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Gana Bhaskaramu – Theory Of Music And Dance

Gana Bhaskaramu is an important work in Telugu language, of 1918, on the theory of music and dance. It is the magnum opus of K.V. Srinivasa Iyengar, an outstanding musicologist of the 20th century and a prolific write in Tamil and Telugu.

Srinivasa Iyengar was born in a village called Kolattur near Chennai. He had a passion for music and dance from his boyhood and made an intensive study of the theory and practice of two arts. He ran a dance school in Chennai and trained several excellent dancers.

He wrote a number of authentic and useful books on music and dance, including Gana Bhaskaramu.

Gana Bhaskaramu deals exhaustively with the various aspects of musical theory, like shrutis (microtones), swaras (notes), gramas (three ancient scales of Indian music), murchnas (scales delivered by the application of the process of modal shift of tonic), jatis (the term corresponding to raga in ancient music0 and desya ragas (ragas prevalent in different provinces of India).

These have profuse quotations from original works, like Sangitaratnakara of Sarangadeva, Raga Vibodha of Somanatha, Svara Mela Kalanidhi of Ramamatya and Caturdandi Prakasika of Ventakamakhi. The subjects in the book also deal with raga alapan (elaboration of raga in abstract), thanam (groups of notes forming a raga), kirtanas (musical compositions) and the tala system of Indian music. The author has given many rare kritis (songs) of the trinity and later composers with full notation.

Gana Bhaskaramu is the only book in which the theory of the twin arts of Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam is explained comprehensively. The dance portion explains the essentials of Bharatanatyam with suggestions for elaborating padms (usually songs on a love theme sung in slow tempo).