Vedic accent in taittiriya samhita

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Jan 22 14:22:37 EST 2000


Bharat Gupt <abhinav at DEL3.VSNL.NET.IN> wrote:

>Broadly speaking the Anudaatta, Udaatta and Svarita svaras of Rgveda paatha
>and the
>Saam, including the Taittiriiyapratitshaakhya, as heard today, can be
>equated with Ni,
>Sa, and Ri of the North Indian Kafi scale (Kharaharapriya of the Karnataka
>melas).

In contemporary south Indian (excluding Kerala Nambudiri tradition)
recitation of RV and TS, the notes correspond more closely to Ni, Sa and Ri
of the Cakravaka mela (north Indian Ahir Bhairav scale). Many music
enthusiasts associate the south Indian raga Revati (corresponding to Bairagi
Bhairav) with Vedic recitation.

>The Paniniya "samaahaarah svaritah" is to be understood not in terms of the
>pitch of the
>note in comparison to the pitch of Udaatta, but in terms of the musical
>interval on the
>scale, that is to say, that while Udaatta is a four s'ruti(microtonal
>interval) note,
>Anudaata is a two s'ruti note, the Svarita is a three s'ruti note. The
>example as above,
>Sa, Ni and Ri respectively.

This description is quite unclear to me. If the Sruti references are to
musical intervals, udaatta is four Srutis away from which note? And
anudaatta is two Srutis away from which note? It is quite standard to say
that Sa is four Srutis and Ni is two Srutis, but here the references are
automatically to the previous note in the octave. To elaborate, Sa is four
Srutis away from Ni, and Ni is two Srutis away from Dha. Even if the
recitation has increasingly become musicalized, is it valid to apply
concepts based on an entire octave to a recitation scheme that involves a
much more restricted range of pitches?

Vidyasankar
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