Gandharva Veda, the music of nature!

Gandharva Veda would be the favorite music of the gods, with very strict rules but which leave a lot of room for improvisation. Our music is evolved from this ancient text!

Gandharva veda

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Gandharva Veda is the foundation

Gandharva Veda is the eternal music of nature, which resonates at all levels of creation. From the smallest particles to the immense universe in constant expansion. It is the foundation of order and harmony in nature. Which is why it has extremely harmonizing and integrating effects.

And Gandharva Veda is an Upa-Veda (subordinate to the Veda) of the Sama Veda (1 of the 4 Veda). It includes a theoretical treatise on music and the living arts. Basis of Gandharva Veda are melodies, which is raga. So, you can imagine the Veda is a base of universal music. As per the Veda raga has its own structure which links each constituent element to an infinity of possible variations. This allows musicians to express all the subtleties of the vibrations prevailing at a given time of the day.

Different base notes express different atmospheres and emotions, such as joy, love, celebration, introspection, peace. Each raga relies on one of the 10 ranges, the thaat(scale). So only the notes from one of these scales form a raga. Hence raga consists of 5, at most 7 notes (swara) per octave. And the ideal of Indian classical music is the voice, we use no more than 2 and a half to 3 octaves.

Raga and thaala

The most widely known text on Indian music and the performing arts is the Natyashastra by Bharata Muni. It appeared 2000 years ago. In the 13th century followed a collection of all works on this theme. The Sharngardeva Sangitaratnakara, which is mainly concerned with the spiritual aspect of music, with vibrations at the finest levels of consciousness. Terms raga (piece of music) and thaala (rhythmic cycle), mentioning for the first time. And the pieces of music are assigned to it at different times of the day and year.

Gandharva veda

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The favorite music of the gods

Gandharava Veda is the favorite music of the gods, with very strict rules but which leave a lot of room for improvisation. The knowledge on which the raga rely, takes into account continuously changing frequencies of nature, according to the times of the day and the year. According to the Gandharva Veda the frequencies of nature change every 4 hours and called as praharas. And from the beginning of the day until midnight there are 4 praharas during which we play the appropriate raga.

Gandharva veda

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We know from our study of physics that everything in creation, at its most fundamental level, is made up of frequencies of sound. Hence sages of this country cognized these subtle frequencies within the silence of their consciousness. And also expressed them as the rhythms and melodies!!!

(Enjoy ‘Bhaja Govindam’ in its one of the most beautiful forms available today to a listener, from the great legendary M.S. Subbulakshmi)

Mayesh Babu