadhanīnā ārohedityarthaḥ | ṣaḍjagrāme tu...tāraṣaḍjaparāmaśeṃ(?) tammādityavadhau pañcamī | tataḥ parāṃścaturaḥ svarān rigamapān ārohediti” (on SR. I. 7. 35-36).


The translation is tentative. For the method of lowering pitch given in SR I. 7. 34-37 see Sbh.’s comment thereon (GS. II. pp. 113-124).


Alpatva (Reduction) of a note is qualitative as well as quantitative. The former is skipping over or very lightly touching the note, and the latter is its non-repetition (See GS. II. p. 79).


The Antaramārga has been taken as an additional characteristic of the Aṃśa. But this is no addition to the definition of the term given in NŚ., but an amplification of the same. See SR. I. 7. 30, and Kn.’s comment thereon.


Bahutva (Amplification) is also of two kinds: (a) qualitative i.e., the note being perfectly (i.e., most audibly) produced and (b) quantitative i.e. the note being repeated in many ways (See GS. II. p. 79).


The translation is tentative.


That is, anuvāin and saṃvādin notes to it.


See 5860-61 before.


See 58 before.


The Nyāsa has been compared to Cadence of the Western music. See GS. II. pp. 35, 118. Some later writer connects the Nyāsa with Rāgas:

“?nthāsasvaramtu vijñeyo yastu rāgasamāpakaḥ” (wrongly ascribed by GS. to SR.);

while the rest take this in connection with songs in general and not merely to Jātis. e.g.

“gīte samāprikkannyāsaḥ(?)” (SR. I. 7. 38);

“?nthāsaḥ svarastu vijñeyo ścastu gītasamāpakaḥ” (saṅgītadarpaṇa, 146).


The Apanyāsa note occurs at the conclusion of each division (vidārī) of the song. Mataṅga says on this point :

“sa ca ṣaṭpañcāśada bhedabhinnāṃ bhavate, gītanāṃ madhe ?oddhabyaḥ | yathā yatra sasāpramiva gītaṃ pratibhāsate so'panthāmaḥ(?) | sa ca vidārimadhe bhavati | gītaśarīramadhya ityarthaḥ”

See also GS. II. p. 118.


The emendation of the text, should be cancelled.


But the Vinyāsa and the Saṃnyāsa mentioned in 76-78 above, have not been defined or explained. It is possible that the passages treating these items, have been lost. The Saṃnyāsa is the closing note of the first division of a song, and is not vivādin to the Arnśa.

According to Mataṅga,

“aṃśasya vivādī yathā na bhavati prathamavidāryāmante yadi prayukto bhavati tadā saṃnyāsa itucyate” (Bd. quoted by Sbh. comm, on SR. I. 7, 51-52).

The Vinyāsa is the closing note of the padas in a division of the song, and it is samvādin or anuvādin to the Aṃśa.

According to Mataṅga

“eṣa eva tu saṃnyāsasyaro yadā padānte vinyasyate tadā vinyāsaḥ | ata evāṃśabhya saṃvādyanuvādī vā padavidāryante bhavatītuktam” (on SR. I. 7.47-51).

SR. defines the Vinyāsa as follows:

“vinyāsaḥ sa tu kathvate | yo vidārībhāgarupapadaprānte'vatiṣṭhate” (I. 7. 48). Kn. explained it follows: “vidāryā bhāgarūpāṇi varṇālaṃkārādiyuktasya rāgasya vākyasyānīyasyāvayavabhūtāni padavat padāni teṣāṃ svarasamudayātmānāṃ prānte yo'vatiṣṭhata iti” (on SR. I. 7. 48).

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