In this answer, it is told that Gandharva Veda (Music Theory) is one of the four Upa Vedas, the other three being Ayurveda, Dhanurveda and Arthashastra.

What is the oldest text on Gandharva Veda? Was Gandharva Veda written/conveyed by Gandharvs, like Ayurveda was conveyed by Lord Dhanvantari?

1 Answer 1


The earliest known text on music theory is the reference to music was made by Panini in 500 BC.-- Following musical words are found in Ashtadhyayi of Panini:– """''''' Giti 3-3-95

Geya 3-4-68

Gathaka , vocalist-3-1-146

Gayana 3-1-147

Nartaka, dancer -3-1-145

Nritya, dancer-1-3-89;7-2-57

Natya, stage acting-4-3-129

Natasutra, treatise on dramatical art -4-3-110

Turya,orchestra- music band-2-4-2; Though it is a group of people it is used in singular.

Set of players on Mridangam and Panava was referred to as Maardangkika-Paanavikam ""'''''

The first reference to musical theory is found in Rikpratisakhya in 400 BC. Bharata’s Natyashastra (4th century AD), contains several chapters on music, which was probably the first clear written work on music that has divided music into octaves and twenty-two keys. The next important work on music is Dathilan that also mentions the existence of twenty-two srutis per octave. According to ancient notion, only these twenty-two srutis can be made by the human beings. Two other important works written during this period were Brihaddesi written by Matanga in 9th century AD, which attempts to define Raga and `Sangeeta Makaranda; written by Narada in 11th century AD, which enumerates ninety-three Raagas and classifies them into masculine and feminine species.

Summarising 500BC Panini in his Ashtadhyayi defines musical terms. 400BC The Pratishtha define the tones to chant the veda. The pratisakhya for the Samaved is Rk Tantra. 400AD Bharata Munis Natyashastra

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