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The Importance of Tone, Tune, and Text in Indian Music

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Item Code: NAU597
Author: Dr. Debashree Bhattacharya
Publisher: Sanjay Prakashan
Language: English and Sanskrit
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 9788174532824
Pages: 244
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 440 gm
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Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
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More than 1M+ customers worldwide
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100% Made in India
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Book Description
About The Book

The world of music is as vast as an ocean, as endless and infinite as the sky. The present book 'The Importance of Tone, Tune and Text in Indian Music' is an interesting study of music as it attempts to trace out a few distinctive features of music from their origin to this modern time. Tones or swans gradually were extended with the discovery of srutis. These shrutis were later on used to create different tunes as melodies which gave rise to ragas—the soul of Indian classical music. Text in music is the via-media through which the message of a raga or the indication of a rasa comes out to win over the hearts of the listeners. Last but not the least Tala acts as a binding agent between the three and puts life and rhythm into it.

About The Author

Dr. Debashree Bhattacharya, is the student of Dr. (Mrs.) M. Vijay Lakshmi of the Faculty of Music and Fine Arts. She holds a doctorate degree in Indian classical music from the University of Delhi. She started learning classical music at a tender age from different gurus and learnt various forms of music including light music, Rabindra Sangeet, arts, crafts and sculpture. She has given performances in music all over India. She has received many awards in music and Excellence Award 2005 from 'The Indian Society of Creative Arts'.


Man's search for the supreme has been as old as man himself Since the dawn of civilization man has yearned to attain that which transcends him and stands beyond his reach as the supreme, as the infinite and the eternal. In course of this persuit it has transpired that the articulate expressions about the object of this search sometimes reveal it to be the highest embodiment of the human values, embellished with all the superlative human qualities. Whenever this has been the case, man has given an anthropomorphic image to It and named It the highest entity as God.

This idea of God as Supreme Reality has been flashed in the richas of Rigveda, which have been very beautifully reflected in the Samaveda, in musical form. Thus we see that the Samaveda can be ascribed as the earliest origin of music.

In the present work 'importance of tone, tune (tonal structure) and text (verbal structure) in Hindustani vocal music' I have tried to show the interrelation of the above said three aspects that has helped in the development of Hindustani music. This study has cast light on their inseparable internal connections, despite their differences in their forms. The binding factor, which acts as their common platform is tala. Thus these four factors tone, tune, tala and text provide the foundation on which the superstructure of Hindustani music is raised.

Initially in the samic period the richas were chanted with three base notes-udatta, anudatta and swarita. Later Narada divided the sama swaras as archika, gathika and samika. In course of time the other notes were incorporated as swarantara, audav, shadav and sampurna, which ultimately resulted in the appear- once of 7 vedic notes in the samagana as Prathama, Dvitiya, tritiya, caturtha, mandra, atisvarya and krusta in the `Kauthama Recension'. These notes were sung in descending order like Ma, Ga, Re, Sa, Dha, Ni, Pa. These very ancient musical notes are still being applied in the ascending order in our present Hindustani classical music as the basic structure. The tones create the melodic patterns with their colourful ascends, descends, their harmonic relations along with the alankaras, murchhanas, varieties of tanas and with ten other essential parts. All these enliven music.

Another important factor that adds to the life of music, is the microtone. The tones along with the microtones are surcharged with aesthetic sentiments and different moods which further beautify music ragas or tunes. Tunes or the ragas are the most significant, distinguished and fascinating feature of Indian classical music both in vocal and instrumental forms. Tone and tune, thus create the magic world of music, which fills the hearts of the audience with tranquil, peace and heavenly bliss. One can attain the sublime state of divinity and ecstasy through the medium of good music.

The exposition of a good melody needs a medium of a song, woven by words called lyrics. When these lyrics, bound by a melody (raga) set to a tala, is known as bandish. This bandish is the pavement on which the artist builds the embellished structure of his performance.

Last, but not the least, the tala or rhythm is another factor which is inseparably connected with raga recital. Rhythm gives motion or dynamism to the raga. The proper and fullest happiness and joy of listening to a beautiful classical recital is obtained truly when a melody is joined with a tala in a balanced manner and degree. In the present study I have tried to consult the available literature on tone, tune, tala and text and I have also tried to present them faithfully. There are altogether five chapters in the present thesis. The first chapter has dealt with Tone, and the basis of sound, its origin, how it is produced according to ancient author's sound, based on vibration, the gradation of sound, its registers, notes etc.

In the second chapter 1 have dealt with tune (tonal struc-ture), in which I have discussed what is (tune) tonal structure, its importance and how it is applied in the compositional forms? The third chapter depicts the Etimology and definition of tala, its kind, purpose, ten pranas of tala etc. The fourth chapter deals with verbal structure (text), its properties, purpose and its mainfold etc.' In the fifth chapter a comparative study of the ancient and the modern conception of tone, tune, tala and text has been discussed. In the conclusion it has been shown how tone, tune and text are indispensable in the formation of Hindustani classical music.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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