--> Skip to main content

Sangita Damodra Of Subhankara

Sangita Damodara is a Sanskrit work on music and dramaturgy written by Subhankara. The time of Sangita Damodra is not conclusively decided but most  scholars opine that it belongs to the 15th Century CE.

There are three manuscripts available in Bengali script. The work was published in 1960 CE under its Research Series by Sanskrit College, Kolkata.

Shubhankara was the son of Sridhara and Subhadra, according to the concluding colophons of each chapter. Subhankara was a staunch devotee of Bhagavan Vishnu. In the opening verse, the author declares his intention to treat music and dramaturgy with reference to Krishna, the pioneer of music and dance.

Shubhankara describes the talas related to the kirtana (devotional songs) of Bengal. According to him, ragas originated from the sixteen thousand gopis (milkmaid consorts), when each of them sang to please Sri Krishna.

Sangita Damodra has five chapters, named stavaka. The work is more of a compilation of ancient works, as admitted by the author. The opening verses detail topics dealt with in the work. The list and the principles behind the formation of the chapters are not systematic. Topics on music, dance and dramaturgy are discussed together in a single chapter. Stage, drama, dialects, hero, heroines and other actors, rasas (sentiments) and characteristics are hero, heroine, messenger, maid, etc., are described in dramaturgy. Essential terms of music and the merits and demerits of music are treated under musicology. All the postures and gestures of dance involving the hand and head are discussed.