muraja drum

Bharat Gupt abhinav at DEL3.VSNL.NET.IN
Fri Jul 9 23:19:23 UTC 1999

arul kumaresan wrote:
> Dr. Bharat Gupt wrote
> >I do not know if the scholars you have named have written on the
> >subject. My work has been mainly, rather entirely, based on the
> >Sanskrit texts of the Natysastra. and the Valmikiya Ramayana and
> >later musicological texts .
> >[...]
> >The date of NS is a big controversy.IT is a text that has grown over
> >centuries but which lines/ portions are later  additions, is not
> >possible to point out. The medieval texts describe the size and
> >making of muraja. Muraj may have had a South Indian  origin  and
> >could have been incorporated in the NS list of drums.
>     muraja is an important drum attested early on. It is not
>    restricted to South India alone. The incorporation of tamil
>    muracam as sanskrit muraja from ancient times adds strength
>    to the theory that once Dravidian was spoken widely in North India.
>    Telugu has morayu as equivalent to ta. muracam.
>    Another example from the music terms: Take muralI, muralIdhara,
>    muralikrishna, etc.,  Compare with Tamil words, muralvu = soft
>    sound, muralutal = to make sound, to sing, muraLi/murali =flute,
>    pipe. Aapastamba zrautasuutra mentions Tamil lutes (Witzel,
>    8-feb-96). Does any professional scholar work on Indian
>    musicology/dramaturgy with good training in Tamil and Sanskrit
>    texts?
>   Regards,
>   Arul
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Prof. Arul comment are very illuminating, but not being a linguist I am not in a
position to say if mauraja gave rise to murucam or viceversa. However, one thing is
certain that the Natyasastra is the oldest musicological text available , even older
than the Valmikiya Ramayana as it is evident from the the oldest portions like the
Sunder and Yuddha Kandas that Valmiki was using Bharat Muni's terminology with a
musicological awareness. I have discussed it in detail in my publications. I am not in
a position to pronouce that Silapaddikaram is older than Valimiki, but the common
belief is that it is not. The NS has been considered a later texts by Keith and
scholars of that period purely for non-natya reasons, they presumed that drama had
a Greek origin and that no theoretical text of theatre could have preceded the
extant ancient Indian plays.

For a scholar who is familiar both with Sanskrit and Tamil music texts, please
contact Mr. R Ramanathan of MAdras Univ, Music Dept.
With regards,
Bharat Gupt
Assoc Professor, Delhi Univ.

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