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Sangitsamayasara Of Parsvadeva

Sangitsamayasara of Parsvadeva is a noted work in Sanskrit on Indian musicology. The author, Parsvadeva (13th century CE), was a Digambara Jaina. He was born to Maharashtrian parents, Adideva and Gouri. The main topics discussed in different chapters (adhikarans) of Sangeet Samayasara are – nada, shruti, svara, grama, murcchana, raga, alapti, prabanda, thya (sthaya), gamaka and vaggeyakara.

Aspects on musical instruments, etc., are also discussed. Though the author is indebted to earlier writers like Matanga, Bhoja, Someshwara and Jagadekamalla, the work certainly reflects the originality of the author.

Against 22 shrutis, Parsvadeva identifies 66 shrutis – 22 each in mandra, madhya and tara sthayi. Swaras are of three types – saetana, acetana and ubhayapravaha (a combination of flute and vina). Alapti (rendering) is of eight types, i.e., ragalapti, rupakalapti, pranjala, visama, sakshara, anakshara, satala and atala.

Various aspects of music, including the venue of performances, musical instruments, etc., are discussed in Sangitasamayasara. Even though 101 ragas are mentioned, only 46 are detailed as the popular ones.