Indian Musicology is a much neglected field. Scientific workers in this branch knowledge have been few. Scientific view point in music and acoustics is not new in our country, though it has been sadly neglected. Our ancient Jain scholars like Parsvadeva and Sudha Kalasa had extraordinary logical concepts about psychological acoustics about sound and music.
Here I may draw the reader’s attentions towards the sources of Jaina literature regarding transitive elments of music. In acoustics, as in all other sciences, it is becoming more and more evident that the merely Physical definitions (is this possible at all?) of a phenomenon is unquestionably insufficient. As Gadner says, “one of the most significant yields of the recent development in Physics has been renewed awareness of the role of the observer.
This renewed awareness has become so acute that we now have even a large and fast developing branch of Psycho-acoustics. However, most of work in Psycho-acoustics has far concerned itself, as is natural at this stage, with the concious elements. Not much has been investigated in the vast vistas of the non-concious elements in sound.
William James pointed out that our perceptive elements do not consist solely ofwhat we conciously are able to cognate. Every organism receives external and internal stimuli, infinite in number. Not all of these are conciously defined and acted upon. Like a sharply focussed photograph there is a region of Focus atten tionand all the resxt is vague and out of Focus lending a halo, a necessary quality to the centrally percieved constancy.
James called the centrally focussed element of perception as substan tive and halo, Peripheral element as transitive.In music the substantive elements have been named as “notes”, “scales”, “chords” .etc. as if these were “real” and “constant”. In the extra ordinary fluidity of music there are only “landing places” and foci of attention. But every tone has its “halo” which lends it a beauty and flesh.
The transitive and Peripheral elements of a tone give the necessary richess. In Indian Music we have called these transitive elements as “gamaka” (graces)’ When in music, a tone moves from its own pitch towards another, so that the Second sound passes like a shadow over it, this is called “gamaka”.
In short a “gamaka” is out of concious focus; it is on the periphery of conciousness and is transitive. It is true that ’gamaka’ have been defined and classified as if they were acoustics “constants” and realities. But any musician who tries to produce them too conciously or any listener who tries to search for them too consciously is naive and ICSes the charm of Music.
(In any case, beyond even the defined “gamaka” there are the micro-variations in the musical material which escape concious attention and never attain the status of even the “gamaka”). All these are transtive in nature. But the essence of gamaka is in its fleetingness in its being in the shadow.
In classical acoustics it was usual to define two classes of sounds: musical sound and noise. This implied that noises were mot musical they are unpleasent. The most important assumption was that “musical sounds” were capable of certaincontinuity, thus forming a substantive base for notes scales “chords” etc. Noises on the other hand did not have the necessary durations, even to become notes and musical sounds.
All in all, it was the usual concept that noises had no musical value. Just contrary they well ’noisy’, noise, on the other hand has an ill defined physical structure. It is not amenable to simple mathematical treatment. Most important, it has no definite pitch and does not lend itself to melodie construction. For these reasons it has been called unmusical and noisy.
In other words, it is made mostly of transitive element, though any noise as a whole may have a substantive character for it may be re-organised. This accepted differentiation of musical sounds and noises needs a re-examanition. Specially when we consider the nature of “gamaka” and “Rhythm” this distinction break down. Not only so, noise is seen to be essential in music.
First rhythm implies, a change from one sensation to another. Without such a change no rhythm is possible, the more “regular” such a change, thejmore “rhythmic” it is. Secondly the change point is the nucleus of attention. Thus we say that rhythm is created by the quantization of temporal flow by attention. If such interrupted attention were not there, no periodicity or rhythm is created.
Perhaps, even a metrized time is impossible.If we examine the musical devices by which rythm is kept or varied, we immediately see’the truth of this. all instruments of rhythm, without exception, are percussion instruments. The strokes are short in duration, and indefinite in tonalstructure. In short they more or les&partake of the nature of noise. Kettle drums and the Indian loaded membrances (tabla etc.)
Do have tonal structures more definite than noise, but they are in no way comparable to tho regularity of the tonal struc turcs of melodie instruments. In other instruments used for the creation of melody (what we say the melodic instruments) rhythmic effects are obtained by producing noise. For these syncopations (layakari) they employ special techniques like plucking change of bowing, playing staccto etc.
These are the noisy character. The difference in playing notes in single bow(slur) and with a change of bow is very evident. The moment of change introduces transients and noise. Similarly the pluck is always a noise con¬sonants in a song are noises. It is the common experience of singers that rhythmic patterns in singing are best generated by the placing of the consonants of the song.
To produce such syncopation with only vowels is difficult and unpleasant the various techniques of noise production break the stream of melody, introducing nuelei of attention and the consequent rhythmic effect. Thus it is seen that noise is an important and, as far as rhythm is concerned an essential acoustic in music.
It is therefore proved that Jaina sources are rich in music and also in classical back grounds. It is worthwhile to remember that Jainaliterature have transitive elements of music and emphasise the basic inden tity of music and speech envisaging an opening in the direction of “mantra Dhyan- Yoga”. Much unexplored material awaits our Jai nologists, phychologists and psychoanalysts in this field.