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Karnatic and Hindustani Classical (Vocal) music

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2013 September 9 [Monday]

Ata tala varnam::Viriboni

A varnam is one of the hardest phase of the learning process in the shishya-parampara (student learning process) within the Karnatic classical school, a grounding in fundamentals of sorts. In my opinion, that intricacy makes them more soulful and complete as compared to. say, a kriti.

Varnam's are further classified into "pada" varnam and "ata-tala" varnams.  "Viriboni" is one such Ata-tala varnam set to Bhairavi ragam by Pacchimirium Sri Adiyappaiyer

Composition: Viriboni
Composer: Pacchimiriyam Adiyappa
Raga:  Bhairavi                 
Mela: Natabhairavi - 20

Type:  Varnam                  
Tala :  Khandajathi Ata

Arohana:    S G1 R2 G1 M1 P D2 N1 S || S Gi Ri Gi Ma Pa Dhi Ni S
Avarohana:S N1 D1 P M1 G1 R2 S      || S Ni Dha Pa Ma Gi Ri S
Bhashanga Raga: Chatusruti dhaivata


PALLAVI:
viribōṇi ninnē kōri ||
marulu konnadi-rā ||

ANUPALLAVI:
sarasuḍau dakṣiṇa dwāraka ||
sāmi śrī rājagōpāla dēva ||

CHARANAM:
chirunavvu mōmuna ||


If you are thinking this is just five lines, dont. Ata-tala varanams are very complex pada-varnams and we usually take 25 minutes to finish it. Yeah 25 minutes to practise five lines of lyrics!

Ata-tala varnam, as the name suggests, are set to a 14-beat cycle, far different as compared to a varnam set to Adi tala. That complexity in beats makes it complex and yet soulful, thanks to the complex svara structures.

They are also used for the Bharatnatyam dance recitals, where the ragam-tanam-pallavi is more intricate as compared to a regular varnam and it could go on for as long as 35-45 minutes, depending on the choreography and the visual story-telling the artiste-dancer indulges in.


2010 June 21 [Monday]

Raga-Kalyani

UPDATE-20100913 :: It was pointed out to me that the person impersonating "lut4rp" to leave the "die bitch" comment on my blog does not deserve his privacy as he tried to get an innocent person (lut4rp) into trouble. As mentioned in my next blog entry (http://svaksha.com/post/2010/Trolling101),  (ajuonline) (blog, http://ajuonline.net and http://mindtakers.net), left the "die bitch" comment on my blog.

UPDATE-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.

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 rāga 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



2010 June 5 [Saturday]

Raga Darbari Kanada

"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:

देवन के पति इंद्रा ॥ तारा के पति चंद्रा ॥ 1 ॥  {repeat, देवन के....}
विद्या के पति गणेशा ॥ दुख भर हरी ॥ 2 ॥ {repeat pallavi: देवन के पति इंद्रा..}

Charanam ONE:

रागपति कानडा ॥ बजन के पति बिन ॥ 1 ॥|
रितुपति है बसंता (small aalap) ॥ रतिपति सुखकारी ॥ 2 ॥
{repeat pallavi: devan ke pati indra}

Charanam TWO:

मुनिजन पति व्यास (small aalap) ॥ पंछी पति हंसा (ट्वाइस, प्लस नीरावाल) ॥ 3 ॥
नर पति रामा (twice, small niraval+swaralapana) ॥ अवध विहारी ॥ 4 ॥
{repeat pallavi: devan ke pati indra}

Charanam THREE:

गिरीपती हिमाचल ॥ भूटान के पति महेशा ॥ 5 ॥
तीन लोकपति श्री (ट्वाइस, नीरावाल) ॥ पद्मनाभ गिरिधारी ॥ 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.

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