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In the Chinese language, Pa refers to eight and yin means tone qualities. The term pa yin which can also be referred to as Bayin stands for eight aspects which are metal, skin, earth, stone and so on each being a vital substance used in the instrument. This is the ancient Chinese music that is believed to have been more sophisticated than thought. Natyasasatra is the science of drama, music and dance. In the Hindu traditions, the deity of dance is called Nataraja – Shiva. With this much reverence to dancing and music, most Indian music are classified under Natyasasatra classification system. It is also known as the sastra of Natya and is universally understood to be the work written by Bharata.
Theorists for centuries have preserved the eight categories of the pa yin music but could not get hold of the order of presentation. Due to the long time the pa yin music has existed, the order of presentation has faded away. The main characteristic of the pa yin music is the symbolism of its aspects with materials such as metal, earth. This compared to Natyasasatra is very different in that it has the aspects of dance and drama in addition to music. The Indians use all these three aspects of Nayasasatra to bring out their messages that they do so well via music.
Just like pa yin classification that has eight aspects mainly derived from nature, Natyasasatra has eight rasas which are known as emotions inspired by the performer in the audience. These rasas ensure that the audience feels exactly what the performer wanted them to feel. In contrast, pa yin has no emotional moods but symbolism such as those brought about by its features like skin, stones, earth etc.
In pa yin music, wooden materials were rated poorly because of their rhythmic function in that they were de linked to the five tones and the twelve pitches. Bamboo instruments were regarded as the last in the list though they came to gain importance due to the numbers used to determine the length of pitch pipes. Natyasatra is a system that describes only eight rasas that are as follows; Hasya, Sringara, Karuna, Raudra, Beebhatsa, Bhayanaka Adbhuta and Veera.
Both pa yin and Natyasatra are ancient in china and India respectively thus bringing out the prestige that comes with age. This is very important for music because the ancient music was full of quality as is brought out in these two systems. Hence pa yin and Natyasasatra systems of classification date back into the early centuries when music was still taking shape. They both have played very significant role in the development of music that has blossomed over the years to what is witnessed now in the modern world. Pa yin is instrumental in the development of musical instruments as known today while Natyasasatra is credited for the ever presence of dancing since the advent of music.
Pa yin is still taken into consideration in contemporary china maybe in its interpretation or past usage. Various classifications currently have left out obsolete musical instruments such as stone chimes. Natyasasatra is different since it has many aspects of dancing. It is also important to note that this pa yin has an order of presentation with regards to the materials that form its aspects as opposed to the Natyasasatra where no order is followed; actually no materials exist such as stone, metals etc.
The fact that the Chinese were able to use object of nature to come up with musical instrument is interesting in that they were in a way appreciating nature in a very beautiful way, music. The use of stones, bamboos and even stones shows the way the ancient Chinese lived in tandem with nature. Both pa yin and natyasasatra are ancient musical classification hence the fact that both systems are still considered in the contemporary musical classification in the modern world is an appreciation of their origin. The runaway world as is experienced nowadays at least recognizes the advent of music that in very significant ways pretty much shapes these type of music not only in china and India but all over the world to those who listen to this kind of music.
The dance aspect of Natyasasatra makes it very important since it shows the diversity of music and not just the passive part of it in that people just listen to music. Music should be more of an active activity and in this case, a form of communication. Natyasasatra musical classification system is important because it lets us understand that dancing was used by the Hindus to relay some information, an idea that has survived up to date.
Pa yin music has the disadvantage of losing quite a number of followers in that the current generation is more after the active music where they are also involved hence Natyasasatra gaining in this aspect. This is not only because it has dancing but also the drama feature in it attracts more people. In India, a number of theatres have blossomed thanks to the drama presented about by the Natyasasatra alongside music and dancing. Natya Shastra an exposition of dance was by done in the 2nd century BC by Bharat Muni emphasizing the age of this classification and the amazing fact that it has survived to date, 20 centuries later transforming from a way of entertaining deities to a mere source of enjoyment and fun.
Pa yin though may be fading out due to the modern world’s transformation of the meaning of music; it is still a good music for reflection and meditation as it establishes contact with Mother Nature via the eight features that constitute it. This may still be very important to those who really know the meaning of life and practice meditation in search of self realization. This is kind of contrary to the Natyasasatra where in involve dancing and drama, which is not necessarily bad considering that people go for different things in life.