The Body of the Musician

An Annotated Translation and Study of the Piṇḍotpatti-prakaraṇa of Śārngadeva’s Sangītaratnākara

by Makoto Kitada (Author)
©2012 Thesis II, 350 Pages


The Sangītaratnākara («The Ocean of Music») written by Śārngadeva in the 13th century is the most important theoretical work on Indian classical music. Its prologue, the Pindotpatti-prakarana («The Section of the Arising of the Human Body»), deals with the Indian science of the human body, i.e. embryology, anatomy, and the Hathayogic heory of Cakras. The sources of this work are found in the classical medical texts (Āyurveda) such as Caraka, Suśruta and Vāgbhata, the Hathayogic texts as well as in the encyclopaedic texts (Purāna). After philologically analyzing the mutual relation and background of these texts, the author demonstrates the reasons why the human body is described in this musicological work. His investigation reveals the Indian mystic thought of body and sound. This study, although an Indological one, is an attempt to answer the universal question what music is, i.e. how music is created in the human body, what the effect of music on the human body is, and what music aims at. The second half of the book consists of a translation of the original text of the Pindotpatti-prakarana, including commentaries, with plenty of annotations.


II, 350
ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2012 (July)
Indian Indian Philosophy and Spiritualism Hinduism Medical Ethnology Musicological Ethnology
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2012. II, 350 pp.

Biographical notes

Makoto Kitada (Author)

Makoto Kitada studied linguistics and indology at Tokyo and Halle Universities. Since 2011 he lectures at Osaka University (Section for Urdu). Makoto Kitada is a research fellow of the Eastern Institute, Tokyo. His research interests are South Asian languages and literature, such as Urdu, Bengali, and Sanskrit. He plays Hindustani music (Sarod) and is interested in the musical aspect of oral literature.


Title: The Body of the Musician