16 November, 2012

Tashrih-ul-Moosiqu: Persian Translation of Tansen’s Original Work ‘Budh Prakash’

Tashrih-ul-Moosiqu: Persian Translation of Tansen’s Original Work ‘Budh Prakash’

By- Najma Perveen Ahmad (Editor, Translator, Commentator)

Several Persian and Urdu manuscripts of the medieval period are very precious and provide valuable information and insights into various aspects of Indian musicology. Most of them contain translations and references to ancient Sanskrit texts which could not be preserved and are not available now for various reasons.

One such rare manuscript is Tashrih-ul-Moosiqui, written by Hakeem Mohammad Arzani during the seventeenth century. It is the Persian translation of Tansen’s work Budh Prakash. Like Man Kautuhal, of which only Persian translation Raag Darpan is available, probably Budh Prakash may also be available only in this form.

The present work is an English translation of Tashrih-ul-Moosiqui that consists of eight chapters containing description of Origin of Music, Types of Samaah, Attributes of Musicians, Svara, Classification and Time Theory of Ragas, Tala and Musical Instruments. The most significant and comprehensive part of the manuscript is the seventh chapter which is about Mishra Ragas where the author has used the word Miloni for a combination of ragas, in place of the well-known terms like Chhayalag, Sankeerna and Mishra Ragas, used by the other authors of the period. It elaborates the classification system of the wide range of well-known ragas mentioned in Budh Prakash that has some different nuances as compared to the description given in Persian works of later medieval period.

It is hoped that this work will bring to light the work of the great musician Tansen. In addition to the translation of the manuscript, the author has provided brief commentary and critique wherever required.

Najma Perveen Ahmad, former Dean and Head of the Department of Music, University of Delhi, is a teacher, scholar and vocalist in Hindustani Classical Music belonging to Delhi Gharana. At present she is Emeritus Fellow of UGC at the Faculty of Music and Fine Arts, University of Delhi

ISBN  978-81-7304-943-9   2012   192p.   Rs.795/Pounds 50

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