Both the classical systems of Indian music award due importance to raga expositions, which can, by and large be appreciated by rasikas without any language barrier. The melodies when rendered well in the two distinct styles can be soothing and create a blissful atmosphere for the listeners. Carnatic music is to a great degree raga-oriented.
Swathi Soft Solutions have roped in three generations of a guru-sishya parampara in this three DVD album titled ‘Raga Ranjani.’ The artists who are featured are Dr. Sripada Pinakapani, Nedunuri Krishnamurthi and the Malladi Brothers – Sriram Prasad and Ravi Kumar.
The introduction to the DVDs by Nedunuri claims Indian music as the easiest method to reach the Almighty. Nedunuri rightly states that the ragas are the soul of our classical music and come under the creative segment. Ragas find a place in all aspects of pallavi singing (alapana, tanam, niraval and kalpanaswaras). He also states that ragas are a perfect amalgamation of tradition, emotion and creation.
Further important points that a vidyarthi (student) should note are that Varnams are treasure houses to gather information about raga structures. The vocalist also adds that ragas are the anatomy and kriti are the physiology in Carnatic music. As many vidwans have emphasised Nedunuri also recommends the
kritis of the Trinity for one to get a complete feel of ragas.
The ragas covered in this DVD are Durbar, Dhanyasi, Kedaragowla, Yadukula Khambodi, Ranjani, Anandabhairavi, Husseini, Nattakurinji and Surutti.
Nedunuri also mentions about the importance of knowing how to write notations during the course of the introduction.
Veteran vocalist and musicologist Sripada Pinakapani in his talk offers valuable advice to aspiring musicians. While he does not dispute the role of the electronic media which helps a student to increase his repertoire, he categorically states that the learning should be checked by a proper guru,, for the students to be told if what they have learnt from the CDs is correct.
Pinakapani mentions that he transferred his music to Nedunuri and did not merely teach him. He has a lot of praise for his disciple and also recollects the insatiable appetite which Nedunuri had for music. Pinakapani
Large-heartedly says that if a student sangati which is good but different from what was taught he will not correct it.
Both Pinakapani and Nedunuri sing snatches of 'Vedalanu Kodandapani’ (Thodi-Tyagaraja) when Nedunuri is told that he is being over ambitious while attempting a variation in a sangati. Both the senior musicians agree that well known pidis and sancharas should be sung while essaying ragas.
Pinakapani obliges by singing a few phrases of Kedaragowla which is highly pleasing. They are also of the same opinion that the more number of kritis learnt in a raga will pave the way for better renditions of the melody.
Malladi Brothers repeat the raga phrases after their Guru and are also appreciated when they display their manodharma.
Full blown alapanas as in a teaching session are offered in this album which would be of benefit to concert singers, teachers, students and rasikas.
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