Tuesday, June 17, 2014

BASIC LESSONS OF CARNATIC MUSIC AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE – PART 5





ALANKARAM

All music students are to study in Abyasa Gaana lessons ,the important chapter  called “Alankarams”. Alankaram deals with Swara Exercises along with Thalam. This is called Saptha Thala Alankara.

These are taught in the following order.
1 Chaturasra Jaathi Druva Thalam of  14 Aksharas or counts per Avartha
2 Chaturasra Jaathi Matya Thalam of 10 Aksharas or Counts per Avartha
3 Chaturasra Jaathi Rupaka Thalam of 6 Aksharas or Counts per Avartha
4 Misra Jaathi Jampai Thalam of 10 Aksharas or Counts per Avartha
5 Trisra Jaathi  Thriputa Thaalam of 7 Aksharas or Counts per Avartha
6 Khanda Jaathi Ata Thalam of 14 Aksharas or Counts per Avartha
7 Chaturasra Jaathi Eka Thalam 0f 4 Aksharas or Counts per Avartha

At the initial observation one notices that the order chosen seem to be not following any pattern with respect to Aksharas.[ The number of Aksharas is the number of counts each Aavartha or one cycle of  Thala is takes].

There seem to be a random selection from the list of 35 Alankaras.

On going through the Famous Navagraha Krithis of Muthuswami Dikshithar composed in praise of Navagrahas where the order of Thalas matches with that of the Alakaras taught.

The details of Navagraha Kritis , Navagraha on whom the Kriti has been  composed and its Raaga and Thaalam are given below.

1 Soorya Moorthe….. on Surya…. Raagam Sowrashtram….. Thalam CHATURASRA JAATHI DRUVA THALAM

2 Chandram Bhaja… on Chandran…. Raagam Asaaveri… Thalam CHATURASRA JAATHI MATYA THALAM

3 Angaarakamaasrayamyaham…..on Angarakan [Chevvai]…  Raagam  Surati… Thalam   CHATURASRA  JAATHI RUPAKA THALAM

4 Bhudamaasrayami…..on Bhuda……Raagam  Natakuranji….. Thalam   MISRA JAATHI JAMPAI THALAM.

5 Bruhaspathe…… on Guru  [Viyazan]…. Raagam Ataana…. Thalam   TRISRA JAATHI THRIPUTA THALAM

6 Sri Sukra bhagavantham..  on Sukran…. Ragam  Paras     Thalam  KHANDA JAATH ATA THALAM

7  Divaakara Thanujam…on Saniswaran… Raagam Yedukula Kaamboji … Thalam  CHATURASRA EKA THALAM.


This completes the list of Thalas of Sapthathala Alankaras under discussion by going through the above list.
Since adhering to Sampradaya [tradition] is a prerequisite in learning fine arts , the above list is being followed with sanctity.

Regarding Raagu and Keethu Grahas Muthuswami dikshithar composed Krithis as below but the Thalaas has already been covered in the above list of Saptha thaala Alankaras

8  Smaraamyaham….on Raahu……   Raagam   Ramaa Manohari…… Thalam Rupakam

9 Mahasuram Kethumaham…..    on Kethu…….. Raagam  Saamaram …. Thalam  Rupakam.


ALANKARAS IN VARIOUS RAGAS

It will be beneficial for Carnatic Music students to practice Saptha Thala Alankaras in the following Ragas and can try in  more Sampoorna Ragas as well:

1 Sahankarabaranam
2 Kalyani
3 Panthuvarali
4 Karaharapriya
5 Simhendramadyamam

Also, it will beneficial for Carnatic Music students to practice Saptha Thala Alankaras in the following Ragas  as well:

1 Mohnam
2 Sudda Saveri

While practicing Alankaras in various Ragas, care must be taken that the Swaras are to be rendered with appropriate Gamakas and other decorating Angas , so that the respective Ragaswaroopas are highlighted. 

 There is another practice of learning  Alankaras in ascending order of the Akshara kalas.

Friday, May 23, 2014

BASIC LESSONS IN CARNATIC MUSIC AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE - PART 4



TARA STHAYI AND MANDARA STHAYI VARISAI

Raga Mayamalava gowla is a Tristhayi Ragam and hence the Sancahris will include Tara Sthayi Panchamam and Mandara Sthayi Madyamam.

Hence it is appropriate to practice Tara Sthayi and Mandara Sthayi exercises  in this Ragam and get perfection to reach both Extreme Swaras after setting an Adhara Shadjam as Sruthi.

More over, this varisai can help Guru make necessary adjustment in fixing Adhara Sruthi of the student if he/ she find it difficult to reach the higher and lower Swaras.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

BASIC LESSONS OF CARNATIC MUSIC & ITS SIGINIFICANCE- PART_3




JANDAI VARISAI

This is an exercise where  pair of Swaras are practiced in Mayamalavagowla Ragam. The pair Swaras  are called Jandai Varisai.The pair here means two Swaras [ a pair]rendered for one unit of a Thalam. Therefore there  will be eight pair Swaras in an Octave.  Since there are 16 Swaras –by count- in an Avartham, this cannot be considered as second of speed. Here one pair is considered as one unit.


Also, there is another paadantharam taking one Swara for an unit of Thalam.


In Jandai Praogas, the first Swara is rendered plain and the second note in the pair rendered with a stress from its immediate lower note.  This is called Spuritham  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

BASIC LESSONS IN CARNATIC MUSIC & ITS SIGNIFICANCE-PART 2



SWARAVALI VARISAI     

*It is the practice that Ragam Mayamalava Gowla has been chosen for the initial Swaravali Exercises by all in Carnatic Music.

*The Swaras taken by this Ragam are, Shadjam, Sudda Rishabam, Anthara Gandaram, Sudda Madyamam, Panchamam, Sudda Daivatham, Kakali Nishadam, Shadjam [ Tara Sthayai]

*The learning of the Swara Exercise in this Ragam will be easier by vidyarthis as there are four sets of Swaras of two each ,which sound in adjacent  Swarasthanas. In other words, Shadja and Sudda Rishaba are adjacent Swaras. Anthara Gandara and Sudda Madyama are adjacent Swaras, Panchama and Sudda Daivatha are adjacent Swaras, Kakali Nishada and Tarasthayi Shadja are adjacent Swaras.

* Mayamalavagowla Ragam is a Sampoorna Ragam or Mela Kartha ragam { No 15} . There are no  Swaras with dual names.  This Raga is found to be suitable for applying Jandai Prayogas, Duritha Kala Prayogas, Chowka Kala Prayogas, and Dhattu Prayogas. It is possible to learn the difference between the Achala Swaras and Kampitha Swaras at the initial stage of Music Training. Hence our Poorvacharyas have  recommended this Raga for  basic Carnatic Music training.

*Poorvanga and Utharanga of Arohana and Avarohana are symmetrical from the physical position of Swaras and also on Raga Bhava point of view and hence called ‘ perfectly symmetrical tetra chords’.

* There are only semi tonal difference exists between the two notes of each of four pairs.

* Mayamalava gowla Raga evokes Bhakthi Rasa and Karuna Rasam.

* There are about 16 to 18 exercises being taught  as  the initial practical exercises and their format being recognized by all. All these exercises contain Swara pattern that are found similar in popular Kritis in this Raga. In other words, these exercises are found to be sancharies  either in full or part of certain Avartha  found in these  Kritis.
 Some of the popular kritis are,
Meru samana  of Sri Thyaga Raja Swami
Thulasi Dala of Sri Thyagaraja Swami
Vidulaku  of Sri Thyaraja Swami
Sri Naadadhi  of Sri Muthuswami Dikshthar
Mayadeetha Swarupini of Ponnaiya
Deva Deva of Swath Thirunal Maharaja
Aadikondar of Muththuthandavar

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

BASIC LESSONS OF CARNATIC MUSIC & ITS SIGNIFICANCE PART1



BASIC LESSONS OF CARNATIC MUSIC AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE- PART 1

It is the practice in the world of Carnatic Music  learning to follow a format  during initial training, with specific chapters  as  listed below.


1 SWARAVALI VARISAI IN MAYAMALAVA GOWLA  RAGAM

2 JANDAI VARISAI

3 TARA STHAYI AND MANDARA STHAYI VARISAI

4 ALANKARAS

5 GEETHAM

6 SWARA JATHI

7 JATHISWARAM

8 NOTTU SWARA SAHITHYAS


Further analysis in subsequent postings……………