Music

Seven Hills, seven ragas

Veteran violinist A. Kanyakumari

Veteran violinist A. Kanyakumari   | Photo Credit: M_VEDHAN

Rare Annamayya compositions were chosen and set to tune as an offering to the deity

Tallapakam Annamacharya was one of the earliest Hindu saint composers to write songs in praise of Lord Venkateswara and his avataras. His kirtanas have strongly influenced the structure of Carnatic compositions and contemporary composers, who followed him. Of the 32,000 kirtanas that he is believed to have composed, only about 12,000 are available. His kirtanas were lost and forgotten for decades after him until they were retrieved from inside of the Tirumala Tirupati temple premises. Since then TTD has been instrumental in preserving and promoting this great heritage of Carnatic music. Even today, several projects to popularise Annamacharya compositions are taken up by TTD. Many revered musicians such as Kadayanallur Venkatraman, Pasupati, Pinakapani, Mallik, Balamurali Krishna, Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, Balakrishna Prasad, Shobha Raju and others have done yeoman service to promote Annamacharya compositions. Younger musicians are also contributing their part.

The Tirumala deity is also known as the Lord of Seven Hills. But not many know the name of each hill. With the intention to make His devotees aware of the names, I created seven ragas that are named after the seven hills. I also chose seven compositions of saint Annamacharya — not much in circulation — on several deities and decided to score the music to the songs set to new ragas. The recordings were released officially by TTD under the Annamacharya project three years ago.

Seven Hills, seven ragas

The seven kritis in seven new ragas — ‘Melu ledu teelu ledu,’ in raga Narayanadri (janya of 29 Melakartha) with the Arohanam - s r2 m1 p n3 s and Avarohanam - s n3 d2 p m1 r2 s.;

‘Bhramayaka undede,’ in raga Venkatadri (Janya of 20 Melakartha) with Arohanam - s r2 m1 d1 s and Avarohanam - s d1 m1 r2 s;

Next is ‘KalashApuramu,’ in raga Garudadri ((Janya of 16 Melakartha) — Arohanam is s r1 g3 m1 p d2 n2 s and Avarohanam - s d2 p m1 g3 s.

The fourth is ‘Sharananna vibheeshaNu,’ in ragam Vrushabhadri (Janya of 1 Melakartha) and the Arohanam: - s r1 m1 r1 m1 p d1 n1 s and Avarohanam - s n1 d1 p m1 r1 s;

Fifth in the order is Seshadri (Janya of 59 Melakartha) with the Arohanam- s g2 m2 p n3 s and Avarohanam - s n3 d2 p m2 g2 s for the composition ‘Emani Thalacha’;

Sixth raga Anjanadri (Janya of 72 Melakartha); Arohanam - s g2 m2 p n3 s and Avarohanam - s n3 d2 p m2 g2 s is created for the composition ‘KalidOshamulAla’ and the seventh and the last raga Neeladri (Janya of 19 Melakartha) with Arohanam - s r2 g2 p n1 s and Avarohanam - s n1 d1 p g2 r2 s has been designed for the composition ‘Olapakshamu.’

(The writer is a veteran violinist and guru)

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 12:21:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/seven-hills-seven-ragas/article27148895.ece

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