(Last Updated on : 15/11/2010)
Treatises on Arts of Orissa
of the past ages have left a valuable contribution to the drama, dance, music and literatures of modern time. These Granthas essentially were an exposition of the various art forms of their respective times. The writers of these Granthas have tried to explain the practice of the various arts forms as it existed during their time, and this has helped in establishing a link up of the performing arts of the ancient system with that of the current system.
In these treatises of Orissa, the terminology of technical terms of music, dance and drama like Nada Sruti, Swara, Abhinaya
etc. are found to be similar to those of some leading Indian Granthas. The musicologists of Orissa have mentioned the six Raagas and 36 Raaginis. Here, the names of the Raagas are different. The Dhyana or descriptive verses about Raagas are different. Most of these treatises follow the Panchmsara Samhita of Narada
The ancient Talas which are mentioned in old treatises of Orissa are even now in use. In the Carnatic music
system too one can find more or less this system of Talas. However these Talas are nowhere to be found in the Hindustani music system. There are some names of the Raagas in Odissi music which are original and unique. They are not found in any other treatises of mainstream music systems. But there are some other Raagas whose names are not similar but Swaras are similar and vice versa. Yet they have their own flavour. Odissi dance is a composite art and follows the four forms of Abhinaya namely, Angika, Bachika, Sattwika and Aharya. In Odissi dance treatise like Abhinaya Chandrika
the detailed description of all these aspects has been given. The description of the dances and especially the description of Hasta Mudra is very similar to those in Natyashastra
Though the authors of Orissa are following the treatises like Natyashastra
, Sangeeta Ratnakara, Sangeeta Parijata, Panchamsara Samhita etc, one can also find some uniqueness in these treatises. These treatises have been written in the Sanskrit language
. Most of the treatises have been preserved in the manuscript library of the state museum in the form of palm-leaf manuscripts, and some of them are severely damaged. The text is lost in many of them as the manuscripts are moth-eaten. Some of the most important among these texts are discussed below.
Geeta Prakash literally means 'a work that throws light on music.' Geeta Prakash deals mainly with music, concentrating more on vocal music of North-Eastern region including Orissa. The concluding colophons of all the seven chapters bear the name of the author as Krishnadasa Badajena Mohapatra. Krishanadasa Badajena Mohapatra was an eminent poet, musician and musicologist of 16th century Orissa.
Sangeeta Narayan is a Sanskrit treatise on music and dance written in 18th century. It is ascribed to Gajapati Narayan Deva, a King of Orissa in the 18th century.
Maheswar Mohapatra has written Abhinaya Chandrika under the royal patronage of Sriman Narayan Deva of Khemundi kingdom in 15th century A.D. It is a small treatise on Odissi dance.
The author of the Natya Manorama is Raghunath Rath. The text is divided into five chapters. The first chapter defines various technical terms of music. The second chapter devotes to Raagas and their Lakshanas. 16000 ragas have been mentioned. Out of these Raagas only 36 female Raaginis and 6 male Raagas were prevalent in those days.
There are several other small texts the authors of which are not as popular as the ones mentioned. These texts are merely collections or compilation taken from other works. Some of such texts are Sangeeta Sastra, Tala Nirnaya, Geeta Vadya Tala Nirupana, Vadya Nirupama, Mridanga Vadya etc.