Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

Persian MS 348 (The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, The University of Manchester)

Persian Manuscripts


Summary of Contents: An unfinished, undated second copy of the Tarjumah-'i Nād Purān (Translation of the Nād Purān) held in the Rylands (see also Persian MS 347). This Persian translation of an unidentified Sanskrit or Brajbhasha work on music originally entitled Nāda-purāṇa (Ancient Text on Music), describes the musical scales and their qualities, along with a final section on the different rasa (taste, essence, aesthetics) and bhava (expressions) in classical Indian music. Unlike the other volume, this one features many empty blank spaces that lack illustrative diagrams.
Author: unknown
Incipit: (basmala) برگ ۱پ (folio 1b): بدانکه علم موسقی علمی است در غایت لطافت هر طبعی آنرا محیط نتواند گشت زیرا که کسب علم موسقی ممکن نشود دیگر بطبع سلیم و فریحه مستقیم ال یفهم معانی نغمات الموسقات و لطایف عبادته عن السرار الغیوب الا النفس الشریفته الصافیته من الشوایب الطبعته عن الشهوات الهمیه.
Explicit: برگ ۹۴پ (folio 94b): لاس بقسمی است که در ملک هند دقص میکنند. بیان نماهای تال که همگی چنداند.
Colophon: No colophon.
Language(s): Persian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Textblock of medium-weight, cross-grained, ivory-coloured, sized and polished paper, probably handmade in the Indian subcontinent, with ~11 laid lines per cm and no discernible chain lines.
Extent: 94 folios, 4 flyleaves (ff. iv + 94 + iv)
Dimensions (leaf): 241 × 155 mm.
Dimensions (written): 155 × 93 mm.
Foliation: Unfoliated.


Undetermined, but primarily quaternions throughout. Catchwords throughout most of the lower-left corners of the b sides.


Handle with caution. In fair condition. Beware extensive insect damage along the fore-edge along the opening flyleaves, with moderate water and insect damage and other historical repairs throughout.


Written in 1 column with 15 lines per page. Ruled with a misṭarah hand guide.


Written in clear black nasta‘līq with subheaders in red.


Illumination: Folio 1b bears a scalloped domed headpiece with a floral scrollwork on a yellow ground, with a similar trellis designs underneath a basmala cartouche set within red spirals. Margins painted with a rope designs with floral finials.

  • The first right flyleaf a and b sides (ff. ia–b) bears several pencilled prices and sale marks.
  • The fourth right flyleaf b side (f. ivb) inscribed:
    ‘Nº 16
    Treatise on Music’
    (with the word ‘Indian’ pencilled between them), probably in the hand of Sir Gore Ouseley which comports with other volumes that he
  • Folio 1a bears an obliterated note in Persian, partly legible, mentions the names of ‘Alīkhān Mushīr al-Mamālik and Mīrzā Qāsim ‘Alī Khān.
  • Folio 1b underneath where torn off on the top right corner, bears the bottoms of the letters ‘G’ and ‘y’, very likely the signature of former owner Sir Gore Ouseley.
Bookplates and Pasted Items:
  • The right pastedown bears an unidentified pasted sale catalogue entry:
    ‘TREATISE ON INDIAN MUSIC, in Persian, very neatly
    written, in excellent condition
    fol. neat, 3. 3s.’
  • Left pastedown: ‘Bibliotheca Lindesiana’ with pencilled shelfmark ‘2/G’, and ‘Bland MSS No. 568’ with the name and number crosed out and ‘Persian’ and ‘348’ written aside.


Probably rebound in a hybrid British-Indian style in the Indian subcontinent. Unsupported sewing at two stations, edges trimmed, then twined chevron endbands in red and white threads worked at head and tail. Flyleaves of the same stock suggest that the original binder prepared them together with the text. Covered in full crimson pebble-grained goatskin leather over pasteboards, with squares at the edges, defined joints, but without a flap (Type III binding per Déroche). Light indigo-dyed papers line the insides of the boards, with the excess width adhered to the first and last flyleaves, with strips of paper, serrated along one edge, placed over top to disguise the overlap.

Board margins tooled with repeated single fillets with rows of insular dots between. Spine panels with vertical lines for bands and central florets, with the title ‘Tarjumah dar ‘Ilm-i Musīqī’ written in Persian.

250 × 168 × 23 mm.


Origin: Probably completed in the Indian subcontinent; undated, but likely late 18th to early 19th centuries CE.

Provenance and Acquisition

Subsequently acquired by scholar Nathaniel Bland (1803–1865), after whose death, London bookseller Bernard Quaritch (1819–1899) sold his oriental manuscripts to Alexander Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford (1812–1880) in 1866.

Purchased by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) in 1901 from James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford (1847–1913).

Bequeathed by Enriqueta Rylands (1843–1908) in 1908 to the John Rylands Library.

Record Sources

Bibliographical description based on an index created by Reza Navabpour circa 1993, derived from a manuscript catalogue by Michael Kerney, circa 1890s, concisely published as Bibliotheca Lindesiana, Hand-list of Oriental Manuscripts: Arabic, Persian, Turkish, 1898.

Manuscript description by Jake Benson in 2022 with reference to the volume in hand, and in consultation with Dr. Katherine Butler Schofield, King's College London, regarding the text and its contents.


To book an in-person or online appointment to consult the manuscript, visit Using the Special Collections Reading Rooms. For any other enquiries please email uml.special-collections@manchester.ac.uk.

Funding of Cataloguing

Iran Heritage Foundation

The John Rylands Research Institute



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