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Notes on music

Sangeethika: Abhyasapatavali   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Like it usually happens, learning a new subject can often become tough, sometimes tedious and monotonous. The same applies when it comes to learning Carnatic music.

The initial stages, the early lessons that are so essential to create a solid foundation, can often be tiring. Rameshan Punnayurkulam, a product of Chembai Government College of Music, Palakkad, who doubles up as teacher and performer, attempts this in his book, ‘Sangeethika: Abhyasapatavali,' to ease this monotony, giving an interesting twist to the traditional methodology of teaching Carnatic music.

Enjoyable lessons

The author gets to the subject straightaway. He begins with a brief note on the importance of sruti and moves swiftly to the first exercise which is ‘swaravali.' The author believes that forming a firm foundation should be the prime objective. And once this is done classical music becomes simple and enjoyable.

The lessons or exercises in this book are framed with this in view. It also gives a person some idea on how to make changes, deviations based on his or her logical preferences. It also guides a student on the changes one can make in the exercises and also on the new ones he or she can form based on the given exercises.

The best part of the book is that the author does not stray away from the traditional methodology of teaching or learning but makes some innovative exercises that make the process much more interesting. The best part is that the work explores the extreme boundaries of music studies and touches on its possibilities, focussing more on how the theories can be made practical.

The book contains all the ‘varisais' that are traditionally taught, with lucid explanations and practice exercises. Using the basic ‘varisais' as foundation, the author teaches to create their own ‘varisais,' and make modifications in the existing ones.

Singing of swaras

The highpoint of this work is the author's ingenious idea of equating the ‘swaras' with numbers. This makes understanding and learning the most important aspect of classical music so much simpler and interesting. Once the student becomes familiar with the ‘swaras' and then numbers each of them he finds it easy to sing in order and in reverse order using this mathematical application.

Another very informative part of the book is the chapter titled ‘Sangeetham' where the author very briefly outlines and defines all the important aspects of music like ‘swara,' ‘raga,' ‘thalam,' and so on.

The fourth edition of this book is a useful guide for beginners, music teachers, and even musicologists.


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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 2:13:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/Notes-on-music/article14962531.ece

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