epics and oral traditions

jacob.baltuch at euronet.be jacob.baltuch at euronet.be
Sun Jun 8 14:39:27 UTC 1997

Re the influence of writing on the transmission
of the Samaveda, I have read of cases of interference
of writing, in that the musical value of certain
signs in the manuscripts was misinterpreted, which in
turn seems to show that the recitation was learned at
least in some cases from the written down version.

Does anyone know what I am talking about? If true, this
seems to contradict the view the process of transmission
was always exclusively oral, doesn't it?

More generally, if writing played no role in the
transmission, how come there are manuscripts at all?
What was the purpose of writing things down?

On the other hand there do seem to be traditions which
do not use (have never used?) writing at all, for example
Nambudiri Samavedins.

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