The author has set to notation the six principal Ragas of the Hindus, adopting their national notation as the one indispensable for the through expression of Hindu Music. To impart picture-sequences to the treatise, as well as to clothe it with orientalism, he has also given their emblematical representations.
The word Sangita has a complex significance. It means the union of three things - gita, vadya and nritya; or song, percussion and dancing. The works that treat of the principles and laws of both vocal and instrumental music, and of the rules and directions with regard to the whole scope of theatric representation, are called Sangita Sastras. Sangita Sastra may be considered in a two-fold view - as a science and as an art.
Considered as a Science, it treats of the origin and propagation of Nada or sound of the doctrine of Srutis or the theory of Sanskrita intervals, of the doctrine of svaras or musical sounds, of the formation of the different species of scales, of the rules of murchchanas and tanas, of the composition of ragas and their various modifications and variations of the variety, of talas or times conformable to regular metre and of the rules and directions with respect to the various styles of theatric representation.
Considered as an art, it lays down the necessary directions for the cultivation of the human voice, for the performance of instrumental music, and for the various motions and gestures in dancing. Sangita Sastra is accordingly divided into two portions; namely, aupapattika and Kriasidaha or theoretical and practical. The general and most essential characteristic of gita vadya and nritya is rakti or the power of affecting the heart.