Music

Scholarly sessions

T.V. Gopalakrishnan.Photo: V. Ganesan   | Photo Credit: V_Ganesan

The morning session began with an invocation Abhang ‘Omakara Pradhana Rupa Ganesha’ of Tukaram in Mohanam by Savitha Sriram, disciple of P.S. Narayanaswamy.

The Ragas of post Trinity period with dual names: In her first lecture, Dr. M.B. Vedavalli said the emergence of kritis has an important place in Carnatic music. In the post-Trinity period, there have been a number of composers who handled about 250 ragas, 220 of them with notations. Many books have been published between 1900 and now with arohana and avarohana for these ragas. Among the compositions that we find for the last 100 years, there are about 13 ragas which have similar lakshana and are referred to with two or even three names. They include: Anandarupa -Kokila, Bhujangini -Kokilam, Divyabharanam-Rishipriya, Gnanappon-Kalyana Dayini, Janasammodini-Darardari, Kadaram-Chandrakauns, Kalika-Mattimaravali, Sallapam-Surya, Samantadiparam-Nutanagaula, Saradapriya-Ratipatipriya, Sarangatarangini-Vivahapriya, Tandavam-Vasantachandrika and Urmika-Suddha.

Vedavalli with the help of Lalitha Sampathkumar, demonstrated a few songs in Samanthadipakam Nutanagaula, Saranagatha Ranjini, Vivahapriya, Urmika and suddha.

Expert committee member Dr. B.M. Sundaram wondered when a raga is established with one name, what is the need for the later composers to give those ragas another name.

Hindustani and Carnatic Music Styles with reference to Aesthetics and Gamakas: Vidwan T.V. Gopalakrishnan presented the second lec-dem. He spent the first half hour presenting audio clips of stalwarts of Hindustani and Carnatic music -- Fiaz Khan, Kareem Khan, Pulaskar, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Gangubai Hangal, Roshanara Begam, Chembai, Ariyakkudi, GNB, Balamuralikrishna, Voleti , Begam Parveen Sultana and many others.

Then he spoke about the fundamentals of both the systems and intonation and phonetics in both styles. He demonstrated a few of the Hindustani ragas. Expert committee member Prof. T.R. Subramaniam felt that Purvikalyani sung in full format is known as Gamanasramam, Vidwan Chengalpattu Ranganathan and Vidwan P.S.Narayanasamy complimented the speaker.

Different versions in the compositions of Tyagaraja: Prof. Ritha Rajan said that while the various lineages of Tyagaraja’s disciples had acquired a good repertory and different versions of his compositions, three of the lineages -- Walajapet, Umayalpuram and Tillaisthanam -- were identified and Ritha Rajan made an in-depth analysis of the pathantara of these main sishya paramparas. She demonstrated different version for the same composition in the same raga, tala ‘Pariparnakama’ in Purvakalyani as sung by the Umayalpuram and the Walajapet traditions. Ritha Rajan then presented compositions with changes in raga lakshana and raga name. The raga for the composition Akrpalavala’ is Nada Tarangini and the moorchana is sa-pa-ma ri ga ri sa sa pa ni da pa ma ga ri sa in the Walajapet tradition. In the Umayalpuram tradition, the raga for the same song is Nada Varangini and the swara movement is sa pa ma ni da ni sa sa pa ni da pa ma ga ri sa.

She presented variations in the three versions for even less heard compositions such as Ennallu Tirigeti’ in the raga Malavasri which is sung the same way in the Walajapet and Tillaisthanam traditions, with pallavi, anupallavi and charanam but differently by the Umayalpuram school.

Ritha Rajan threw light on different formats for some compositions seen in these three schools. ‘Mitri Bhagyame’ in Kharaharapriya sung as adi tala orukalai in the Umayalpuram tradition is sung as a madhyadi type in the Tillaisthanam tradition.

Vidulaku Marokkeda in Mayamalavagowla is a changed version of madhyadi, with the later part of the charanam sung as an apparent madhyama kala according to the Umayalpuram school. In Walajapet school, the song is a madhyadi type.

The Kapi raga compositions of Tyagaraja were originally sung in the South Indian raga Kapi,( called Karnataka Kapi) a mixture of the ragas Darbar and Kapi. -- Anyayamu Seyakura’ and Edini Bahubala’, Athade Dhanyudura’ and Cutamurare’. Nowadays the first two compositions are sung in Hindustani Kapi, a desya raga, and in Darbar respectively. However in Inta Soukhyamanine’ though sung in Kapi, the phrases suggesting Darbar raga are also found. Ritha Rajan then took up compositions where tala changes are seen. ‘Ramanivadu’ in Kalyani was originally sung in adi tala , but changed to adi tisra gati later. She concluded with ‘Nipada Pankajamula’ in Begada where there is different music for each charanam in Walajapet tradition.

Bhairavam, Sahana, Kannada, Gowrivelavali, Dhramavathi in the specific context of the Dikshitar Sampradaya, with special reference to SSP: The five ragas listed for discussion were taken up in two groups by T.M. Krishna. Bhairavam, Sahana and Kannada were in one group representing ragas that had been handled by both Muthuswami Dikshitar and Tyagaraja. However the melodic form differed in the two schools. For the ntire discussion, Sagata-sampradaya-pradarsini (SSP) of Subbarama Dikshitar was taken as the authentic document to represent the Dikshitar school. The form of the three ragas portrayed in SSP is seen to have changed in the later period. The swaras that were originally regarded as anya became svakaya and vice-versa. It is in this respect that the three ragas were taken to be allied. He spoke how these three ragas are mentioned in various works as belonging to different melas and adhered to the melas listed for them in the SSP.

The speaker gave illustrations to substantiate his points. He demonstrated ‘Kalabhairavam Bhaje’ of Dikshitar to demonstrate the characteristics of Bhairavam; ‘Kamalambikaya’, ‘Isanaadi Sivakara’ and ‘Vasi Vasi Vasi’ to demonstrate Sahana from the Dikshitar tradition and ‘Giripai Nelakonna’ to show the Tyagaraja version of the same raga. To represent the Tyagaraja school, examples from the books of Taccaru brothers were cited. The most important points he made were those relating to anya swaras that have crept in and remained due to Tygaraja’s compositions being there in these three ragas where as the other two ragas remained as they were, because in the case of the two other ragas, namely, Dharmavati and Gowrivelavali, compositions from Dikshitar school alone were there. The speaker’s contention was that, although these ragas continued to retain their identity, the songs of Dikshitar came to be adapted and rendered in the corresponding melakarta ragas, namely, Dharmavati and Gaurimanohari respectively which according to him is erroneous. The speaker had definite points to make, in support of which he presented logically built-up arguments with appropriate examples.

Experts Committee members, Prof. SR Janakiraman, Vidhushi Suguna Purushottaman, Sangita Kala Acarya Chengalpat Ranganathan, Prof. TR subramanian, Vidhushi MB Vedavalli and Sangita Kalanidhi R.Vedavalli profusely complimented Kirishna. Vidwan Valayapatti felt the need of a person like Krishna to present an analytical talk of this nature on Laya instruments also.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 2:33:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/Scholarly-sessions/article16855252.ece

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