Music of Dance
The systematised and developed form of music which has been sung in the world famous temple of the Lord Jagannath at the sacred Puri-Dhama in its different festive occasions as a part of the temple services, and cultured in the Jaga-Akhadas of Puri and 16 Sasanas, 36 Karavada (Brahmin villages) as well as other rural areas in the district, is known as Traditional Odissi-Music. This tradition is also having a long and glorious history of its own for more then 2500 years. It is performed deftly in the shape of Raga-Ksydrageeta-Prabandha-Gana a form of Indian classical music by the illustrious and celebrated poet-singer Sri Jayadeva in Orissa.
Like Hindustani and Carnatic systems, Odissi music is a separate system of Indian classical music and is having all the essential as well as potential ingredients of Indian Classical form. But it has not come to limelight due to apathy from the time of British rule in Orissa, want of its proper study, revival, propagation etc. Despite the fact the traditional music form could be saved and maintained in its pristine form. Thanks to the musicians particularly of Jaga Akhadas of Puri district, who could develop and maintain the music. The music movement of Orissa, however, took a different turn after independence.
Like other aspects of her culture,
music of the sacred land (Orissa) is charming, colurful,
variegated encompassing various types. The existing
musical tradition of Orissa, the cumulative experience of
the last two thousand five hundred years if not more, can
broadly be grouped under five categories
such as : (1) Tribal Music, (2) Folk Music, (3) Light
Music, (4) Light-Classical Music, (5) Classical Music,
which need a short elucidations for better understanding
the subject in all India context.
the treasure house of Folk Songs which are sung on
different festivals and specific occasions in their own
enjoyment. Folk music in general is the expression of the
ethos and mores of the folk communities. Of the
bewildering variety of folk music of Orissa, mention may
be made of Geeta, Balipuja Geeta, Kela Keluni Geeta,
Dalkhai Geeta, Kendra Geeta, Jaiphula Geeta, Jhumura
Geeta, Ghoda Nacha and Danda Nacha Geeta, Gopal Ugala and
Music by nature is illusive and changeable. So far as Indian classical music is concerned, it has from its inception assumped the following changing forms such as: (i) Vedic-music (Sama Gana), (ii) Gandharva Gana (iii) Jati-Gana, (iv) Raga-Pravandha-Gana, (v) Raga-Sangeeta or classical music.
The present form of the traditional Odissi music is no doubt the out-come of the continuous evolution of the earliest Indian classical music. Orissa could imbibe all the waves of classical music beginning from Sama-Gana to Raga prabandha Gana, but finally it assumed the present form of "Ragaksyudra-Geeta-Pravandha-Gana". This system is popularly styled as traditional Odissi music.
Since, there is the dearth of recorded evidence to prove the exact time of the advent of the earliest form of the Indian Classical Music into this land, we may reasonably believe its inflow during the period of Aryanisation of this land. Possibly Aryan culture crept into this land during the Age of Brahmans when bulk of Indian peninsula came under the Aryan influence.
The Sovanesvara inscription and the Brahmeswara inscription and also the inscription from Madhukeswar temple reveal that dance and music was introduced in the temples as a part of daily rituals. Music tinged with religion, attained mass appeal and royal patronage. As such the royal patrons lavish patronization of Art and Culture made the Orissan music so developed and enchanting for enjoyment of both Gods and Goddesses and human beings as well. This tradition still continuous in its different manifestations.
The Odissi Sangita (music) was
composed following the styles (Riti) of four classes of
music like Dhrubapada, Chitrapada, Chitrakala and
The Choutisha Section represents the originality of Odissi. Using all the thirty-four letters from "ka" to "Ksha" at the beginning of each line (Pada) the Choutisha is completed in thirty-four lines as "Mahabodha Choutisha".
In Odissi, the words used in Drutatala (speedy rhythm) are called "Padi". Its use is the special feature of Odissi. Use of "Navatala" (Nine rhythms) is famous in Odissi music. Besides, Dashatala (Ten rhythms) and Egaratala (Eleven rhythms) etc. are used in the music of Orissa as "Kuduka" and "Upadu". "Jhula", commonly known in Orissa as the "Traimatrikatala" (Three-lettered rhythm) is used as a speedy tala. So also speedy "Chaturmatrikatala" is known as "Pahapatta".
According to tuning the "Melaragas" were composed and their names are completely different from the Ragas of "Hindustani" and "Carnatac" music. The names are (1)Kalyana (2)Nata (3)Shriraga (4)Gouree (5)Varadi (6)Panchama (7)Dhanshri (8)Karnata (9)Bhairavee and (10)Shokavaradi.
The centres for physical education and music were called "Jagas". In all the festivals the members of a "Jaga" arrange feasts. "Hazura", the chief member of the "Jaga" arranges the competitions of gymnasiums (Kusti pratiyogita) and Music concert (Sangeet Asara). Among the singers one group was meant for singing in high pitch and the other group in low pitch. In the Sangeet Asara singers were presenting different "Prabahdhas" (compositions) of Odissi music such as Shri Geeta Govinda; Odissi with and without Padi; champu, Chhanda, Malasri, Sarimama, Chaturanga, Tribhanga, Bhajana, Janana. The singers were well conversant with "Raga" and "Tala" the techniquesa of "Kala-Amsa-Mana Proyoga", "Vasti-Proyoga" and "Saudha-Proyoga" in Odissi Sangeet were known to the singers and rummers (Gayaka and Bayaka) of these "Jagas and Akhadas" very well. The seasonal songs were also sung during the different seasons.
The "Jaga Akhada" system, the core of Odissi music promoted the music and was responsible for maintaining teh tradition for centuries. The culture of music in all the Jagas continued till the independence. But unfortunately these centres were shrouded in oblivion for the reasons such as: Spread of mass media of communication, cheap and commercial music; lack of knowledge in theory and practice of traditional Odissi music; want of practice, want of textbooks and proper schooling, apathy towards this art and its artists, misinterpretation and misrepresentation of the original form, apathy in recognition of this art as a discipline in academic level, and lack of patronisation.
In Orissa, original Indian classical music in the form of "Raga-Pravandha-Gana" was transformed to Raga-Ksyudra-Geeta Pravandha Gana by Sri Jayadeva, the great composer, illustrious musician a saint poet of Orissa as well as great devotee of the Lord jagannath. He was born in the first half of the 13th century A.D. in the village Kenduli on the sacred river Prachi in the district of Puri and gave new shape, new taste and colour to Indian Classical music through his ever glittering and uncomparable compositions of Sri Geeta Govinda. Ingredients of classical music like Raga-Tala-Geeta-Chhandas etc. of the Sri Geeta Govinda were introduced in the services of the temple of the Lord Jagannath and was accepted as the temple music of Orissa. The musical and poetic potentialities of the compositions of Sri Geeta Govinda were so rich and superb that it had a perpetual influence on the composers of Orissa of the mediaeval and the modern periods. In this regard the Sanskrit compositions of Abhinaba Geeta Govinda of Jayadeva ushered a new era in the history of Indian music which can be rightly indentified as Jayadevic-music. This Jayadevic music had paved the way for development and establishment of separate system of Indian classical music in Orissa in the form of Raga Khurda-Geeta-Pravandha-Gana. This music from its beginning had been in practice in the temple of Lord Jagannath as the part of the temple services but it is not the fact, that only the compositions of Sri Geeta Govinda were sung in the Jagannath temple. The Sanskrit compositions of the above composers including the compositions of Sri Geeta Govinda were also sung in the said temple and this practice continued till the beginning of th rule of Pratap Rudra Deva (1497 to 1541 A.D.). From the period of Pratap Rudra Deva only Jayadevic music was resumed in the Jagannath Temple, it is clearly mentioned that no compositions except Geeta Govinda would be sung in the temple.
The discussion in the
traditional Odissi music will not be complete save the
reference to its practical aspects. Similar to Hindustani
and Caranatic music, traditional Odissi music has its own
Melas Ragas, Talas, Aravandhas, which are rendered in a
different style. Such characteristic features
are illustrated below for understanding traditional
Odissi music, in relation to its theoretical aspects.
150 Ragas are found to be in vogue in this system. But we
except more Ragas which can be explored from various
traditional compositions of this system;
Though, like Carnatic and Hindustani systems, the establishment of Ragas and Talas through their improvisations are also done in traditional Odissi music but due importance is given in this system to the text of the song composition in the Nibadha portion while improving Ragas and the Talas. Many types of rythmic improvisations which are done in the Nivaddha portion of the compositions of Hindustani and Carnatic systems, are totally absent in the traditional Odissi system. The performers enjoy only those rhythmic improvisations, whose implementions in the Nivaddha portion never affect the theme of the song, text of the compositions of traditional Odissi music.
Besides these aforesaid difference, the process of phonation of Gamak and Tana (practical techniques) of Odissi music are also different form those of Carnatic and Hindustani music. The phonation process of Gamak and Tana in traditional Odissi music are just in between the two process of Hindustani and Carnatic music, which can be identified as curling Gamakas and Tanas. This particular style of Gamak and Tana adds distictive melodic structure to the musical entity of this system.
The sound produced from the Pakhauz (Percussuin instrument for accompaniment) in Udra Paddhati differs from that of Hindustani Mridang and Carnatic Mridangam due to difference in their costruction. The elaborated exposition of the standard compositions of Talas of this system which are played in Pakhaz through improvisations and expanded compositions are done with the strictly maintenance of th meters of the Talas which are not maintained in the improvisations of Talas in Carnatic music and to a title extent is maintained in Hindusthani music.
The improvisations of the Ragas in Ahivaddha-portion in Odissi music is done with the help of meaning less syllabus like Aa, Ta, Tun, Ri, De, Na, etc. in slow, middle and fast tempo, with the use of Gamak and Tan, which are markedly different from those of Carnatic and Hindusthani music.