Contents: Preface. 1. Need for research in this area. 2. Pre-historic period. 3. Indus Valley Civilization. 4. Vedas and music. 5. Cangam period. 6. The stringed instrument of Yal. 7. Melodies (panns) according to seasons and times. 8. Books on theory of music. 9. Music--east and west. 10. The great epic of Cilappatikaram, 11. Four systems of ancient Tamil music. 12. Seventy two Mela Kartha system. 13. Musical science in Cilappatikaram. 14. Pannicai (the tradition continued). 15. Aichiyar kuravai. 16. Vattapalai. 17. First six scales in Greek music. 18. The four Jathis. 19. Sangeetha Ratnakaram and the 22 sruthis. 20. What is Grace note (Gamakam). 21. Bramma melam. 22. The three Genera of Greek Music. 23. The stone inscription of Kudumiyan Malai in Padukkottai district of Tamil Nadu. 24. Tirikonappalai. 25. Caturapalai. 26. Ragas in Ayappalai, Vattapalai, tirikonapalai and caturapalai. 27. The tables showing different systems of music-Thanjai Abraham Pandithar.
"Dr. Salem S. Jayalakshmi is not only a performing artiste but an eminent musicologist also. This work spans through several millinia reaching the pre-historic period Indus Valley Civilisation, Vedic period, Sangam period, etc. She has probed through the subtle nuances of the music of Tamilnadu. Her search through the great epic Chilapathikaram, Sangam literature and other Western books of history of music has really produced some good results. The highly controversial subjects of scales, music notes and their minute particles also have been dealt with. The book is really very valuable for music scholars both east and west." (jacket)