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THE Hindus have an ancient system of music, which is described in some of their musical treatises ; and even a rude notation, which, however, is not in common use at the present day, the national melodies sung or played by musicians in the temples or in social life, being handed down from generation to generation by ear. It is impossible to tell how far these tunes have become changed in course of time, but no doubt many of them might claim a very high antiquity.

Some of the Sanskrit works explain the law of musical sounds, their divisions and succession, variations of scales by temperament and the enunciation of modes, besides a minute description of the different instruments, and the rules for playing them.

Within the present century the Indian music has been investigated by several European scholars, and explained in various essays in the “Asiatic Researches “ and other literary journals, and in separate dissertations upon the subject. And within the last twenty years natives of great learning and ability have devoted much time and effort to the revival of the indigenous music, writing down ancient standard tunes, composing new ones in similar style, and discussing at large the principles of Indian music.

Such are Rajah Sourindro Mohun Tagore, who has published much on this subject, and has done more for the revival of Indian music than any other man, not only by his books but by his orchestra, organized to illustrate the art in the Hindu School of Music, and his Bengal Philharmonic Academy; Rajah Debendranath Tagore; L. N. Ghose; and Krishna Dhana Banerjea, of Calcutta, and others. Christian missionaries and evangelists also have within the same period introduced these tunes into public worship, and employed them for attracting audiences to the preaching of the Gospel.

The Hindus are acquainted with our scale of seven tones, or graduated series of sounds used in music; and denote them by letters which are the initial names of those notes, viz. : Sharja, Rishava, Gandhara, Madhyama, Panchama, Dhaivata, and Nishada. The gamut therefore is as follows :-

This is called the Pracrita Shurogram, or Natural Scale. It is also called Surgum, from the four first notes of the scale.

Various and complicated : Scales, however, are used in Hindu music. “The English Diatonic Scale,” says Mr. L. N. Ghose,* “is like our Pracrita Shurogram, having five Sooras, i.e., tones, viz.: sa, ri, ma, pa, and dha (C, D, F, G, and A), and two urdhasooras, i.e., semi-tones, viz., ga and ni (E and B).”

“When these notes are divided into twelve semi-tones, they form our Bicrita Shurogram (artificial scale), like the English Chromatic Scale, having kamala, i.e., flat, and sharp (tibra) sooras. We use also the smaller intervals than semi-tones, called Srooties, which are almost like those of the Enharmonic Scale. They are twenty-two in number in the compass of our Pracrita Shurogram, as specified in the following table :-

Or, as the case is put by J. D. Paterson,** “The Hindus divide the octave into twenty-two intervals, which are called Sruti by allotting four Srutis to represent the interval which we call a major tone (between the first and second, fourth and fifth, and fifth and sixth, notes of the octave) ; three to describe a minor tone (between the second and third, and sixth and seventh), and two the semi-tone (between the third and fourth, and seventh and eighth); not as being mathematically just, but as means of representing to the eye and to the understanding the supposed relations which these intervals bear to each other ; merely to show that a semi-tone is half a major tone, and that the minor tone is a medium between the major and semi-tone, being less than the former and greater than the latter. Mathematical calculation is out of the question.”

A Sruti, or sub-tone, is therefore sometimes a quarter-tone, and at others the third of a tone, according to its position in the scale. “ From the simple calculation of the number of Srooties,” continues Mr. Ghose, “we can form different kinds of scales according to our present system of notation. We can write twenty-one notes in our Stabaca, consisting of three lines intended for the three natural Saptacas or Heptachords, viz.:-

Udara, Moodara, and Tara.

In each line we can note down seven notes belonging to each of the Saptacas, with the exception of our two additional (ledger) lines. Example of the Bengali Stabaca or Staff, containing twenty-one notes of the three natural Saptacas without ledger lines.”

By varying the length of the vowels, the means of indicating notes of two different lengths are found in the gamut ; other marks are used to indicate greater length. Then, for the purpose of expressing the octave as above or below, the connection and succession of notes, the process of execution or of fingering the Vina, little circles, ellipses, crescents, chains, curves, lines straight, horizontal, or perpendicular, are employed, and the close of a strain is distinguished by a lotus flower.

All singing and playing are in unison : harmony and part-singing seem to be almost unknown in India, which causes their music to be generally uninteresting, if not repellent, to European ears. Indian harmony, where it exists, is mostly confined to a monotonous repetition of the keynote during the flights of their instrumental or vocal melody, as in the case of the Scotch bagpipes. In this instrument the drone consists of two pipes sounding the keynote or tonic, and the fifth or dominant, one or other of which will suit all the notes of the melody.

The word Sangita, symphony, or sounds in combination, as applied to music, conveys the idea of the union of voices, instruments, and action. Rev. R. Collins remarks respecting the temple music, “The hautboy is accompanied by a number of horns, some of great length, all of which sound the tonic, sometimes in concert with the dominant, the only attempt at harmony I have ever heard in Hindu music.”

It has been much discussed of late years whether the Indian melodies can, with any fair degree of approximate accuracy, be written in the European notations, even with the addition of a few special signs ; and native scholars in Bengal have written strongly upon both sides of the question.

Sir W. Ouseley, in his “Oriental Collections,” says:-”A considerable difficulty is found in setting to music the Hindu ragas as, as our system does not supply notes or signs sufficiently expressive of the almost imperceptible elevations and depressions of the voice in these melodies, of which the time is broken and irregular, and the modulations frequent and very wild.

"Many of the Hindu melodies possess the plaintive simplicity of the Scotch and Irish, and others a wild originality pleasing beyond description.”

It is indeed questioned whether these numerous Srutis, or quarter-tones, which are mentioned in old Sanskrit works on music, and which of course have no symbols in the European notation to represent them, are actually found in the tunes now used. But perhaps the opinion expressed by native musicians that their tunes cannot be played with perfect accuracy on such instruments as the organ or piano, and that the violin and other stringed instruments alone are suitable, may indicate that the Indian music does use intervals which are not symbolized in the European notation, and that other accidentals are used as well as the European flats and sharps.

“It is true that in rendering European music, keyed instruments (being tuned in equal temperament so as to answer, as well as possible, for all the keys) do not perfectly accord with the human voice in any except the key of C.* The reason for this is that the so-called whole tones are not equal in value. The interval between Do and Re is greater than that between Re and Mi ; and that between Re and Mi is greater than that between La and Si. Organs are made to fit the scale when Do falls on C ; and when the pitch is changed and Do falls on another letter, the regular succession of whole and half tones is secured by the use of flats and sharps ; but the interval between C and D is too large for the interval in the scale that falls on it, and one of the shorter intervals of the staff has to do service for the long interval between Do and Re. For example, in the key of F, which has one flat in the signature, Do falls on F, and Re falls on G. But the interval between F and G is not long enough ; and when a good singer sounds Do in accordance with the F of the organ, he will find G of the organ a little flatter than the Re of his voice.

So when he sounds Sol in accord with C of the organ, he will find D of the organ a little sharper than the true La of his vocal scale. One playing on a viol can produce sounds in any key that exactly harmonize with the human voice. If it be found that intervals of a quartertone are used in some Hindu tunes, the necessary symbols for indicating them should be invented and added to those now used to indicate flatting or sharping by half tones. It is, however, probable that the real difficulty lies in the differences between the intervals of the natural and diatonic scales that are hinted at above.

The Bengali tunes that have been printed suggest three principal points in which Hindu and European music differ. One of these is that Hindu music has no proper harmony. True, there is a drone in the common native bands, and the various bass and treble drums are carefully tuned to be in harmony with the drone. In singing troupes, also, children and women take part, and so the harmony of the octave is secured.

But the harmony formed by the bass, tenor, soprano, and second treble sounded together, so that three other melodies are subservient to the air and harmonize with it, has no place in Hindu music. The European delights in symphonies, in which the high, low, and middle notes of the different parts, and those produced by many kinds of instruments, blend into a succession of harmonious sounds. He delights to have an air repeated, with variations in its harmonious accompaniments.

He delights in a melody alone when rendered by a good voice or a favourite instrument ; but still more to trace that melody amid a flood of harmonious sounds that sweeten and perfect it. But this is all unintelligible to the average Hindu.

Another point of difference regards the time and movement of music. In this the Hindu excels. The European is content with the simpler modes of time. He has double, triple, and quadruple movements, with their varieties of quick or slow ; and he rarely indulges in a sextuple movement, or an occasional triplet. The supple Hindu uses other and more complicated modes of time.

One author reckons quintuple as one of the kinds of time, and gives exercises in it. He also gives tunes in which the measures are alternately in quadruple and in triple time. Doubtless quintuple and sextuple movements would be found well nigh impracticable to Europeans.

The third point of difference is that the Hindu is trammelled by none of the European rules with regard to key-notes, changes of key, and closes. He indulges in an unlimited use of accidentals, and trills, and shakes, and slides. He mingles major and minor modes. He often gives to a syllable a note that includes the last part of one measure and the first part of the next.

He begins and ends his tunes on any notes of the scale that please him. The first of the Bengali songs in Krishna Dhana Banerjea’s ‘Self-Instructor for the Sitara ‘ begins on the fifth and ends on the seventh. Another of the songs, with a signature of four flats, begins and ends on B flat - that is on Re, the second of the scale.

These will doubtless be considered defects by those used to the European rules of musical composition ; but to learn to like these liberties one has need only to become used to them.” All these, in fact, are Modes.

“It should, however, be borne in mind that the term Hindu Music is very indefinite. Each nationality of India has its own peculiar style of music. There is little similarity between the tunes of Bengal and Madras, and those sung by the Marathas are still different.”*

Through the predominance of certain tones, or essential sounds, tunes are said to be in the “Mode” of that tone. The Doh mode, according to the Tonic Sol-fa nomenclature (which calls all scales starting from any one of the twelve semi-tones by the same name as it gives to the notes of the scale of C, namely, Doh, Ray, Me, Fah, Soh, Lab, Te, Doh), the Fah mode and the Soh mode are called Major modes, because they have a major third above their predominant tone.

“The simple minor modes were used by the ancient Greeks, by the ecclesiastics of early ages, and are more or less used at the present day by all the great nations of the East, as well as among the hills of Scotland and Wales, and in the country places of England and Ireland.”

“The old modes took almost any note of the major scale as a key-note, e.g., ‘Scots wha hae ‘ takes the fifth : the old form of several psalm tunes now written as ordinary minors took the second. The mode taking the first as the keynote seems to be ‘the survival of the fittest.’” (Curwen.)

The Chinese use the Pentatonic or ancient musical scale, easiest described as that formed by the black keys of the pianoforte. It consists of the first, second, third, fifth, and sixth degrees of a modem diatonic scale. This scale is also associated, as mentioned above, with Scotch, Irish, and other Celtic melodies. The Javanese instruments are all in the same kind of scale, and more than half the melodies of the Negro Jubilee Singers also omit the fourth and seventh tones. The Hindus, however, are by no means confined to the use of one, or a very limited number of scales.

The Ragas, or musical modes of the Hindus, are stated amongst the Tamils and Malayalis as thirty-two in number, and each is supposed to have a peculiar expression capable of moving some particular sentiment or affection. They are regarded as appropriate to various seasons of the year or periods of the day, after which some of them are named.

It is doubtful whether the term Raga (in the feminine, Ragini), used in Indian music, answers precisely to our “Mode.” It does not mean tune, because various pieces may be sung to the same Raga, while the tunes are obviously different. Nor does Raga in all respects correspond to Mode.

Various writers assert that Thata (mould), in which the notes are arranged in different but peculiar orders of succession, ascending or descending, which may be formed into a variety of Ragas, comes nearest to what is implied by a mode. To each thata two or more ragas or raginis are appropriated.

“The three predominant notes in each raga are called graha, nyasa, and ansa. The note with which a raga begins is called graha, that in which it ends, nyasa; and that which is most frequently used and predominates over all the other notes, ansa. The latter is the same as badi, and is the origin of the graha and nyasa. According to the Sanskrit authorities, the same note should be the graha and nyasa ; but in modern practice this rule is not strictly observed.”*

There are three kinds of characteristic melody for the structure of ragas-either by the use of all, or the exclusion of one or of two, particular notes.

Tala simply means time or speed: its only object is to calculate the measure of beating time. Talas derive different names from the variety of mantras (the measure of time in pronouncing a short vowel), four, six, eight, &c., that form them.

Besides the ancient ragas, various names are given to various styles of composition.

Kheal, or Kiyal, is generally a love tale, supposed to be uttered by a female. The style is extremely graceful and replete with studied elegance and embellishments.”

Tuppa or Dappa.-These songs were formerly sung in very rude style by the camel-drivers of the Punjab, but since brought to perfection and elegance by the famous Shoree.”

Kummi is a poem in which the verses are of the same metre as that sung by women, with dancing and clapping of hands.

Unjal pattu, a swing song ; and tarattu, a cradle or lullaby song. Tulla pattu is a lively or quick melody, songs with dance or mimics.

Native poems are rarely read simply, but usually chanted in a kind of recitative, which seems, however, well nigh incapable of being reduced to English notation. Kuratti pattu, or “ Kuravar woman’s song,” is used for Malayalam and Tamil poems ; and we have a brief “ Life of Christ’’ in the small compass of eighty-eight lines, which is committed to memory, and sung with much interest by children, and is frequently used in open-air preaching to familiarize the hearers with the grand facts on which Christian truth is based, singing a few distichs, then explaining the meaning, and so on.

The Kuratti Chant is as follows :-

In the South of India, music appears to have been maintained and cultivated as a science long after it had ceased as such in the North. Nearly a century ago a distinguished native Christian poet and songster, called Vedanayagam Sastri, of Tanjore, was raised up, in the providence of God, in the Tamil country for the benefit of the Christian Church there. He was a pupil of Father Schwartz, and died in 1864, at the ripe old age of 92.

He learnt, at considerable cost, the best temple and classical tunes, to which he composed Christian lyrics and poems. His original works in poetry are said to amount to a hundred and twenty in number. Other authors have since appeared; but in the last edition of the “Tamil Christian Lyrics,” Vedanayagam Sastri’s hymns still form a very large proportion of the whole. His sons and talented daughter, and now his grandchildren, followed in the same line, but rather as musicians than as writers of original poetry.

They occasionally travel through the Christian churches in South Travancore, and had the honour of performing even before the Maharajah. Their entertainments of singing of hymns, with explanations, comments, and exhortations interspersed, and with musical accompaniments, are extremely popular amongst both Christians and Hindus, who will gladly sit up all night to hear them; and the native Christians make up handsome sums for the remuneration and travelling expenses of these minstrels.

Unfortunately, however, they attempt to combine Hindu caste with Christian teaching, and most pertinaciously and bigotedly refuse to partake of any food, at any time, along with, or prepared by, other Christians, or Europeans, for which reason some missionaries feel unable to avail themselves of their professional services as freely as they otherwise might. I have frequently heard them, and learnt some tunes from them.

At Neyoor, for instance, some ten years ago, the son of the celebrated poet came to the Mission House to sing, accompanied by his three sons and a little boy and girl, with fiddles, tambourine, and small hand-cymbals.

The old gentleman, the leader, was rather coarse in features and harsh-voiced. He wore a great gold-laced turban. The younger men were pleasant-looking, with long kudumis and nice dress, They keep fine time and sing with expression. One suram, or composition, was very odd, delivered with tremendous vigour and rattle at certain parts-a marvellous specimen of execution.

The native poets sometimes go to hear a European military band play, and then, without knowing, or, indeed, caring (why should they ?), what were the words associated, in English, with the tune, go at once and write a religious hymn to the pretty tune ; so they had the tune of “The Ten Little Nigger Boys” for a lyric played really well and powerfully. L a s t l y , the leader expounded a Tamil lyric on the Incarnation (No. 47) “Vanam bumiyo,” &c.

“Is heaven become earth ? Two wonders are here,” said he ; “heaven become like earth, and earth like heaven. Why ? How? Heaven filled with human souls saved through Christ. Earth become the residence of the Son of God.”

Occasionally he introduced some Eastern and fanciful illustrations and witty remarks. The tune of this lyric has been published in a small collection of Indian music by the C.V.E. Society, Madras. 1875 from which we reprint it here ;-

In conversation with the singers afterwards, they asserted that these tunes could not be written down, especially the finer tones, grace notes, &c., which could only be learnt by hearing them for ten years ; in fact, by becoming Tamil songsters.

These lyrical compositions and native tunes were formerly disliked and objected to by some European missionaries, as stilted in style, full of vain repetitions, unmusical and undevotional. As far as there may be truth in these criticisms, the remedy is within reach-to write better ones ; but I have not found them undevotional or in any way unsuitable to the use of the native Christian Church. Spite of all objections, they have made way, and are now adopted, to a greater or less degree, all over India, and used by the Brahmo Somaj as well.

Our European music is no doubt more refined and scientific ; at a few mission stations part-singing is admirably performed; and we shall always wish and endeavour to instruct select pupils in English sacred music. But the attempts of new or untrained converts at hymn-singing are generally either ludicrous or distressing ; and it is not within our power to bestow an extended musical training in the English system upon the large and rapidly increasing body of native Christians.

Nor do these yet appreciate the beauties and excellencies of our music ; while they can readily, even at the beginning of their Christian life, with a little aid and encouragement, pick up the indigenous tunes ; and these do please their taste and arouse their enthusiasm, as we have often witnessed. They still prefer their own national music to ours, and sing it with much greater accuracy and feeling.

The Hindu melodies are usually short, lengthened by repetition and variations, somewhat like the Rondo. The Chorus, or refrain, comprising sometimes one, sometimes two lines, is printed at the commencement of the hymn, and is sung first, and usually repeated after each verse. The first line of each verse is generally repeated ; and native singers, in singing the chorus, often repeat lines, or parts of lines, to suit their own taste.

One distinction from English hymns is important. In Indian metres the lines are measured, not so much by the number as by the quantity, of the syllables. If, for instance, a bar in 2-4 time contains the music for two long syllables set to two crotchets, you may in the next verse find four short syllables. In that case the two crotchets must in practice be resolved into four quavers, and sung to the four short syllables.

“This is at first perplexing, but the difficulty soon wears off by practice. The best plan to surmount it is, probably, to sing the chorus and first verse repeatedly till they become quite familiar; and then it will be easier to adapt the music to the rest of the hymn. Native singers find no difficulty in this.” (Parsons.)

We have in Malayalam a volume of lyrical hymns and psalms, in the fourth edition, carefully revised, improved, and enlarged each time of reprinting, now containing 216 lyrics, and sold for half a rupee ; besides a “Life of Christ,” in standard native metres, and other compositions. Such hymns, with their appropriate melodies, were a powerful bond of union, and even a means of excitement during the recent agitation of the “Six Years People ; “ and they are urgently needed, and already successful, so far as tried, for attracting the heathen to the preaching of the Gospel.

Any number of people can be gathered to listen, and interested, by singing these Lyrics in or near a street. The meaning of the verses may at the same time be explained. We have known Hindus accept fly-sheets containing copies of these Christian hymns interspersed with expositions or enforcement of truth, learn the tune from the preacher, and take the papers home to sing in their houses. Many of our leaflets and tracts are now issued in poetical form, as are all the Hindu religious works, and even some on medicine and other sciences.

They always ask for “ a song” when they see tracts in our hands for distribution. No people, in fact, are more susceptible of the charms of music than the Hindus: it is most encouraging and cheering to hear the Christian converts singing at family worship in their houses or at their work in the fields, or the dear little children in the schools, with bright eyes and glowing countenances, singing their sweet hymns of praise.

It is highly desirable, therefore, that the popular tunes of India should be reduced to notation, and made generally available, critically comparing the various renderings prevailing in different places, selecting, revising, editing, and printing the best version in a permanent form, either in the Tonic Sol-Fa or the Staff notation, or in both, in order to secure a common standard of song.

Some beautiful tunes current in one district are not known in the neighbouring districts or languages ; and as the singing has hitherto been always by ear alone, widely differing versions are in existence, of which one will probably be found, on examination, decidedly preferable to the others.

During the last twenty years several attempts have been made to reduce these Lyric tunes to some fixed notation. A small volume called the “Hindustani Choral Book,” compiled by the Rev. J. Parsons, and containing ninety tunes in Staff notation, was published at Benares in 1861.

And in Madras the Christian Vernacular Education Society published in 1875, under the title of “Indian Music,” twenty-four of the Lyric tunes in use among Tamil Christians, collected by Mr. De Riemer, of Jaffna, from various sources. Some were learned of the daughter of the old Tanjore poet, some from the best native singers in Madura and Jaffna. They were written out according to the English method of notation, with the aid of a musical instrument.

“One of the most needed missionary agents in India,” says the Indian Evangelical Review,* “is a travelling missionary musician, one who can sing well, and is thoroughly acquainted with the science of music, and with both the old and the Sol-Fa notations, and the various Hindu notations, so as to be able to write down in the old or Sol-Fa notation any tune-Hindu, Mussulman, Santali, Bengali, Tamil, or Telugu-he may hear throughout the country.

Few Europeans can learn them, because they are not written in any notation known to Europeans ; and being not written down, they are not fixed, and variations of them are common and confusing. If the zenana missionaries had such a book containing the music of India, with or without the words, they could carry a small harmonium or concertina with them into the zenanas and sing, with instrumental accompaniment, a Christian hymn to Hindu music, to the edification as well as delight of their pupils.”

Dr. W. W. Hunter remarks: “The musical art of India still awaits investigation by some eminent Western professor; and the contempt with which Europeans in India regard it merely proves their ignorance of the system on which Hindu music is built up.”

The missionaries of neighbouring provinces in South India might without much difficulty arrange to confer together, in order to fix the notation of the more popular native tunes, and to obtain uniformity as far as possible.

Harmony, in its modern import, is, as we have seen, scarcely recognized or used in Indian music, its predominant character being melody. But to introduce and commend such music to Europeans, it seems necessary to add some simple harmony, as has mostly been done in the case of those previously published. The melody of any piece is certainly improved and set forth by the use of a judicious harmony which does not overpower, or overload, but adorn it.

Harmony should be applied solely to the support of the Indian melody, which alone speaks the language of passion and sentiment Especially is it requisite, if we wish to adapt Indian music to the public services of Christian worship, to add enough accompaniment to admit of a piece being sung by a soprano voice to the organ, harmonium, or piano. Two-part harmony may suffice : at the very least a couple of notes must be added as a primitive accompaniment somewhat in the native style-as

, for instance, to the following melody, which we have heard sung with great excitement by the Revivalists :-

Various systems of notation have been employed of late to represent the Indian tunes. Some have thought it advisable to revive the ancient Sanskrit notation, with such modifications and improvements as are necessary for adapting it to modern requirements. This is used in S. Mohun Tagore’s “ Six Ragas,” but it seems more cumbrous than the English Staff notation, which he also gives.

A somewhat similar native system is advocated for writing the Tamil Lyric tunes by the Rev. J. P. Ashton, M.A., of Calcutta, who has given considerable attention to this interesting subject for many years past, in the following remarks with which he has favoured me:-

“Though for short notes sa, ri, ga, &c., are written, and sa, rl, ga for long notes, it is the custom to pronounce them all as if long, making the distinction only in the time of dwelling on each.

The Tamil way of writing the tunes is simple. A glance shows whether it is in common time or triple time. It is not used for very complicated music any more than the English Sol-Fa. Both are admirable for beginners, and for ordinary hymns and songs; but both are discarded as too clumsy for instrumental music.* Still, of course, both could be used. Again, Curwen introduces arbitrary symbols of his own to indicate changes of key. These are never used in Tamil, because at the beginning of each tune the name of the Ragam to which it belongs is written, which tells the learner at once either what notes will be entirely omitted, or what notes are to be sharpened or flattened. Again, the matter is simplified in another way, viz., that it is not the custom to change the key in the course of a piece of music, as it often is with us. To give an example-as my music teacher in Madras taught me long ago-the hymn “Tarunam eeth,” &c., is in the Bheiravi Raga, and its characteristic is that ga or mi is flattened ; or to express it otherwise, it may be sung in the key of G, but B must be B1. in each case. This is the correct way of writing it, but native Christians ordinarily sing it as if it were in the key of F, and make the F# into F. But my teacher told me this was wrong, so I give it now as he gave it. The scale is- as follows for Bheiravi Raga :-

which may be thus expressed-key of G, with B flattened. The tune (as sung in Madras) is as follows, in Tamil Sol Fa :-

Or, to put it in the old notation :-

“I think that the Tamil sa, ri, ga, ma, is simpler than our Sol-Fa, especially for Tamilians. A few simple additions may be made to make it more accurate and complete—as, for instance, to distinguish between the three octaves, write thus—sa sa, .sa the dot above or below signifying the highest and lowest octave, and that without a dot the ordinary intermediate sa.

Again, in the triple time above, if seven short syllables occur instead of six in a bar, it is evident that two must be semiquavers : this may be indicated by a line underneath, as (ma pa pa ma ga ri sa.) Such difficulties seldom occur, except in those cadences by which they pass down from a high note at the end of one line to the low note at the beginning of the Da Capo, &c. These are, after all, left much ad libitum. The Tamil plan may be recommended for its greater simplicity and national character.”

The European Staff notation has been generally used, and seems, with quarter-notes in small characters where required, to be quite effective ; though it is perhaps not so economical in printing as the use of letters for the notes. It is supported by natives as well as Europeans as entirely sufficient for writing Hindu music in all its branches.

In our Travancore Mission, the Tonic Sol-Fa system has been adopted, and recommended after trial for several years, being approved as simple and convenient for teaching or writing these tunes. The Sol-Fa uses a fixed nomenclature for the proportions of the scale, but the notes in any key are called by the names they bear in the key of Do or C. For purposes of comparison, we give below the preceding Lyric tune written in this notation by Dr. T. S. Thomson, of Neyoor, as sung in South Travancore.

And if the Madras and Neyoor versions be compared with the Trevandrum rendering given in “Land of Charity,” p. 150, the character of the variations which commonly occur will be at once perceived.

A few other Lyric tunes written in the same notation by Dr. Thomson, or others, will be found in the Appendix. The following specimens, in the Staff notation, of a few of the simplest and easiest written of these melodies may afford material for study and criticism. Longer and more intricate pieces we have been unable as yet to get written.

* ‘Note by Mr. J. S. Curwen :-The old organ-tuning had C in perfect tune, and other keys more or less out of tune ; but modern equal temperament was specially designed as a compromise, and makes all keys a little out of tune.



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