Home Columns Anantha Narayan Sound of music

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    Himcolin gel price in uae hindi Carnatic music is like the Rubikai??i??s cube. Only a few practitioners of the art are able to ai???get itai??i??. The rest of us gyana soonyams (dimwits in Tamil) donai??i??t have a clue as to what permutation or combination of the sapta swaras can make or unmake a raga. Since the kutcheri (music) season is unfolding in Chennai, I thought itai??i??s just the right time to get ourselves a quick primer on ragas so we wonai??i??t have that vacuous Rahul Gandhi smile whenever anyone choses to embarrass us by launching into a discussion onAi??Harikambhoji or Hanumatodi.

    Letai??i??s begin with ragas. Literally, they mean ai???coloursai??i?? or ai???hues of emotionai??i?? the mind experiences when you listen to harmonies. While mathematically there can be 5,040 fundamental ragas, the masters of the craft have identified 72 melakarta ragas (parent melodies). Within these, there can be potentially 26,864 janya ragas (offshoot melodies). Around 950 janya ragas have been discovered, till date. Saint Tyagaraja was considered a super dude, because he composed songs in 212 ragas and invented 66Ai??maestro of our age Illayaraja has one raga to his credit ai??i?? Rajalahari; the genius Balamurali Krishna has 18 in his kitty ai??i?? including one dedicated to Chennaiai??i??s former CM (J Jayalalithaa); and Pandit Ravi Shankar has an incredible 30. Like the periodic table that follows a numerical order, the melakartaAi??ragas have been named following the Katapayadi nomenclature that assigns letters to numerals. For example, the 1st, 11th, 21st, and 31st raga can start with one of the following letters: K, T, P, Y.

    Incidentally, theyai??i??ve been named Kanakangi , Kokilapriya, Kiravani and Yagyapriya. Kiravani, by the way, decodes to ai???voice of the parrotai??i??. And is also theAi??name of a Telugu music composer. Kokilapriya (cuckoo), Rasali (eagle), Hamswadhwani (Swan) and Chakravakam (Brahmany Duck), are the other bird-themed ragas. As composers were often inspired by religious devotion, many ragas are tributes to gods. Kharaharpriya (one who defeated demon Khara) and Gowri Manohari (one who stole the heart of Parvati) are Shivacentric.

    Shanmukapriya is an ode to Muruga. Raghupriya and Ramapriya are inspired by Lord Rama. Varunapriya and Amritavarshini are paeans to the rain god. I suspect that many Tamil actresses have been named after ragas. Bhanupriya, Manorama, Revati and Madhavi come to mind. At least, director K Balachander, had a penchant for naming his lead characters so. One gathers that he tried that trick in Apoorva Ragangal, Sindhu Bhairavi and tele-serial Sahana. Hope that gave you enough to chew on when you gorge on the sabha sappadu, this season! Got anything offbeat to add on ragas? Share your notes with anantha@albertdali.com

    Share your notes with anantha@albertdali.com


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