I have lately become addicted to listening Pali chantings. I find it more influential for myself with English texts side by side. As my mother tongue is Hindi, I find some Pali words to be close to my language. And it influences me a lot than any translation. As Sutta central provides the English text with original Pali side by side, I want to listen to almost large number of chantings of suttas in Pali. Although I have found some suttas being chanted but not in large quantity. I have been searching for Group Pali Chanting of Upanisa Sutta but couldn’t find one. Can someone help?
And what about 6th Buddhist council when all Pali Suttas were chanted? Don’t we have their recordings? Please help.
Yes, it is a mechanical voice, produced by X, Y, or Z algorhythm, code, what-have-you.
As a comparison, Thai Buddhist chant is, rhythmically speaking, “mechanically dictated” by the underlying rhythm, the underlying meter, of the Prākrit Pāli text being chanted. A long syllable produces a long tone. Short syllables have short tones associated with them. So is produced the varied rhythms and ever-changing meters of Thai chant.
The melodic aspects of Thai chant, the melody of pentatonic ups and downs, is produced as a wonderful byproduct of orthography and tonogenisis.
Thai is a tonal language. As such, tones are associated with letters used to represent both Thai and non-Thai words, such as Sanskrit or Pāli words, when they are written in Thai. These implicit tones associated with Thai letters used to write Pāli produce the pentatonic melodies of Thai chant. The melody is “mechanically generated” according to musically arbitrary tones associated with letters, a byproduct of having a tonal language.
In two features of music, in rhythm and melody, Thai chant is “mechanically produced” much like the computerized voice featured at SuttaCentral.
Two mechanical processes. I myself am going to relisten to the voice function with this in mind, to see one as the other. Maybe this is an entirely pedestrian observation.
Sincerely, an ethnomusicology geek.
These chant books and associated audios are actually also in the Thai tradition of Buddhist chant. Starting at page two of the first link you shared, you can see arrows above and below the text indicating the syllables that correspond to the pentatonic “ups” and “downs” in the melody of the chant. One of the YouTube videos I shared was of the Evening Service.
Amateur musicologists, myself included, starting on page 17 of PDF in the above link, can read the text and see the musical notation associated with the first video in this post and hear it chanted back in “real time,” rhetorically, as we read said text and the notation.
For some time I’ve been working on code that produces video and subtitles for any recorded Pali chant/English reading and uploads to Youtube. This is from the work with Bhante Sujato’s recordings for SC-Voice. Here are two examples (temporary URLs!):
Also I wonder if http://tipitakachantingcouncil.org have any recordings, I plan to contact them and ask quite soon. I was in Bodh Gaia at the end of 2018 when this was on but didn’t think of asking hehe - there were many different groups of monastics and I hope one group has recorded these over the years.
SC-Voice has also some suttas spoken by a human voice (Bhante Sujato), both in Pali and English (except for the titles that are still spoken by computer voices). You can select this in the settings. Currently these are SN1.1–SN2.20, and more are to follow.