Posted on: 29 June 2019

Digital Rare Book:
Samgraha Chudamani of Govinda
and The Bhattara Mela Karta of Venkata Kavi
Edited by Pandit S. Subrahmanya Sastri
Published by The Adyar Library, Madras - 1938

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Sangraha Chudamani of Govinda
Written by Neelanjana

If you are into south Indian music, then you might be aware of the common name confusions. I mean the raga names – Tyagaraja’s Manohari versus Muttuswamy Dikshita’s Manohari, for example. Melodically very different, but share the same name. On the other hand, Tyagaraja’s dArini telusukonTi (Shuddha Saveri) and Muttuswami Dikshita’s Sriguruguha tArayASu mAm (dEvakriya) have the same melodic structure. And as if to make matters worse, Tyagaraja has another dEvakriya, and Muttuswami dikShita a different Shuddha sAvEri (EkAmrEsha nAyike)!

Most of this happened because many manuscripts that contained Tyagaraja’s composition did not have raga names in them, or had them in some encoded form. When these were copied, and re-copied in the years after Tyagaraja, the scribes who copied these manuscripts assigned raga names very likely based a book they had access to. This resulted in many names unheard till then being assigned to some of these compositions, some compositions were even assigned to two different ragas (rasALi/vanAvaLi, dundhubhi/divyamaNi, Srutiranjani/Kantamani, dEvAmrtavarShini/nAda chintAmaNi etc). Tyagaraja’s school dominated the music scene of the later 19th and 20th centuries, these variations in names stay put.

This reference book these scribes referred to was most probably the ‘Sangraha Chudamani’ – written by one Govindacharaya. Although he got some of the facts wrong, and went against traditional music terminology, the usage of such terms has stayed on even till now as part of the musical vocabulary of Karnataka sangeetha.


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Chandratapa Bhattacharya

With my no knowledge of these portraits, the hukka (smoking pipe) doesn't fit here at all.... Can someone help me understand the context?

Uma Murthy

How come every painting is in a mughal setting??

several ladies in those days used to soke hukka.