INDIAN MUSIC FORUMS

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Christianamr

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Reply with quote  #1 
About one year ago I had a phase where I wanted to find some equivalents for indian thaats and melas .
In fact I could also say equivalents for ragas , but the concept of raga is sometimes a little different from scales from other cultures , so I leave it on a more general level , like thaats and melas .

I was quite astonished to find a list where they said to have an equivalent of the rather quite serious and eerie sounding Marwa thaat ( Gamanashrama mela , Lydian b9 ) in Greek music .
I found it in one song on youtube in this Greek " Peiraiotikos " mode or scale .



However , after listening to it , I found it is closer to Purvi thaat ( Kamavardhani mela , Lydian b9 b13 ) , since the komal dha is prominent there .
Indeed the vocal part , that comes first , is wholly in purvi thaat . Then the instrumental part changes the scale , and they play in Chakravaka mela ( = Ahir Bhairav , Mixloydian b9 ) .

The concordance of Peiraiotikos scale with Purvi thaat is confirmed here :

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Sst0DAfnRZoJpuculuk.blogspot.com/2011/01/markos-vamvakaris.html+peiraiotikos&cd=9&hl=de&ct=clnk&gl=at

But on the other hand , most of the other sources say it is equivalent to Marva thaat :

http://pianoencyclopedia.com/scales/peiraiotikos/C-peiraiotikos.html

Ok , so there seems to be a confusion here ....
Anyway it

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nigama

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Christian,

Phps you mean indian music can sound same as greek music, with different instruments? :?: I can clarify my thoughts a little following the wedding raga thread http://forums.chandrakantha.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2720&p=61757#p61757

There is uncounted research done on Greek music, some on the origins which can be traced back to the era of harps and lyres. Fortunately Greeks like Plato considered Dorian mode as fundamental harmony, which at present state of advanced arts can be considered playing from first string down in seven strings, called isartu in Old Babylonian as first mode, which looks similar to Kafi Thaat in Indian deshi but more precisely Nisadi Jati in marga music. So this way, marga music describing creation maybe viewed as the music that emerged from early civilization. Harps can be found in early times back to the Persian Gulf Region at Ur, Uruk and Eridu. The last town is called the first city in the Bible, named after Enos, the son of Kain, who is said to have been the father of those who built stringed instruments and flutes in the Bible, who brought them along with them. But Kain is also known as the son of a couple, who in vedic scriptures is refered to as Indara and Urjvasi, who are placed at the origin of music. Now, the oldest universal work that touched upon the Indian music after the advent of alphabetic writing there, Bharatas Natya Shastra is known from a manuscript not older than phps 200 years ago. Nobody can for sure say, what the original written from 2000 years ago really was. But one might compare to other cultures passed away to get some dating, so the cultural relations are important. What amazes is, that Natya Shastra claims marga music for drama i.g. poetry, dance and music all with but one common aesthetic factor. In music since Bharata this socalled rasa is the dominant ruler of the amsa, the tonic note of the marga melody. The ideal would therefore have been to colour the sound of the amsa by the defined jati melody in harmony with itself and with the same poetic rasa and the dance rasa in movements as laid down in the very same shastra. Bharata claimed that this philosophy had come down from the time of Indra, who was delighted in marga music alone. This makes sense if we believe that this philosophy originated in Mesopotamia or Asia Minor and was adopted in India, China or Europe in their particular ways. Even Flamenco dance could be considered belonging to this category. Still lot of research need to be done in Dorian mode, biblical music origins and marga music, but I am convinced there is hope to find a solution.
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Christianamr

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "nigama"
Hi Christian,

Phps you mean indian music can sound same as greek music, with different instruments? :?: I can clarify my thoughts a little following the wedding raga thread http://forums.chandrakantha.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2720&p=61757#p61757

There is uncounted research done on Greek music, some on the origins which can be traced back to the era of harps and lyres. Fortunately Greeks like Plato considered Dorian mode as fundamental harmony, which at present state of advanced arts can be considered playing from first string down in seven strings, called isartu in Old Babylonian as first mode, which looks similar to Kafi Thaat in Indian deshi but more precisely Nisadi Jati in marga music. So this way, marga music describing creation maybe viewed as the music that emerged from early civilization. Harps can be found in early times back to the Persian Gulf Region at Ur, Uruk and Eridu. The last town is called the first city in the Bible, named after Enos, the son of Kain, who is said to have been the father of those who built stringed instruments and flutes in the Bible, who brought them along with them. But Kain is also known as the son of a couple, who in vedic scriptures is refered to as Indara and Urjvasi, who are placed at the origin of music. Now, the oldest universal work that touched upon the Indian music after the advent of alphabetic writing there, Bharatas Natya Shastra is known from a manuscript not older than phps 200 years ago. Nobody can for sure say, what the original written from 2000 years ago really was. But one might compare to other cultures passed away to get some dating, so the cultural relations are important. What amazes is, that Natya Shastra claims marga music for drama i.g. poetry, dance and music all with but one common aesthetic factor. In music since Bharata this socalled rasa is the dominant ruler of the amsa, the tonic note of the marga melody. The ideal would therefore have been to colour the sound of the amsa by the defined jati melody in harmony with itself and with the same poetic rasa and the dance rasa in movements as laid down in the very same shastra. Bharata claimed that this philosophy had come down from the time of Indra, who was delighted in marga music alone. This makes sense if we believe that this philosophy originated in Mesopotamia or Asia Minor and was adopted in India, China or Europe in their particular ways. Even Flamenco dance could be considered belonging to this category. Still lot of research need to be done in Dorian mode, biblical music origins and marga music, but I am convinced there is hope to find a solution.
Thanks for your reply . It is really quite dense and touches lots of different points , which would merit some probably intricate discussions on their own . I have also a soft spot for the origins of civilizations and their arts .
From the sources concerning the origins of civilizations that I´ve read I find the most satisfactory sources to be the ancient Indian scriptures . Concerning the Itihasas , there is mention of swaras and ragas already in the Ramayana ( and Mahabharata also I remind well ... ) .
You mention Lord Indra as the originator of music ~~ I shall investigate into this . It can be that at a later moment of the creation ( Srishti ) , he gave music to mankind ; just speculating though . Traditionally the celestial Gandharvas are seen as the specialists of Sangeet in some of the superior planetary systems ( Bhur , Bhuvah etc ) , but I suppose that in even higher realms ( Mahar , Tapo etc ) the Rishis are also conversant with the art of music .

Be it as it be , the most authoritative scripture about the procedure of creation for me is the Bhagavata Purana , where it is described that the first created being Brahma emerges from Garbodakshayi Vishnu , the Unborn Supreme Lord .
At first Brahma ( the secondary Creator ) is bewildered because he is given the task to create the Universe without knowing how to do it , but then he is given direction by the sound provided by Lord Vishnu . This sound is transcendental to this material universe . Then subsequently , Brahma also creates by sound . He might then have probably given some musical faculties to Indra ( as you say Indra is the originator of music ) , but from most sources Indra is generally seen as the chief of the demigods ( devas ) , the demigod of thunder and rain , who is mostly engaged in supervisoral matters of the universe .

Now , how the propagation of music has evolved on this planet is another big topic , where ancient Vedic culture stands out by the concept of raga . You mention the Sumerian cultures , which are quite prominent in ancient history , notably because of ancient cities , and the Epic Gilgamesh . Much research needs to be done there , I think . Personally I find the ancient Greek music theory quite accessible , not that I understand it fully , but there are lots of good sources on it . It is also a good starting point for ancient music theories , and it stands out as the origin of or the most ancient European system of music .

You mention Kafi thaat as an important ancient scale , and indeed I remember that in an older Indian System it was the primary scale . It is interesting , because Dorian has some notorious properties , like a curious symmetry : If the intervalls are inverted , it still yields the same scale . It is the only one of the 7 European medieval modes that has this property ...

Speaking of older Indian systems , since this topic is so vast ; i tend to revisit the blog by Sangtar , where he has some short summaries for the old systems :
http://blog.sangtar.com/?p=132 http://blog.sangtar.com/?page_id=119
" In the development of music, the things went like this (from a Natyashaster verse):
First songs, then notes, then Grams, Sharutis and then the Jaties (raags) "

He might have some different theories about the origins of mankind and music , which is felt in his elaborations , but I don´t care much about this detail . He has a very clear overview and and they are all summarized in one spot .
Another quote :
" The first known theory of music in Indian Vedas (Samveda) contains four notes. Nowadays notes are always mentioned in ascending (such as C D E or Sa Re Ga) order. In Vedic tradition, the notes are mentioned in Avrohatmic order (in descending). The first four the Vedic artists knew were:
Madhyam (ma), Gandhar (ga), Rishav and Shadaj.
These were known as the first, second, third and fourth Suwars.

When I say they ‘knew’ about four notes, that doesn’t mean that they were unaware of higher and lower pitches. As described above, this was purely theoretical classification that explained the notes used in popular hymns and songs.

Then another note was found below all other known notes. They called it Mandar. A musicologist Tambru named it Dhaivat (the note that only enlightened one can hear, as it is the first note that has perfect third relation to the first note). This was the fifth note. Then Tambru established another note (Nishad) between Dhaivat and Shadaj. It was called the sixth. Later, below all other notes another note was found. It was named the ‘seventh.’ As it completed the septave, this note was also established above the first (Madhaym).

So in Samveda, M, G, R, S, D, N, P became the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh. These notes were not the same as our modern notes with same names. "

As for your question if I thought Greek music can sound similar to Indian music , with different instruments ; well that could be a viewpoint of my first post . Specifically , I am interested in the tonal material and the scales used . I have found one more correspondance of an Greek scale with a Carnatic Mela ( or even many examples ) , but that will be the subject of future posts .

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सहस्रनाम ततुलयम राम नाम वरानने |
Sahasranāma tat tulyam Rāma nāma Varānane .
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Christianamr

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Reply with quote  #4 
The user Nigama has contacted me via Email and has requested me to post his response :
Quote:
" I tried to post this, but get only access denied. So I send PM, phps you can add it to the thread? :|

Hello again,

I think in many previous posts, I have dealt with some of the questions/answers you pose…altogether I am preparing my research for a book, so I do not want to go into much detail before.

I feel what you call following Bhagavatam, Vishnu Purana is part of a Hare Krishna philosophy of quite late date. The danger of this philosophy is that it tries to give a rational for everything elsewhere unexplainable just to be very impressive.

Archaeology confirms that about 35000 years ago first bone flutes were excavated within the realm of socalled old european cave culture, together with artistic statues such as lionman or – woman, believed to be in a dance pose. Although there is consent that the flutes were pentatonic, I do not have any confirmation about the exact scale so as to compare to indian svaras. In indian mythology the lionman appears as Vishnu in the form of Narasimha, the flute as instruments of Krishna and it is general consent of scholars that Vishnu was known before as human being Indra. So, to base anything upon mythological indian history one has to discern fact from fiction and best leave wishful thinking on ist own.

Research in music can be manifold, one good excample is how
german-born Syrian Malek Jandali did it on utube, he composed upon an ancient melody from Ugarit after decades of scholarly research by others, see


It might take some years to read into the matter, but one will find out that the 3400 year old text of the melody keeps mentioning akkadian “nid quablim”, that is one of the Sa or seven string sets accepted as basis of the scales. Similarly the Indian jatis, from which the ragas may have derived are related to seven strings, maybe one day it will be realized that this composition may give a clue to what the jatis were like? Such utubes could be award winners and there is a lot of research to be done in this art field yet.

Another level is Psalms and Ragas, a quite amazing program for free download from
http://www.asram.org/texts/softEn.html (scroll down the page)
it brings at a mouseclick various ragas with similar tunes as Benedictine, Gregorian, greek rendered psalms.The origin of many psalms however can also be traced back in time to the same Ugarit, where had been stored the music mentioned in the utube above.

Peace "

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सहस्रनाम ततुलयम राम नाम वरानने |
Sahasranāma tat tulyam Rāma nāma Varānane .
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Christianamr

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Reply with quote  #5 
I plan to reply soon , but I am in a hurry now ; and anyway it will take me quite some time to give a well researched reply , since there have been raised some fundamental points ...
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सहस्रनाम ततुलयम राम नाम वरानने |
Sahasranāma tat tulyam Rāma nāma Varānane .
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