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How is your work different from ‘others’ who had addressed this issue of ‘22 Srutis in music' earlier?

 
 

 ‘Others’ have attempted to synthesize Musical ‘Notes’ by using multiplying ‘Panchama’ or ‘Madhyama’ with fractions ‘3/2’ or ‘4/3’ or 81/80 etc. Some have attempted to shift the ‘Tonic’ and generate additional ‘Notes’. In my work, I have adopted a radically ‘different’ approach that makes my finding ‘unique’. In brief, the basis of my approach is as under: -

  • Pythagoras of Ancient Greece guides us by stating that ‘fractions’ used in music should be the SIMPLEST; they should be drawn from Nature and not synthesized through mathematical manoeuvres.

  • The potential behind ‘Simple-Fractions’ stands highlighted by early Sumerians (4000 B.C.), as they had worshipped them as ‘gods’. Example: ANU - 1/1, SIN - ½, ENKI - 2/3, ENLIL - 5/6.

  • Subsequent civilizations always considered Natural Numbers between ‘1’ and ‘12’ as ‘sacred’; they rejected Numbers between ‘13’ and ‘18’ as ‘unholy’. It is rather queer that ONLY ‘22’ Simple-Fractions (i.e. Sumerian gods type) are mathematically feasible between Natural Numbers ‘1’ and ‘12’.

  • These 22 Simple Fractions lie between ‘1’ and ‘1/2’, (i.e. the two extremities of the musical octave). I inserted them in an octave calibrated into 22 equal segments (i.e. the ancient Indian concept of dividing the octave) and evaluated the tonal values of the 22 Simple- Fractions.

  • Seven tones out of these exactly matched the tonal values quantified in ancient ‘Sadja grama’ format of Indian musicology. Another five tones matched with the ‘Madhyama grama’ format and the remaining eleven tones matched the contents of 14 ‘murchanas’.

  • Amazingly, these 22-Simple Fractions have certain internal ‘structures’ that dictate as to how music based on these should be composed.

  • I have narrated all these details in my Book: “The Mystic Citadel of 22 Srutis Music”

 
 

There is a school of thought in the carnatic traditions (i.e. South Indian classical music) that tonal positions need not be viewed as something ‘sacrosanct’; learned music performers have the right to ‘inflex’ the notes (up or down) in order to attract the audience. Do you subscribe to this view?

 
   

 I differ from this school of thought. Giants of Indian musicology such as Bharata, Dattila, Matanga, Sarangadeva and Venkatamakhin have viewed the classical (‘gandharva’ or ‘marga’) music as a means of unification with the Divine. They have always permitted a different class of music called ‘desi’ for the sake of entertainment and canons of music are not applied to ‘desi’. As per Matanga and Sarangadeva, ‘Gandharva’ based on 22 srutis is deemed to have been designed by Brahma as ‘Nada-Yoga’ for pleasing the Lord. Sarangadeva states that the human body is created similar to a ‘Harp’ with 22 nadis. These 22-nadis resonate under the spell of ‘Gandharva’ and allow the flow of Pranic energy from the Brahmagranti into ‘Sahasrara chakra’ through our unique nadi known as ‘Sushumna’. ‘Gandharva’ therefore, ensures the physical and spiritual well-being of humans. If these 22-tones are aberrated from their designed frequencies, our basic dhatu structure consisting of vata, Pita and Kapha would get unbalanced and whip up our ‘rajasic’ and ‘tamasic’ gunas to dominate over ‘sattva’ gunas and thus adversely affect our physical and spiritual health.


 
 

Do you advocate the employment of "Gamaka" in 22 Srutis Music?


 
 

'Gamaka' will continue to play a significant role in the 22 srutis music environment also. In fact ‘gamakas’ are embellishments meant to incorporate the much needed ‘aesthetics’ that is unique to the Indian music culture. However, the major difference in our approach will be in terms of “swarasuddhata”. What I mean is that the assigned position of swaras should never be shaken up; swara-to-swara movements can be done by ‘gliding’ / ‘curving’ and ornamentation should be achieved by extensiveuse of ‘anu-swaras’.


 
 

Can you demonstrate this concept of ‘streaming melody’ in the perceptual domain, i.e. by way of singing or playing on instruments?

 
 

 

  • Presently, I have fabricated a ‘vina’ and a harmonium which are capable of demonstrating the concept in a ‘limited’ sense.

  • However, PRECISION-INSTRUMENTS are required for proving this concept. For example, there is marked difference between playing the Panchama swara at 700 cents (as per the existing vina fret or piano key) vis-a-vis playing Panchama at 702 cents (as demanded by the new environment of 22 srutis music); the former is an extremely ‘Complex Fraction’ (that generates ‘discord’) whereas the latter is an extremely ‘Simple Fraction’ (that generates ‘melody’; although, the difference happens to be only 2 cents! Is it feasible to fabricate a micro-processor controlled precision electro-musical instrument that generates, say, the Panchama swara, precisely at 702 cents and NOT at 700 cents (as designed in the conventional instruments)? Our contemporary technology does enable us to fabricate such a precision instrument, although it may be expensive to begin with. When such a Precision-Hardware is suitably supported by appropriate software for rendering it ‘user-programmable’, we can, then, attempt various new compositions that would comply with the grammar of this new class of music. In my view, time has become ripe only now (i.e. in this 21st Century A.D.) for bringing this class of music in the service of humanity.

 
 

Without listening to the 22 Srutis (tones) music, how can u conclude that its quality of consonance would be a "quantum jump" above the existing systems?


 
 

 I admit that my conclusions are confined to the conceptual domain. In a way, it is an extrapolation of the musical characteristics of the present day systems of music. I had prepared mathematical models for consonance in the existing systems and compared these with the similar model pertaining to 22 tones music. I find that the consonance characteristics in 22 tones music are far superior to the present day music systems. (I have furnished this quantified data in my Book). In view of this, I can state that my findings would get amply vindicated when the experimental set up gets more and more popular.


 
 

You have talked about ‘melody’ in 22 tones music. Why do we need 22 tones for evolving melody? Eminent music directors in cine field have produced melody even with 3 or 4 tones?


 
 

 In my view, classical music and cine music have their places of importance in one’s perspective. Even medieval musicologists of the stature of Bharata Muni and Matanga Muni have permitted the use of ‘Desi’ (i.e. folk) music as different from ‘Marga Sangeet’ (i.e. devotional music). The devotional music is a class apart from ‘desi’ music in the way the classic literature differs from comics. The fact that even a child can comprehend ‘comics’ better than the ‘classics’, does not necessarily elevate the status of ‘comics’ over the ‘classics’! As the child grows up, he/she would learn to appreciate the ‘classics’ better. Similarly, with the evolution of mind-sets and listening culture, I am confident that the audience would ascend adequately and appreciate the melody-content in 22 tones music better.


 
 

Why have you identified the Ancient Music of 22 Srutis (tones) with a ‘mystic citadel’?


 
 

 When I arranged the ‘22-Fractions’ in a triangular shaped matrix, I observed that they tones were concentrated within a numerical ‘trapezium’. This trapezium, in turn, could be viewed to contain three inner coridors. The seven Vedic tones (i.e. ‘Sadja-grama Scheme’) were situated in the outer corridor; five tones derived as ‘Madhyama-grama’ were found in the middle corridor. The remaining tones were found in an interior zone. Cryptologically speaking, I realised that the Sadja-grama zone could not be penetrated unless we identify them as coded forms of seven basic natural fractions. Unless this code is cracked, the Madhyama-grama located in the middle corridor can’t be perceived. Similarly, the interior zone can be perceived only after the ‘madhyama-grama’ is correctly interpreted. During my Study, I realized that the system has some ‘layers of defence’ against what may be called “cryptoanalytic attacks”! That’s how it is a veritable citadel! Within this layout ‘Gandhara-3’ is represented by the fraction ‘4/5’. This is the nucleus around which all other ‘Notes’ are positioned. ‘4/5’, as per Indian tantric Sastra, represents the seat of Shiva-Shakti union. Shiva is depicted by four triangles and Shakti is depicted by five inverted triangles. There are nine ‘Notes’ around ‘4/5’ that gives the perception of ‘nava-grahas’ (our solar system containing nine planets!). Also there are 27 notes around ‘4/5’ forming an outer triangular layer, giving the perception of 27 star constellations (this is also the perception of ‘Universe’ as per Hindu astrology!). In short, I was gaining a perception of the foot-print of “SRI CHAKRA”, the abode of the Supreme Hindu Goddess Lalithambika. I was quite amazed to encounter such a ‘sanctum-sanctorum’ during my quest for 22 tones in this layout. That’s how I decided to describe this phenomenon as ‘mystic’.


 
 

While our learned ancestors couldn’t break the ‘codes’, how do you claim to have cracked them?


 
 

 Our ancient and medieval periods had been in the ‘dark ages’. There had been a knowledge vacuum in terms of modern mathematics, science and technology. Moreover, the prevalent learning culture was such that ‘obedience to teachers’ was considered as a greater virtue vis-à-vis pursuits over analytical paths. Also, the researching student didn’t have the access to the ‘mass mind’ as we have today through our net-culture belonging to the knowledge-driven society. During my research work, I had adopted a combination of musicology, theology, socio-cultural processes, mathematics and cryptology for attacking the codes surrounding our Ancient Music.


 
 

I am not comfortable with ‘mysticism’! (A western view).


 
 

 ‘Mysticism’ is only a small chapter in my Book. It is not very material to the issue of 22 tones music. As the phenomenon attracted my attention and imagination as an Indian, I wanted to share this with the others who follow the Hindu belief systems. Those who are not ‘comfortable’ with this chapter may omit it without losing on the core material addressed by the Book.


 
 

All these ‘gramas’ and ‘puranas’ are going over my head. (A western view).


 
 

 I do appreciate such a difficulty on the part of the non-Indian Readers. I have the compulsion to mention these terminologies, as the route adopted by me for the research work was ‘Indian musicology’. This notwithstanding, I had tried to establish that the 22 tones music is as much an ancient heritage for the West, as it is for the East. However, I wish to assure the Western Readers that I have spared no pains to explain in my Book, all musicological and theological jargons by providing copious amplification notes by way of ‘glossary’, foot-notes, primers, and illustrated annexure. In addition, I am providing a ‘Compact Disc’ wherein I had explained various “abstractions” through easily understandable animations. I have similarly prepared ‘primers’ for the non-science stream Readers also so that they are not discouraged by certain technical and mathematical jargons!


 
 

Why do you relate this 22 Tones Music with an ancient (now extinct) civilization?


 
 

 To begin with, I had felt somewhat intuitively that the ‘Sadja-grama Scheme’ was the most basic inheritance of Indian Music. Further analysis revealed that the ‘Madhyama-grama Scheme’, the ‘Murchanas’ and also the ‘22 tones’ with all its internalised codes are seeded within the ‘Sadja-grama Scheme’. I could, then, gradually comprehend that this has to be the work of a genius mind! With this mind-set, I could also comprehend that the number ‘22’ itself is “coded”, having two connotations:

  • The Vedic srutis have to be interpreted in the ambience of an octave geometrically divided into 22 equal parts. This implies that the basic interval for calibration is the 22nd Root of ‘2’. What amazed me was the “very complex mathematics content” not known to have existed among the primitive ancestors of our present civilization.

  • The other connotation is the concealed message: the total number of tones in the ancient music system is ‘22’ and only ‘22’! In my view, such a high level of “intelligence content” involving sophisticated ‘message crypting techniques’ and ‘advanced mathematics’ is evidence-enough to postulate that this must have emanated only from some very advanced civilization that had become extinct. I couldn’t think of any other rationale to reconcile this "strange phenomenon" observed by me.

 
 

Don't Don't you think that this "strange phenomenon" as narrated by you is a 'historical breakthrough' in addition to being a 'musicological breakthrough'?ugh' in addition to being a 'musicological breakthrough'?


 
 

 As I had focussed more on musicological aspects in my Book, this 'historical' dimensions got somewhat relegated. Based on this hard evidence of "super intelligence" provided by me, historians could always carry out further in-depth research for establishing the very existence of a past advanced civilization and their linkage with our present civilization. Only then, I would call it a 'historical breakthrough'.


 
 

Is it possible to quantify the 22 tones now unraveled by you?


 
 

 Yes; I am now listing the tonal variants along with their fractional values and cent values as below: - Sadja (Tonic) (1/1, 0.00 cents); Rishabha-1 (12/11, 151 cents); Rishabha-2 (11/10, 165 cents ); Rishabha-3 (10/9, 182 cents); Rishabha-4 (9/8, 204 cents); Rishabha-5 (8/7, 231 cents); Rishabha-6 (7/6, 267 cents); Gandhara-1 (6/5, 316 cents); Gandhara-2 (11/9, 347 cents); Gandhara- 3 (5/4, 386 cents); Gandhara-4 (9/7, 435 cents); Madhyama-1 (4/3, 498 cents); Madhyama-2 (11/8, 551 cents); Madhyama-3 (7/5, 583 cents); Madhyama-4 (10/7, 617 cents); Panchama (3/2, 702 cents); Daivata-1 (11/7, 782 cents ); Daivata-2 (8/5, 814 cents); Daivata-3 (5/3, 884 cents); Nishada-1 (12/7, 933 cents); Nishada-2 (7/4, 969 cents); Nishada-3 (9/5, 1018 cents); Nishada-4 (11/6, 1049 cents); Sadja Octave (2/1, 1200 cents)