Danielou and Tamil Musicology

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at cco.caltech.edu
Wed Apr 2 01:19:14 UTC 1997

On Tue, 1 Apr 1997, Srinivasan Pichumani wrote:


> In any case the time is ripe, and has been so for a while, for 
> scholars of Indian music to take a good, hard look at the wealth 
> of _musicological_ detail described in Tamil literature and possibly 
> in other regional literatures too, in addition to that described in 
> the Sanskrit treatises... and discuss their relevance, morphing, 
> etc in detail... rather than leaving alone the former with just a 
> polite mention.

A hearty yes to that. I find it fascinating that where the Sanskrit texts
seem to be silent about the relationship of the gAndhAra to shaDja, the
Tamil texts explicitly talk of the relationship of kaikkiLi and kuRal in
terms of friendship (naTpu) and enmity (pakai). I have always wondered if
the so-called gAndhAra grAma that is "sung only in heavenly realms" has
anything to do with this. And Bharata's demonstration notwithstanding, I
have found it impossible to make sense of the 22 Sruti theory without
assuming something about the gAndhAra. Ramanathan's analysis of the Tamil
references to 22 maattirais in an octave seemed to be much more


> ps: By two different processes of paNNup peyarttal, are you referring
> to the modal change of tonic, and the change of intervals with a fixed
> tonic ?

I remember S. Ramanathan using the term kuRal tiripu for the modal shift
of tonic, and paNNuppeyarttal for the change of intervals around a fixed

S. Vidyasankar

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