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Ancient Mongolian Buddhist Script for Musical Sutras

June 11, 2015 1 min read


A note from 2012 – reposted

We have all heard of Do Re Mi as the format for musical notation. It is a language in which we express music.

Another language of musical notation “Sa Re Ga Ma”  is used in Hindustani Classical music to convert sounds / tones into text.

And here is one more ancient notation :

Mongolian Sutra notation : antique-buddhist-music-language-sutra3

From these antique folios it appears that the highs and lows might be easily interpreted visually, as also the longer bars and shorter bars.

Since text is present only in a few sections of the text, these might be explanatory notes rather than the lyrics that are to be sung out. Maybe this is just a wordless melody to which lyrics could be attached.

We only need a single cipher! Perhaps musicians can already read this….

A reference chart that shows the evolution of the script after the Mongols adopted the Uighur script around the 12th century. The red text on these manuscript leaves use some of these characters.


The music manuscripts have now been framed and the paper is now protected from deterioration.

Looking at diversity in the art of the different worlds I cannot help feeling overwhelmed! The feeling is the same that I get when I look out at the stars ..wondering about the difference in magnitudes and the insignificance of our lives.


Dec 2012

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