Sangita

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Gītam vādyam nartanam ca trayam saïgītam-ucyate |

The Sāman chant pivoted on two notes, namely, Udātta (the Raised, the Higher one), and Anudātta (not raised, the Lower one). In course of time, the interval between these was established as a fourth. Then, later, the notes of this tetrachord received distinct names: the Highest was Prathamā (First), then Dvitīyā, T®itīyā, Caturthī down the scale. These names are found in the Rk-Prātiśākhyā. Later, a note called Svarita is also mentioned. This seems to be graded Udātta, thus indicating a note higher than Prathamā. Later still we find this note definitely established and called Kruśña – High (Taittirāya- Prātiśākhyā 400). At the same time, two other notes lower than Cathurtī appear. These are called Mandara (low) and Atisvara (extremity). This last was an extra note and was usually sung only in the cadence of the Sāma chant. So we find the whole series of the seven notes or Svaras, as they were called, of the octave.

Traditional terminologies such as Sāmagāh (singers of Sāma), Sāmagāna, Sāmagāyante suggest that Sāma was the really musical portion of the Vēdas and was indeed a mere melody for which words were found in the Rg-vēda or Yajur-vēda. It was mainly vocal and its scale was conceived downwards as a descending series, namely, GA, RI, SA, NI. Indeed, this scale was a primal tetrachord to the notes whereof Prathamā, Dvitīya, T®itīyā, and Caturthī were respectively appended. Later on, a higher note MA was added and called Kruśña, and the addition of two more notes DHA and PA, called Mandara and Atisvara completed the scale of Sāmagāna.

Nāradīya-Śikßha connects the seven svaras of the Sāmagāna with the seven svaras of classical music:

Yas-sāmagānām prathamsya veΔōr-madhyamas-sm®tað |
Yōậsau dvitīyō gāndhāras-t®tīstv®ßhabhas-sm®tað |
Chaturthaß-ßadja ity-āhuhuh pañcamō dhaivatō bhavēt |
ßaßthō nißādō vijñeyas-saptamah pañcamas- sm®tað |

Thus we have MA GA.RI.SA.SA.DHA.NI.PA
The first hymn of Sāma-saìhitā may be sung as follows:

Ōmna ī | Āyāhi ivō itōyā āyi|
SĀSĀSA GĀGĀGARI MĀMA MĀMĀGĀGA|
Tōyā Ā I ||
MĀMĀGĀGA||

PāΔinīya-Śikßha describes the sources of svaras as:

Udāttaś-canudāttaś-ca svaritaś-ca svarāstrayað |
H®asvō dīrghap-pluta iti kalatō niyama aci||
Udāttē nißādagāndhārāv-anudātta ®ßabha-dhaivatō|
Svarita prabhavā hyētō ßadjama-madhyama-pañcamāð ||

Thus,
||          |     ||     ||             |
SA RI GA MA PA DHA NI

SA, MA and PA are circumflex; RI and DHA are low (not raised) and GA and NI are raised.

Nāradīya-Śikßha describes svaras as
ßadjam mayūrō vadati gāvō rambhanti-ca-®ßabhað |
Ajāvikō tu gāndhāram krauñcō vadati madhyamaì ||
Pußpa-sādhāranē kālē kōkilē vakti pañcamaì |
Aśvas-tu dhaivatam vakti nißādam vakti kuñjarah ||