Metric Melodies

Srinivasan Pichumani srini at
Fri May 30 18:40:26 UTC 1997

	Ten days ago I posted a query on where I might find recordings 
	of the melodies attached to various metres.  This morning, I 
	happened upon the title:

	Vedic Recitation in Varanasi, Wayne Howard.  Motilal Banarsidass, 
	1986.  $34.00.

	This volume purports to have "musical transcriptions of various 
	recitations modes" -- whatever that means.  

The reference is to the various Vedic recitation styles 
found in Banaras - RV recitation of folks originally 
from regions like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, who moved 
to Varanasi over the centuries including the 19th/20th,  
SV recitation of Gujarati/TN sAmavedins... similarly
in the case of YV... AV recitation too finds mention.

Nambudiri recitation from Kerala is not dealt with in 
this book because, significantly, there are no Nambudiri 
reciters in Varanasi... Wayne Howard mentions that the 
only Nambudiri in Varanasi, to his knowledge, involved 
with the Vedas is a scholar in one of the Sanskrit 
colleges in the city... and even he belongs to the 
"OttilAta" sub-sect of Nambudiris who are not allowed 
to receive the Vedas in the (oral) traditional manner. 

	I assume the "musical transcriptions" are in Western notation.  

Yes... more examples can be found in Wayne Howard's other 
book "Samavedic Chant", Yale University Press, 1977.  This
book has transcriptions of SV recitation from different 
regions of the country.


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