Sangeet Rasik wrote:In the sense that:
1) the majority of the subcontinent subscribes to Hindustani music, which has a strong secular base.
2) there is nothing in any foundational texts of Indian music (whether dating from the pre-bifurcation period of CM/HM or after) SR
1.Post Natya shastra I have not seen a reference to secular
music per se. Even in the nAtyashastra there is a strong devotional base.
2.There was only a distinction between mArga and dEsi music and even that mArga serves to distinguish vEdic,repetetive ritual music from
other kinds of music which was mostly devotional. As far as I have understood Indian musical texts never contained
any references to non-secularity of music per se.
music that existed were provincial - The Tamils probably had a lot of secular
music and dance as evidenced
by the Sangam literature and CilappatikAram.By the time of CilappatikAram religious themes
were always there.
4.By 1-8th centuries there was a change and devotional music took over the South, North and elsewhere. This was also a time when the so-called larger
traditions took over the smaller regional traditions.
5.A few centuries later the influence of Islamic music happened in the North and the dhruvapada music (largely devotional)
co-existed with the other romantic lyrics (again a narrow theme but the only difference was this was not 'devotional')
Only in the works of Amir Khusro do I find the so-called secular themes
. All the rest of the BrajbhAsha and other
lyrics largely deal with pining nAyika/nAyakas, the kRishna lore and a lot of bhakti literature.
6.The reason was not because of a need for secularity but for the sake of two religions to co-exist in their artforms.
7.However the stress on improvisation and rise in popularity of khyAl and the confluence of cultures meant that lyrics took a backseat
to music and today's hindustani music largely consists of garbled lyrics, some meaningful lyrics dealing with more or less
the same themes
it inherited. Would I call it secular
? I am not so sure atleast in the HM I have heard.
8.Carnatic lyrics have I think covered a larger base say some the jAvalis or Balamurali's composition on Russia or Bharathiyar's composition ViDuthalai viDuthalai or oLipaDaitha kaNNinAy.
But as pointed out by someone all other lyrics got relegated to the tukkaDa level because a lot of the composers were not gEyakArAs per se or faced resistance.
9.Finally in today's context secular
lyrics do not mean a broadened outlook or even creativity. Most of the lyrics I saw posted on this
forum substituted Abdul Kalam for a deity. It is no way different from say Subbarama Dikshitar's gAravamu on the rAmnAd sethupati etc.
ie a modernised Narastuti in lieu of a king or God.
10.I am not saying this as a criticism but now and then when I attempt to write poetry I find Tamil even in the metered variety offers me a lot more scope (again it is largely in my mind)
I do find it challenging to write thematic lyric in Sanskrt. ie I can easily write a few lines praising say someone like Mahashweta DEvi but to write something descriptive, thematic
seems challenging difficult. May be you can give us a few examples of your compositions that deal with ideas and those that are not about people or Gods?