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Murchana Music In Ramayana

Murchana is mentioned in the Ramayana with reference to vocal music and string instruments.

Murchana is one of the most important technical terms of ancient Hindustani music. ‘Murchana’ is a systematic ascent and descent of notes and also the beautiful phrases that are produced in this process. Scholars regard Murchana as the foundation of Hindustani music as it has paved the way for the development of Jati and Raga.

Lava and Kusha are ‘Murchanakovidau’, i.e. they know ‘Murchana’. They play the Veena and sing the verses of the Ramayana highlighting beautiful nuances of Murchana in their music. Valmiki initiates them to sing to the accompaniment of the Veena in Bhagavan Sri Rama’s presence at this Ashwamedha sacrifice asking them specifically to play the various ‘murchana’ through its strings. It is evident that Valmiki has painstakingly groomed Lava and Kusha in the art and technique of music.

In addition to having a sound theoretical knowledge, Lava and Kusha seem to be equally proficient in its application, as they are given full liberty by Valmiki to sing or play different phrases of notes produced by Murchana, which also enhance their performance.

SourceKriti Rakshana April 08 – March 09 Issue published by National Mission of Manuscripts.