Ancient India Music

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Old 26-Mar-2011
Ancient India Music

Music has been part of Indian subcontinent since antiquity. It was seen as an excellent means for realization of god. Music was considered as a source of culture and civilization.It was an integral aspect of Sanskrit dramas like Abhijnana Shakuntalam,Mirchakatika.The fourth act of Vikramoryasiya by Kalidasa used different musical compositions like aksiptika, dvipadika, jambhalika, khandadhara, carcarj, khandaka, etc.Music originated from chanting of Vedas from the Aryan age.'Nada' the source of sound turned into Chandas. The priests chanted hymns in a musical tone with the pronunciation according to the tune.Vocalising syllables called Sthobhaksaras were added. Melody and rhythm created the music. Priests used to perform group chanting at the sacrifices. There are many legends about the origin of music.

There are several references to vocal music in Vedas, Upanishads, Srimad Bhagavata, the Puranas and the epics. Sam Veda as a source of music was meant to be sung. There was large number of tunes or Samans which came to be used extensively. These addressed different elements of nature like the cloud, seasons, tree, plant and the animals etc.Gandharva Veda was the aspect of main Vedas which dealt especially with the science of music. According to Hindu mythology each god or goddess is associated with some kind of musical instrument. Goddess Sarasvati is seen with Veena in her hands. Lord Shiva is associated with damru, Lord Vishnu with conch; Lord Krishna is inseparable with flute and Narada with an ektara.There were many works on music written in later periods explaining various characteristics, types and techniques. But the theory of music as expounded in Gandharva Veda got lost.

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