Revised site note 2/12/10: This page is left as it was originally with minor modifications. It was an avenue I never pursued, and the viewer will notice that new load times leaves the animation hopelessly out-of-synch with the recitation. Nonetheless, it is interesting to see the "sound signature" of that recitation style, and the page is left in tribute to many experiments and possibilities explored in the making of this site. Michael Witzel has gathered precious early (wax cylinder!) recordings of early recitations which may someday find their way to this or a related site. The new site launch of vedavid is available here. Navigation links throughout this page follow the original old pathways through the site.

This page is purely experimental. You will need to hit "refresh/reload" several times. Ideally, the sound clip of the gaayatrii should almost synchronize with the animation, so a couple re-loads ought to do it.

I am experimenting with the use of visual read-outs--the "signature" of sound--for analyzing various aspects of Vedic mantra's. In particular, the nuances of low/anudaatta , transitional/svarita, and high/udaatta tones in Vedic accent can be assessed in this format. The example which will load below was built and stripped down for ease of loading (others can be viewed by clicking on the title icon above) with simple programs on a MacIntosh (SoundEdit Pro [audio compression], SoundApp [format conversion to .WAV for web sound], PICTify [screen capture of spectral read-out], GraphicConverter [image sizing and conversion], GifBuilder [animation]). Obviously higher-end programs (most of those just listed were shareware!!) could do wonders. Read on while awaiting the load-up.

We have the opportunity to apply spectral analysis on recordings of mantra recitation from trained RSis in modern-day India toward this purpose. With experimentation which both follows and contradicts the traditions of the praatishaakhya's we can begin to develop a new picture of the recitations of the Vedas. A major issue, for example, are the nuances and subtleties of Shatapatha recitation .

I stumbled on this while preparing a use of the gaayatrii for elsewhere at Vedavid. Thinking of the RSi/seer who would "see" the shruti, that which is "heard," I couldn't help but be fascinated by the signatures of various recitations. I am grateful to Michael Witzel for his suggestions on this matter. Special thanks to Frederick M. Smith for his recitation. I offer the demo above as a sample of future possibilities.


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