It has been my aim in the course of this treatise to investigate the evolution and the structure of Ragas, comprised in the system of Karnatic Music, and I am proud of the privilege of having worked under Vidvan M.R.Ry. K. Varadachari Avl., one of the veteran musicians of South India, and former Lecturer in Indian Music, University of Madras. The Ragas constitute the fundamental factor which determines the character of Indian Music. It may be said that our system of Music was moulded in the past mainly in relation to the laws governing the concept of the Raga, and its future may be very largely guided by this influence.
Though the Raga is so well known in practice, its theoretical aspects seem to have been only vaguely understood, and in many cases current ideas concerning them appear to be rather confused, partly owing to the string of differences of opinion and partly to insufficient acquaintance with the available literature on the subject' The need for a close study of the Ragas and what they stand for is therefore evident, and this work is an attempt to consider the Raga in relation to its historical background and its place in current practice, in the light of the wealth of literature preserved in palm leaves and printed books.
The historical approach to the subject needs no apology, since this sets the theme in its proper perspective for study ; besides, by this means, one is enabled to unearth many ideas which have long remained forgotten but which have great practical value even to-day. So far as the practical aspects are concerned, the two most striking problems which call for attention at present and which have given rise to a good deal of controversy are the saficara ragas in each raga. In considering these questions, I, have tried to base my conclusions after a careful scrutiny' of the views of the various schools of thought, and by observing how and why they differ or agree. And in the case of srutis, I have tried to make use of methods of exact measurement as far as possible. Owing to various considerations, my treatment of the subject had to be very brief but I have taken care not to omit any data or detail which might be necessary for a proper understanding of the problems discussed.
I am under a heavy debt of gratitude to the authorities of the University of Madras who kindly encouraged me, first by awarding a scholarship to work on this subject and subsequently by under-taking to publish my thesis under their auspices. I take this opportunity to express my grateful thanks to them.
I am deeply grateful to Dr. T. R. Chintamani, M.A., Ph.D., Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit, University of Madras, for the invaluable help he has rendered by correcting the proofs and taking charge of the publication through all its stages. My thanks are also due to the Madras Law Journal Press for the attractive get-up of the book.
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