Matanga and His Work Brihaddesi : (ed.) Prem Lata Sharma

The Brhaddesi of Matanga, a ninth-century work, is among the earliest primary texts in Sanskrit dealing with the music of the Indian subcontinent. As its name suggests, the work takes cognizance of musical practices in various regions of the country. It is also the first treatise to mention the solfa syllables in the music of India. For these and other reasons, the Brhaddesi has engaged the attention of scholars in later periods, down to our own times. This volume contains the papers and discussions presented at the seminar on Matanga and the Brhaddesi organized by Sangeet Natak Akademi at Hampi, Karnataka, in 1995. The nineteen contributions by leading scholars cover various aspects of the study of the Brhaddesi: its historicity and mythological aspects; citations found in and from the work in earlier and later texts; the relationship between its prose and verse portions; elements of ayurveda, yoga, and tantra in the work; its treatment of marga and desi, sruti and swara, murchhana, tana, and alankara. Musical notations in Brhaddesi, raga-names found in the work, and the names of musical bhasas (in connection with ragas) mentioned here, are among the other topics dealt with in the papers. To researchers and scholars of India’s musical traditions, this book would provide an update and review of the current discourse on Matanga’s work not available elsewhere. 250 x 185 mm / 310 pages Published 2001 / Rs 500