Category Archives: Music

ragavaibhavam

ராக லட்சியம், லட்சணம்

இசை இறைவனால் வழங்கப்பட்ட அற்புதக் கலையாகும். இசையால் இசையாதார் யாரும் இல்லை. பூமியிலும் வானத்திலும் நிகழக்கூடிய விந்தைகளுக்கெல்லாம் விந்தையாகும் அற்புத விந்தை தான் இசை.

இறைவன் இன்றி எதுவும் இல்லை என்பது மகத்தான உண்மை. எங்கும் இசை, எதிலும் இசை. கடலின் காற்றோ, மழையின் சப்தமோ, மரங்களின் அசைவுகளோ, நடப்பன, பறப்பன, ஊர்வன, மிதப்பன என அணைத்து ஜீவராசிகளிலும் ஜீவனாக இருப்பது இசைதான்.

கர்நாடக இசை மிகப் பழமையான இசை. தெற்கு இந்தியாவில் தோன்றி இன்று உலகெங்கும் வழங்கப்படும் இசை. ஏழு ஸ்வரங்கள் கொண்ட அற்புத இசை. ஸ்ருதியினையும் லயத்தினையும் தனது இரண்டு கண்களாகக் கொண்டது. ராகத்தையும் தாளத்தையும் அடிப்படையாகக் கொண்டது கர்நாடக இசை.

கர்நாடக இசையில் ஒவ்வொரு ராகத்திற்கும் லட்சணமும் லட்சியமும் உண்டு. இவை இரண்டும் ராகத்தின் உடலும் உயிருமாக ஒன்றி வருவன. ஒவ்வொரு ராகத்திற்கும் தனி விதிகள் உண்டு. ஒவ்வொரு ராகத்திற்கும் தனி சக்தி உண்டு. ராகத்தை வழங்கும்போது அதன் லட்சணம் பிழறாமல் லட்சியத்தை நிறைவேற்றும் விதத்தில் வழங்கினால் தான் இசை முழுமைபெறும். இசைப்பவரும் ரசிப்பவரும் இறைவனை சென்றடைய முடியும்.

» Read more on this topic at my Music Blog site …

violin

Articulation, Vibrato and Gamakas on Violin

Articulation refers to the different bowing gestures on the violin. In the middle of a long, sustained note, each vibration of the violin string is nearly identical to the one that preceded it. The violin is said to be in a steady state. Of greater importance are differences in violin sounds coming from the transients: the short lived effects at the beginning and end of each note. These are achieved by different articulations or bowing styles.

In western terminologies, some common articulation techniques include:

  • Col legno
  • Collé
  • Pizzicato
  • Spiccato
  • Sul ponticello
  • Sul tasto
  • Tremolo
  • Glissando

» Read more on this topic at my Music Blog site …

The Grandeur of Todi

One rAga that truly typifies Carnatic music is TODI, a profound, delightful and soothing melody. It is the 8th meLam both in the sampUrNa, and the asaMpUrNa schemes of the Carnatic music tradition. The precise name is hanumatODi in the sampUrNa paddhati, and the prefix “hanuma” is inserted to yield the meLam number 8, according to the kaTapayAdi nomenclature ((ha = 8, na =0, so hanu= 80, which when reversed gives 08). According to the asaMpUrNa scheme of VE”nkaTamakhi (a tradition faithfully followed by the dIkSItar school), tODi is the eighth  rAga”nga rAgam, known as  janatODi (again, the prefix “jana” yields the number 8 according to the “kaTapayAdi” counting, since  ja = 8, na =0).

lakSaNam (VE”nkaTamakhi):
tODiH SaDjagrahaH pUrNaH
sAyaMkAlE pragIyatE |

MELam hanumatODi / janatODi is the second mELam  belonging to the second cakram (nEtra cakram), hence it is referred to as “nEtra —  shrI”, with the mnemonic phrase    ri ga ma dha ni  or  R1 G2 M1 D1 N2.

ArOhaNam
s r g m p d n .s

AvarOhaNam
.s n d p m g r s

The notes taken are: SaDjam, shuddha riSabham, sadhAraNa gAndhAram, suddha madhymam, pa~ncamam, shuddha dhaivatam and kaishiki nishAdam.

» Read more on this topic at my Music Blog site …

Thyagaraja Aradhana ’10 @ NIT Trichy

Thyagaraja Aradhana was back with a bang at NIT Trichy. The festival was celebrated on Sunday, 7th March at Barn Hall in our college.

Every year, the Thyagaraja Aradhana is organized by Amruthavarshini, The Carnatic Music Club of NIT Trichy. Various professional musicians from Trichy and Sri Rangam participate in the Aradhana, along with students and faculty of the college. The Pancharatna kritis are sung in the same style as is done at Tiruvaiyaru. This year, the entire programme was organized in a flawless manner, with complete dedication and devotion.

The event started at around 9 am. Initially, the students rendered kritis composed by Saint Thyagaraja. We then proceeded with the recital of the vedas. The artistes, led by Shri T.K.V. Ramanujacharyulu, arrived at around 10 am. We then proceeded with the rendition of the songs.

The first song was SriGanapathini [Sourashtram - Adi]. This song was followed by Gurulekha Etuvanti [Gowrimanohari - Adi]. Then we rendered the five Pancharatna Kritis in order:

  1. Jagadanandakaraka (Naatai)
  2. Dudukugala Nanne (Goulai)
  3. Saadhinchane (Arabhi)
  4. Kanakanaruchira (Varali)
  5. Endaro Mahanubhavulu ( SriRaagam)

After the rendition, Sulochana Madam, faculty advisor of Amruthavarshini, honoured the guests. Then, lunch was served for the artistes. After lunch, the rendition of Thyagaraja kritis continued, this time, rendered by the artistes.

Amruthavarshini’s flagship event – Thyagaraja Aradhana ’10 was a grand success.

Kadri Gopalnath on Sax @ Festember 09

There could not have been a better start for Festember ’09, The National Level Cultural Festival of NIT Trichy. The mind-blowing performance on the saxophone by Dr. Kadri Gopalnath left the audience speechless and craving for more. He was accompanied on the violin by A. Kanyakumari and on the Mridangam by Harikumar. We also had on stage Sriram on keyboard, Raj Ganesh on Ganjeera and Raja Sekhar on the Moursing.

Kadri Gopalnath on the Saxophone

The evening was greeted by heavy showers. Incidentally, the first song was Sarasiruho Janani, set to ragam Amruthavarshini – The ragam that brings rain. With a short but kalpanaswaram, it was a testimony to the fact that the artiste was no ordinary person, and that we all have loads to learn from such stalwarts. The next song was Raghuvamsa Sudha, a refreshing piece meant for instrumentalists. The song was presented brilliantly, with an unbelievable co-ordination between sax and violin.

The main song was “Enna Thavam”, set to ragam Kapi. A brief raga elaboration was followed by the song, which brought out the emotions of the perfectly. And then was the thaniaavarthanam, which was so brilliant, the likes of which most of the audience have never heard of. The audience were tapping their feet and clapping their hands till the thaniaavarthanam ended. Anyone who had heard the rendition would have forgotten all their worldly worries and plunged into the divine world of music.

Then there were a series of light-classical songs, the first among them was “Anjali Anjali”, a song which is very famous, especially among the students of NIT Trichy. Then he performed “Kurai Ondrum Illai”, composed by Rajaji. The audience had requested him to play the theme music of the movie ‘Duet’, which he rendered immediately after. And then came the famous Tamil cine song, “Kaatrinile Varum Geetham”, which was followed by “Alaipayudhey”, set to ragam Kaanada. Then came another audience request, “Brahmamokate” in Bowli ragam. Then he performed the ragam Punnagavaraali, on which the snake tune is based. The concert came to an end with “Muthai Thiru”, a Tiruppugazh.

To summarize, it was a roller-coaster ride for all of us. A musical journey which transported all of us to an entirely different world. A world where music was eternal.

Sirkazhi Govindarajan

Peace and Prosperity with Ragas – Part VI

[This series of six posts are excerpts from my Guru, violin maestro (late) Dr. Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan's interview with 'The Hindu'. The therapeutic effect of music has been elucidated. Also in each article is a picture of one famous musician from the Golden era of Carnatic music.]

Sirkazhi Govindarajan
Sirkazhi Govindarajan

MOHANAM

Mohanam is present where beauty and love coexist. Mohanam is a mellifluous ragam. It filters out the ill-effects of Kamam, Krodham and Moham bestowing immense benefits on the seeker. ‘Rama ninnu nammina’ by Tyagaraja, ‘Gopika manoharam nagalingam namami’ by Muthuswamy Dikshitar, ‘Mayil Vahana’, ‘Kapali’ by Papanasam Sivan and ‘Ramanai Kannara Kandena’ by Arunachala Kavirayar are some of the melodious compositions often heard.

In cinema, ‘Giridhara Gopala’ in “Meera” sung by M.S., ‘Aaga Inba Nilavinile’ in “Mayabazar”, ‘Thillayambala Nataraja’ in “Sowbagyavathi”, ‘Malargal nanaindana paniyale’ in “Idhayakamalam”, ‘Ninnu Kori Varnam’ in “Agni Nakshatram”, ‘Andanal mudal indanal varai’ in “Pavamannippu”, ‘Pazhaga theriya venum’ in “Missiyamma” and ‘Thiruchendoorin kadalorathil’ in “Deivam” are some of the super hit songs set in Mohanam.

MAYAMALAVA GOWLAI

‘Maya Malava Gowlai’ counters pollution. It can be called the gateway to Carnatic music. Sarali varisai, Jantai varisai, Keezh sthayi varisai, Melsthayi varisai, Alankaram, Geetham, Varnam, Keerthanam, Ragam, Thanam, Pallavi, Kalpanaswarangal and Neraval form the base of Carnatic music learning. The history of Carnatic music says that the system of Mayamalava Gowlai was introduced by the blessed musician, Purandaradasar. This raga has the potency to neutralise the toxins in our body. Practising this raga in the early hours of the morning, in the midst of nature, will enhance the strength of the vocal chords. Music composers of the south have used this raga to sweet effect. ‘Madura marikozhundhu vasam’ is a popular village folk song in Mayamalava Gowlai.

« Part 5