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Article: Terms: Anga

 
By Haresh Bakshi
 
  anga (Sanskrit a~Nga) (sometimes called "sthaana", meaning 'location').

In general, the term "anga" means a sub-division, a part of the whole.

In Indian music, it denotes one of the two parts (tetrachords) of the octave.

First, to the saptaka (S, R, G, m, P, D, N), add the taara Sa (S'). This is the octave (S, R, G, m, P, D, N, S'). Now the octave is divided into two parts: (1) Sa to Ma: S, R, G, m; (2) P to S': P, D, N, S'. These constitute the two anga-s. The first part is called poorvanga, the lower tetrachord. The second part is called uttaranga, the upper tetrachord. Each part has four members, and the two parts are similarly constructed.

The predominance of one of the parts, called anga-pradhanata or anga-pradhanya, has great significance in theory and practice of music. If poorvanga is dominant in a raga, that raga will have its vadi (sonant) note in poorvanga (one of the four notes: S, R, G, m). Also, such a raga will be a non-morning raga -- it is performed at a time other than in the morning. On the other hand, if uttaranga is dominant in a raga, that raga will have its vadi (sonant) note in uttaranga (one of the four notes: P, D, N, S'). Also, such a raga will be a morning raga -- it is performed in the morning.

Now, vadi (sonant) and samvadi (consonant) always lie in different anga-s, So,in raga-s with sonant in poorvanga, the samvadi (consonant) will lie in the uttaranga. Conversely, in raga-s with sonant in uttaranga, the samvadi (consonant) will lie in the poorvanga. This means that the morning raga-s, with dominance of uttaranga, will be more elaborated in the uttaranga. On the other hand, the non-morning raga-s, with dominance of poorvanga, will be more elaborated in the poorvanga.

Sometimes, the two parts are divided as:

(1) S to P: S, R, G, m, P; (2) m to S': m, P, D, N, S'.

Also see: saptaka, poorvanga, uttaranga. anga-pradhanata (or, anga-pradhanya), vadi, samvadi.

 

 

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