About the Book :
This is Professor O.C. Gangoly's magnum opus on a phase of the History of Indian Music-the origin and the development of Indian musical modes-picturesquely known as the Ragas and Raginis. The author makes accessible to the general reader as well as to the practitioners of Indian Music, valuable musical data of fundamental importance not only for the study of Indian achievements in the sphere of Music-but also for the future development of one of the greatest contributions made by India to the culture of the world. Music occupies the foremost position in the development of National Culture. Greater knowledge of the past history and of the lines of development of Indian Music, is therefore, necessary not only on the part of the expert exponent- but also on the part of the expert listener, the future connoisseur and patron of Indian Music. This exhaustive survey of the development of Indian Melodies from the Vedic Period to the time of Rabindra Nath Tagore-brings under focus fundamental data bearing on the theory of the Art and the stages of its development. The chapter on the History of Ragas, a large mass of materials hitherto imbedded in obscure and unpublished MSS. have been dug up and set forth in a historical sequence-revealing a fascinating story of the growth and development of the Melodies. The peculiar theories governing the principles of Indian Music are set forth with remarkable ingenuity and scholarship from the hitherto unexplored sources. Apart from the data essential for the correct understanding of Indian Music Theories, the researches embodied in this volume have revealed surprising materials for the study of the mythology and iconography of Indian Music and connecting links which intimately bind together the masterpieces of musical and pictorial art. This indeed is a very revealing chapter in the history of Indian culture itself. For it was never realized earlier-as to what extent musical culture has offered valuable materials for the development of Indian Paintings and to what extent the Indian Pictorial Artist has collaborated in disseminating and vulgarizing fundamental concepts, some times of extremely abstruse mystical significance, for the apprehension of the general public in an easily accessible and graphic form. These pictorial data will help to analyse the fundamental emotive character-the ethos of each Raga-so that the practitioner should not use indiscriminately any pattern of Indian Melody-except to express its appropriate emotive concept. The most valuable data offered in this volume is the carefully collected material bearing on the history of the classification of the Ragas set out in a series of appendices-which themselves offer a complete map of the History of Indian Music.