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Musical Scales: Thāṭ and Rāga - II...
Shrikant G Talageri
1 year ago
Musical Scales: Thāṭ and Rāga - II[This continues part I of the article, starting with the pentatonic scales of Indian music]. II.C. PENTATONIC Scales of Indian Classical Music: Pentatonicscales are more widespread than hexatonic scales. The musical systems of the Far East, for example, typically mainly have pentatonic scales.1. Intervals: 222 33 (2 interval patterns, 6 scales): SCALE NOTES INTERVALS 22233 Vīṇāvādinī SRG PnŚ 22 332 22323 Bhūp SRG PDŚ 22 323 MadhmādSāraṅg SRM PnŚ 23 232 Mālkauns SgM dnŚ 32 322 Durgā SRM PDŚ 23 223 ŚuddhaDhanyāsī SgM PnŚ 32 232 2. Intervals: 11 2 44 (3 interval patterns, 9 scales): SCALE NOTES INTERVALS 12144 Jhilāf SGM PdŚ 41 214 14124 BhūpālToḍī Srg PdŚ 12 414 Vaijayantī SRm PNŚ 24 141 KhamājīDurgā SGM DnŚ 41 412 Gambhīranāṭa SGM PNŚ 41 241 14142 Līlāvatī SRg PdŚ 21 414 Bhinnaṣaḍja SGM DNŚ 41 421 Guṇakali SrM PdŚ 14 214 Amṛtavarṣiṇī SGm PNŚ 42 141 3. Intervals: 1 22 3 4 (9 interval patterns, 22 scales): SCALE NOTES INTERVALS 12324 Cittākarṣiṇī Srg MdŚ 12 234 Haṁsadhvanī SRG PNŚ 22 341 Guhamanoharī SRM DnŚ 23 412 Nāgasvarālī SGM PDŚ 41 223 12324 ChāyāToḍī Srg mdŚ 12 324 KāfīCandrakauns SgM DnŚ 32 412 ŚrīKalyāṇ SRm PDŚ 24 123 12342 Dhavalaśrī SGm PDŚ 42 123 Rasarañjanī SRM DNŚ 23 421 AuḍavTukhārī SRg MdŚ 21 234 12432 Kalāvatī SGP DnŚ 43 212 Abhogī SRg MDŚ 21 243 13224 Madhurañjanī SgM PNŚ 32 241 13242 Sūryakauns SgM DNŚ 32 421 Yoginī SGm PnŚ 42 132 14232 BairāgīBhairav SrM PnŚ 14 232 Śivarañjanī SRg PDŚ 21 423 Śobhāvarī SRM PdŚ 23 214 Hinḍol SGm DNŚ 42 321 14322 KokilāPañcam SgM PdŚ 32 214 Mamatā SGP DNŚ 43 221 14223 Bhūpeśvarī SRG PdŚ 22 314 4. Intervals: 1 2 333 (3 interval patterns, 5 scales): SCALE NOTES INTERVALS 12333 Harikauns Sgm DnŚ 33 312 13233 Madhukauns Sgm PnŚ 33 132 Candrakauns (new) SgM dNŚ 32 331 Devanandinī SrG mDŚ 13 233 13323 Jait SrG PDŚ 13 323 5. Intervals: 11 33 4 (1 interval pattern, 2 scales): SCALE NOTES INTERVALS 13314 Bibhās SrG PdŚ 13 314 Girijā SGM dNŚ 41 331 6. Intervals: 1 222 5 (3 interval patterns, 5 scales): SCALE NOTES INTERVALS 12252 AdbhutKalyāṇ SRG DNŚ 22 521 Devrañjanī SMP dnŚ 52 122 12225 Kumudki SRG mNŚ 22 251 12522 Kuntalavarāli SMP DnŚ 52 212 BudhaManoharī SRG MPŚ 22 125 7. Intervals: 11 2 3 5 (1 interval pattern, 1 scale): SCALE NOTES INTERVALS 13152 Devarañjanī SMP dNŚ 52 131 8. Intervals: 111 3 6 (2 interval patterns, 2 scales): SCALE NOTES INTERVALS 11316 Megharañjī SrG MNŚ 13 161 13116 DeśaGauḍ SrP dNŚ 16 131 II.D. Other Scales of Indian Classical Music:Before going further, it must be noted that there are many rāgas which do notfit into the list of heptatonic (7-note), hexatonic (6-note) and pentatonic (5-note) thāṭs or scales given by us above even from the point of view of notes. This is because the full scale of a great many rāgas contains both forms of one or more notes so that there can be more notes than 7 (our above list does not include such scales except the Lalat-type heptatonic Mm scales, and the mainly heptatonic Carnatic scales of the rR, gG, dD and nNtypes). As we will see, some of the Arabic maqams have 8, 9 or 10 notes. In our classification of the scales of Indian music, we have taken only heptatonic (7-note), hexatonic (6-note) and pentatonic (5-note) scales. However, many rāgascan have a set of more than 7 notes, having both forms of one or more notes, these extra notes being ignored in the official thāṭ classification.Many rāgas have 8 notes with both forms of one note. Some examples:SrRgM PdnŚ: KomalDesī.SRGM PDnNŚ: AlhaiyāBilāval, Soraṭh, Des.SRgGM PDNŚ: DevGandhār.SRGMm PDNŚ: Bihāg, Kedār, Basant, GauḍSāraṅg.Many rāgas have 9 notes with both forms of two notes. Some examples:SRgGM PDnNŚ: Jaijaivantī, Nīlāmbarī, RāmdāsīMalhār.SrRgGM PdnŚ: LakṣmīToḍī.Many rāgas have 10 notes with both forms of two notes. One example: SRgGM PdDnNŚ: Janglā.Another version of a rāga named above has 11 notes with both forms of three notes:SrRgGM PdDnNŚ: LakṣmīToḍī.While this brings into focus a great many rāgas with more than 7 notes, it may be noted that there are also many rāgas which would be classified as 5-note or 6-note rāgas, which would not fit into our earlier list of scales, because they likewise have both forms of a note. Some examples of such "pentatonic" scales with 6 notes:SGMPnNŚ: Tilaṅg.SgGMPnŚ: Jog.SRMPnNŚ: BrindāvanīSāraṅg. Or the following "hexatonic" scales with 7 notes:SRMm PDNŚ: ŚuddhaSāraṅg. SRGM DnNŚ: Rāgeśrī.All these are scales with different notes. We will not classify these scales here as we have classified the 7-note, 6-note and 5-note scales (with notes and intervals) because then we enter the rich and unparalleled world of thousands of rāgas, found only in our Indian music. It may just be noted here that Indian scales, unique in world music, go beyond the lists given earlier (which lists also could be suitably enlarged with more research even without including these scales). II.E. SOME NON-INDIAN MUSICAL SCALES:We saw the primary scales in Indian Classical music, north and south. We will now just take a brief and passing look at the musical scales in some other major music systems of the world.1. WESTERN CLASSICAL MUSIC is completely different from Indian Classical music, since it is based on the principle of simultaneous Harmonybetween different sounds, and the consequent use of chords (multiple notes in harmony with each other being played or sung simultaneously) rather than on linear Melody - although of course Melody ultimately has to be one of the two pillars of any form of music (the other pillar being Rhythm). We will not go into the intricacies of the western Harmony system here, we will only note the main musical scales of Western Classical music, on the basis of intervals:Heptatonic Scales: C SCALE NOTES INTERVALS HINDUSTANI- CARNATIC Major SRGM PDNŚ 221 2221 Bilāval - Dhīraśaṅkarābharaṇam Natural Minor SRgM PdnŚ 212 2122 Āsāvarī - Nāṭabhairavī Harmonic Minor SRgM PdNŚ 212 2131 Kiravāṇī Melodic Minor Asc Desc SRgM PDNŚŚndP MgRS 212 2221221 2212 Paṭdīp - GaurīmanoharīĀsāvarī - Nāṭabhairavī Lydian SRGm PDNŚ 222 1221 Kalyāṇ - Mecakalyāṇī Lydian Augmented SRGm dDNŚ 222 2121 --- Western scales can start from any key, and the melody is named after the Scale and the key: the white keys (see the picture of the keyboard of the harmonium) are called C, D, E, F, G, A and B. Thus the most common, C Major is a Major scale starting on the first white key, and D Major is a Major scale starting on the second white key and then taking the same interval pattern 221 2221. [All the scales below are C scales].Hexatonic Scales: C SCALE NOTES INTERVALS Major Hexatonic SRGM PDŚ 221 223 Minor Hexatonic SRGm PnŚ 222 132 Whole-tone Hexatonic SRGm dnŚ 222 222 Major Blues SRgG PDŚ 211 323 Minor Blues SgMm PnŚ 321 132 Tritone Scale SrGm PnŚ 132 132 Two-semi-tone Tritone SrRm PdŚ 114 114 Augmented Scale SgGP dDŚ 313 112 Pentatonic Scales: C SCALE NOTES INTERVALS Major Pentatonic SRG PDŚ 22 323 Minor Pentatonic Scale SgM PnŚ 32 232 Semi-tonal Pentatonic SRg PdŚ 21 414 Neutral Pentatonic SRM PnŚ 23 232 There are a few other scales found in the folk music of some parts of Europe, and composers have often experimented with other scales, but they are not part of the official repertoire of Western Classical Music - actually even some of the above scales are not commonly used. It will be noticed that the number and range of scales in western music is extremely limited in comparison with Indian Classical music, although we have not given a completely exhaustive list of Indian scales - there are many more rarely used, or present in old lists - and the above list of western scales itself includes many not used in Classical music but new innovations in modern forms of music like jazz. And remember, we are still discussing thāṭ scales, not rāgascales!But we must also keep in mind that a large number of scales is not the onlycriterion for judging richness and variety in any musical system, and that, apart from the fact that Western Classical music develops its richness on the basis of Harmony rather than Melody, there are usually unofficial and individualistic aspects of musical performance in any musical system which lend richness, variety and depth to the music. Nevertheless the enormous variety of scales in Indian music testifies to its unique richness.2. JAPANESE CLASSICAL MUSIC, in the East, is based on 10 scales in 4 pentatonic variants: SCALE NOTES INTERVALS 22323 Ryo SRG PDŚ 22 323 Ritsu (Gagaku) SRM PDŚ 23 223 Ritsu (Minyo) SgM PnŚ 32 232 23232 Yo SRM PnŚ 23 232 14142 Hirajoshi SRg PdŚ 21 414 Kumoijoshi SrM PdŚ 14 214 Iwato SrM mnŚ 14 142 14232 Akebono SRg PDŚ 21 423 Han-Kumoi SRM PdŚ 23 214 In-Sen SrM PnŚ 14 232 There are also a handful of hexatonic scales more rarely used: SCALE NOTES INTERVALS 122 142 Niagari SrM PDNŚ 142 122 Honchoshi Srg MmnŚ 122 142 122 322 Yosen SRM PDnŚ 232 212 Ritsu Srg mdnŚ 122 322 Yo SRg MPnŚ 212 232 3. CHINESE CLASSICAL MUSIC has three primary pentatonic scales, the firstof which, with the addition of certain notes, can produce some hexatonic and heptatonic scales. The two primary pentatonic scales are the tonal pentatonic and the semi-tonal pentatonic:Tonal pentatonic: SRGPDŚ (intervals 22323).Semitonal pentatonic: RmdDrR (intervals 42141).Neutral Pentatonic: PDSRMP (intervals 23232).The Tonal pentatonic (also called Mongolian) scale can start on each of the five notes, and uses the same five notes, so that the interval pattern is the same. So we get the five following scales (or rather modes):Pentatonic Scales: Intervals: 222 33 (1 interval pattern, 5 scales): SCALE NOTES INTERVALS 2 2 3 2 3 Gong S R G P D S 2 2 3 2 3 Shang R G P D S R 2 3 2 3 2 Jue G P D S R G 3 2 3 2 2 Zi P D S R G P 2 3 2 2 3 Yu D S R G P D 3 2 2 3 2 From this 20 hexatonic scales are produced by adding either M, m, n, or N (these additions are respectively called Qing Jue, Bian Zi, Run and Bian Gong):Hexatonic Scales: Intervals: 1 2222 3 (3 interval patterns, 20 scales): SCALE NOTES INTERVALS 3 2 1 2 2 2 Run Gong S R G P D n S 2 2 3 2 1 2 Run Shang R G P D n S R 2 3 2 1 2 2 Run Jue G P D n S R G 3 2 1 2 2 2 Run Zi P D n S R G P 2 1 2 2 2 3 Run Yu D n S R G P D 1 2 2 2 3 2 3 2 2 1 2 2 Qing Jue Gong S R G M P D S 2 2 1 2 2 3 Bian Gong Zi P D N S R G P 2 2 1 2 2 3 Qing Jue Shang R G M P D S R 2 1 2 2 3 2 Bian Gong Yu D N S R G P D 2 1 2 2 3 2 Qing Jue Zi P D S R G M P 2 3 2 2 1 2 Bian Gong Shang R G P D N S R 2 3 2 2 1 2 Qing Jue Yu D S R G M P D 3 2 2 1 2 2 Bian Gong Jue G P D N S R G 3 2 2 1 2 2 Qing Jue Jue G M P D S R G 1 2 2 3 2 2 Bian Gong Gong S R G P D N S 2 2 3 2 2 1 3 2 2 2 1 2 Bian Zi Gong S R G m P D S 2 2 2 1 2 3 Bian Zi Shang R G m P D S R 2 2 1 2 3 2 Bian Zi Jue G m P D S R G 2 1 2 3 2 2 Bian Zi Zi P D S R G m P 2 3 2 2 2 1 Bian Zi Yu D S R G m P D 3 2 2 2 1 2 From the Mongolian or Tonal Pentatonic, we also get 15 heptatonic scales, by adding MN, mN, or Mn: (these additions are respectively called Qing Yue, Ya Yue and Yan Yue:Heptatonic Scales: Intervals: 11 22222 (1 interval pattern, 15 scales): SCALE NOTES INTERVALS 2 2 1 2 2 2 1 Qing Yue Gong S R G M P D N S 2 2 1 2 2 2 1 Ya Yue Zi P D N S R G m P 2 2 1 2 2 2 1 Qing Yue Shang R G M P D N S R 2 1 2 2 2 1 2 Ya Yue Yu D N S R G m P D 2 1 2 2 2 1 2 Yan Yue Zi P D n S R G M P 2 1 2 2 2 1 2 Qing Yue Jue G M P D N S R G 1 2 2 2 1 2 2 Yan Yue Yu D n S R G M P D 1 2 2 2 1 2 2 Qing Yue Zi P D N S R G M P 2 2 1 2 2 1 2 Ya Yue Shang R G m P D N S R 2 2 1 2 2 1 2 Yan Yue Gong S R G M P D n S 2 2 1 2 2 1 2 Qing Yue Yu D N S R G M P D 2 1 2 2 1 2 2 Ya Yue Jue G m P D N S R G 2 1 2 2 1 2 2 Yan Yue Shang R G M P D n S R 2 1 2 2 1 2 2 Ya Yue Gong S R G m P D N S 2 2 2 1 2 2 1 Yan Yue Jue G M P D n S R G 1 2 2 1 2 2 2 Very few of the scales are actually in use, and the practice of continuously shifting from scale to scale within a piece of music makes the actual notations of the scales a bit superfluous. Many of these scales are more prominent in different kinds of folk music in different parts of China. The scales can add different extra notes for effect in the musical compositions, and add some kinds of chords as well for effect.4. ARABIC (OR WEST ASIAN) CLASSICAL MUSIC is closer to Indian classical music in the sense that its scales are melodies as in Indian music. They are called maqams, and are equivalent to rāgas: the thāṭs/meḷaswe have already shown are also basically rāgas, except that in our above list we have only counted those rāgas as thāṭs which have a distinct set of notes and intervals. When it comes to the actual rāgasas melodies, we get an extremely larger number of rāga-scales, since there can be different and distinct rāgas having the same notes but completely different melodies for which there are different characteristics.In that sense, the Arabic maqams are much more limited in number and can be enumerated as maqams (scales/melodies) rather than separately as thāṭs(scales) and rāgas (melodies).As we will see later, the classical music of West Asia is probably derived in its historical origins from Indian classical music, although it has a completely different sound and style. It retains features such as associating maqamswith specific emotions (the rasa of Indian classical music) and its greatest feature is that it still retains a system of quarter-tones or microtones (which is still used in practice in Indian classical music but has become obsolete in theory). The quarter-tones are of course, not exactly quarter tones, but pitches between two semi-tones, and are expressed below in the form of fractions approximately as half semitones. In the last two or three maqams, the pitches are even more complicated and have to be expressed in even more minute approximate fractions:1. Intervals: 11 22222 (1 Interval Pattern, 7 scales): MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS 2212221 'Ajam SRGM PDNŚ 221 2221 'Ajam-Ushayran nSRg MPDn 221 2221 Farahfaza - I PDnS RgMP 212 2122 Kurd RgMP DnŚR 122 2122 Lami RgMP dnŚR 122 1222 Nahawand - I SRgM PdnŚ 212 2122 Nahawand-Kabir SRgM PDnŚ 212 2212 2. Intervals: 111 222 3 (3 Interval Pattern, 10 scales): MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS 1311222 Shahnaz-Kurdi RgMP DnrR 122 2131 1312212 Nahawand-Murassa SRgM mDnŚ 212 1312 Zanjaran SrGM PDnŚ 131 2212 Saba-Zamzam - I RgMm DnSR 121 3122 Shawq-Afza SRGM PdNŚ 221 2131 1312122 Farahfaza - II PDnS RgmP 212 2131 Hijaz RgmP DnSR 131 2122 Nahawand - II SRgM PdNŚ 212 2131 Nikriz SRgm PDnŚ 213 1212 Sultani-Yakah SRgM PdNŚ 212 2131 3. Intervals: 1111 2 33 (2 Interval Patterns, 6 scales): MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS 1231131 Athar-Kurd Srgm PdNŚ 123 1131 2131131 Hijazkar SrGM PdNŚ 131 2131 Nawa-Athar SRgm PdNŚ 213 1131 Shahnaz RgmP DnrR 131 2131 Shadd-'Araban PdNS RgmP 131 2131 Suzidil DnrR GMdD 131 2131 4. Intervals: 1111 22 3 (1 Interval Pattern, 1 scale): MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS 2113121 Saba-Busalik RGMm DnSr 211 3121 As pointed out earlier, an important feature of Arabic scales and music is the use of quarter-tones: notes somewhere between two semi-tones. Thus we get g+ which is between g and G, or n+ which is between n and N. The interval must then be calculated in terms of half of a semitone, written below as 1/2.4. Intervals: 1 2222 11/2 11/2 (2 Interval Patterns, 4 scales): MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS 11/2 11/2 2 2 2 1 2 Mahur S R g+ M P D N Ś 2 11/2 11/2 2 2 2 1 11/2 11/2 2 2 1 2 2 Bayati I R g+ M P D n S R 11/2 11/2 2 2 1 2 2 Ushaq-Masri R G M P D n+ S R 2 1 2 2 11/2 11/2 2 Suzdalara S R g+ M P D n S 2 11/2 11/2 2 2 1 2 5. Intervals: 11 22 3 11/2 11/2 (1 Interval Pattern, 5 scales): MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS 11/2 11/2 2 1 3 1 2 Bayati-Shuri R g+ M P d N S R 11/2 11/2 2 1 3 1 2 Hijaz-Awj R g m P D n+ S R 1 3 1 2 11/2 11/2 2 Huzam g+ M P d N S R g+ 11/2 2 1 3 1 2 11/2 Rahat-al-Arwah n+ S R g m P D n+ 11/2 2 1 3 1 2 11/2 Suznak S R g+ M P d N Ś 2 11/2 11/2 2 1 3 1 6. Intervals: 222 11/2 11/2 11/2 11/2 (1 Interval Pattern, 8 scales): MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS 11/2 11/2 2 11/2 11/2 2 2 Bayati R g+ M P D n+ S R 11/2 11/2 2 2 11/2 11/2 2 Husayni R g+ M P D n+ S R 11/2 11/2 2 2 11/2 11/2 2 'Iraq n+ S R g+ M P D n+ 11/2 2 11/2 11/2 2 2 11/2 Kirdan S R g+ M P D n+ S 2 11/2 11/2 2 2 11/2 11/2 Nairuz S R g+ M P d+ n Ś 2 11/2 11/2 2 11/2 11/2 2 Rast S R g+ M P D n+ S 2 11/2 11/2 2 2 11/2 11/2 Yakah P D n+ S R g+ M P 2 11/2 11/2 2 11/2 11/2 2 Sikah g+ M P D n+ S R g+ 11/2 2 2 11/2 11/2 2 11/2 7. Intervals: 11 222 11/2 21/2 (1 Interval Pattern, 1 scale): MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS 21/2 1 2 1 2 2 11/2 Musta'ar g+ m P D n S R g+ 21/2 1 2 1 2 2 11/2 8. Intervals: 11 2 33 1/2 11/2 (1 Interval Pattern, 1 scale): MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS 11/2 2 1 3 1 3 1/2 Awj-'Iraq n+ S R g m P n n+ 11/2 2 1 3 1 3 1/2 There are some scales (maqams) which have more than 7 notes; and, except for the first one below, the rest go above the octave and use slightly differing notes as they step into the next octave:9. Intervals: 1111 2 3 11/2 11/2 (1 Interval Pattern, 1 scale) - 8 notes: MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS Saba - I R g+ M m D n S r R 11/2 11/2 1 3 1 2 1 1 10. Intervals: 1111 22 3 11/2 11/2 (1 Interval Pattern, 1 scale) - 9 notes: MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS Saba - II R g+ M m D n S r R G 11/2 11/2 1 3 1 2 1 1 2 11. Intervals: 11111 2222 3 (1 Interval Pattern, 1 scale) - 9 notes: MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS Hijazkar-Kurd S r g M P d n N S r G 1 2 2 2 1 2 1 1 1 3 12. Intervals: 1111 22 33 (1 Interval Pattern, 1 scale) - 9 notes: MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS Saba-Zamzam - II R g M m D n S r G 1 2 1 3 1 2 1 3 13.Intervals: 1 222 3 11/2 11/2 11/2 11/2 (1 Interval Pattern, 1 scale) - 9 notes: MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS Dalanshin S R g+ M P D n+ S r G 2 11/2 11/2 2 2 11/2 11/2 1 3 14. Intervals: 111 22 33 11/2 11/2 11/2(1 Interval Pattern, 1 scale) - 10 notes: MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS Bastanikar n+ S R g+ M m D n S r G 11/2 2 11/2 11/2 1 3 1 2 1 3 Finally there are three maqams which contain notes slightly raised or lowered, which cannot be satisfactorily explained in numerals, not even with the fractions used above (though it is true that these fractions are also approximate ones). They range from the relatively simpler Sazkar to the more complicated Jiharkah and the extremely complicated Sikah-Baladi (the last of which is so complicated in the exact pitch of its notes that it is only rarely sung or played and only by musicians out to show their exceptional skill and virtuosity). This slight raised or lowered note will be indicated below with arrows and nominal or extremely approximate values in fractions of semitones: 15. Intervals: 222 1/4 11/4 11/2 11/2 11/2 (1 Interval Pattern, 1 scale) - 8 notes: MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS Sazkar S R R↑ g+ M P D n S 2 1/4 11/4 11/2 2 2 11/2 11/2 16. Intervals: 1 22 13/4 21/4 11/2 11/2 (1 Interval Pattern, 1 scale) - 7 notes: MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS Jiharkah g+ M P D↓ n↓ S R g+ 11/2 2 13/4 1 21/4 2 11/2 17. Intervals: 1 11/8 13/8 13/8 17/8 11/4 13/4 21/4 (1 Interval Pattern, 1 scale) - 8 notes: MAQAM NOTES INTERVALS Sikah-Baladi P d+↓ n+↑ S↓ r R g+↓ M↑ P 13/8 21/4 11/4 11/8 1 13/8 13/4 17/8 As we can see, the number of scales (52) and interval patterns (22) is limited as compared to Indian music. As in the case of Indian rāgas, some maqamshave not only the same interval-patterns but also the same notes (unlike the distinctly different Indian thāṭs/meḷas listed earlier): e.g. Kirdan and Rast, or Nahawand-II and Sultani-Yakah, or Bayati and Husayni. Others have the same notes, but start on different notes: e.g. 'Ajam-Ushayran, Farahfaza-I, Kurd and Nahawand-Kabir, or Farahfaza-II, Hijaz and Nikriz.The maqam system of Arabic music is relatively closer to Indian classical music in its emphasis on melody, though the maqam musical style of West Asia (varieties of which are found right up to Afghanistan, and also found influencing Kashmiri music) is very distinctly different from Indian Classical music in most respects. Incidentally, as all other forms of world music have contributed their bits to Indian film music, Arabic-Persian-Turkish music has also often been used to give a West Asian coloring to songs in Hindi films: the most glaring example (though it would not be immediately obvious to Indian film-song lovers, since the accompanying musical instruments in the song are all Indian ones, or ones regularly used in Indian film music) is the maqam bayati as used in the film song "ghar aaya mera pardesi" in the film Awara.But except for its more open preservation of microtones, West Asian music is not as rich as Indian music. The total number of scales (52) that we have seen, and it is possible there are a few more not included in the list above, are actually equivalentto the melodies themselves: in Indian music, however, the scales (thāṭs) are just the basis for countless melodies (rāgas), and there are literally thousands of rāgas.III. The Rāgas of Indian MusicWe have seen the scales or thāṭs/meḷas of Indian classical music. However, the thāṭs are not themselves rāgas, although in almost all cases the above thāṭs are named after certain particular rāgaswhich have those same notes. A rāga is a melody containing the following characteristics, and as mentioned above, there are literally thousands of rāgas in Indian music. In this article, we can only touch upon the basic aspects of the rāga system itself, and with reference to only a few of the thousands of rāgas (i.e. in explaining any point, we will only consider one or two of scores or hundreds of examples):1. SCALE OR SET OF NOTES:The first characteristic of a rāga is its scale or the full set of notes used in it. We have already given a listing of heptatonic (7-note), hexatonic (6-note) and pentatonic (5-note) thāṭs or scales.In all of the cases, a thāṭ is also a rāga.In many cases, it is the only rāga in the thāṭ and therefore both rāgaand thāṭ are identical. Thus, what we have called the pentatonic thāṭ Śivarañjanī is also a rāgaŚivarañjanī, with the notes SRg PDS., the only rāga in the thāt. But this is not always the case. Usually, there are many distinctly different rāgaswhich use the same scale or set of notes: Thus the heptatonic scale of Bhairavī thāṭ (SrgM PdnŚ) is found in the distinctly different rāgas Bhairavī, Bilāskhānī Toḍī and Komal Āsāvarī. If we take the pentatonic thāṭ Bhūp (SRG PDS) listed earlier, we again have a rāga Bhūp (or Bhūpālī) as well as another rāgaDeskār with exactly the same identical five notes and belonging to the same pentatonic thāṭ. Thus, a rāga is actually something beyond the basic scale notes, and a thāṭcan have many rāgas with the same set of notes, but with different other characteristics, thus constituting totally different melodies. The thāṭis basically a full set of the notes.As we saw above, many of the Arabic maqams have the same basic set of notes, e.g. Kirdan and Rast, or Nahawand-II and Sultani-Yakah, or Bayati and Husayni. Others have the same set of notes, but start on different notes: e.g. 'Ajam-Ushayran, Farahfaza-I, Kurd and Nahawand-Kabir, or Farahfaza-II, Hijaz and Nikriz. The maqams are therefore rāgas and not thāṭs.So then what distinguishes one rāga from another one with the samenotes?There are many factors, but first we will examine the factors involving the notes in the rāga:a) A rāga has an ascending scale (āroh) and a descending scale (avaroh). The difference between two rāgas with the same set of notes can be because of a difference in the notes in āroh and avaroh. The two rāgas may have different ascending and descending patterns. [In western classical music, the melodic minor scale (see earlier) is notable for having different notes in the ascent and descent. Some of the Arabic maqams also use notes differently in the ascent and descent].Thus the rāga Bhairav has the ascending scale SrGM PdNŚ, and the descending scale ŚNdP MGrS. The rāga, like so many others, has the same identical notes (in this case the 7 notes of the Bhairav thāṭ) in both ascent and descent.But the rāga Sāverī, which also belongs to the Bhairav thāṭ, has only 5 notes in the ascending scale: SrM PdŚ (G and N are not used in the ascending part of this rāga), while the descending scale has the full 7 notes: ŚNdP MGrS.Likewise, the rāga KomalDesī , an 8-note scale with the notes SrRgM PdnŚ, has 5 notes in āroh: SRM PnŚ, and 7 notes in avroh: ŚndP MgrS.In the three "pentatonic" rāgas named earlier (Tilaṅg, Jog, BrindāvanīSāraṅg), which have two forms of one note each, thereby actually having 6-note scales, one form is used in the āroh and the other in the avroh:Tilaṅg: SGM PNŚ - ŚnP MGS. Jog: SGM PnŚ - ŚnP MgS. BrindāvanīSāraṅg: SRM PNŚ - ŚnP MRS.Officially, a scale with 5 notes is called auḍav, with 6 notes is called ṣāḍav, and 7 notes is called sampūrṇa (full or complete). Thus a rāga can be classified in nine ways, as auḍav-auḍav (with 5 notes each in ārohand avaroh), auḍav-ṣāḍav (5 notes in āroh and 6 notes in avaroh), etc.Actually, as we saw, there can be more categories when there are more than 7 notes in any direction.A rāga may have both forms of a note, e.g. both n and N, in the same direction (in āroh and/or in avaroh). Thus the rāgaAlhaiyā Bilāwal has the following notes in āroh: SRGP DNŚ (M is missing) and avroh: ŚNnD PMGRS (all 7 notes, with both n and N): thus the rāga has a scale of 8 notes (as in the avroh). Likewise, the rāga Bihāg has āroh: SGM PNŚ (Rand D missing) and avroh: ŚNDP mMGRS(all 7 notes, with both M and m): again a rāga with a scale of 8 notes (as in the avroh).[The rāga Gauḍ Sāraṅg has both M and m in both ārohand avroh, and therefore has a full 8-note scale both ways: SRGMm PDNŚ].Needless to say, the missing (varjya) notes in either the ascent or descent of any rāga give a completely different color to the melody, and there can be many distinct rāgas formed from a single scale (set of notes) with different notes missing in the ascent or the descent, where the difference in one or more notes in the aroh and avaroh results in different ascending and descending scales for the rāga.b) Further, rāgas, being natural melodies and not analytically created scales, are different in their degree of adherence to rigid rules. Most rāgas generally use only the notes proper to them, especially the more gambhīr or serious rāgas, but the more light, popular, and emotionally evocative rāgas are less rigid (especially but not exclusively in non-classical contexts like films, etc.), and often skillfully use certain extra notes to give depth and beauty to the melody. The very popular rāga Śivarañjanī, for example, has the 5 notes SRg PDŚ: but regularly uses extra notes to add beauty and emotional depth to the melody, mainly the note G, which is used sparingly but extremely skilfully to give depth to the melody. Check the beautiful use, in different ways, of the extra note G in different film songs like Jane Kahan Gaye Wo Din (from the film Mera Naam Joker), or O Mere Sanam (from the film Sangam), or Tere Mere Beech Men(from the film Ek Dooje Ke Liye).The use of extra notes for beauty and effect does not change the thāṭ or scale classification of a rāga: e.g. Śivarañjanī will still be classified as a pentatonic thāṭ/rāga with the notes SRg PDŚ.In the Bhairavī thāṭ, for example, the rāga Bhairavī is known for its very liberal use of other notes, while the rāgas which almost strictly adhere to the notes of the Bhairavī thāṭ (i.e. SrgM PdnŚ) are the rāgas known as Bilāskhānī Toḍi and Komal ṚṣabhĀsāvarī. (with different notes in āroh and avroh). Pahāḍīis another rāga known for liberal use of extra notes for beauty. The rāga Dhanī, likewise, a pentatonic rāga with SgM PnŚ uses an extra note R in avaroh for effect, to such an extent that it seems to have become a regular phenomenon.c) Finally, we have the very important distinction of śruti: as we saw, Indian music earlier had 22 different micro-tones (wrongly also called quarter-tones), and, except for the two acal (अचल) sounds S and P, all the other ten semitones have two forms each: a slightly lower form and a slightly higher form. Although these finer distinctions are not maintained in general music (since the use of the harmonium and the tempered western scale have resulted in a blurring of the śrutidistinctions in popular recognition), they are still observed to some extent in classical music, although not specified in notation. We can note these śrutiswith + signs as in the Arabic maqams. Thus:In rāga Mārvā, as well as rāga Toḍī, the r is slightly lower than normal: it could be understood as S+ (a note between Sand r, although closer to r).In rāga Darbārī Kānaḍā, the g is slightly lower than normal: it could be understood as R+ (a note between R and g, although closer to g).In rāga Miyā Malhār, the g is higher than normal: it could be understood as g+ (a note between g and G, although closer to g).As per the writings of Paluskar and Asarekar, for example, the notes r and dare slightly lower in rāga Bhairav than in rāga Bhairavī, the R and D are slightly lower in rāga Bibhās than in rāga Yaman Kalyāṇ, the n in Gauḍ Malhāris slightly lower than in rāga Bhairavī, the g in rāga Toḍī is slightly lower than in rāga Bhairavī, the G in rāga Mālkauns is slightly lower than in rāga Yaman Kalyāṇ, and so on.Thus the actual notes in the scales of rāgas have a greater richness and variety than is immediately discernible from a consideration of the bare notes, since the notation does not take note of the distinction between higher and lower śrutis, though these śrutis are automatically distinguished in the actual music by the expert performer and the discerning listener without consciously realizing it.The rich variety of scales in Indian music is thus hidden by the convention of force-fitting rāgas into the 10-heptatonic-thāṭs paradigm.2. SPECIAL ASPECTS OF THE RĀGA:Quite apart from the set of notes in a rāga, there are many other factors distinguishing different rāgas from each other even when they have the same notes. We will merely list them, from the least tangible to the most tangible:1. Firstly, the rāgas are classified according to time, season and emotion (rasa): a) According to the time of day, the rāgas are usually classified into three-hour divisions of the day known as prahar. Often, the division is even more minute, dividing the rāgas into two-hour divisions. Here we will just divide the day roughly into its most distinct four parts and note just a few of the typical or prominent rāgas which fall into them:Morning: Lalat, Jogiyā, Bhairav, Bibhās, AhirBhairav, Toḍī, GujarīToḍī. Afternoon: GauḍSāraṅg, BrindāvanīSāraṅg, ŚuddhaSāraṅg, Bhīmpalās. Evening: Mārvā, Pūriyā, Pūrvī, Pīlū, Hamīr, YamanKalyāṇ, Hamsadhvanī. Night: Chandrakauns, Mālkauns, Sohanī, Abhogī, Darbārī, Aḍāṇā, Bāgeśrī.Actually, the same rāga in different lists may be found attributed to different neighboring periods, and it is noteworthy that the rāga most associated in popular perception with dawn, Bhūp, is actually classified as a night rāga.b) Again, the rāgas are divided according to the six seasons. One exemplary rāga and Hindi film song from each group is given:Vasant (Spring): Basant. "Basant Hai Aya" (film: Anchal):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp_BPGKGwRcGrīṣma (Summer): Dīpak. "Jagamaga Jagamaga Diya Jalao" (film: Tansen):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sWo9fkWdRYVarṣā (Monsoon): GauḍMalhār: "Garjat Barsat Sawan Ayo Re" (film: Barsaat ki Raat):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62TjjoPCyG8Śarad (Autumn): Bhairav: "Mohe Bhool Gaye Sanwariya" (film: Baiju Bawra):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7V7U54rMjwHemant (pre-Winter): Hemant: "Sudh Bisar Gayi Aaj" (film: Sangeet Samrat Tansen):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V77EVaQgrOIŚiśir (Winter): Mālkauns: "Adha Hai Chandrama" (film: Navrang):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aasw1WDNhgYThis classification seems particularly apt in respect of spring and monsoon songs.c) Rāgas are also supposed to either evoke or express (or both) certain moods. This is known as rasa (emotion) and as per the well-known division into nine rasas: śṛṅgāra (love, beauty), hāsya (laughter), raudra (anger), karuṇa (pathos), bibhatsa (disgust), vīra(valour), bhayānaka (fear), adbhuta (wonder) and śānta (peace). However, there is no definitive list of rāgas which evoke or express these moods.In my opinion, generally, more than the rāgas themselves, it is the expertise of the singer or performer which can express or evoke moods through any rāga.However, there can be no doubt that karuṇa (pathos), or at least a soft, mellow mood, does seem to be inherent in some rāgas like Śivrañjanī, GujarīToḍī, AhirBhairav, Charukeśī, etc.2. Secondly, the rāgas are characterized by special features based on the notes which are most prominent in the melody:At the more general level, there are two distinctions:Firstly, there are pūrvāṅga-pradhān rāgas (where S,r,R,g,G,M,m are more prominent), e.g. Pūrvī, Bihāg, GorakhKalyāṇ, Yaman, Khamāj, and uttarāṅga-pradhān rāgas (where P,d,D,n,N,Ś are more prominent), e.g. Sohanī, Bhairavī, Lalat, Candrakauns, Kedār, Basant.Secondly, rāgas generally move within certain octaves. There are five octaves: the normal middle madhya saptak, the lower mandra saptak, the even lower ati-mandra saptak, the higher tār saptak, and the even higher ati-tār saptak. The two "ati" octaves are more rarely used. Certain rāgas generally move more in the lower or mandra-madhyasaptak space, e.g. DarbārīKānaḍā, Toḍī, Bhūp, Jhinjhoṭī, Pilū; and certain others move more in the higher or madhya-tārsaptak space, e.g. Adāṇā, GujarīToḍī , Sohanī, GauḍMalhār, Kāliṅgḍā. Some ṛagas freely span all the three main mandra-madhya-tāroctaves: Bhairav, Mālkauns, Durgā, Śivarañjanī. More specifically, there are many other characteristics which give any rāgaits identity. We will examine many of these characteristic features of just oneexemplary rāga, Kedār.Full scale: SR(G)Mm PDnNŚ.Āroh scale: S(G)Mm PDŚ.Avroh Scale: SNnD PmMRS.Āroh-Avroh: SM(G)P PD PP Ś - Ś N D P M P D n D P MPDP M R Ś.Vādīsvar (dominant or most frequently used note): M.Saṁvādī svar(next dominant or second most frequently used note): S.Nyāssvar (resting note): P.Pakaḍ: SM(G)P D P M R S. [There is a prominent characteristic glide in SM(G)P, and the G is said to be "hidden" by M]Ālāp orCalan (general movement):S DP DPM MP PS SR-S; S RS MRS SDP PS; S RS SM MRS SM MP DPM RS;SM PDPM MPDnDP M PM RS; SMMP mPDnDP mPDMP PŚ ŔŚ NDP DPM RS;PPŚ ŚŔŚ ŚḾ ḾŔŚ NDPM PMRS.Only a person trained or training in classical music will understand the above, and will in fact even go much farther beyond that in elaborating on the rāga.But here are a few prominent Hindi film songs (arranged alphabetically film-wise) based on kedār (always keeping in mind that film songs and light songs are usually more flexible in following the rāga rules than strictly classical renditions):1. Amrapali- Jao Re Jogi Tum2. Andaz- Uthaye Ja Unke Sitam3. Ashiyana- Main Pagal Mera Manwa Pagal4. Benazir- Mil Ja Re Janejana5. Bhakt Surdas- Panchhi Bawra Chand Se Preet Laga Le6. Ek Musafir Ek Hasina- Aap Yunhi Agar Hamse Milte Rahe7. Ek Musafir Ek Hasina- Bahut Shukriya Badi Meherbani8. Ek Musafir Ek Hasina- Hamko Tumhare Ishq Ne Kya Kya Bana Diya9. Ek Musafir Ek Hasina- Phir Tere Sheher Mein Lutne Ko10. Ghar- Aapki Ankhon Mein Kuchh11. Guddi- Hamko Man Ki Shakti Dena12. Jahan Ara- Kisi Ki Yaad Mein Duniya Ko Hai Bhulaye Hue13. Jangli- Ehsan Tera Hoga Mujh Par14. Leader- Aaj Hai Pyar Ka Faisla Ai Sanam15. Mughal-e-Azam- Bekas Pe Karam Kijiye16. Munimji- Sajan Bin Neend Na Aye17. Narsi Bhagat- Darshan Do Ghanshyam Nath18. Palki- Kal Raat Zindagi Se Mulaqat Ho Gayi19. Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon- Anchal Mein Saja Lena Kaliyan20. Rajkumar- Is Rang Badalti Duniya Mein21. Son of India- Chal Diye Deke Gham22. Tel Malish Boot Polish- Kanha Ja Teri Murli Ki Dhun Sun23. The Burning Train- Pal Do Pal Ka Saath HamaraAnd the following Marathi film songs or natyageet in kedār:1. Avghachi Saunsar- Aaz Mi Alavite Kedar2. Baikocha Bhau- Kokila Ga Re3. Gulacha Ganpati- Hi Kuni Chhedili Taar4. Kanyadan- Tu Astaa Tar5. Zhala Gela Visrun Za- Tu Nazarene Ho Mhatle6. Nat. Katyar Kalzat Ghusli- Surat Piya Ki Na Chhin BisrayeThe following are videos of two of the above songs (the 8th and 17th in the Hindi list):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZZ2cDL8Q5Ihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UYtyMXwEuo3. SPECIAL FEATURES OF INDIAN MUSIC:What is the speciality of Indian classical music? There are doubtless thousands of wonderful books and articles - and of course documentary films and videos - giving minute details on all aspects of Indian music: the countless old and current classical and folk musical instruments, the rāgas and tāls, lists of (film-etc.) songs and of recorded classical and semi-classical performances in different rāgas and tāls, the different types of Vedic chanting, the countless distinct classical, folk and tribal forms of music and dance, etc. In my article on "Hindutva or Hindu Nationalism", I pointed out the need for a massive all-India campaign to collect and bring together in one place all these great aspects of our music before they become a mere memory - or remain not even that - of the past.But here I will show a small part of a popular video on youtube which shows a very special aspects of Indian (especially Hindustani Classical) music: the following video is by the eminent violin maestra Kala Ramnath, in which she demonstrates in a nutshell a fundamental difference between the western style of music (actually perhaps all other styles of music in the world) and Hindustani classical music. As this video is now missing on youtube, I am uploading it on my youtube channel, and giving the URL of that post:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iESWw0w5sYIndian music is characterized by a very wide variety of ornamentation, and also by harmonization with a drone (usually played by some instrument like the tanpura or the shruti-pipe). The details of all this very, very complicated musical science will best be explained by musical experts. Here I will only give the URL of one youtube video (I am sure there are many more, and more detailed, other videos available on the subject) which illustrates some of these points to a lay audience:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9t4WcumdnR0IV. India's Unparalleled Musical Wealth and Contribution to World MusicIndian music is absolutely the richest in the world, and its original and fundamental contributions to world music are unparalleled.In mathematical science, ancientIndia conceived and analysed the mathematical concepts of zero and infinity, achieved a fundamental revolution by devising a numeral system which can represent any and every conceivable number with only ten symbols, and coined names for numbers of incredibly high denominations (a Buddhist work, Lalitavistara, gives the names for base-numbers up to 10421, ie. one followed by 421 zeroes)! And, at the same time, we have the Andamanese Onge language, which to this day has not developed the concept of numbers beyond three: they have names only for “one”, “two”, and "three", and a word "many" which is used for all numbers above three! This represents the absolutely most pristine stage in any language in the world. This is the case in almost every field of culture: on the one hand, India has the richest traditional cuisine in the world, one of the most highly developed traditions of architecture in all its aspects, and an incredibly wide range of costumes and ornaments, all of hoary antiquity, and, on the other hand, we have tribes who are hunter-gatherers and subsist only on wild berries, who live in caves, or who live almost in the nude.In every aspect of culture, India has the full range, from the simplest and most pristine to the richest and most developed and complicated.Likewise, in music, our Indian classical music has, since thousands of years, developed a detailed theory of music, and used the richest range of notes (twenty-two microtones as compared to the twelve notes of western classical music), scales(every possible combination of the basic notes, and umpteen varieties of rāgaswithin each combination), modes and rhythms.We have the most unimaginably wide range of rhythms (which will not be elaborated in this article which is mainly about thāṭs and rāgas), from the very simplest to the most complicated and intricate, with, for example, rhythms having even 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, etc. beats per cycle, (almost unimaginable in most of the rest of the world, except in West Asia and the adjacent Balkans - probably, as we will see, ultimately derived from Indian music) and the most intricate rhythmic techniques in the world, including complicated cross-rhythms (again, almost unimaginable in most of the rest of the world, except in parts of Africa).And, at the same time, the absolutely most pristine form of music in the world is found among the Veddas of Sri Lanka: they possess the most primitive form of singing in the world, and, along with certain remote Patagonian tribes, are the only people in the world who “not only do not possess any musical instrument, but do not even clap their hands or stamp the ground”(SACHS:1940:26).The range of Indian music is beyond belief:Curt Sachs writes: “The roots of music are more exposed in India than anywhere else. The Vedda in Ceylon possess the earliest stage of singing that we know, and the subsequent strata of primitive music are represented by the numberless tribes that in valleys and jungles took shelter from the raids of northern invaders. So far as this primitive music is concerned, the records are complete or at least could easily be completed if special attention were paid to the music of the ‘tribes’…[There are] hundreds of tribal styles…” (SACHS:1943:157). A study of the richness and incredible variety in all the forms of tribal music in India would be truly mind-boggling.Then there is the folk music, the range and variety of which is equally mind-boggling: every singlepart of India is rich in its own individual wide range of styles of folk music, and the folk music of even any one state of India (say Maharashtra, Rajasthan or Karnataka, or the north-east, for example, or even Sind, Baluchistan, Sri Lanka or Bhutan for that matter) would merit a lifetime of study.And, right on top, we have the great tradition of Indian Classical Music, which we have already referred to. Although the oldest living form of classical music in the world, and although it has evolved and developed over the centuries, losing and gaining in the process, Sachs points out that “there is no reason to believe that India’s ancient music differed essentially from her modern music” (SACHS:1943:157). [Even Muslim rulers, including most of the Mughals, did a great deal in preserving and perpetuating many aspects of Indian culture, for which they often received the flak of Islamic theologians. In many cases, in fact, they developed such a deep respect and attachment for some aspects, that they even tried to appropriate credit for them: in respect of Indian music, for example, Alain Danielou points out that “Amir Khusrau (AD 1253-1319)…wrote that Indian music was so difficult and so refined that no foreigner could totally master it even after twenty years of practice”; and the Muslim attachment to Indian music grew to such an extent that it led to the invention of stories about “how the various styles of Northern Indian music were developed by musicians of the Mohammedan period…Under Moslem rule, age-old stories were retold as if they had happened at the court of Akbar…Such transfer of legends is frequent everywhere. We…find ancient musical forms and musical instruments being given Persian-sounding names and starting a new career as the innovations of the Moghul court” (DANIELOU:1949:34). The sum of it is that many Muslim rulers also contributed in the preservation and perpetuation, and even the enriching, of many aspects of native Indian classical culture].Many western musicologists (Alain Danielou, M.E. Cousins, Donald Lentz, etc.) have spoken about the superiority of Indian classical music over western classical music, but without going into that it is at least certain that Indian Classical music is one of the most highly developed classical forms in the world.Apart from the classical music, we have that other great and ancient tradition, of Vedic chanting and singing in its many varieties, best preserved in South India, and different varieties of Sanskrit songs, preserved in temples and maṭhs all over India.And in all the varieties of music (classical, folk, popular and tribal), we have the most unparalleled range of musical instruments in the world, unique in their range from the most primitive and simple to the most sophisticated and complicated in respect of techniques of making, artistic appearance, techniques of playing, and qualities of sound, in every type: idiophonic, membranophonic, aerophonic and chordophonic; monophonic, pressurephonic, polyphonic and multiphonic.All this music and all these musical instruments were preserved down the ages by temple traditions, courts, courtesans, great masters and professional castes, musical institutions, and tribal, caste and community traditions.The twentieth century saw a consolidation of all this rich musical wealth due, on the one hand, to the invention of recording devices, and, on the other, to the enthusiasm natural in a modern India in the atmosphere of an independence movement. New generations of musicians and scholars, and government bodies like Films Division, Akashwani and Doordarshan, did a herculean job in studying, recording and popularising all forms of Indian music.New trends in classical music (eg. the gharana system, new semi-classical forms, including Marathi natya sangeet, etc.), new innovations (eg. the “Vadyavrind” orchestration of Indian melodic music, etc.), and new genres of popular music (eg. new forms of devotional music - bhajans, artis, etc., of popular music like the bhavgeet genre in Marathi music, and Film Music) in every part of India added to India’s incomparablemusical wealth.India also contributed to world music in some fundamental ways:India's Contribution to World Music:India's contribution to World Music has been greater than any other area, country or civilization. To begin with, A.C.Scott at the very start of his "The Theatre in Asia", tells us: "It will be seen that stage practice in Asia owes a great deal to India as an ancestral source. Indian influence on dance and theatre which are one and the same thing in Asia was like some great subterranean river following a spreading course and forming new streams on the way" (SCOTT:1972:1).A much greater and in-depth study of all the musical data throughout Asia is extremely necessary, but for starters, the following quotations from Curt Sachs' seminal work, "The Rise of Music in the Ancient World - East and West", will give some faint idea of the fundamental nature of India's contribution to music in almost the whole of Asia:"In the retinue of Buddhism, it had a decisive part in forming the musical style of the East, of China, Korea and Japan, and with Hindu settlers it penetrated what today is called Indo-China and the Malay Archipelago. There was a westbound exportation too. The fact, of little importance in itself, that an Indian was credited with having beaten the drum in Mohammed's military expeditions might at least be taken for a symbol of Indian influence on Islamic music. Although complete ignorance of ancient Iranian music forces us into conservation we are allowed to say that the system of melodic and rhythmic patterns characteristic of the Persian, Turkish and Arabian world, had existed in India as the rāgas and tālas more than a thousand years before it appeared in the sources of the Mohammedan Orient" (SACHS:1943:193).It must be noted that West Asian music was the direct source of much of the classical music of Europe at least in the matter of musical instruments. As the Wikipedia entry on Arabic music tells us:"The majority of musical instruments used in European medieval and classical music have roots in Arabic musical instruments that were adopted from the medieval Islamic world.They include the lute, derived from the oud; rebec(an ancestor of the violin) from rebab, guitarfrom qitara, naker from naqareh, adufefrom al-duff, albokafrom al-buq, anafil from al-nafir, exabeba (a type of flute) from al-shabbaba, atabal (a type of bass drum) from al-tabl, atambal from al-tinbal,the balaban, castanetfrom kasatan, and sonajas de azófar from sunuj al-sufr.The Arabic rabāb, also known as the spiked fiddle, is the earliest known bowed string instrument and the ancestor of all European bowed instruments, including the rebec, the Byzantine lyra, and the violin.The Arabic oudin Islamic music was the direct ancestor of the European lute.The oudis also cited as a precursor to the modern guitar. The guitarhas roots in the four-string oud, brought to Iberia by the Moors in the 8th century.A direct ancestor of the modern guitar is the guitarra morisca(Moorish guitar), which was in use in Spain by the 12th century. By the 14th century, it was simply referred to as a guitar.A number of medieval conical bore instruments were likely introduced or popularized by Arab musicians,including the xelami (from zulami)."[We will refer shortly to some of these musical instruments and their ultimate Indian origin]."China also passed on to Japan the ceremonial dances of India with their music, which were Japanized as the solemn and colorful Bugaku" (SACHS:1943:105)."the oldest preserved style, the classical Sino-Japanese Bugaku dances […are…] of Indian origin, and Chinese and Japanese music on the whole were under Indian influence in the second half of the first millennium A.D. And yet the most typical trait of Indian music, its sophisticated rhythmical patterns or tālas, had no chance in the East. In 860 A.D., someone wrote a treatise on drumming in China, with over one hundred ‘symphonies’ which doubtless were Indian tālas; but nothing came of this, and not one of the Far Eastern styles has preserved the slightest trace of such patterns. The three rhythms used in Tibetan orchestras, and kept up in percussion even when the other parts are silent, are obviously not Far Eastern, but deteriorated Indian patterns. The elaborate polyrhythm of Balinese cymbal players that Mr. Colin MePhee has recently described is not Far Eastern either" (SACHS:1943:139)."So vital in East Asiatic music is the delicate vacillation that dissolves the rigidity of pentatonic scales that all possible artifices have carefully been classified, named, and, by the syllabic symbols of their names, embodied in notation: ka (to quote the terms of Japanese koto players); that is, sharpening a note by pressing down the string beyond the bridge; niju oshi, sharpening by a whole tone; é, the subsequent sharpening of a note already plucked and heard; ké, sharpening it for just a moment and releasing the string into its initial vibration; yū, the same, but making the relapse very short before the following note is played; kaki, plucking two adjoining strings in rapid succession with the same finger; uchi, striking the strings beyond the bridges during long pauses; nagashi, a slide with the forefinger over the strings; and many others [….] Recent investigation has made clear that this tablature is a Chinese transcription of Sanskrit symbols used in India. Indeed, the graces of long zithers, unparalleled in East Asiatic music, are nothing else than the gamakas of India, imported with the sway of Buddhism during the Han Dynasty and given to the technique of Chinese zithers, which became the favorite instruments of meditative Buddhist priests and monks" (SACHS:1943:143-44)."The strange, never-ceasing drones used in the choral singing of Tibet belong in the Indian, not the Chinese sphere of Tibetan civilization" (SACHS:1943:145).In Siamese (Thai) music, "the comparatively large share of drums, however, indicates the neighborhood of India" (SACHS:1943:152).In Burmese music, "These penetrant oboes, which lead the melody instead of the tinkling gongs of Java and Bali, are definitely Indian. But still more Indian is the unparalleled drum chime of, normally, twenty-four carefully tuned drums, suspended inside the walls of a circular pen, which the player, squatting in the center, strikes with his bare hands in swift, toccata like melodies with stupendous technique and delicacy" (SACHS:1943:153).In respect of the Slendro or "male" scale in Indonesian music, "It seems that the modes or, better, the melodies ascribed to the modes, matter today only from the standpoint of choosing the adequate time for performance: pieces in nem are to be played between seven and midnight; sangais the right mode for the early morning between midnight and three and for the afternoon between noon and seven; manjura belongs to the hours between 3:00 A.M. and noon. This time table is unmistakably Indian. The name salendropoints also to India. It probably stemmed from the Sumatran Salendra Dynasty, which ruled Java almost to the end of the first thousand years A.D. and had come from the Coromandel Coast in South India. Thus it might be wiser to connect slendro with ragas like madhyamāvati, mohana, or hamsadhvanī than with the Chinese scale" (SACHS:1943:132).Alain Danielou tells us (in his “Introduction to the Study of Musical scales”) that the Indian “theory of musical modes…seems to have been the source from which all systems of modal music originated” (DANIELOU:1943:99), and goes so far as to suggest that “Greek music, like Egyptian music, most probably had its roots in Hindu music” (DANIELOU:1943:159-160).An extremely significant contribution by India is the "classification of musical instruments". Wikipedia very brazenly tells us: "Hornbostel-Sachs or Sachs-Hornbostel is a system of musical instrument classification devised by Erich Moritz von Hornbostel and Curt Sachs, and first published in the Zeitschrift für Ethnolgie in 1914. An English translation was published in the Galpin Society Journal in 1961. It is the most widely used system for classifying musical instruments by ethnomusicologistsand organologists(people who study musical instruments). The system was updated in 2011 as part of the work of the Musical Instrument Museums Online (MIMO) Project.Hornbostel and Sachs based their ideas on a system devised in the late 19th century by Victor-Charles Mahillon, the curator of musical instruments at Brussels Conservatory. Mahillon divided instruments into four broad categories according to the nature of the sound-producing material: an air column; string; membrane; and body of the instrument. From this basis, Hornbostel and Sachs expanded Mahillon's system to make it possible to classify any instrument from any culture". The four-fold classification by them, which is the official classification everywhere now, divides musical instruments into idiophonic, membranophonic, chordophonic and aerophonic. We will not count a fifth and modern category, electrophonic.The claim that this classification was done by Mahillon, Sachs, or Hornbostel is an extremelyfraudulent claim (a glaring example of the western "digestion" of Indian sciences and presentation of Indian ideas as western discoveries or inventions, so consistently highlighted by Rajiv Malhotra), and they very clearly simply lifted the ancient Indian system of classification of musical instruments from the time of Bharata's Natya Shastra (pre-500BCE) into four categories:1. Ghaṇa vādya: idiophonic instruments.2. Avanaddha vādya: membranophonic instruments.3. Tata vādya, chordophonic instruments.4. Suṣira vādya: aerophonic instruments.Further, longbefore anywhere else in the world, Bharata in his Natya Shastra (older than 500 BCE) also classifies the octave into seven notes (even the very names are as at present: ṣaḍja, ṛṣabha, gāndhāra, madhyama, pañcama, dhaivata and niṣāda), twelve semi-tones and twenty-two śrutis(quarter-tones or micro-tones). This annotation of the tones and semitones has been adopted into western classical system only in medieval times.At this point, a campaign to attribute the origin of major aspects of Indian music to Islamic sources - sometimes even to particular individuals like Amir Khusro - is the norm. Everything, from tablas and lutes (sitar, sarod, etc.) to the khayal gayaki or style of Hindustani music are attributed to the Muslim invaders or to the scholars of the Mughal and other Muslim courts of medieval India. This is based only on two things: myths manufactured during the Mughal rule, and the West Asian names given to originally Indian musical instruments and forms of music.In respect of Hindustani music in general, it must be noted that there is no reason to suppose that it is any different from what it was thousands of years ago, except that it continued to evolve and develop over the ages. As Curt Sachs points out, "when we read in Bharata's classical book of the twenty-two microtones in ancient Indian octaves, of innumerable scales and modes, and of seventeen melodic patterns and their pentatonic and hexatonic alterations, we realize that music at, or even before, the beginning of the first century AD was by no means archaic. Indeed, there is no reason to believe that India's ancient music differed substantially from her modern music" (SACHS 1943:157).More specifically, as Danielou puts it: "Northern Indian classical music […] though it lent itself easily to temporary fashions […] seems to have remained the same in spite of temporary changes. It still conforms with the definitions in some of the most ancient books. The stories that relate how the various styles of northern Indian music were developed by musician......
A Concise Guide to Writing Fiction Set in the Mature Harappan = New Rigvedic Period 2600-1700 BCE...
Shrikant G Talageri
1 year ago
[A few words about this article:1. It has been published on the IndicToday site very recently.2. Two parts of it, pertaining to Dravidians, have already been put up on my blogspot recently.3. It has two purposes: firstly, to provide background data for anyone writing fiction set in the Mature Harappan = New Rigvedic period 2600-1700 BCE, and secondly, even otherwise to present an overall picture introducing the reader to the historical scenario in India during that period] Any fiction set in the Mature Harappan period (that is, the period of composition of the New Rigveda) must keep in mind various relevant factors. Before going into those factors, the prehistory of this period, as per the myths recorded in the Puranas, must be kept in mind:The beginnings of Indian history, according to traditional information in the Puranas, begins with a reference to the first king Manu Vaivasvata who ruled over the whole of India, and he was succeeded by his ten sons, who subsequently ruled over the different parts of India. These ten sons, according to the Puranas, were Sudyumna, lkṣvāku, Prāṁṣu, Śaryāti, Dhṛṣṭa, Karuṣa, Nariṣyanta, Pṛṣadhra, Nābhāga and Nabhagodiṣṭa, and these as per the Puranic traditions, were the ancestral figures for the inhabitants of the different parts of the whole of India.The actual Puranic data concentrates on the history of the descendants of only twoof the reportedly ten sons of Manu: Ikṣvāku (whose descendants are referred to as Aikṣvāku or Ikṣvāku) and Sudyumna (who, on the basis of a mythical story in which, due to a curse, he becomes a woman and then is again reconverted into a man, is also given the masculine name Iḷa and the feminine name Iḷā , and his descendants are consequently referred to as Aiḷa or Iḷa).The history of the descendants of the other eight sons is not recorded or discernible from the accounts.The Aiḷas are treated in myth and tradition as members of the Lunar race, and the Ikṣvākus as members of the Solar race.The Ikṣvākus are located in the eastern half of the northern area: in present-day terms, in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.The Aiḷas, who form the central focus of the Puranic accounts, are located to the westand south of the Ikṣvākus. However, even here, the Puranic accounts are more-or-less ambiguous (or confused) about the history of the entire Aiḷa lineage, and only concentrate on the history of descendants who are mythically identified as descended from the five sons of an Aiḷa king named Yayāti: Yadu and Turvasu/Turvaṣa, sons by his wife Devayānī , and Druhyu, Anu and Pūru, sons by his wife Śarmiṣṭhā. These are located as follows:a) To begin with, the Pūrus are located in the Central areas around Kurukṣetra, (Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh), the Anus to their north (Kashmir and the areas to their immediate west in northernmost parts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan), the Druhyus to the west (present-day northern and central Pakistan), the Yadus to their south (Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra) and the Turvasus (to the east of the Yadus).b) A series of battles in the pre-Rigvedic period leads to a realignment in the northwest: the Druhyus are pushed further out into Afghanistan, while a major section of the Anus expands southwards and occupies the major part of the former areas of the Druhyus.c) The dāśarājña battle in the period of the Old Rigveda leads to a further realignment: the Pūrus expand westwards into the same (northern and central Pakistan) areas and a major section of the Anus expands outwards into Afganistan leading to a further northwards push to the Druhyus who spill out into Central Asia.The end result is that by the time of the New Rigveda, which is the period archaeologically referred to as the Mature Harappan period, we find the following situation in India in 2600-1700 BCE:I. The Mature Harappan Civilization and its Neighbors.1. The Mature Harappan civilization is spread out over the whole area of the Rigveda (from westernmost Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to Afghanistan), whose components are sections of three tribes with possibly the last remnants of a fourthone:a) the central Pūrus in the eastern parts (mainly Haryana and eastern Punjab),b) the eastern Anus and western Pūrus in the western parts (most of northern Pakistan), andc) the western Yadus in the southern parts (Gujarat, Sind) along withd) the last remnants of the Druhyus in the westernmost border areas.They had all developed together as a composite more-or-less Pūru-ized "Indo-Iranian" civilization.To their north, in the original Puranic area of the Anus, we still find the northernAnus, the ancestors of the Nuristani and Dardic people. 2. To the west of the Mature Harappan = New Rigvedic areas, we have:a) the central Anus in the major part of Afghanistan (with remnants of Druhyus still in their midst) who had developed into the proto-Iranian, or pre-Avestan and Avestan, civilization.b) other sections of western Anus further west expanding westwards into Iran: the ancestors of the proto-Armenian, proto-Greek and proto-Albanian speakers later to migrate westwards towards southeastern Europe. They were followed by other sections of the central Anus (proto-Iranian tribes, who spread westwards and northwestwards), and also a section of westernPūrus (the proto-Mitanni Indo-Aryans). 3. To the north in Central Asia, we have the Druhyu people, including:a) the Uttara-Madras in the west (the proto-Hittites, with sections of them migrating westwards towards the Caspian Sea in their historical movement towards Anatolia),b) the Uttara-Kurus in the east (the proto-Tocharians, who remained in the region till they became extinct a thousand or so years ago), and, between the two,c) remnants of the other Druhyus (ancestral speakers of the proto-Italic, proto-Celtic, proto-Germanic, proto-Baltic and proto-Slavic languages), the main body of whom were already migrating westwards through northern Eurasia on their way towards eastern Europe.The migrating Druhyus were also accompanied or followed by small sections of Anus and Pūrus who carried Iranian and Indo-Aryan linguistic elements into the Uralic areas (leaving traces of their ancient presence in the present-day Finno-Ugric languages).4. To the east of the "Indo-Iranian" Harappans within India, were the eastern Pūrus in the major part of western and central Uttar Pradesh. They extended eastwards in the southern parts of Uttar Pradesh perhaps as far as Kashi in the latest parts of the New Rigvedic period. But their culture had evolved differently from the Harappan culture, and was more akin to the culture of the Ikṣvāku culture to their north and east: in northeastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.5. To the south of these northern areas were the areas of the Yadus and, to their east, of the Turvasus: in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh-Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and northern Maharashtra.6. To the east of these areas, in Jharkhand, Orissa and Bengal and further east (greater Assam) were the areas of the speakers of the Austric languages.7. To the south, in southern Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana-Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Kerala, were the speakers of the Dravidian languages.8. In the border-areas of India - the Land of the Descendants of Manu - there were three more linguistic groups: the Andamanese people in the Andaman Islands, the Burushaski people in the areas of the northern Anus (in Gilgit in POK), and the Sino-Tibetan speakers in Ladakh, Tibet and the Himalayas. 9. Far out in the west outside the Indian sphere, the Mesopotamians (Sumerians, Akkadians) were having trade relations with the people of the Mature Harappan civilization, and Indus seals have been found at Akkadian sites from 2600 BCE onwards.This is the picture of ancient India, which, during the Mature Harappan period (= the New Rigvedic period) already had a tradition (long before latter-dayPersians and Greeks called them "Hindus") of a unique composite identity as the descendants of a common ancestor to whom the Puranas at least give the name "Manu".II. Hinduism.The Hindu religion is an amalgam of the religious features of all the different parts of India, not all of which are derived from the Vedas or the Vedic religion (which was only the religion of the first three northwestern areas named above):1. This northwestern religion is represented in the religion of the Anus (as in Iranian Zoroastrianism), the Druhyus (as in the Druidic religion of the Celts, and the Romuvan religion of the Lithuanians) and the Vedic texts of the Pūrus; and consisted of (a) worship of the elements, (b) the performance of fire-sacrifices, and (c) the composition and recitation of hymns.[Being more systematically organized, and having developed a unique and unparalleled technique of recording its sacred hymns by a mnemonic system known as the ghaṇa-pāṭha, this Pūru religion spread all over the rest of India in the next few millennia, absorbing, and in fact losing itself in, the diverse religions of the other "descendants of Manu", leading to the formation of modern-day Hinduism: the Parliament of all the religions of all the Descendants of Manu].2. The religion of the Yadus to their south in particular was more naturalistic, and consisted of the worship of mountains (e.g. govardhan parvata), forests and groves, trees and animals, etc. This was probably a basic feature of the kind of religion which prevailed over most of the rest of India, especially the areas of the easternPūrus.3. The religion of the Ikṣvākus to the east was more deep or spiritual, based on intuition, thought, logic and debate, and it is in their regions that we find the seeds of most of the philosophical and spiritual aspects of present-day Hinduism, including the Upaniṣads, Buddhism, Jainism, and even materialistic philosophies like the Cārvāka.4. The areas of the Austric speaking people to the east contributed much of present-day Tantric rites and beliefs, and perhaps even the concept of reincarnation.5. The areas of the Dravidian speaking people to the south (with perhaps some inputs from the Austric speakers of the east) contributed what is today the most central aspect of Hinduism: idol-worship, with all its accompanying features.To understand the centrality of idol-worship in Hinduism, note that this includes all the following features:1. The worship of consecrated idols, whether of:a) The lingam,b) "Rude blocks of stone" with eyes painted on them, orc) Roughly, or finely, carved, or cast, images of stone, metal or some other material. 2. The most popular Hindu deities in every single part of India, including Ayyappa of Kerala, Murugan of Tamilnadu, Balaji of Andhra, Vitthala (originally) of Karnataka (=Vithoba of Maharashtra), Khandoba of Maharashtra, Jagannatha of Orissa, etc., or the myriad forms of the Mother Goddess, with thousands of names, in every nook and corner of India. Also every single local (originally tribal) God and Goddess in every remote corner of India, in the form of the kuladevatās, the gṛhadevatās or the grāmadevatās of local tribes and communities.[In time, of course, myths were formed nominally associating many of these deities with one or the other of the main Gods and Goddesses of Puranic Hinduism as their manifestations, these Puranic Gods themselves being additions from different parts of India to the Hindu pantheon (or originally Vedic Gods like Vishnu and Rudra with basic characteristics adopted from the other local and tribal deities). But these associations were not an imposition “from above”, they were the result of popular local myth-making and part of the consolidation of the national popularization of the local deities: the deities mostly retained their local names, forms, myths, and special rituals and customs, and became all-India deities, objects of pilgrimages from distant areas].3.The entire process of idol-worship:a) Treating the idols as living beings: bathing, dressing and feeding them, putting them to sleep, etc.b) Performing pūjā by offering flowers (the word, which first appears indirectly in a very late interpolated verse in the Rigveda, is derived from the Dravidian pū or "flower"), water, milk, bananas and other fruits, coconuts, clothes and ornaments to the idols.c) Performing āratī by waving lights in front of the idols, and ringing bells;d) Singing with cymbals, and performing music and dance before the idols;e) Partaking of prasāda, of food offered to the idols.4. The entire system of idol-temples and pilgrim-centres, with sacred tanks and bathing-ghats, and of temples, and temple-festivals with palanquins and chariot-processions.Other vital aspects of Hinduism which are missing in the Vedic religion, but were adopted from the other Descendants of Manu, are:1. The use of ash, kumkuma, sandalpaste, turmeric, etc. for smearing or anointing on the idols, and/or on the foreheads of worshipper. From this follow two very fundamental outward symbols of Hinduism today:a) The tilak marks (of whatever material) on the forehead.b) The sacred saffron colour, and, by implication, also the saffron flag. 2. The idea of soul, and the concept of transmigration of souls, and rebirth. [This concept forms a very fundamental aspect of Hindu philosophy, and is the one concept accepted by all the schools of Hindu philosophy including the Buddhist and the Jain (only excepting the cārvāka and other nāstika schools of thought)]. 3. The enumeration of the days by the phases of the moon, the tithis. [The importance of the pañcāṅga (the annual calendar based on the tithis) in ritualistic Hinduism can never be underestimated]. 4. Zoomorphic aspects of Hinduism:a) The worship of certain animals, birds and reptiles. b) The concept of God coming down to earth in the form of zoomorphic avatāras (Narasiṁha, Kūrma, Matsya, Varāha); and, incidentally, even the very concept of God coming down to earth in the form of avatāras.c) The concept of every God and Goddess having a "vehicle" or some special animal or bird (Viṣṇu's Garūḍa, Gaṇeśa's mouse, Kārtikeya's peacock, Śiva's bull, Durgā's lion, etc). 5. A host of concepts, and socio-religious rituals, rites, superstitions and taboos (for example, the concept of the "evil eye" and rituals for its removal, or taboos against cutting nails at night, or beliefs in different types of spirits and demons) and important ethical concepts (vegetarianism, adopted from the Jain traditions of a section of the eastern Ikṣvākus). 6. Several sacred cities, rivers, mountains, lakes and tanks, located all over India outside the Vedic area, and ancient myths and legends associated with them (often adapted to Puranic mythology).7. A very wide range of materia botanica (coconuts, bananas, rice, sandalwood, turmeric, etc.) used in Hindu worship, native to the non-Vedic parts of the country and not referred to in Rigvedic rituals.NOTE: This spread of the Vedic religion from Haryana to the rest of India was no different from the spread in later times of Buddhism and Jainism from Bihar to the rest of India, and had no elements of "invasion" or "imposition" in it: all these three are component members of modern-day Hinduism. If anything, there was a very much higher degree of acceptance and absorption of religious rituals, concepts, Gods and philosophies in the spread of the Vedic religion. We must keep in mind that except for the Vedic hymns and yajñas, and the Vedic/Sanskrit language, there is little of the Pūru Vedic religion in present-day Hinduism, except as an invisible umbrella layer covering all the different aspects of Hinduism Category One. And even the Vedic rituals are performed in originally non-Pūru religious contexts: in temples and in the worship of idols, all of which were acquired from the Dravidian speakers of the South, and which, as we saw, have today a much more central and dominant role in Hinduism than the original Vedic religious contexts.What do I mean, above, by Hinduism Category One? As I put it at the very start of my article on "Are Indian Tribals Hindus?":"According to the Constitution of India, laws framed for Hindus apply to the following three categories of people:(a) to any person who is a Hindu by religion in any of its forms and developments, including a Virashaiva, a Lingayat or a follower of the Brahmo, Prarthana or Arya Samaj, (b) to any person who is a Buddhist, Jain or Sikh by religion, and (c) to any other person domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends who is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew by religion.Thus, according to the constitution, every citizen of India, except a Muslim, a Christian, a Parsi or a Jew, is legally a Hindu. The constitution draws a distinction between three categories of legal Hindus:(a) Hindus Category One(consisting of all those who can still be categorised as full-fledged Hindus within the Hindu religious fold, including members of sects having antecedents traceable to mainline Hindu religious texts or individuals),(b) Hindus Category Two(consisting of members of the three sects, namely Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, founded by Hindu individuals, which originated as sects within the Hindu religious fold, but, in the course of history, came to acquire a more distinctive religious identity), and(c) Hindus Category Three(consisting of members of indigenous religious groups native to India, not founded by any particular individual, following ancestral forms of belief or worship not specifically having antecedents traceable to mainline Hindu religious texts or sects).[Hinduism is a Parliament of all the three categories]The people who are outside this purview themselves belong to two categories:(a) ex-Hindus, i.e. Muslims and Christians, who, by and large, are converts from the Hindu fold, and(b) non-Hindus, i.e. Jews and Parsis, who, in spite of different degrees of intermingling with local people, are by and large historical descendants of non-Hindu refugees or migrants from outside India"].To put matters in perspective about the three categories of Hinduism, let me quote a large section of my earlier article on "Are Indian Tribals Hindu?":Keeping in mind that by tribal religions, we are referring only to the Hindu Category Three religions (Sarna, Donyi Polo, Khasi, Meitei, Garo, and possibly others practiced by more microscopic sections of other isolated tribes), since the other tribals are themselves fully conscious that their religious practices are 'Hindu' (which is why they clearly declare their religion to be 'Hindu' in the census, as accepted even by the Joshua Project), can we say that these Hindu Category Three tribal religions are neutral between Christianity and Hinduism?The first and most fundamental factor which places Hinduism and these tribal religions in one fundamental category completely distinct from Christianity is the geographical factor. Hinduism Category One, Hinduism Category Two and Hinduism Category Three religions are all Indian religions, as distinct from Christianity which is a foreignimport.This has further automatic implications. It means that the sacred places, the sacred rivers, mountains and groves, the sacred plants, animals and birds, the materials used in religious rituals, etc. of allthe three Categories of religions are Indian. India is the stage of activity of the acts and events involving all the historical and mythological characters in the narratives of all these religions. The languages in which the original religious lore, poetry and traditions of allthese religions are couched are Indian languages. The traditional religious music, the traditional religious food, the traditional religious costumes, etc. of all these religions are representative of the traditional culture of some part or the other of India. The traditional religious beliefs and rituals of all these religions are derived from their Indianancestors. This geographical factor alone and in itself is so important that Dr Ambedkar placed emphasis not only on the necessity of placing in one legal class the followers of all religions other than those of foreign origin (Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Judaism), but put the matter in even more categorical terms with specific reference to the question of conversion itself: 'If the depressed classes join Islam or Christianity, they not only go out of the Hindu religion, but they also go out of the Hindu culture…What the consequences of conversion will do to the country as a whole is well worth bearing in mind. Conversion to Islam or Christianity will denationalize the depressed classes' (Dhanajay Keer: 'Dr Ambedkar: Life and Mission', p.279). That conversion to Christianity (or Islam) would 'denationalize' the converted Indians, with adverse 'consequences'for 'the country as a whole' was very clearly a matter of deep concern to him.But the geographical factor is only the beginning. Quite apart from the fact that there is no form of religious belief or philosophy (from atheism, through agnosticism, to all forms of 'theism', and from the most 'ahimsak' philosophy to the most violent bloody rituals) which is not found in some part or the other of Hinduism, and which therefore, basically makes it almost impossible to point out fundamental opposition between Hinduism and any particular tribal religious system, the fact is that all the tribal religions have features which fit into the most basic accepted definitions of standard Hinduism: idol-worship, totemism, polytheism, pantheism, animism, worship of the elements and of nature, belief in reincarnation, ancestor worship, etc., every single one of which is pure anathema to Christianity. Note that in the Wikipedia entry on the Karbi tribe, quoted earlier, we are told with a straight face that the 'practitioners of traditional worship believe in reincarnation and honour the ancestors'. In fact, almost all these elements, and even most of the local deities in every village and town of India, which are now the core of Hinduism, entered standard Hindu religion from these very local tribal religions in the course of millenniums of mutual interaction and influence; even as every local tribe and community preserved its own religious traditions without interference, a circumstance which would have been impossible in a Christian dominated country. And by this is not meant only some mediaeval Inquisition-instituting and Crusades-mongering Christian country: see what has been the fate of other Pagan religions which have fallen prey to the Proselytising Armies in the very citadel of the Proselytisers, the U.S.A., which, along with its other white colleague nations (in Europe, Australia and the Americas), is always first and foremost in condemning any curbs on “religious freedom” (read curbs on missionaries) in India, and which prides itself on being the beacon of internal Democracy and Freedom:'From the 1600s European Catholic and Protestant denominations sent missionaries to convert the tribes to Christianity. These efforts intensified during the mid 19th century through mid-20'th as US Government and Christian churches' joint efforts forcibly registered Native Americans as Christians, which caused contemporaneous official government records (and sources that reference these government records) to show 'Christianity' as the majority religion of Native Americans for the past 100 years. These forcible conversions often occurred through US government and Christian church cooperative efforts that forcibly removed Native American children from their families, and forcibly moved those Native children into a Christian-US government operated system of American Indian boarding schools (aka The Residential Schools) where Native children were indoctrinated in European Christian beliefs, mainstream American culture and the English language. This forcible conversion and suppression of Indigenous languages and cultures continued through the 1970s.As part of the US government's suppression of traditional Indigenous religions, most ceremonial ways were banned for over 80 years by a series of US Federal laws that banned traditional sweat lodge and sun dance ceremonies, among others. This government persecution and prosecution continued until 1978 with the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA).' (Wikipedia entry on 'Native American Religion')All this, please note, was being done blatantly and on a war footing in the U.S.A. till 1978. Must we assume there was a sudden magical about turn in that year which miraculously brought about an overwhelming love for the indigenous religions of the native American Indians in the hearts of those who had been carrying on the above mentioned activities so blatantly till then, and that the suppression and persecution completely ceased thereafter?When those same ruthless forces of Christian Evangelization, who thought nothing of indulging in the above barbarism to destroy the native religions of the U.S.A., send their Proselytizing Armies into India to do the same to the native religions of India (whether Hindu Category One, Two or Three), clearly it is the duty of all the native religions to unite against the common enemy. And clearly it is not only the right of Hindus to protect the tribals (whether Hindu Category One, Two or Three) from the depredations of Christian missionaries, it is their sacred duty to protect their fellow-Indians and fellow-Hindus from these wolves. Anyone who has read beyond the leftist and missionary sponsored articles in the media blaming Hindu organisations, every time there is conflict over conversions in tribal areas, will see that the conflicts are basically between the converted tribals and the non-converted tribals, the latter literally fighting a last-ditch battle for the preservation of their ancestral religions from the Proselytising Armies with their multi-pronged military divisions.Note: (1) Hinduism Category One itself is basically a Parliament of (Indian) Religions. (2) If there are some religions born out of mainstream Hinduism (Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism) which have acquired distinctive identities over the centuries, they have still remained part of the Hindu cultural stream (having a common history, a common viewpoint towards life, common religious symbols like Om, respect for Sanskrit as a Sacred language and for the saffron colour as a Sacred colour, vegetarianismas an ideal ethic, similar religious-philosophical terms and institutions, etc., and, as Dr. Ambedkar pointed out: 'The application of the Hindu Code to Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains was a historical development, and it would be too late, sociologically, to object to it. When the Buddha differed from the Vedic Brahmins, he did so only in matters of creed, but left the Hindu legal framework intact. He did not propound a separate law for his followers. The same was the case with Mahavir and the ten Sikh Gurus' (Keer, p.427).) And, (3) if some tribal religions have retained or acquired identities with a distinctive name, all these are included within the different Categories of Hinduism (One, Two and Three), which together form a Full Parliament of Indian Religions. In fact, all these Categories of Hinduism fall within a larger Parliament of World Religions,namely Paganism (which includes all the native religions which existed in the world before the rise of the Abrahamic Religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam).III. Data and Devices for Elaboration of Historical Identities.Any story or novel placed in the area and period of the Mature Harappan = New Rigvedic civilization must keep the following points in mind:A. The Various ethnic groups within or from the Harappan area:1. The Mature Harappan = New Rigvediccivilization itself has a western part centered around the Indus and an eastern part centered around the Sarasvatī:a) The people of the eastern part are mainly the central Pūrus in Haryana.b) The people in the north of the western part, in the Greater Punjab area (now united in an area which, in the Early Harappan = Old Rigvedic period before the westward expansion of the Bharata Pūrus led by Sudās, was probably predominantly Anu) consist of a combination of mainly the eastern Anus and the western Pūrus.c) The people in the south of the western part are mainly the western Yadus in the south in Sind and Gujarat, in the areas of the ports and coastline.Perspective: These internal divisions among the people of the Mature Harappan civilization could form one of the features lending dimensions and nuances to the storyline: perhaps by showing romance, friendships, rivalries, etc. between individualsbelonging to different groups..While doing this, the following points must be kept in mind:All these various people are equally Indian and equally part of the Harappan civilization as well as of our ancestral heritage, and a non-partisan attitude must be shown in showing the different relationships and internal equations between the various groups: there should be no prejudice in depicting heroes and villains. The good people and bad people, peacemakers and mischief-mongers, broad-minded or cosmopolitan people and narrow-minded or orthodox people, etc. would naturally be found among all the groups.In referring, if ever, to past events where Sudās and the Bharata Pūrus expanded into the western part, there should again be a distribution of opinions and attitudes among the various characters in the story, perhaps even an emphasis on disapproval of such imperialistic conflict.2. It must be remembered that these different groups have ethnic links with people outside the actual Mature Harappan civilization:a) The western Pūrus in the northern-western part of the civilization have ancestral links not only with the central Pūrus in the eastern part, but also with the eastern Pūrus spread out in the Uttar Pradesh area beyond the Harappan area.b) The western Yadus in the southern-western part of the civilization have ancestral links with other Yadus to their east (Rajasthan, Madhya-Pradesh) and south (southern Gujarat and northern Maharashtra) on the periphery of the urban civilization or outside it.c) The eastern Anus in the northern-western part of the civilization have ancestral links with the western Anus in the westernmost areas: i.e. the border areas with Afghanistan and in Afghanistan itself (the proto-Avestan and Avestan Iranians) and the last remnants of Druhyus in that area.Perspective: All these are factors which can be woven into the storyline and narrative from a sympathetic viewpoint, perhaps even showing how the characters balance ethnic relationships with groups outside the Harappan area with civilizational relationships with other groups within.3. There are many northwestern groups who departed from India:a) The various groups of Druhyus:the Uttara-Kuru (Tocharians) in eastern Central Asia,the Uttara-Madra or Hittites/Anatolians (in western Central Asia, from where they migrated westwards around the Caspian Sea into Turkey), andthe main Druhyu groups (the proto-Italic, proto-Celtic, proto-Germanic, proto-Baltic and proto-Slavic speakers in that order) on their way from Central Asia to eastern (and in the course of time to the whole of) Europe, and the trail of remnants of these people left in Central Asia.b) The various groups of Anus:the western Anus (proto-Albanian, proto-Greek and proto-Armenian, in that order) already spread out in this period from Iran (and areas to its north) to the Caucasus and south-eastern Europe, andthe central Anus (the proto-Iranian tribes) in Afghanistan and border areas of Central Asia, poised to spread out later over the whole of Central Asia, Iran and the Steppes right up to eastern Europe, absorbing and Iranianizing in their wake the remnants in these areas of the earlier western Anu emigrants.c) The groups of western Pūrus who migrated out of India in the wake of the two (Druhyu and Anu migrations): the Pūrus (and Anus) who migrated northwards and westwards through the Steppes into eastern Europe, taking (now extinct in those areas) forms of Indo-Aryan and Iranian speech which influenced the Finno-Ugric languages; and the Pūrus (proto-Mitanni and proto-Kassites) who migrated into the Zagros mountains of Iran, later to spread out into West Asia and establish (around 1500 BCE) the Mitanni kingdom in the Syria-Iraq area. Perspective: A new dimension can be introduced concerning memories and old tales (perhaps retained and related by bards or wise rishis/elders), or contemporary accounts (maybe through some individuals returning back from those distant lands, or through traders), concerning some of these groups who had departed from India.4. There were originally three priestly classes in the northwest:a) the Druhyu in the west (priests of all the western tribes who were also called by the general name Druhyu on account of the name of their priestly class, who survived as the Drui or Druid among the Celts in Ireland),b) the Bhṛgu or Atharvan (priests of the Anus) andc) the Angiras (priests of the Pūrus).That these were the three classes is confirmed by the Vedic, Avestan and Celtic records: the Avesta (Vendidad 19) shows an Angra and a Druj as the rivals of Atharvan Zarathushtra, the Rigveda (VII.18.16) records a Bhṛgu and a Druhyu as the enemy priests of the enemy coalition, while the Angiras are the priests of the Pūru Bharatas from the earliest period.In later post-Rigvedic times, the Indo-Aryan vs. Iranian conflicts are remembered in both the traditions by converting one of the two names for "Gods" into "demons": for the Avesta, the Gods are Ahuras and the demons are Daevas, while for the Vedic tradition, the Gods are Devas and the demons are Asuras. Further, the priest of the Gods in the Puranas and Epics is Bṛhaspati, an Aṅgiras, and the priest of the Demons is Kavi Uśanas Śukrācārya, a Bhṛgu. The Bhṛgu or Atharvan were the wisest and most innovative of the three classes of priests, and are remembered in both the other traditions for the introduction of the yajña or fire-worship rituals: the Bhṛgus are credited for this in the Rigveda itself, and in Celtic tradition the eternal fire is associated with the temples of a Goddess named Brigit. (Later Bhṛgus developed the cremation rites in the tenth book of the Rigveda and in the Atharvaveda, which, because of its association with the Bhṛgus, was initially considered outside the pale of orthodoxy, and was later adopted into the fold by calling it the Atharvāṅgiras Samhita).In the Rigvedic period itself, one section of the Bhṛgu priests, Jamadagni and his descendants dissociated from the Anus and became affiliated to the Pūrus. Seven other priestly families came into existence besides the original Aṅgirases and Bhṛgus: i.e. the Viśvāmitras, Vasiṣṭhas, Agastyas, Gṛtsamadas, Kaśyapas, Atris and Kaṇvas, as well as a composer family from among the Bharata kings.Of these, the Bhṛgus continued to lead the pack:a) the Bhṛgus are enumerated first in the gotra-pravara lists,b) Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavadgita says "among priests, I am Bhṛgu",c) the Bhṛgus are the only family to have recensions of all the four Vedic Samhitas: in fact the only recension of the Rigveda is a Bhṛgu recension (Śākala), and the main writers associated with all the subsidiary texts (the Padapatha, the Anukramanis, the Rigvidhana, the Ashtadhyayi and the Nirukta) all belong to Bhṛgu gotras (Śākalya, Śaunaka, Pāṇini, Yāska).So do the writers of the one system of philosophy associated with Vedic ritual (Pūrva Mīmāṁsā = Jaimini), the Rāmāyaṇa (Vālmīki), and the final redactors of the Mahabharata (not Vedavyāsa himself, who was a Vasiṣṭha).It is persons from Bhṛgu gotras who later gave shape to the most distinctive and prominent Indian positions on kāma, artha, dharma and mokṣa: Vātsyāyana, Kauṭilya, and Ādi Śaṅkarācārya.Perspective: All these distinctions can be kept in mind while writing stories, all the while keeping a neutral stance between inter-family rivalries.Also, there is a distinct difference between these settled and organized rishis and another class of holy men who are classified as "muni" in the Rigveda (though we would today regard both muni and rishi as the same): these are referred to in 4 hymns in the Rigveda (VII.56.8; VIII.6.17; t17.14; X.136-2-5), and the term apparently refers to wandering sadhus, also called keśins because of their long hair left flowing as they literally seem to fly through the air. In historical or geographical terms, it seems to be a word for holy men from the forests in the interior of India outside and to the east and south of the Harappan civilization areas. [To put it unambiguously, the difference today between shaven-headed brahmin priests with a choti, and sadhusmeditating in forests and mountains with long hair and matted locks, was in the Vedic period the difference between rishis and munis. In our films and in popular perception, all the ancient rishis are depicted like the present-day sadhus, but actually in the Vedic period, they were rather like present-day brahmin priests!] B. The Technology of the Mature Harappan civilization:The Mature Harappan civilization was one of the most highly advanced civilizations of the time in many ways. All these features (apart from the trade angle mentioned above) have to be introduced into the storyline, perhaps by associating important characters with the various features:Some of the very important features are:1. Town-planning, egalitarian architecture and the brick-making industry.The main centre of Rigvedic composition was in the eastern half of the Harappan civilization, on the banks of the Sarasvati, among the centralPūrus. And the hymns of the Rigveda were composed mainly as hymns to be recited in religious contexts: bricks are referred to in the Yajurveda in connection with the construction of fire altars.2. The bead-making industry:The making of beads and ornaments was a very important industry in the Mature Harappan civilization, and these beads and ornament materials were a major item of export to the west.Significantly, the word maṇi for "bead" or "ornament" (found only in the latest part of the New Rigveda in I.33.8 and I.122.14), is the onlygeneral word (apart from personal names and names of Gods) taken westwards by boththe proto-Avestan Iranians and proto-Mitanni Indo-Aryans from the Harappan area.3. Cattle-breeding and Dairy-farming:Strangely, while people love to claim that the Harappans were "urbanites" (in contrast with alleged "Steppe pastoralists" who are claimed to have brought Indo-European languages into India), the truth is that cattle-breeding and dairy-farming was one of the main industries in the Mature Harappan civilization: of course outside the urban city-limits.[The wikipedia article on "Cattle" unambiguously tells us: "Archeozoological and genetic data indicate that cattle were first domesticated from wild aurochs (Bos primigenius) approximately 10,500 years ago. There were two major areas of domestication: one in the area that is now Turkey, giving rise to the taurine line, and a second in the area that is now Pakistan, resulting in the indicine line[….] European cattle are largely descended from the taurine lineage". All other academic sources regularly point out that "the Indus Valley Civilization" was one of the two centers of domestication of cattle. No-one has been able to show the presence of the western cattle, bos taurus, which would necessarily have been the species of domesticated cattle that "pastoralists" from the Steppes would have brought into India. The Indian cattle in the area before and since Harappan times have been the Indian zebu humped cattle native to that area itself. On the contrary, very recent scientific studies have confirmed that the Indian humped zebu cattle, domesticated in the Harappan area since thousands of years, suddenly started appearing in West Asia around 2200 BCE, and by 2000 BCE there was large-scale mixing of the Indian zebu cattle, bos indicus, with the genetically distinct western species of cattle, bos taurus, in West Asia. Thus we have three very distinct animal species native to India - the elephant, the peacock and the domesticated Indian zebu cattle - appearing in West Asia exactly coinciding with the presence and activities of the Mitanni in West Asia at the time, thus confirming that the Mitanni people were migrants from India to West Asia around 2200 BCE: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6449/173]4. Ship-Building and Ports:In the southern parts, in the region of the western Yadus, in Sind and Gujarat, ship-building, port construction and management, and trade through the seas, constituted the main industries.5. Elephant Breeding and the Ivory Industry: Breeding of elephants, ivory-carving, and the export of ivory and ivory-products, were major industries in the Harappan area from very early pre-Harappan times. [As I have shown in detail in my article "The Elephant and the Proto-Indo-European Homeland", the word for elephant/ivory was taken westwards by at least three distinct groups of Indo-European emigrants, as testified by Greek eléphas(Mycenean Greek erepa), Italic (Latin) ebur, and Hittite laḫpa-, all, like the Vedic ibha-, derived from an original *ṛbha- (with the same etymological meaning as the later word hastin). Ivory products, and even baby elephants, were exported to Mesopotamia and further west. Ships carried Harappan ivory not only to ports on the Horn of Africa (from where the ivory as well as the Egyptian name for it, derived from East Cushitic *ʔarb- 'elephant', itself derived from the pre-Vedic word *ṛbha- were carried into Egypt) but also as far as the coast of Portugal and the south-western coast of Spain as far back as 3000 BCE].6. Agriculture and Urban Grain Management, and the Pottery Industry:That agriculture was independently (of West Asia) developed in the Harappan area has been overwhelmingly confirmed recently by archaeologists and even geneticists! The administrative machinery for collecting, storing and distributing the agricultural products in the different parts of the urban and rural parts of the Harappan civilization must naturally have been a major industry in itself. The huge granaries are also witness to this.Needless to say, the pottery industry was also a part of this rural-urban composite system.7. Water-management and the Drainage System:This was one of the two most unique features of the Harappan civilization which put it far ahead of all contemporary civilizations, and ahead of almost all other urban areas even to this very day! That the Harappans had pipes and coveredunderground drainage systems is something unbelievable. Obviously there must have been a regular administrative "municipal" system seeing to the smooth working of all this, with regular paid employees!8. Street Lighting System:This was the second of the two most unique features of the Harappan civilization which put it far ahead of all contemporary civilizations, and ahead of almost all other urban areas even to this very day: the Harappans had street lights, obviously not electrical ones, but lights which had to be lighted every evening or night, and therefore, again, a systematic administrative system to carry out all this, again with regular paid employees.These are some of the features of the civilization which can be brought out in the storyline, the cast of characters and the narratives.[Needless to say, many more can be thought of: e.g. the mining of metals like copper, etc. in interior areas of India, copper items producing industries, metal exporting traders and guilds - the possibilities are almost unlimited].One more important point to be remembered is that the central part of the Mature Harappan = New Rigvedic period (2600-1700 BCE) was the time when two important technological innovations were developed in and around the northwestern parts of the Harappan area - the area where the proto-Mitanni Pūrus and the proto-Iranian Anus were poised to migrate westwards to their historical frontiers. These were:a) the domestication of the Bactrian camel, which is recorded in the Rigveda (in VIII.5.37; 6.48; 46.22,31) as being gifted by kings with what various western scholars (including Witzel) describe as Iranian names to Vedic rishis; andb) the invention of spoked-wheels and spoke-wheeled chariots, which are totally missing in the Old Rigveda but suddenly appear in the New Rigveda.The introduction of these in the Harappan civilization, and their socio-economic and technological effects, could provide ideas for plots and situations in the storyline.C. Links with Western Civilizations:The main known links of the Harappans with western civilizations are those with the Mesopotamians or Babylonians. It is known that the Harappans traded with Mesopotamia: two words identified as Babylonian words are found in the Rigveda, both in book 8 which is the heart of the Mature Harappan period, and both have connections with traders. They are:1. bekanāṭa (money-lender to traders referred to in the same verse) in VIII.66.10 and2. manā (a unit of measure which is still used to this day) in VIII.78.2.Perspective: The thriving commerce between the Harappans and the Babylonians can be introduced into the storyline, through traders from Babylon or Harappan traders who travel regularly to Babylon. These two words can also be introduced in some way (e.g. with someone explaining their meaning and contexts to a curious Harappan citizen).D. The Southern Dravidian Connection, and the East and North within India:As we saw, the period of the Mature Harappan = New Rigvedic civilization and culture was a culturally very rich and diverse one, where the people of this civilization had not only developed into a unique highly evolved civilization in the technical sense, but had developed strong trade relations with civilizations and areas far to their west. Harappan ships travelled not only to the ports of the Gulf, but probably into the Mediterranean Sea as well. Can it be possible that the areas of the south and east within India itself remained unknown to them, or remained out of the sphere of their contacts?As we saw, Indian tradition squarely places the Harappan civilization in the areas of the Anus, the western and central Pūrus, and the western Yadus. But it recognizes the relationship of these people with the people and cultures of the other parts of India: the eastern Indo-European speaking people (the Ikṣvākus) as well as the Dravidian speaking people of the South and the Austric speaking people of the East, all of whom are classified as descendants of a mythical common ancestor, whom the Puranas call Manu.So why is there no reference to these other people to the South or East?As we saw, the only evidence in the New Rigveda of the rich trade relationship with Mesopotamia is in the shape of just two words, bekanāṭa and manā. So we cannot expect detailed accounts of the South and East in the localized hymns of the Rigveda in that early period. But surely there must have been somerelationship, and this must have left some evidence in the text? In reaction to the invasionist tendency to search for linguistic evidence of "pre-Aryan natives", there is usually a reaction-tendency on the part of Indians to reject the presence of non-Indo-Aryan, especially Dravidian, elements in the Rigveda. This is also correct in the sense that civilization and culture developed differently in different parts of the country, and the Rigvedic culture of the northwest in its initial stages (i.e. in the Old Rigveda, restricted to Haryana and its immediate environs) need not necessarily show elements from other parts of India. But what about in the period of the Mature Harappan = New Rigvedic civilization with its far-reaching trade contacts and relations?In my 2008 book "The Rigveda and the Avesta - The Final Evidence", I noted the situation as follows: "Witzel’s first linguistic arguments, in section 11.5 (WITZEL 2005:344-346) have to do with what he calls 'Linguistic substrates'. This issue has been discussed in great detail in TALAGERI 2000:293-308 (and earlier in TALAGERI 1993:197-215). We will not repeat all the arguments and counter-arguments here, except for stressing the difference between 'substrate' words and 'adstrate' words (see section 6B of chapter 6 earlier in this book). In fact, let us accept that there may be some adstrate words of Dravidian or Austric origin in 'Indo-Aryan' ― perhaps we protested a bit too much in our earlier books, due to the implications sought to be drawn from such alleged 'non-Indo-Aryan' words in Classical or even Vedic Sanskrit. The word kāṇa 'one-eyed', in the RV, for example, is obviously derived from the Dravidian word kaṇ 'eye'. Other, not implausible suggestions include the words daṇḍa and kuṭa". (p.292).As a matter of fact, an examination of the actual Rigvedic data shows us that the Rigvedic culture included some Dravidian elements. These elements were not residual elements of an original Dravidian Harappan civilization invaded and taken over by invading "Aryans", as often suggested, they are new elements imported from the Dravidian South. This is proved by the fact that:1. They are not found in the Old Rigveda, and the geographical names in the Old Rigveda show that Dravidian speaking people never lived in the Harappan area before or during that period.2. They are found as incidental elements in the New Rigveda, in a period which shows massive oversea trade contacts even with foreign places like Mesopotamia, and which is the period preceding the Avestan and Mitanni eras: the common elements with the Avesta and the Mitanni are abundantly found in the same texts and hymns which show these incidental Dravidian elements.3. The Indian traditions and linguistics unambiguously and very clearly connect the people associated with these elements with the South. And these people are not inimical to the Rigvedic culture but a part of it.There seem to be at least two distinct streams of originally Dravidian speaking rishis:1. To begin with, the Rigveda contains two important words - very important and common in later Sanskrit as well as in modern Indo-Aryan, but found only once each in the Rigveda - of undoubtedly Dravidian origin. These are:a) the verbal root pūj- "to worship (an idol) with flowers", derived from the Dravidian, e.g. Tamil pū-, "flower", representing a form of worship totally unknown to the Vedic culture, and representing the religion of the South.b) the word kāṇa, "one-eyed" or "cross-eyed", very clearly derived from the Dravidian, e.g. Tamil kaṇ, "eye",When we examine where these two words are found (both in the New Rigveda), it is as follows:a) pūj- in VIII.17.12, attributed to Irimbiṭhi Kāṇva, b) kāṇa in X.155.1, attributed to ŚirimbiṭhaBhāradvāja.It cannot be a coincidence that both the words are composed by two different rishis with such strikingly similar, unusual and non-Indo-Aryan names. The rishi-ascriptions in book 10 are very often garbled - in my 2000 book "The Rigveda - A historical Analysis", pp.25-26, I had written "Maṇḍala X is a very late Maṇḍala and stands out from the other nine Maṇḍalas in many respects. One of these is the general ambiguity in the ascriptions of the hymns to their composers. In respect of 44 hymns, and 2 other verses, it is virtually impossible to even identify the family of the composer" - and it is perfectly possible the composer of X.155 is also the same as the composer of VIII.17, i.e. Irimbiṭhi Kāṇva.The name is clearly Dravidian: in fact, we still have a place in Kerala named Irimbiḷiyam: it is not impossible that this, or a nearby area, is the home-area of this Rigvedic composer - more than 4000 years old! Note that there are two more words in the same hymn, VIII.17, which have also been identified as Dravidian:a) -khaṇḍ- in VIII.17.12,b) kuṇḍa in VIII.17.13,and, to crown it all, the word muni, found in only 4 hymns in the whole of the Rigveda, and referring to holy men from the non-Vedic areas of the East and South within India, is also found in the next verse: in VIII.17.14. That we should have so many indications in three consecutive verses is incredible but extremely significant.Very clearly, this rishi Irimbiṭhi is a person from the Dravidian South who, in a manner similar to members of different religious orders in present-day India who are found in parts of India other than their area of origin, migrated to the busy cosmopolitan Mature Harappan = New Rigvedic civilization area from the South and subsequently became a Rigvedic rishi.2. But Indian tradition has one more, and a very important, rishi who is unanimously and resoundingly associated, in the traditions of both the North and the South, with the South: Agastya. Puranic and Epic tradition tells us that Agastya migrated to the South and settled down there. But here is what Wikipedia has to say:"Agastya was a revered Vedicsage of Hinduism. In the Indian tradition, he is a noted recluse and an influential scholar in diverse languages of the Indian subcontinent. He and his wife Lopamudra are the celebrated authors of hymns 1.165 to 1.191 in the Sanskrittext Rigveda and other Vedic literature. Agastya appears in numerous itihasas and puranas including the major Ramayana and Mahabharata. He is one of the seven or eight most revered rishisin the Vedic texts, and is revered as one of the Tamil Siddharin the Shaivism tradition, who invented an early grammar of the Tamil language, Agattiyam, playing a pioneering role in the development of Tampraparniyan medicine and spirituality at Saiva centres in proto-era Sri Lanka and South India. He is also revered in the Puranicliterature of Shaktism and Vaishnavism. He is one of the Indian sages found in ancient sculpture and reliefs in Hindu temples of South Asia, and Southeast Asia such as in the early medieval era Shaiva temples on Java Indonesia. He is the principal figure and Guru in the ancient Javanese language text Agastyaparva, whose 11th century version survives. Agastya is traditionally attributed to be the author of many Sanskrit texts such as the Agastya Gita found in Varaha Purana, Agastya Samhita found embedded in Skanda Purana, and the Dvaidha-Nirnaya Tantra text. He is also referred to as Mana, Kalasaja, Kumbhaja, Kumbhayoni and Maitravaruni after his mythical origins."Even more to the point: "The etymological origin of Agastya has several theories. One theory states that the root […] is derived from a flowering tree called Agati gandiflora, which is endemic to the Indian subcontinent and is called Akatti in Tamil. This theory suggests that Agati evolved into Agastih, and favors Dravidian origins of the Vedic sage".He is a "non-Aryan Dravidian whose ideas influenced the north […] In Southern sources and the North Indian Devi-Bhagavata Purana, his ashramis based in Tamil Nadu, variously placed in Tirunelveli, Pothiyal hills, or Thanjavur".Therefore, despite later legends taking him from the North to the South, historically he was probably a Dravidian sage from the South who, or rather whose descendants, migrated northwards and became an important part of the Rigvedic priesthood, being recognized as a separate and independent family of Rigvedic rishis:a) Tradition shows him to be different from the other Vedic rishis, more of a recluse and a forest-dweller, who prefers to stay away from the glamour and lucre of urban settings and royal patronage.b) He is totally absent from the major part of the Rigveda, and his descendants have hymns only in the New Rigveda (mainly in book 1, where most of the Dravidian words are found) but tradition not only outside the Rigveda but even within the Rigveda (VII.33.10) consistently portrays him as an ancient Rishi contemporaneous to Vasiṣṭha.c) The only reference to him, outside the New books 1 and 8 (I.117.11; 170.3; 179.6; 180.8; 184.5; VIII.5.26), is an incidental one in a RedactedHymn, probably redacted by a descendant, in VII.33.10. And this hymn has a Dravidian word daṇḍa in the next verse VII.33.11. 3. The arrival of the Irimbiṭhas and Agastyas into the Rigvedic area in the Mature Harappan period seems to have brought in a small stream of Dravidian words, which stream became a small flood in later post-Vedic Classical Sanskrit.The following is a list of other words allegedly of Dravidian origin, found in the Rigveda: vaila, kiyāmbu, vriś, cal-, bila, lip-, kaṭuka, kuṇḍṛṇācī (?), piṇḍa, mukha, kuṭa, kūṭa, khala, ulūkhala, kāṇuka, sīra, naḍa/naḷa, kulpha, kuṇāru, kalyāṇa, kulāya, lāṅgala. They are found only in the New Rigveda and in the Redacted Hymns, except for the occurrence of mukha in IV.39.6, kulāya in VII.50.1, and kulpha in VII.50.2. But note that Arnold (whom Hock cites as an expert on these matters) has classified both these hymns IV.39 and VII.50 also as Redacted Hymns on metrical grounds: so we do not find a single one of these Dravidian words in the Old Rigveda! The references (other than those already mentioned) are found as follows:Redacted Hymns:VI. 15.16; 47.23; 75.15.III. 30.8; 53.6.IV. 57.4; 58.8.New Rigveda:I. 11.5; 28.1-6; 29.6; 31.9; 32.11; 33.1,3,3; 46.4; 97.6,7; 144.5; 162.2,19; 164.48; 174.9; 191.1,3,4. VIII. 1.33; 43.10; 77.4.X. 16.13; 30.5; 48.7; 81.3; 85.34; 90.11-13; 102.4; 173.1,2..Remember, these Dravidian rishis and words are found in the New Rigveda before 2000BCE, nearly two millenniums before the Tamil Sangam Era! And also long before the first appearance of the Mitanni in Syria-Iraq and the Indo-European Iranians (Persians, Parthians, Medians) in Iran! So the Vedic-Dravidian relationship is an old and friendly one.[A few other words, often gratuitously and unwarrantedly - and controversially - sought to be branded as Dravidian words, such as mayūra, phala, bala, gardabha, puṣpa, puṣkara, are rejected by most linguists as Dravidian words:a) Witzel (although he continues to insist it is a "non-Aryan" word borrowed by Sanskrit, inspite of the fact that the name is a purely onomatopoeic name derived from the Sanskrit root mā) rejects mayūraas a Dravidian word in his article "Aryan and non-Aryan names in the Vedic India" (although this is particularly an article in which he goes berserk identifying as non-Aryan even words like Yadu and Pūru!!!).b) Rendich Franco (in his "comparative Etymological Dictionary of Classical Indo-European languages") gives the PIE roots and cognate forms in Greek and Latin for the word phala, and likewise the PIE root for the words puṣpaand puṣkara. c) Mallory and Adams (in their "Encyclopaedia of Indo-European culture") point out that bala is derived from PIE *belos, calling it "the strongest etymology containing the very rare PIE *b-", and give cognate forms in Greek, Latin and Old Church Slavic.d) The word gardabha, though a late word found only in the New Rigveda and Redacted hymns, has a cognate form in Tocharian kercapo, in Central Asia, and in any case, the donkey is native to the northwest and not the south, and cannot be derived from the Tamil kazhutha under any circumstance].Perspective: But how is all this to be interpreted? Although there were important Dravidian rishis from the South within the Vedic ethos in the New Rigveda, the Pūru Vedic religion (similar to the religion of the Anus and Druhyus) was different from that of the East and the South: its main features were worship of the elements, fire-worship in the form of yajñas, and the composition, memorization and recitation of hymns. We have already seen the religious features of the other parts of India in section II above (Hinduism). Therefore, although there were Dravidian rishis in the Mature Harappan era and area who participated in the Rigvedic and post-Rigvedic religion and culture, the actual native religion of the South, with its emphasis on idol-worship and temple culture (described earlier), represented a very different ethos which must already have contained and developed the early seeds of most of the rich arts, crafts, architecture, cuisine (minus, of course, specific items like potatoes and chilies which were introduced by the Portuguese a few centuries ago from the Americas), and music and dance unique to India associated with idol-worshipping Hinduism today.All this can be depicted in the storyline in countless ways:1. There can be local priests belonging to the Irimbitha and Agastya clans active in the storyline.2. There can be traders from the Dravidian South coming to the Harappan ports and interior cities for trade and their interaction with the local traders and Harappan citizens (in which Dravidian words and items can be introduced, including references to southern spices).3. There can be Harappan traders going in ships to trade in the South, or Harappan travelers, coming back with awed tales, told to fascinated Harappan listeners, about the great temples, rituals and ceremonies, arts and crafts, and performing arts witnessed there. Also, about the great mountains, forests and wildlife of the South.4. For good measure, we can also have:a) old bards relating old lore about the people of the South and East as representing the southern and eastern descendants of Manu, orb) mystic seers going into a trance and foretelling about future times when evil worshippers of strange religions would come to India from far-off areas and, with the help of diverse disruptive elements within the land, try to create schisms among the descendants of Manu by pitting the Southern descendants of Manu against the Northern ones. 5. Likewise, there can be ways of introducing, in a respectful friendly and fraternal manner, references (by other Harappans travelers within the frontiers of India) to the languages and cultures, natural wonders, and the religious features (already described in section II earlier) of the other parts of India - of the easternYadus, Ikṣvākus, the Austric speakers, and further eastern people; as well as the peoples in the Himalayas; and maybe even in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lanka. ......
A Journal of the Weirdest Awards Season Ever, From Streams to Vaccines and Everything in Between...
2 hours ago
Illustrated by Chris Morris A version of this story first appeared in the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s awards magazine. The Oscars have been delayed and disrupted before, but there has never been an awards season like the one that will end on April 25 at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. Starting soon after last year’s Oscars on Feb. 9, 2020, the world changed, first with a global pandemic and then with a long-delayed reckoning with institutional racism. The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and 2021 caused the deaths of more than 500,000 people in the United States and close to 3 million around the world and led to significant cultural and economic turmoil. It also had a profound impact on the entertainment industry and the business of awards — changing the way films are distributed, hastening a move from theaters to streaming, and forcing awards groups to redefine what constitutes a motion picture and reconsider how to hand out awards without bringing people together. It turned this year’s awards season into the strangest, most tumultuous one ever and left us with huge questions about when Hollywood would return to normal if it ever really would. Here’s how it played out. Illustration by Chris Morris 2020 JANUARY By the time the Sundance Film Festival begins on January 23, many people have heard about a virus that is spreading in China, with the first confirmation of a case in the U.S. coming two days before the festival begins. But the crowds in Park City aren’t particularly concerned. “Minari” and “Promising Young Woman” premiere to good notices — but with only seven Sundance films going on to Best Picture nominations over the past decade, nobody is thinking that far ahead. Adele Haenel leaves the Cesar Awards / Getty Images FEBRUARY The Academy Awards go on as scheduled on February 9 and draw the lowest ratings in history. In-person shows continue to take place and theaters remain open. At the end of the month, a stormy Cesar Awards in Paris ends with “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” director Céline Sciamma and actor Adèle Haenel leaving the theater when Roman Polanski wins the best-director award, with Haenel shouting “Bravo, pedophilia!” on her way through the lobby. MARCH The virus slams into Hollywood. On March 6, the South by Southwest festival is canceled on orders from the city of Austin, Texas. Before theaters close, Pixar’s “Onward” scores the final big opening weekend of the year with $40 million. But the release of the James Bond movie “No Time to Die” is delayed from April to November over coronavirus concerns, and Sony Pictures closes its offices in London, Paris and Gdynia, Poland out of what it says is “an abundance of caution.” On March 11, things get real: Tom Hanks, who is filming in Australia, announces that he and his wife, Rita Wilson, have contracted the virus. In short order, sporting events are suspended, theme parks close, Broadway theaters go dark and TV networks cancel their upfront presentations. The Tribeca Film Festival is postponed, then the Cannes Film Festival. In mid-March, the mayors of Los Angeles and New York City announce that all theaters in those cities must close. AMC and Regal become the first cinema chains to shut down their theaters nationwide. U.S. box-office figures fall to their lowest level in more than 20 years. Film Independent announces that films selected by SXSW, Tribeca and other festivals will still qualify for Spirit Awards even though those festivals aren’t taking place. The Golden Globes allow films that have lost their theatrical releases to still qualify. The Television Academy delays Emmy voting and bans all in-person “for your consideration” events. The Tony Awards are delayed indefinitely. Universal makes “Trolls World Tour” available for digital rental on the day of its theatrical release, March 20, while Disney+ drops “Frozen 2” onto the service three months ahead of schedule. Studios and exhibitors lay off or furlough thousands of workers, and production essentially stops. Nielsen reports a major spike in television viewing. The Netflix series “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” becomes the first pandemic sensation. “Artemis Fowl” / Disney APRIL One by one, virtually all spring and early summer films are delayed. Disney pulls “Artemis Fowl” off its release schedule and schedules a Disney+ premiere instead. Universal decides to skip theaters and take Judd Apatow’s “The King of Staten Island” straight to VOD, and Warner Bros. does the same with its animated film “Scoob!” WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey says the company is “rethinking our theatrical model.” At the end of the month, the Motion Picture Academy bows to the inevitable and changes Oscar rules to allow films that premiere on streaming or VOD to qualify for Oscars for this year only. Michael B. Jordan at #BlackLivesMatter protest / Getty Images MAY Following the decision to allow streaming premieres to qualify for the Oscars, the Television Academy issues a reminder that any Oscar-nominated streaming films will be disqualified from Emmy consideration. More films, including Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” and the Tom Hanks movie “Greyhound,” move from theatrical to digital releases. Cannes admits a physical festival is impossible but says it’ll release a list of “Cannes 2020” films that it would have shown if it could. The Oscars put Cannes on a list of festivals that can be used to qualify documentaries, even if those festivals don’t happen; the new rules instantly qualify more than 90 nonfiction films. The Producers Guild and Directors Guild also change their rules to allow streaming releases to qualify for film awards. On May 25, George Floyd is killed when Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneels on his neck for more than eight minutes after a store clerk claims that Floyd passed a counterfeit $20 bill. #BlackLivesMatter protests consume the U.S. and spread around the world, while increased scrutiny turns to Black representation in Hollywood. AMPAS JUNE The Academy postpones the 93rd Oscars from Feb. 28 to April 25, 2021, the latest date the show has been held since a November show in 1932. It also extends the eligibility period from Dec. 31, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021, giving the 2020 Oscars a 14-month year. BAFTA and the Spirit Awards immediately adjust their own dates, and in subsequent weeks so do all other awards shows. The Academy also invites more than 800 new members, meeting the goals it set during the #OscarsSoWhite protests in 2016 to double the number of female and nonwhite members by 2020. At the same time, a task force headed by producer DeVon Franklin works on what it says will be “new representation and inclusion standards for Oscar eligibility.” After holding onto its July 17 release date for months, Warner Bros. finally bumps the release of “Tenet,” the Christopher Nolan movie that some have envisioned as the blockbuster that will restart the theatrical experience, to July 31. A couple of weeks later, it moves the film to August 12. The Toronto International Film Festival unveils a smaller lineup of films than usual and says the festival will involve a combination of drive-in, virtual and socially distanced screenings and events in its usual early-September time slot. California film production, which fell by 97% in the second quarter, rises to about one-third of normal over the summer under strict new guidelines. “The Trial of the Chicago 7” / Netflix JULY Netflix picks up Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” from Paramount, which could not guarantee that it would be able to give a theatrical release before the November U.S. presidential election to the drama about anti-government protests in 1968. The Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals announce that they will work together to showcase films rather than competing with each other for premieres. Less than a week later, Telluride cancels its festival but says it will release the list of films it would have shown. Netflix sets a new record with 160 Emmy nominations. “Tenet” is delayed again. AUGUST A federal judge throws out rules that have prevented film studios from owning theater chains for the past 71 years. Given the precarious state of theatrical exhibition, no studios rush to buy theaters. The Emmys decide to present awards in five separate, virtual Creative Arts ceremonies, followed by the Primetime Emmys telecast. “Tenet” opens overseas, earns $53 million in its first weekend and leaves most reviewers puzzled. Back in the USA, theaters begin to reopen and the brutal Russell Crowe thriller “Unhinged” becomes the first big(ish)-budget release, opening to a paltry $5 million and eventually earning $20 million. Less than three months after appearing in “Da 5 Bloods” and two months before the release of his starring role in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” Chadwick Boseman dies of colon cancer after keeping his diagnosis secret. By the end of the month, about half the theaters in the U.S. have reopened. Frances McDormand at the drive-in premiere of “Nomadland” / Getty Images SEPTEMBER The pandemic drags on, but on Sept. 4, “Tenet” becomes the first mega-budget, major-studio film to open theatrically. The film opens to just $9.3 million, and goes on to gross $57 million in the U.S. (a fraction of Nolan’s usual business). The same day, “Mulan” is made available on Disney+ for an extra charge of $30 on top of the subscription price. The Venice and Toronto Film Festivals take place in scaled-down versions, with Venice happening in person and Toronto mixing outdoor and distanced indoor screenings with a virtual screening room for the industry and press. Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” premieres at both festivals simultaneously, as well as in a Los Angeles drive-in screening sponsored by Telluride. It then wins the jury prize in Venice and the audience award in Toronto, becoming the default Oscar front runner. “One Night in Miami,” “The Father” and “Pieces of a Woman” are among the other festival premieres, although Netflix opts to keep its entire slate — “Chicago 7,” “Mank,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and several others — off the festival circuit. The Academy announces new inclusion and diversity standards for Best Picture eligibility. Patterned after standards used by BAFTA and the British Film Institute, they will require films to submit demographic data and to meet certain standards in two of four different areas: onscreen representation, themes and narratives; creative leadership and project team; industry access and opportunities; and audience development. Some people criticize the standards for being too stringent, while others say they’re not strict enough. On Sept. 20, the Emmys take place in a largely virtual format, with messengers in hazmat suits delivering awards to the winners. For the first time ever, the majority of acting winners are Black. The show is the lowest-rated Emmys ever. BAFTA changes its voting rules to increase the diversity of its nominations. The Spirit Awards add television categories. “The Trial of the Chicago 7” premieres on Netflix to favorable reviews around the same time that Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” remake is pushed into 2021. The New York Film Festival takes place largely virtually, though with drive-in showings in New York’s five boroughs, and draws a record 70,000 viewers. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” / Amazon Studios OCTOBER The James Bond movie “No Time to Die” is pushed from November to 2021. After the announcement is made, Regal Cinemas says that it will close 543 theaters in the U.S. that had previously reopened, citing the lack of major releases. The Academy’s Board of Governors loosens the rules for Oscar eligibility again, and recognizes drive-ins as commercial theaters for the purposes of Oscar qualifying. The AFI Fest takes place virtually and showcases far fewer Oscar-contending films than usual for the Hollywood crowd. AMC begins offering private movie theater rentals starting at $99 for up to 20 people. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” one of many movies that pushed to finish before the U.S. presidential election, premieres on Amazon Prime on Oct. 23. Most of the attention goes to a scene in which young Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova, playing the daughter of Sacha Baron Cohen’s character, finds herself in a room with Rudy Giuliani, who flirts with her and then sticks his hands down his pants (or tucks in his shirt, depending on whom you believe). The following week, David Fincher’s “Mank” has its first virtual screenings, and immediately leaps near the top of many Oscar prediction lists, particularly in the below-the-line categories. Joe Biden election celebration in West Hollywood / Getty Images NOVEMBER Joe Biden is declared winner of the U.S. presidential election over Donald Trump. Hollywood, for the most part, rejoices. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” screens and results in huge Oscar buzz for Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis. By the middle of the month, more than 80 films have paid $12,500 to be in the Academy Screening Room, meaning that online showcase for Best Picture contenders has earned the Academy more than $1 million. Theatrical distribution on any kind of large scale remains almost impossible. After months of saying that she will not accept a streaming premiere for her film “Wonder Woman 1984,” director Patty Jenkins goes along with Warner Bros.’ plan to debut the film on HBO Max on Christmas Day. “At some point you have to choose to share any love and joy you have to give, over everything else,” she says. “News of the World” / Universal Pictures DECEMBER With coronavirus cases surging and the lame-duck president showing little interest in taking steps to stop it, more theaters close. Sundance Film Festival announces that its 2021 edition will be largely virtual but will also include drive-in or socially distanced events in cities around the country. Warner Bros. reveals plans to release its entire 2021 slate of films — 17 movies, including “The Suicide Squad” and “Matrix 4” — simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. Christopher Nolan says he is in “disbelief” over the hugely controversial move. Theatrical movies “are being used as a loss leader for the streaming service…without any consultation,” he says. Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh are named producers of the 93rd Academy Awards. In a statement, they describe themselves as “thrilled and terrified in equal measure.” “Another Round” sweeps the European Film Awards, which take place in a largely virtual format. On December 18, the New York Film Critics Circle, who’ve declined to stretch the eligibility year into 2021 the way most awards bodies did, names Kelly Reichardt’s austere indie “First Cow” the year’s best movie. Two days later, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association says that 2020’s best film is Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe,” which is actually five different made-for-television movies that are running on Amazon and BBC and have been entered for awards consideration as a limited series, not movies. Universal opens Paul Greengrass’s “News of the World” in theaters on Christmas Day. “There’s a cost to that — creatively to me, financially to the studio,” Greengrass says of releasing the film when many theaters aren’t open. “But as an expression of faith in our business, faith in the healing power of the movies, I think that what we gain is beyond measure.” The film grosses just $12.6 million, though it does receive four Oscar nominations. “Wonder Woman 1984” also opens in select theaters in addition to its HBOMax release, earning $16.7 million in the largest opening weekend since the pandemic began. Almost $2 million of that total comes from fans booking private screenings for themselves and their friends. Sundance Film Festival drive-in screening in Nashville / Getty Image 2021 JANUARY The Recording Academy moves the Grammy Awards, which were scheduled to take place in late January, to March 14. This does not please SAG-AFTRA, since the Screen Actors Guild Awards have been scheduled for March 14 for months. SAG moves its show to Easter Sunday, April 4. The National Society of Film Critics, who like other influential critics’ groups have stuck to the calendar-year eligibility, name “Nomadland” the best film of 2020. Three days later, that film also wins the Gotham Award. A remarkable 238 films qualify in the Oscars Best Documentary Feature category, shattering the previous record of 170 and showing just how dramatically the new qualifying rules expanded the doc field. The Oscars’ Best International Feature Film race sets a record of its own with 93 contenders. Because of concerns about the security of Zoom meetings, the Academy eliminates the executive committee “saves” and expands the shortlist from 10 to 15 films. On Jan. 20, Joe Biden is inaugurated and vows to vaccinate 100 million Americans in his first 100 days in office. MGM nonetheless moves “No Time to Die” again, changing its release date from April to October over fears that vaccinations will not happen quickly enough. Other studios follow suit with their spring releases. Cannes is postponed until July, though a subsequent European surge makes even that date seem questionable. The Sundance Film Festival takes place as a largely virtual event. Because of the extended Oscar eligibility date, a handful of films use Sundance as a launching pad for awards campaigns, foremost among them Shaka King’s “Judas and the Black Messiah.” By the end of the month, more than 200 movies are in the Academy Screening room, which means the Academy has made $2.5 million on the platform. “Tenet” is not one of those movies. Golden Globes protest / Getty Images FEBRUARY It starts to finally feel like awards season as Golden Globe and SAG nominations are announced on Feb. 3 and 4, respectively. While the Globes slate includes some landmarks, including three women in the Best Director category for the first time ever, it almost completely ignores Black-led films in the best-picture categories. Netflix completely dominates, with 35% of the nominations. SAG, meanwhile, gives a little boost to “Minari” by nominating it for the ensemble award, bypassing “Nomadland” (a film with mostly nonprofessional actors) in that category. The Oscars announce shortlists in nine categories. Most of them go as expected, though the international category includes a couple of surprises, Tunisia’s “The Man Who Sold His Skin” and Hong Kong’s “Better Days.” The Academy also announces that 366 films have qualified for Best Picture, the largest number in 50 years. “Mank” and “Minari” lead the Critics Choice Awards nominations while “The Trial of the Chicago 7” leads the BAFTA longlists. But the stream of nominations feels half-hearted, and Golden Globes weekend at the end of the month is missing its usual stream of events: No AFI Awards lunch, no Spirit Awards Nominees Brunch, no BAFTA tea party. Throw in no in-person screenings with Q&As and receptions, no junkets at the Four Seasons and opportunities for voters to chat and lobby for their favorites, and it’s an awards season without a real means for generating buzz. On Feb. 28, the Golden Globes hold a ceremony with in-person presenters but virtual acceptance speeches. The widely derided show is the lowest-rated Globes ever, though the ratings and the winners (“Nomadland” and “Borat”) are overshadowed by an L.A. Times story detailing the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s ethical lapses and its lack of a single Black member. Getty Images MARCH “Nomadland” wins the Critics Choice Awards and the Scripter Award. AMC Theatres announces that it lost $4.6 billion in 2020 and then says its theaters will reopen in Los Angeles on March 19. New York is also cleared to reopen. Oscar nominations are announced on March 15, with a record number of nonwhite acting nominees and the first-ever Best Director lineup that contains more than one woman. The Academy cancels the Oscar Nominees Luncheon and the Governors Ball and says the Oscars will take place at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, with only nominees, presenters and one guest each in attendance. Later that same day, 104 top Hollywood PR agencies sign a letter saying they will withhold their clients from HFPA press conferences and events until the organization makes significant changes. The HFPA promises it will, beginning by admitting at least 13 Black members to bring the total membership to above 100. Later in the week, the Oscar show producers send an email to all the nominees promising a safe, in-person show. They also insist that nominees who chose not to attend will not be able to participate via Zoom or video links. Less than a week later, they add European hubs for nominees who can’t travel. The Writers Guild Awards take place on March 21 and the Producers Guild Awards on March 24; “Borat” and “Promising Young Woman” win at the former show, “Nomadland” at the latter. Both ceremonies are virtual, with all the nominees pre-taping acceptance speeches in case they win. Those speeches are understandably short on excitement or giddiness, though the shows are a lot more streamlined and quicker than usual. “Tenet” finally shows up in the Academy Screening Room. Pamela Chelin for TheWrap APRIL The pre-taped SAG Awards give their film awards to Chadwick Boseman, Carey Mulligan, Daniel Kaluuya, Yuh-Jung Youn and the cast of “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” That last film gets a little boost at a time when everybody’s trying to figure out if anything can rally to beat “Nomadland” by the time this loooong season ends. A week after the SAG Awards, the Directors Guild Awards and BAFTA’s EE British Academy Film Awards take place, both staged in in-person/virtual hybrids. “Nomadland” quickly seizes back any momentum it may have lost at SAG, winning the top prize at both shows. More movie theaters open… but just as Los Angeles is approved to increase the attendance in its theaters to 50%, Pacific Theatres announces that it will not reopen its ArcLight Cinemas and Pacific Theatres locations. The news that the showcase Hollywood ArcLight location would close prompted an outpouring of cinephile anguish on Twitter from Barry Jenkins, John Chu, Adam McKay, Rian Johnson, Lulu Wang and others. More awards shows take place virtually. The Oscars continue to try to figure out what they can do safely. And everybody wonders if Emmy season, which will be well underway by the time the Oscars take place, will look more normal. Read more from the Down to the Wire issue here. ......
ArcLight Hollywood Lost Supremacy Even Before the Pandemic Shut It Down for Good...
20 hours ago
The demise of ArcLight Cinemas and its flagship Hollywood location has been met with mourning by dozens of filmmakers that had flocked to the Cinerama Dome for decades. But even before the pandemic that shuttered the premium theater chain permanently, there were already signs that the Arclight Hollywood’s reign as Los Angeles’ top theater was coming to an end. Analysts and distribution execs tell TheWrap that over the past three years, Arclight Hollywood was seeing stiffer competition from nearby cinemas in the L.A. basin, most notably the AMC Century City theater located seven miles southwest. And while the ArcLight Hollywood benefited for years with exclusive dibs on Oscar contenders along with one or two prime screens in New York City, many specialty film distributors are considering moving away from the four-screen, Los Angeles/New York platform release strategy now that the pandemic has hastened the shortening of the theatrical window. “Pacific Theaters probably saw the writing on the wall and realized there was no way for them to quickly get back to the model they relied on with ArcLight,” Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock told TheWrap. “They threw in the towel rather than try to brave what was always going to be an unpredictable 2021 for even the biggest theater chains.” Representatives for ArcLight did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Also Read: Hollywood Desperate for 'Someone' to Save Arclight Theatre: 'Netflix You Know What to Do' ArcLight’s position within the L.A. theatrical market has declined in recent years. According to data provided by top distribution executives, ArcLight Hollywood’s grosses fell from $18.1 million in ticket sales in 2017 — the year of Oscar hits likes “La La Land,” “Moonlight,” “Call Me by Your Name” and “The Shape of Water” — to just $15.3 million in 2019. The site fell behind nearby AMC Century City, which became popular with West L.A. residents as well as with studios that saw the 15-screen multiplex as an alternative to the ArcLight for press screenings. Grosses at AMC Century City increased from $13.5 million in 2017 to $17.7 million in 2019. Even with Oscar contenders supporting ArcLight, tentpoles like “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Endgame” had allowed AMC Century City, with its IMAX and Dolby premium screens, to gain traction among general audiences and make it a more popular local choice to see the biggest blockbusters. The second big challenge for art-house theaters like the ArcLight Hollywood is the way even indie distributors are rethinking release strategies — especially the gradual rollout of titles that has been their mainstay for decades. For a surefire Oscar contender, opening in New York and L.A. before adding major markets like San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, and Austin like was a way to build nationwide buzz without trying to match tentpole films with a big marketing spend. Also Read: Jon Chu, Adam McKay, Barry Jenkins and More Decry Arclight Closure: 'This Is Heartbreaking' But in an era of social media and streaming, as studios are making plans to release films on home formats 17-45 days after theatrical release instead of 90 days, that mindset is changing. The lingering uncertainty over COVID-19 is making an initial 5o-100 screen release in top 10 markets a more attractive option, at least as the box office recovers over the course of this year. “We still don’t know if next awards season COVID’s still going to be around and if there’s still going to be audience capacity limits in the major markets,” one distribution executive who asked to remain anonymous said. “Obviously, that’s something every distributor is thinking about whether you’re going wide or limited. But why would it make sense to start with a release at just the Landmark and the ArcLight Hollywood in L.A. and the IFC Center in New York if you can only sell out half the auditorium?” Over the past decade, ArcLight and Landmark enjoyed at least 1-2 weeks of exclusivity on major awards contenders before they expanded to other arthouse chains like Laemmle and eventually to major chains like AMC and Regal. Sources say that even with California Gov. Gavin Newsom setting a goal to fully reopen the state by June 15, concerns over capacity limits nationwide are pushing distributors towards a potential release strategy for many films that couldn’t guarantee ArcLight the seven to 14 days of theatrical exclusivity it enjoyed in L.A. before those films expanded to other indie chains like Laemmle and eventually to national chains like AMC. There may also be a challenge in luring the older-skewing art-house moviegoers back into theaters. “We know that there’s going to be interest in seeing the biggest films, but how quickly are the older audiences that these prestige films rely on going to come back?” Bock noted. “There’s still so much instability surrounding the indies, and that’s really bad news for hundreds of art-house theaters that rely on those films.” Also Read: Arclight and Pacific Theaters Close Permanently Ultimately, the Cinerama Dome’s status as a beloved cinephile gathering spot should allow it to reopen in some capacity. The outpouring of dismay from directors like Jon M. Chu and Lulu Wang along with hashtags like #SaveTheArcLight show how popular the Dome has become within the film industry since ArcLight restored it to its 1960s heyday back in 2002. The bigger question mark may be what happens to the roughly 300 screens in the ArcLight Cinemas/Pacific Theaters chain — especially since rival theater companies have been battered financially due to the long COVID shutdowns. Last month, Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse filed for bankruptcy and closed down a handful of its 40-plus locations; it hopes to reopen the majority of its theaters, including one in downtown Los Angeles, through a new equity investment made as part of the Chapter 11 filing. Another possibility is that a streamer might swoop in to acquire at least the Cinerama Dome in in much the same way Netflix bought a stake in the nearby Egyptian Theater,and New York City’s Paris Theatre. Since the city declared the dome a Historic-Cultural Monument in 1998, it’s unlikely to be torn down for a high-rise condo. But as Hollywood tries to grapple with a new normal and figure out how to release films that aren’t major blockbusters in a post-COVID world, the Cinerama Dome may become the first wave in a growing cinematic casualty list. Related stories from TheWrap:Hollywood Desperate for 'Someone' to Save Arclight Theatre: 'Netflix You Know What to Do'Jon Chu, Adam McKay, Barry Jenkins and More Decry Arclight Closure: 'This Is Heartbreaking'Arclight and Pacific Theaters Close Permanently......
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