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raga - kalyani

By

kannada karnatik

on 2010 June 21 [Monday], 01:03:00 - ARTS

Kalyani, meaning "auspicious one" in Sanskrit, belongs to the 65th melakarta raga, is a very prominently played raga at concerts (and weddings?). At a concert very few artists will pass over this raga. It is the 65th melakarta rga under the Katapayadi sankhya, also called Mechakalyani. The notes for Kalyani are S R2 G3 M2 P D2 N3. A sawf article has a rather long and intricate analysis of this raga for each singer with audio samples in .ram format, which inspires me to rant about having had to install non-free codecs for gstreamer from the ugly set. Damn, why cant people use free formats on websites which wont force me to install restricted codecs...arghh, i digress. Shri Purandara Dasa composed piLLangOviya cheluva in kalyANi raga (see Edit and comments below) and one of my favorite singers, Sri.Aruna Sairam renders Pillangoviya in kalyani, set to triputa tala.

Composer: Shri Purandara Dasa || Tala: Triputa || Language: Kannada Arohanam : S R1 M1 P N2 S || Avarohan : S N2 P M1 R1 S
P : piLLangOviya celuva krSNana elli nODidiri || rangana elli nODidiri || A: elli nODidaralli tAnilla dillavendu balla jANare || C1: nandagOpana mandiragaLa sandugondinali || canda candada gOpa bAlara vrndA vrunadadali || sundarAngada sundariyara hindu mundinali || andadAkaLa kanda karugaLa manda mandeyali || C2: shrI gurUkta sadA sumangaLa yOga yOgadali || AgamArtadoLage mADuva yAga yAgadali || shrIge bhagyanAgi vartipa bhOga bhOgadali || bhAgavataru sadA bAgi pADuva rAga rAgadali || C3: I caracaradoLage janangaLa Ace Iceyali || kEcarendrana sutana rathada cauka pIThadali || nachade madhava keshava emba vacha kangalali l| pichukondada purandara vittalana lochanagradali ll

[EDIT-20100913]: It was pointed out to me that the person impersonating lut4rp to leave the "die bitch" comment on my blog does not deserve the privacy as it paints an innocent person (lut4rp) evil. As mentioned in my next blog entry (http://svaksha.com/post/2010/trolling-101), Ajay Kumar (ajuonline) (blog, http://ajuonline.net and http://mindtakers.net), left the "die bitch" comment on my blog. [EDIT-20101230]: "piLLangOviya" is set to the Raga "MohanakalyAni" and not "kalyAni". (Thanks Ajit). It is a janya raga from the 65th melakarta scale due to the lack of all the seven svaras.
7 comments

2010 June 5 [Saturday]

raga - darbari kanada


By

hindustani raga

on 2010 June 5 [Saturday], 20:58:00 - ARTS

"Devan ke pati Indra", composed in raga Darbari Kanada - Deshadi is a Hindustani raga composed by Svati Tirunal in HINDI language set to chowtaal. Pandit Ganapathi Bhatt, whose rendition is in two parts: Part one is around 8 minutes and part two is under 6 minutes, lends soul to one of the most beautiful Hindi bhajans that I have heard of Svati Tirunal, ala, Maharaja Svati Tirunal Rama Varma, a king from Travancore, now erstwhile Kerala. Svati Tirunal's karnatic compositions were the first I learnt and it is not surprising that he was a prolific linguist, having composed music in 5 Indian languages. Most people can only learn multiple languages but imagine composing music in languages like Hindi, Malayalam, Manipravalam, Sanskrit and Telugu -- they have different scripts, a different vocabulary and grammatical structure. That needs abnormally high intelligence. Had he been alive today, he would certainly put all the current narrow-minded egoists who play language-politics against Hindi to shame. I have never understood how politicians/people who cry hoarse against Hindi can readily accept English which is afterall a language we adopted after we were enslaved. But, i digress. I noted the lyrics and all the scribblings (in brackets) are my notes made while listening to the song. These would not make much sense outside of a student wanting to learn this raga. I still prefer good old pen and paper as its easier to put small notations at each gamaka or niraval which is harder to do on a blog or a text

file.

Pallavi: 1 {repeat, 2 {repeat pallavi:

....} ..}

Charanam ONE: 1 | 2

(small aalap)

{repeat pallavi: devan ke pati indra}

Charanam TWO: (small aalap) , ) 3

(twice, small niraval+swaralapana)

{repeat pallavi: devan ke pati indra}

Charanam THREE: ( , ) 5 6

{repeat pallavi: devan ke pati indra}

There is another wonderful Darbari bandish by Ustad Ghulam Hassan Shaggan (My guess is they are Pakistani singers as i've never seen them on the Hindustani classical circuit nor are their CD's available in any shops), and listening to him gives me goosebumps. Those aalaps at that age...wow, just wow!! This is my main grouse with karnatic music -- most karnatic music teachers dont want to teach aalaps. Their

excuse being, students dont like to learn the hard stuff, or listeners dont like wasting time listening to boring aalaps. Doh! For me neither is true. I like mental challenges and certainly dont intend performing on stage. I'd hardly care if there is another listener around, rather I'd prefer to be alone with music, something that i can create and enjoy for myself. A very famous instrument artist had once said that he does not like to talk after a public performance and dislikes people asking for autographs, asking questions, smile and pose for pics, because he was lost in the trance that he just created through music and wanted to remain there, but he could not as he was a public figure. All he wants to do is sit in a corner thinking about a raga and I *totally* grok that feeling.

Well, now I want to check out the differences between a Darbari and the Darbari Kanada ragas. Some years ago I had created a webpage comparing Hindustani and Karnatic ragas and a listing of Ragas which are supposed to be sung only in the morning, evening and night ragas. I cant seem to find this page now. I'd declare it lost but plan to search all my backups before I give up searching.

2010 April 13 [Tuesday]

taye yashoda
By

karnatik melakarta raga tamil

on 2010 April 13 [Tuesday], 11:34:00 - ARTS

Todi is a perennial favorite, especially the kriti "taye yashoda" composed by uthukadu venkatasubbaiyer in Tamil. We were learning this when I had stopped attending class. That rankled me enough to spend the better part of the weekend dissecting the kalpanasvarams from this fusion version in the movie Morning Raga. While I love the ragam-taanam-pallavi style, we dont learn that too much. The reason being people, or should I say listeners, like short performances for each song sans kalpanaswarams, long aalaps and niravals. In the movie, Sudha Raghunathan renders the playback but I have more admiration for Shabana Azmi who has to lip sync to render the kalpanaswarams perfectly.

Watch the video of Morning Raga and you will realise why she is so awesome as an artiste. Not only has Shabana learnt the swarakalpanas by rote (classical indian music is not as easy as it seems) but she has rendered the swara jugalbandi perfectly. Even for a music student like me, its far easier to write down the notations and learn them as I am familiar with the intricacies. However, it would not have been easy for her. In an interview, I recall her husband mentioning that before the shooting of the movie he was subjected to this song 24x7 for six whole months. Observe the charanam part where she sings the swara jugalbandi like she were to the manor born. Tres bien! taayE yashOdaa(lyrics from, http://www.karnatik.com/ragast.shtml)

ragam: tODi 8 hanumatodi mela Aa: S R1 G2 M1 P D1 N2 S Av: S N2 D1 P M1 G2 R1 S Talam: Adi Composer: Uthukadu VenkaTasubbaiyer Language: Tamil pallavi tAyE yashOdE undan Ayarkulattuditta mAyan gOpAlakriSNan seyyum jAlattai kELaDI (tAyE) anupallavi tayalE kELaDi undan paiyannai pOlavE inda vayyagattil oru piLLai ammamma nAn kaNDadillai (tAyE) caraNam 1 kAlinil shilambu konjak-kaivaLai kulunga muttu mAlaigaL asaiyat-teru vAsalil vandaan kAlashaiyum kaiyashaiyum tALAmODisaindu vara nIlavaNNak kaNNanivan narttanamaaDinaan bAlanenru tAvi aNaittEn aNaitta ennai mAlaiyiTTavan pOl vAyil muttamiTTaaNDi bAlanallaDi un maghan jAlam migha seyyum kriSNan nAlu pErgal kETka colla nANamigha lAgudaDi (tAyE)

caraNam 2 anroru nAL inda vazhi vanda virundivarum ayarndu paDutturangum pOdinilEkaNNan tinradu pOgak kaiyyil irunda vaNNaiyai anda virundinar vAyil niraittu maraindananE anda nindai mighu pazhi ingE pAvamangE enrapaDi cintai migha nondiDavum seyya taghumO nanda gOparkkinda vidam anda mighu piLLai pera nalla tavam seidAraDi enna sheivOmaDi (tAyE) caraNam 3 veNNai veNNai tarum enrAn veNNai tandAl tinruviTTu peNNai tArum enru kETTu kaNNaDikkirAn vaNamAi niruttam Adi maNNinaip padattAl Etrik kaNNIlE iraittu viTTu kaLavADinAn paNNIshaiyum kuzhalUdinAn kETTU ninra paNBilE arugil vandu vambungaL sheidAn peNNinattukkenru vanda puNNiyangaL kOTIi kOTi eNNI unakkAghumaDi kaNNImaiyAip pOgudaDi (tAyE) caraNam 4 mundAnAL andi nErattil sondamuDan kittE vandu vindalgaL palavum sheidu viLaiyADinAn pandaLavAgilum veNNai tandAl viDuvEnenru mundukilai toTTizhuttup pOrADinAn anda vAsudEvan ivan tAn aDi yashOdE maindanenat toTTizhuttu maDimEl vaittEn vaittAl sundara mukhattai kaNDu cintai mayangunEram antara vaikuNTHamODu ellAm kATTinAn (tAyE) caraNam 4 ThottililE piLLai kiLLi vittathum avai alaRa Vitta kaariyam agala veNNai thinRaan! Kattina kanRai avizhththu ettiyum oLiththu vittu Mattilaath thumbai kazhuththil maattik koNdaan! Vittu vittu ammE enRaan kanRinaip pOlE Attiyillaadha maadum ammaa enRathE! Kittina kuvaLaiyOdum ettinaal un selva magan! Pattiyil kaRavaiyidam paalai ootturaan adee! (thaayE)

caraNam 5 ChuRRi chuRRi ennai vanthu aththai veettu vazhi kEttaan Siththaththukku ettum varaiyil solli ninREn Aththudan vittaanO paarum aaththankarai vazhi kEttaan Aththanaiyum sollivittu ninREn Viththagamaai onRu kEttaan - naaNamaaguthE! Muththaththukku vazhi kEttu saththam ittaaNdee Aththanai idam koduththu meththavum vaLarththu vittaai! Iththanai avanaich chollak kuththam illaiyeyadee! (thaayE) caraNam 6 VeNNai veNNai thaarum enRaan! VeNNai thanthaal thinRu vittu PeNNaith thaarum enRu kaNNadikkiraan! VaNNamai niruththamaadi maNNinaip paathaththaal eRRik KaNNilE iraiththu vittuk kaLavaadinaan! PaNN isaiyum kuzhal oothinaan- kEttu ninRa PaNbilE arugil vanthu vambugaL seithaan! PeNNinaththukku enRu vantha puNNIyangaL kOdi kOdi ENNi unakku aagumadi- kaNNIyaamaaip pOguthadee! (thaayE) caraNam 7 MunthaanaL anthi nEraththil sontham udan kittE vanthu VinthaigaL anEgam seithu viLaiyaadinaan- oru PanthaLavaagilum veNNai thanthaal viduvEn enRu Munthugilaith thottizhuththup pOraadinaan Antha vaasudhEvan ivan thaan adi yasOdhE! Mainthan enRu thottu izhuththu madi mEl vaiththEn vaiththaal Sundara mugaththaik kaNdu sinthai mayangum nEram Anthara vaigunthamOdu ellaam kaattinaan adee ! (thaayE)
2 comments

2010 January 10 [Sunday]

raga janasammodini
By

kannada karnatik raga

on 2010 January 10 [Sunday], 00:58:00 - ARTS

Last week I was terribly homesick for music class. Each time I get a chat message I am curious to know what new songs my friends have learnt as I miss the silly banter, the fun and ruckus we caused, including breaking light bulbs...all accidentally ofcourse. I am not sure how I will catch-up and learn all the songs I missed this past year. So after two back-back reruns of listening to our old recordings, I could not rid the strong feeling and went for an hour long walk singing raga Janasammodhini [Govinda Ninna Namave Chanda] whose lyrics are below. Sri Purandara Dasa composed this 28 harikaambhoji janya in the Kannada language and set it to Adi Tala with Arohana :: S R2 G3 P D2 N2 S and Avarohana : S N2 D2 P G3 R2 S Pallavi : govindaa ninna naamave chanda Anupallavi : anu renu trina kashtha paripoorna govinda || nirmalathmakanaagi iruvude aananda || (Govinda) Charanam : srishti sthithi laya karana govinda || ee pari mahimeya thiluvude aananda || paramapurusha namma purandara vittala || hingana dasara (ninnaya karana**) sahaluve aananda || (GovinDa) The composer, Sri Purandara Dasa used the signature "purandara vittala" in his songs which is the second-last line of the charanam (last part of the song). ** In the Charanam, the last line was taught as "ninnaya karana sahaluve aananda" (everything in this world is joyful because of you) but as a non-kannada speaker I am not sure which version is correct as I dont know what "hingana dasara" means and I assume neither does the listener.... and frankly at -16 deg C, it was just moi lonely soul on the road, as compared to the time we sang it on stage infront of an audience. UPDATE 20100813: Jaga left a comment for the charanam lyrics "mangalamahima purandaravittala hingade bhakutara salahode ananda". Thanks Jaga.
3 comments

2009 November 9 [Monday]

raga revati
By

karnatik raga

on 2009 November 9 [Monday], 07:53:00 - ARTS

Sanskrit svara

Revati can be:: the name of a person ; the wife of Balarama (elder brother of Krishna) ; or a Pisces nakshatra/lunar star ; but for me its Revati ragam in Karnatic music, which is the second ratnangi janya (argh, that is YAB entry sitting as a "draft" since months). Tala: Adi | Composer: Dayananda Saraswati | Language: Sanskrit. Arohanam : S R1 M1 P N2 S || Avarohan : S N2 P M1 R1 S where, R1==shuddha rishabham, M1==shuddha madhyamam, and N2==kaishiki nishadham. Pallavi: bho shambho shiva shambho svayambho Anupallavi: gangadhara shankara karunakara mamava bhavasagara taraka Charanam1: nirguna parabrahma svarupa gamagama bhuta prapanca rahita | nija guhanihita nitanta ananta ananda atishaya akshayalinga || Charanam2: dhimita dhimita dhimi dhimikita kitatom tom | tom tarikita tarikitakita tom | matanga munivara vandita isha | sarva digambara veshtitha vesha | Isha sabhesha sarvesha||

So what is it about some ragas that have an attractive quality to them? Apparently listening (and performing?) this raga always evokes deep emotions and feelings. Hmm.... I've heard the same of raga Bhairavi but BHO SHAMBHO in Revati has a very important place for me. I had learnt this raga all by myself more than a decade ago...gee, i wonder how annoyed folks around me would been as i insisted on ghissa'oing the tape 24/7. Nothing else, just one raga months on end and a few months later when I heard CB render it with a plastic bucket as his modified tabla....absolutely mesmerising!! I had to ask him for a jam session and he helped me iron out my rough edges -- He had demoed some swara bhedams and I had no clue that I was making those errors in my niravals. See, now that is the difference between DIY effort and a propah guru to guide ya. Some years later, when I formally learnt it again from a guru, I was able to appreciate the raga more deeply. Lastly a word on the composer, Dayananda Saraswati. He is the founder of Arya Samaj whose writings, rather commentary on the Vedic/Upanishad texts is very interesting. It has a lot of similarities to Gaudapada's karika on the Mandukya

upanishad which inspired the sunyata nyaya. Yet another check in my pending ToReadList.
3 comments

2009 March 1 [Sunday]

raga bhairavi
By

karnatik raga Sanskrit

on 2009 March 1 [Sunday], 00:09:00 - ARTS

"Bhairavi" is another name for the goddess Shakti and is one of the forms of Kali. In Sanskrit, Bhairavi means "fierce" and frankly I've been trying hard to find those elements in the Bhairavi raga :)

arohaa: S R2 G2 M1 P D2 N2 S avarohaa: S N2 D1 P M1 G2 R2 S The notes used are chathusruthi rishabham, sadharana gandharam, shuddha madhyamam, chathusruthi dhaivatham & shuddha dhaivatham and kakali nishadham. Notice that the two daivathams are used in the Arohana : chathusruthi (D2) and Avarohana uses the shuddha (D1) daivatham. Considered to be an ancient raga its 15 centuries old and a hot favourite with all performers and teachers too. Heh, my teacher started out with this after my break and I desperately try to search for the fierce emotions whilst listening/performing this raga. Since summer has already started I do get hot under the collar but daresay that we cause more heat for others than anything else. Older composers have numerous compositions in this raga which is a janya of the 20th Melakarta of Nataibhairavi. Surprisingly this fierce raga is well loved and widely used in both Hindustani and Karnatic padhattis and the Hindustani Bhairavi is, as usual, vastly different from the Karnatic Bhairavi, where the latter is a Sampoorna raga (scale of 7 notes) with two different dhaivatham's in its scale. That pushes it out of the Melakarta ragam classification, which is another blog entry sitting in the drafts folder ....sheesh !!
6 comments

2009 February 28 [Saturday]

a'cappella

By

karnatik raga

on 2009 February 28 [Saturday], 23:41:00 - ARTS

mmm... so I have not blogged about music for such a loooooooong time and resuming class after a very loooooong time was funtastic. Guess what the teacher started with ? No prizes to guess that it was a Bhairavi, no less ^_^ So what is the juice with bhairavi and revati ? Both are ragas that I like (well, they did grow on me over a period of time), are tough in terms of scale, definitely not less than a todi but a todi is a todi is a todi :D and it would be utterly unfair (and even stupid) to compare these ragas in terms of laya and shruti and term any one as superior to the other. Masti is a mild term to describe the storm we generate at music class week after week. That we are a loud, boisterous bunch is an understatement in itself. That our 'a cappella' renditions can be heard till the end of the street has brought many a new student wanting to join and start performing like us. Talk of tall expectations Thus far we have only broken a tube-light, sung (in a group ofcourse) special notes for special people, who just dont `get` it which dissolves the kids into bouts of giggles. Gah... really kids, you dont have to make things so obvious. Hmpf !! VS, non, I have still NOT forgiven you for the group attack and those lousy pictures. /meh plots..............

2008 October 9 [Thursday]

vijaya dashami
By

durga-puja festival hindustani india karnatik navratri raga Wiki

on 2008 October 9 [Thursday], 22:58:00 - ARTS

Vijaya Dashami/Dashera heralds the end of Navaratri (and nine nights of dancing :-)) and DurgaPuja. But most importantly for students dashami marks the anniversary of being one ... My respects to one of my past guru's! Hmm,... well the correct version is : "vijaya dashami' is the first day (of learning, or vidyarambha) for any classical arts student. This is the day a new student visits the teachers home (with guru dakshina and tambula) and requests her/him to accept them as a student. A tip : on any other day the guru may reject to accept you if s/he finds you are not up to the mark, but this day is such that they will not turn any student away. Although the ritual is small and should not take more than a few minutes, it can (and does) stretch for an hour(s) or more when hundreds of students throng the teacher's home, so one has to wait for one's turn. Students who learn dance + an instrument, or multiple forms of art have a mad rush between 3-4 teacher's homes and lotsa patient waiting The best part of it all is getting to eat 'sweet chundal' but by the time we went it was over :-( but our guruji had made salty ones for us and it tasted just like Ma makes it so I didnt care so long as i got to eat it and she taught a new song [named Sarasvati, after the Raga] after we sang an old one. Talking of music, some time ago, I had started a wiki page on NCVasanthakokilam and her song 'yen palli konder ayyaa' reminds me that i need to get out of my slumber and finish the Mohanam raga notes soon. Sending out hundreds of dashera sms's was not such a good idea afterall ... weirdly half the messages got deferred and some group messages were just dropped ... I really dont feel like texting/thumbing again, so Shubh Dashera y'all !!

2 comments

2008 September 9 [Tuesday]

niraval
By

karnatik melakarta raga sampoorna svara

on 2008 September 9 [Tuesday], 23:21:00 - ARTS

Having started learning this oh-so-famous sampoorna raga last month, I am now at the point where i must create niravals, Hmm.... i was trying to explain this over the weekend (with a practical demonstration) to a (non-technically inclined) musical person very unsuccessfully, so maybe if i write it down the theoretical aspects will be more clear. Besides i need this for the exam next year, so i need to catalog my mental outpourings on a medium better than sheets of paper which is no good for the environment (fact: i misplace sheets but the environment sounds cooler :^)) Based on the discussions we had in class, the niraval is an extempore construction and improvisation of swaras for a particular line in the kriti to bring out the beauty of the raga and its always elaborated on a portion of a kriti, usually just one line from the charanam part of the kriti. It has to sit within the framework of a tala and highlight every rasa and bhava singularly. I cant even begin to stress how important niravals are for any student as every student dreams to be able to do thsi, atleast i did eversince I was a kid, when i first heard it but didnt really understand what the fuss was all about ...afterall it was just a permutation-combination of svaras :-)) I WISH it was THAT easy.... reality is, it requires a good, and i mean really good grasp of the raga, its construction, make-up and all that jazz. Finally though its the artist's individuality and imagination, which is why some singers are oh-so-good and some mediocre and some oh-well-forget-it. We know, Shankarabharanam is a 29 dhira sampoorna melakarta with panchama chakram and Madhyama Bhana. Doh... what ?? See the; Arohanam and avarohanam ... Aa: S R2 G3 M1 P D2 N3 S || Av: S N3 D2 P M1 G3 R2 S where : S=Shadjam, R2=Chatusruti Rishabham, G3=Antara Gandharam, M1=Suddha Madhymam, P=Panchamam, D2=Chatusruti Dhaivatam, N3=Kakali Nishadam. Here, we can see it has all the sapta svaras, with the avarohan (descending octave) being an exact opposite of the arohan (ascending octave). It is the Suddha Madhyama counterpart of MeLam 65 - (Mecha) Kalyani and the prescence of 7 svaras in the raga metre allows far greater scope for niraval's and this is an extremely popular concert raga since the scope for manodharma (artistic elaboration) is very high and flexible, besides being simple (this is my guru's opinion, mine is still oscillating between ecstatic imagination and frustration *sigh*). Example : ShyamaShastri's "sarojadala netri himagiri putri" set to Adi talam (double) was the one for which i constructed and recorded some 4-beat niravals for "sama gana vinodhini guna" (like this : gpmgrs | s,ndpmgrs). Now i need to get the records corrected and start recording longer cycles. ; I also need to learn and keep a

repositary of 40 ragams (being mandatory basic knowledge) ....gosh, so much to do and i wonder when will i "think" and _then_ record the 8-beat, and 16-beat talam niravals ???? not much time Anyway, each kriti has a different line for which a niraval is sung which is what makes it tough (and maybe unique) and the svaram should compulsarily be sung for the same line, either in the course of the song or after it is over, depending on the raga, kriti, etc.... Here knowledge of the jiva swaras and the melakarta system is important. Think of it as small building blocks of svaras. As i write this i am listening to a hindustani rendition of Raga Raageshri with the flautist and the tabla player throwing snippets of svaras (is it called 'bol' in hindustani???) at each other. The other will have to match it and return one snippet of his own. Thus they managed to build a whole tower which spirals into a crescendo where both match the others play with a simultaneous play of svaras. Did i mention that the niravals are ALWAYS impromptu. If you had to write/document it and read off or sing whilst looking at a piece of paper then you are not considered a good artist. To this date, i have never, and i mean never seen a single artist read off from a sheet of paper or tele-prompter during the performance. Do that and in all likelihood there wont be an encore. This is also why every rendition sounds different, unlike a recorded session (ughh..predictable), and hence unique. In Hindustani classical the artiste does the aalap (raga construction) at the beginning of the raga and does it for the _whole_ ragam. In Karnatic, we have ragam-tanampallavi BUT people dont want elaborate pieces. They want short and simple stuff according to our mridangam artiste last year...and oh, fast songs....this is not exactly pop ya know. *sigh* Having said this comparing Hindustani with Karnatic music is akin to saying the North and South poles are the same, figuratively speaking, because they are not. Rather they are parallel in nature and dont overlap much if at all.

raga shankarabharanam
By

karnatik melakarta raga sampoorna

on 2008 September 9 [Tuesday], 13:21:00 - ARTS

Renowned violinist Sri.KunnakudiVaidyanathan passed away on Sept08

RIP

Shankarabharanam is a 29 dhira Shankarabharanam Melakarta Ragam with the same name in Dikshitar's asampoorna melakarta system. Its a sampoorna ragam with panchama chakram and Madhyama Bhana (see niraval for the meaning). In Hindustani music, its called the 'Bilaval thaat', one of the major building blocks of Hindustani musical system. Apparently its Western classical equivalent is C Major with the notes Doh, Re, Mi, Fah, So, La, Ti set to this raga. Interesting !! Considering the Arohanam and avarohanam ... Aa: S R2 G3 M1 P D2 N3 S Av: S N3 D2 P M1 G3 R2 S By definition, the Melakarta Ragams are symmetric with respect to going up in octave or down and technically speaking the Arohanam and the Avarohanam are simply reversed in Melakarta Ragams, hence called "Sampoorna (complete)" ragam. This raga has tremendous scope for elaboration and is very popular and a particular favorite of all singers in the Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi segment of a concert and is suitable for singing in the evening... yeah, karnatic music has time-based ragas too

Shankar+abharanam=Shankarabharanam, meaning the ornaments of Lord Shiva, symbolically associating swaras as the seven ornaments. Shankarabharanam has the largest number of Janya ragams (the janya entry is still under construction) viz. :: Arabhi, Athana, Bangala, Begada, Behag, Bilahari, Durbar, Durvanki, Devagandhari, Garudadhwani, Gaudamalhar, Hamsadhwani, Hamsavinodhini, Janaranjani, Kadanakuthoohalam, Kanada, Kannada, Kedaram, Kuranji, Maahuri, Navaroj, Nagadhwani, Narayani, Narayanadesakshi, Nilambari, Phalamanjari, Purnachandrika, Purvagowla, Sahana, Sama, Saraswatimanohari, Sindumandari, Suddha Vasantham, Suddha Saveri, Vasantha. Hmm... there is so much more but the entry is long as is so let me stop the technical details for now or i shall never finish. I did want to mention that it is possible to compose sahityam in different talams and Muthuswami Diskhitar has composed around 40 songs in Sankarabharanam known as Nottu Swara sahityam. I have been learning ShyamaShastri's "sarojadaLa nEtri himagiri putri" set to Adi tala and the niraval explanation will be specific to this song.

2008 September 1 [Monday]

raga bowli
By on 2008 September 1 [Monday], 22:30:00 - ARTS

karnatik raga

Its been long since i wrote an entry on music, most of them are still in the learning/search stage but this entry is special. Dear P, i am deviating from the norm here and am dedicating this raga entry to you on your big day That you used to enjoy each raga was the common factor for me and I shall miss the passion you brought to music class. Most of all I shall miss all the leg pulling, laughter, secret signs, giggles, masti and hooliganism we indulged in class. This raga, especially the song TAndanAnA ahi - BrahmamOkate, will always remind me of our practice sessions for our performance last year [and your dance (sorry, I had to say it ;-))]. Keep smiling, be happy vid

RAGA : BOWLI
Bowli is a madhyama-varjaya janyam of 15th Melakarta raga;mAyamALava gowLa janya. The scale is : Arohan: s r1 g3 p d1 S Avarohan: S n3 d1 p g3 r1 s Talam : Adi Here is another link for talam that has a good explanation about the theoretical bits. Note that the Arohanam of Bowli does not have the Nishadha (N) which is left out making it a nishaada-varjaya in the arohana scaling. The most famous song in this raga is "TAndanAnA ahi - BrahmamOkate", a fast paced telugu kriti (song) by Annamacharya. Other songs in the same raga are : 0] anantAya sarvAya - HB 0] dIna janAvana - T 0] melukOvayya - T 0] parama purusha nirupamAna (also shhanmugapriyA) - AC 0] shambhO mahAdEva 0] shrIman nArAyaNa

0] tappulanniyu - HB 0] yOginI gaNasEvitE - HB


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2008 July 26 [Saturday]

composer - uthukadu venkatasubbaiyer


By

composers karnatik raga

on 2008 July 26 [Saturday], 09:03:00 - ARTS

Uthukadu Venkatasubbaiyer was born in 1700 in the village "uthukadu" in Kerala, which was prefixed to his name "venkatasubbaiyer". His compositions were mainly on SriKrishna, his ishta devata but he did not incorporate any mudra or signature in his songs. He did compose kritis on Ganesha (sri vignarajam bhaje | todi | sanskrit) and also a set of navavarna krithis. Composed in raga Kanada - 22 kharaharapriya janya, the sublime "Alaipayuthe" is set to Adi Talam in Tamil.

2008 July 25 [Friday]

raga - gambhira nattai


By

karnatik raga

on 2008 July 25 [Friday], 14:05:00 - ARTS

The last I blogged about music was two months ago, around the time I had stopped attending class. Having resumed class few days ago, let me start out with the raga we had performed on stage : GambhiraNattai raga, a classic belonging to the 36 mela janyam with Arohan : S G3 M1 P N3 S and Avarohan : S N3 P M1 G3 S SRI_VIGNARAJAM_BHAJE in KhandaChapu by SriUthukadu Venkatasubbaiyer in Sanskrit was the song but minus the jatis, which is partly due to lack of time and largely due to lack of listener interest. Our teacher keeps urging us to practice jatis on our own but half the time all we indulge in masti. Music is one unspoken language and does not need words, a glance, a half smile, raised eyebrow, change in pitch with the right nuance can convey a lot resulting in a burst of laughter. Here is a second song, a tillana "kALinga nartanam" (lyrics link) in

the same raga "gambheera nattai" composed by SriUthukadu Venkatasubbaiyer in Sanskrit which is being performed by Sri. Aruna Sairam at the december festival.

2008 May 19 [Monday]

carnatic chess and chocolate


By

bengaluru chocolate karnatik life

on 2008 May 19 [Monday], 08:16:00 - ARTS

Summer in India's Silicon Valley was enjoyed this weekend playing chess by candlelight munching on chocolate, interspersed with carnatic renditions learnt this weekend...thanks to Bescom/KEB. My obsession with music over the last few weeks is the classic case of when you dont have something (in this case my voice thanks to a nasty cold for 2 weeks) and sitting in class whilst hearing others prepare for the May exams, while being unable to even croak is not much fun. Here is an analysis of the situation as i see it : 0] syllabi : While our guruji has been (literally) rushing with syllabi, since there is very less time to complete the portion ~ ugh, how i hate that word "portion" and the crappy marksoriented attitude parents bring and push their wards into ~which kills all the fun. Learning art should be a pleasure, not a competition to score more marks. *sigh* Well, we have a syllabi of *just* around 50 ragas to be concluded within the next 11 months. *BIGGER sigh*. I have started the process of tracking and listing all the ones I have learnt over the years, but the worrisome part is not how much you know but how well you know... the classic, quality vs quantity. 1] voice health:This is the most important aspect that i have been very careless about. Need to follow some of the tips from the doctors, especially voice rest. If the last few days condition were any indication i am in big trouble. Besides these restrictions, of which only #1 is a -wee bit of a- real challenge. To recap, i have to say NO to : ~ imli, lime, juices, in short anything sour, ~ caffeine or lemon tea (warm milky tea is ok) ~ spicy or hot foods,

~ fried foods, ~ cold foods - kulfis, icecreams, cold coffee, ~ anything that can irritate the larynx. which I know I am not gonna follow... bleh :-P 2] examination : Now, assuming i have 300 days to learn all 50 ragams, which gives me 6 days per raga for learning neravals, swara kalpanas, ... Gosh, what an impossible target... At the outset its tough to keep perfect health (no cold, cough, sick, etc...) for a whole year and life has a way of throwing a spanner in the wheel. Secondly, learning the theory part is fine (four 3hr papers over a week), but the execution matters the most because the practical examination is the toughest. The practical is by appointments with just 3 or 4 students per day so the panel of judges has hours at his/her disposal to grill students for all they are worth...and GRILL they do, to the point of being sadistic. The usual method (I am told) is : Given a raga, do aalap, which can (and will) be cut short by one of the five panelists who will ask you to start a swara kalpana from the charanam of the raga and weave it into the next raga, cite similarities and demonstrate them with neravals, only for another panelist to verbalize few swaras and ask you to turn it into a bhashanga raga or something equally impossible. Sigh, i am so not looking forward to that and tbh, why do i need to go through the hassle when i dont need the formal certification, dont intend turning into a professional performing artiste, and certainly can do without the above rigorous torture regime.
2 comments

2008 May 13 [Tuesday]

raga yamunakalyani
By

kannada karnatik raga Sanskrit telugu

on 2008 May 13 [Tuesday], 08:09:00 - ARTS

Raga: Yamunakalyani [65 mecha-kalyani janya] is a modern version of Yaman Kalyan of the Hindustani idiom. SubbaramaDikshitar classifies the raga as bhashanga and desiya. The arohana/avarohana is given by: A: S R2 G3 P M2 P D2 S

Av: S D2 P M2 P G3 R2 S It is a sampoorna raga and the shuddha madhyama (M2) appears in vakra prayogas in the avarohana such as "g M r" and "g M g r s" but is often rendered in madhyama sruti. [1] BHAVAYAMI_GOPALA_BALAM | khanda chapu | Annamacharya | Telugu | [2] KrishnaNee BeganeBaro | khanda-chapu | Vyasaraya tirtha | Kannada (There is also a Tamil version which is what I learnt from my g'ma). In his treatise, "Raganidhi", Subba Rao notes that there are two versions of this raga and the second does not employ the shuddha madhyama. It skips the nishada and the arohana/avarohana is "s r g p m p d s" - "s d p m s g r s". There are many sanchari geethams and jathi swarams (the basics) in Kalyani raga.

composer annamacharya
By

india karnatik poetry Sanskrit telugu

on 2008 May 13 [Tuesday], 08:06:00 - ARTS

When I started maintaining a series of notes (and I need to stop using paper) on the ragams learnt, i tried reading up on that particular composer and the composition in an effort to understand them better. Now i realise that this is not a small project and cross-checking books and online resources takes a helluva lotta time. Each composer deserves their own page instead of a scribbled one-liner amongst other notes, and there being just a handful of composers, this may not be a long series !

ANNAMACHARYA :: - He was the first to structure lyrics in the pallavi and charanam mode, of which 14,000 lyrics are available out of his staggering 32,000 compositions! He used the mudra (signature) "Venkateswara" with slight contextual variations but many were "Anonymous" with no signature. In 1922 the Tirupati Devasthanam authorities stumbled upon the copper plates on which the songs had been engraved by Annamacharya's grandson Chinna Tirumalacharya.

Annamacharya's lilting poetry also encompassed folk compositions but the most famous ones include Muddu gaaru yashoda", "Ksheerabdi kanyakadu" and Bhavayami Gopala Balam", which we performed earlier (twice to be precise), with its sonorous lines like Ghati ghatita mekala Kachita mani ghantika... and "Ksheerabdi" - which has a lilting melody and is best heard when you are lying on a swing .... guaranteed to send your brain into "relax" mode. A king called Saluva Narasimha Raya, had demanded that Annamacharya compose similar erotic poetry glorifying him but the poet declined, saying his poetry and music were dedicated to the Almighty alone, for which he was imprisoned by the King. One cant blame the King as after listening to "Muddugaru" and "Ksheerabdi" you will never know that both belong to the same - kuranji raga composition. His compositions blend devotion with erotic love and include subtle Vedic, Tantric and scriptural references, whilst the initiated can decipher the mantras and astrology embedded in the compositions.

2008 May 8 [Thursday]

raga kuranji
By

karnatik raga tamil

on 2008 May 8 [Thursday], 08:02:00 - ARTS

Kuranji raga is derived from the 29th melakarta Shankarabharanam. It is a sampoorna raga with vakra sancharas (needs a separate post) in the arohana and avarohana. A: s r g m g m p d n s Av: s n p n d d p m g r s The notes taken by the raga besides Shadjam and Pancham are :: R2-Chatusruti rishabham, G2-Antara gandharam, M1-shudha madyamam, D2-Chatusruti daivatam and N2-kaishiki Nishadham. Jiva and nyasa swaras are G, P, N. The phrase "snNS" has N as tevra swara and the upanga raga has all the notes rendered with gamaka. Since the svara sanchara is limited, it is sung in madhyama (slow tempo) shruti in vilambit laya to enhance feelings of compassion. Kuranji is actually a Tamil folk tune adopted into Karnatic music. [1] Kshirabdi Kanyakaku | KhandaChapu (29MelaJanyam) | Annamacharya | Telugu |

pallavi ksheerAbdi kanyakaku Sree mahA lakshmikini neerajAlayakunu neerAjanam caraNam 1 jalajAkshi mOmunaku jakkuva kucambulaku nelakonna kappurapu neerAjanam aLivENi turumunaku, hasta kamalambulaku niluvu mANikyamula neerAjanam caraNam 2 pagaTu Sree vENkaTESu paTTapu rANIyai negaDu sati kaLalakunu neerAjanam jagati alamElu manga tsakkadanamula kella niguDu nija SObhanapu neerAjanam caraNam 3 charana kisalayamulaku sakhiyarambhorulaku niratamagu muttela neerajanam aridi jaghanambunaku ativa nijanabhiki nirati nanavarna neerajanam

[2] Muddugare Yashoda | Adi | Annamacharya | Telugu |

29 shankaraabharaNam janya Aa: S N3 S R2 G3 M1 P D2 Av: D2 P M1 G3 R2 S N3 S taaLam: Composer: Annamaacaarya Language: pallavi MuddugAre YasodA mungiti muthyamuvidu DidderAni mahimala Devaki suthudu caraNam 1 Anthanintha gollethala arachethi mAnikyamu PanthamAdey Kamsuni pAli vajramu

KAnthula moodu lokAla Garudapachapoosa Chenthala mAlonunna Chinni Krishnudu caraNam 2 ratikeli rukminiki rangumovi pagadamu mithi gOvardhanapu Gomedikamu sathamye SankhachakrAla sandula vaidooryamu gathiyai mammu gAche KamalAkshudu caraNam 3 kAlinguni talapye gappina pushyarAgamu yelleti Sri VenkatAdri Indraneelamu pAlajalanidhilona bAyani Divya ratnamu bAluneevale dhrigi PadmanAbhudu
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2008 May 5 [Monday]

raga chakravakam
By

hindustani karnatik melakarta raga sampoorna

on 2008 May 5 [Monday], 07:17:00 - ARTS

Chakravakam is a melancholy 16th Melakarta sampoorna raga and its corresponding Hindustani raga is Aahir Bhairav. The Arohan: S R1 G3 M1 P D2 N2 S , has vakra svarams and Avarohan: S N2 D2 P M1 G3 R1 S, which manage to evoke bhakti bhava in the listener. If the notes N2 and M1 are sung as S (Shadjam), a shruti bhedam occurs resulting in Dharmavati and Sarasangi ragam, respectively. A number of bhajans are composed in this ragam and listening to either Aruna Sairam or Pandit Bhimsen Joshi render the popular abhang "Teertha Vittala, Kshetra Vittala", is very soothing and relaxing. Sri.SwatiThirunal had composed "Saroja Nabhada" in Sanskrit which is set to Adi Talam. Kailasanadam, composed by Sri MuthuSwami Dikshitar in Sanskrit language was set to rupaka talam and referred to as raga Vegavahini. He also

composed Gajanana Yutam in Sanskrit, set to Adi talam and Vinayaka Vignanashaka, also in Sanskrit, set to Rupaka talam. Sri. ArunaGiri Nathar composed Apakara NindaiPat, a Tamil Thirupugzal (Thirupugzal, composed in Tamil are hymns in praise of Lord Muruga) which was set to Chatusra Jati Jhumpa Tala (4+3).