RĀGALAKṢAṆA ŚRĪ MUDDHUVṄKAṬAMAKHIN
KMS series No.58
Edited and Translated by : R.
2010, xvii + 376 pp., ISBN : 978-81-208-3408-8, Rs. 900(HB)
The Rāgalakṣaṇam was composed by
Mudduveṅkaṭamakhin in Tanjore in the early eighteenth century CE. It is an
important text of Karnataka music and appeared in an effervescent epoch in
the development of this music system of which it deals only with rāga.It
collects, classifies, codifies and characterizes the entire music base of
the Indian peninsula. The author was a musician, musicologist and music
composer of high order. His contribution to the world of music is twofold;
systematization of the theory of rāga content of his times and creating
music to crystallize the character and scope of each rāga described.
The author derived his inspiration from his great-grandfather, Veṅkaṭmakhim
who revolutionized the theory and practice of Indian music through his
scheme of seventy-two melas. His Caturdaṇḍīprakāśīkā illustrates the four
fun dam en tal components ( daṇḍī of music-gīta, ālāpa, ṭhāya and prabandha,
which his paramaguro (teacher's teacher) Tanappa postulated and illustrated.
His own guru was his father Govindadīkṣita who made the first daṇḍīs in
practice in his Saṅgītasudhā.
Thus a line of four important musicians musicologists-composer of south
India - Tānappā, Govindadiīkṣita, Veṅkaṭamakhin and Mudduveṅkaṭamakhin
-built up or reorganized a textual tradition which supported a living
dynamic tradition of performed music in which hundreds of composers,
thousands of performers and countless listeners endeavoured to continuously
strengthen and nourish it. The Rāgalakṣaṇam marks an important phase of this