Appreciating the Flavour of Carnatic Music

August 2020

In the Sunday webinar series on ‘Appreciating the Flavour of Carnatic Music’ conducted by Dr. P. N. Prabhavathy, Assistant Professor at CVV’s School of Kalayoga, the participants continued their journey of exploring and understanding the basics of musical rendition and appreciation.

August started with a composition of Saint Thyagaraja in Raga Ananda Bhairavi.  An unorthodox mix of Alankaras in Chappu Talas were taught along with some Varisais in Audava Ragas like Hamsadhwani and Mohanam.  Thereafter the participants were taught a geetam on Goddess Mahalakshmi, in Raga Mohanam of Appayya Dikshitar.

July 2020

In July, the lives of Saint Tyagaraja, one of the musical trinity and Oothukkad Venkata Kavi, a prolific composer of many popular kritis were discussed.

It is important as lovers of Carnatic Music, to be informed about such masters whose compositions continue to dominate concerts even after ages. The students were also taught an Utsava Sampradaya Kriti of Tyagaraja and a composition of Venkata Kavi which pictures a conversation between Yashoda and little Krishna.

Alankaras were taught in Raga Abhogi—a pentatonic scale devoid of Panchamam and Nishadam—in talas like Ekam, Rupakam, Tisra Triputa. The application of ‘Gamaka’ in this raga was a new experience for the participants.

As a revision and for strengthening learning, an online quiz was conducted followed by a discussion on the same.

June 2020

‘Appreciating the Flavour of Carnatic Music’ is an ongoing webinar series by the School of Kalayoga, conducted by Asst. Prof. Dr. Prabhavathy P. N. Sessions are held every Sunday morning.

On the first Sunday of June that is on 7 June, the lyrics of Adi Sankara’s Gurvashtaka were taught and the meaning explained. The Hamsadhvani Raga was introduced and a few shlokas from the Ganesha Pancharatnam were taught along with Alankara exercises in Hamsadhvani.

On the second Sunday, the class continued learning the shlokas from the Ganesha Pancharatnam and also started with a few shlokas from the Mukundashtakam. Raga Abhogi was introduced to the students.

The 72 Mela Chart was introduced and explained on the third Sunday. On the last Sunday of the month, the class revisited what was taught earlier—Raga Arabhi with an Andal Tiruppavai. The Tiruppavai is a composition by an ancient Tamil Vaishnavaite Saint Andal.

May 2020

The webinar series on ‘Appreciating the Flavour of Carnatic Music’ which was started in April, continued successfully with five more sessions through May. Starting with about a dozen participants, there are now over 100 registered participants. This series is aimed at enhancing the singing capability of the participants, along with furthering their interest and understanding of Carnatic Music.

The participants were introduced to the concept of tala (rhythm), after which they performed basic exercises called alankaras, setting notes to the rhythm. The singing sessions consisted of a review of the shloka renditions learned in April and a recap of the varisai exercises.

Annamacharaya Kriti in Raga Arabhi; Dikshitar Nottuswaram in Raga Sankarabharanam and Adi Sankara Guru Ashtakam in Raga Revati were the new compositions that were taught to the participants.