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Misra Chapu Vs Trisra Triputa

Tālam & Layam related topics
vasanthakokilam
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Misra Chapu Vs Trisra Triputa

Post by vasanthakokilam » 02 Mar 2008, 11:03

Is the Thala of the Patdeep Pallavi Tisra Triputa or Misra Chapu. For some odd reason, I naturally gravitated to Misra Chapu and the stress points seems to fit OK. I then checked Kartik's song list and he mentions it as Tisra Triputa. Obviously, there is an akshara count relationship/sameness between the two thalas. I usually flounder around in keeping the thala for Misra Chapu let alone easily detect misra chapu. But in this case, the then-n pa-zha-ni va-di ve-eh la-ne-eh fit naturally with dhi-mi tha-ki-ta tha-ka dhi-mi tha-ki-ta . That will make it an athitha eduppu Misra chapu ( Miscra chapu goes like tha-ki-ta tha-ka dhi-mi ). This is not quite common for a pallavi, so it is probably intended to be tisra triputa 2 kalai 1/2 eduppu which is more mainstream, but I thought I will ask.


Mod Note: Ref: Sanjay's Patdeep RTP in thread http://www.rasikas.org/viewtopic.php?id=4880&p=1: The posts relating to the Misra Chapu vs Tisra Triputa thala have now been moved to this new thread.

vijay
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Post by vijay » 02 Mar 2008, 16:02

VK it was Tistra Triputa although I am not sure of the Eduppue - perhaps I will listen again and clarify. As you have indicated Misra Chapu and Tisra triputa are both mutliples of seven and the latter if often reduced to the former in RTP's (although not in this case).

Eduppu for Misra Chapu is most often on 1st, 3rd and 4th matras.

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Post by vasanthakokilam » 02 Mar 2008, 23:36

Vijay: Thanks. I did not know that Tisra Triputa is often reduced to Misra Chapu in RTPs.

OK, I understand the kriyas matched Tisra Triputa in this rendition. To me, Tisra triputa gives the same "linear" feel that other laghu based talas give whereas Misra Chapu songs have that little stutter step indicative of the uneven length between major stress points. In that sense, I consider the thalas to be quite different. When you listen to it again, can you see if you also feel that this pallavi ( at least during the initial portions ) has more of the Misra Chapu stutter step feel than a linear equally spaced feel that is common with the suladi saptha thalas?

(Getting on a little rant mode, My pet-peeve is, even for songs that has a distinct structure that matches misra chapu uniquely, when they go into kalpanaswaram and the thani, they disregard this 'unequal" outer beat structure and break it down into the sub-unit level thereby normalizing it to a 7*4=28 count thala which can fit tisra triputa or misra chapu or anything else..So it is really hard to tell from the thani if they are playing for Misra Chapu or Tisra Triputa... I am ready to be corrected if this is a mistaken impression ).

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Post by vijay » 03 Mar 2008, 12:14

VK, I analyzed the Pallavi again. The broad structure is as follows:

La - 2 (Samam)
Ne - 2
Then - 4 (Eduppu)
Pa - 2
Zha - 2
Ni - 2
Va - 2
Di - 2
Ve - 4
La - 2
Ne - 14 (Ardhi)
Dei - 4
Va - 4
Ne - 4
Man - 2
Na - 4
(La Ne)

This adds up to 56 which is a multiple of both Tisra Triputa and Misra Chapu.

Looking at the structure, if you start from the Eduppu ("Then Pazhani") and consider it, the first beat (Veechu) of a Misra Chapu Tala, it fits in quite welll with an accent on "Ne" of "Velane" after the second Veechu at "Vela". The lesson is - it is not possible to distinguish a tala with precision by just listening to it although an educated guess can be made. In this case, the fact that it is a pallavi (where Misra Chapu is "usually" not taken) and the long Karvai at "Ne" of "Velane" are give-aways. It is usually advisable to look for the Ardhi when listening to a Pallavi and the mrudanga sollus (for Nadai Pallavis).

About your last point, in mel kaalam swaras it is not possible to mark out the veechu clearly although if you listen to the mrudangam closely enough the Misra Chapu pattern wiith the accent on the veechu is discernible as against Tisra Triputa. The inequality equally applies to Tisra Triputa - it is only a slower version of Misra Chapu and the "unequal structure" equally applies to the former. There is also no obligation on the performer or mrudangist to emphaize the veechu and in the many permutations and combinations of swaras/tani it is quite Ok to "go against the grain"- in fact in tanis, counter-intuitive passages are an essential creative ingredient. Following songs is a different matter. Once again, mathematical correlation is not a foolproof method of identifying talas.

Regarding CML's clip, the basic structure seem quite similar to Patdeep - P,G2M1,PS,,N3SR2G2~...is the basic refrain. Although the usage of SRG is gramatically incorrect, it is a film song and no rules apply...one can equally argue that it is Gowrimanohari...

As mentioned before Patdeep is nothing but Karnataka Devagandhari/Bhimplas with N3. Kaapi would also sound similar thanks to N3 but has a completely different flavour because of many foreign notes and characteristic usages.

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Post by vasanthakokilam » 03 Mar 2008, 14:22

Vijay, thanks for the detailed analysis. That makes sense.

Since I was going by the rhythmic feel, I actually aligned the pallavi with misra chapu differently. If you consider Misra chapu as (TA-KI-TA) (TA-KA) (DHI-MI), to me, pa-zha-ni mapped to the THA-KI-TA portion. That indeed places the arudhi on the 'KI of THA-KI-TA which is quite odd structurally but somehow it felt comfortable. I was not going by the swara count itself but more by the musical stress points.
The inequality equally applies to Tisra Triputa - it is only a slower version of Misra Chapu
How so? I thought the 35-thala system does not allow unequal beat intervals ( and hence does not allow unequal major musical stresses ) where as misra chapu having folk origins has that in-bult unequal stress durations in THA-KI-TA THA-KA DHI-MI ( the bold points where the major stress falls ). But I see you are saying something significant there which I would like to understand.

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Post by vijay » 03 Mar 2008, 17:51

VK, as you rightly observe, if you have Ta-ki-ta at (Pa-zha-ni), the "Ne" of "Velane" would fall at a very awkward point.

Re your second point, I have nothing very significant to say. Tisra Triputa is a 3+4 Tala just like Misra Chapu - 3+4 is no more equal or unequal than 1.5+2. In both, the basic structure is 1-2-3, 1-2, 1-2 with the stresses on the 1s (although this is not necessairly true for either tala - many songs in Misra Chapu take off on 4th matra) In Misra Chapu, the whole thing occurs faster, that's all.

The confusion may be caused by the fact that Ta-ki-ta of misra chapu as rendered as one kriya which gives an impression of an "unequal structure". But this has no more significance than being a convenient way of keeping time. The proportion of matras in the 2 halves and the stresses are the same. As an illustration, take a geetham, say Kamala Jadhala, and try it in durita kala in Misra Chapu - you will see how neatly it fits!

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Post by arunk » 03 Mar 2008, 23:21

vijay wrote:As an illustration, take a geetham, say Kamala Jadhala, and try it in durita kala in Misra Chapu - you will see how neatly it fits!
I have also scratched my head as to why miSra cApu "seems different" from tiSra tripuTa (to me, like vk) - although is hard to categorize as if you look at it in one way they are the same.

I think tiSra tripuTa is identical to miSra cApu if the former is rendered in gItam mode i.e. 1 swara per akshara. That is one reason why kamala jAdaLa can be easily put in miSra cApu. So one can in "first speed" tiSra tripuTa becomes ta-ki-Ta ta-ka-dhi-mi (ta-ki-Ta: 1-2-3 for the laghu, ta-ka: 4-5 for the first part of dhrutam, dhi-mi:6-7 for the second part). Then it becomes obvious why this is identical to miSra cApu.

But how do they compare in "second" speed? I am not 100% sure of this but I think in mEl kAlam in miSra cApu becomes ta-ka-ta-ri-ki-Ta ta-ka-dhi-mi-ta-ka-ju-Nu? But tIsra triputA? Also in tiSra tripuTa - you can space it real slow and do ta-ka-di-mi 7 times. This while theoretically possible in miSra cApu - would be quite hard to do. How about "2-kaLai" tiSra tripUta? I can certainly visualize this like 2-kaLai Adi. Again mathematically you could put miSra cApu but musically/rhythmically will it fit the same way?

So in my guess opinion, miSra cApu <=> tIsra tripuTa in some cases but may be not all to say they are truly equivalent? Even if strict mathematically they are equivalent, in practice, in music, they have different manifestations?

Arun
Last edited by arunk on 03 Mar 2008, 23:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by vijay » 04 Mar 2008, 10:26

Arun naturally they give a different musically - 2 kalai Tisra Triputa in particular I feel would be suitable only for vilamba kala krithis (can't think of examples - it is not very commonly used, probably because of Misra Chapu). Misra Chapu is more versatile and can be used for Madhyamakala as well as Vilambam (Swarajathis for example). OTOH Misra Jhampa/Khanda Chapu is an example of talas with common divisors but different stress structures (1/3 KHanda Chapu and 1/8/9 Misra Jhampa).

In the end however, a tala is just a number/suggested stress structure for the composer to play with. In most cases they prefer the obvious stress points. Tyagaraja's 1 Kalai adi tala krithis with 2.5 eduppu being a case in point. OTOH Thyagaraja himself mastered the Ardhi -1/2 stress points in his 2 Kalai Adi tala krithis. Syama Shastri has masterfully woven Chatusram into Tisra Adi in Samkari Sankuru. Deeskhitar has used khandam structure for "Venkateshwara Nama Rupena" in the Madhyamakala of his Suddha Dhanyasi Krithi which takes off at 1/4 beat (thus adding upto 1+5x3 = 16).

To sum up, the major talas do have a certain "feel" attributable to the krithis composed in these talas. The familiarity of the structure (let us say the 2.5 eduppu/Desadi or 4th matra Misra Chapu eduppu to cite 2 cases where I instantly latch on) and the standard mrudangam patterns, helps us identify these talas even when listening to a recording of an unfamiliar kriti (not to mention the sound of the performer keeping time!) but there is no obligation on the composer to follow these and sometimes compositions are almost deliberately misleading! In RTP's it is all the more so, since they are designed to be rhythmically complex especially when trikaalam/tisram etc. are to be renedered.

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Post by vasanthakokilam » 04 Mar 2008, 10:31

Arun, Vijay: Thanks. It has been educational. I never looked at the 3+2+2 pattern of misra chapu in the same vein as the 3+2+2 of thisra triputa, though I was conscious of the overall mathematical relationship of the total counts.( strange, I know ). And, Arun's illustration of why the Geetham way makes them equivalent. I think that is the crux of the issue. At the sub-beat level, may be thee are equivalent but not at the outer beat level. In geethams, the beat and sub-beat are the same since there is only one sub-beat per outer beat.

The outer beat has to have mega significance since it is inbuilt into the song and we can feel it. If we ignore them and go down to the sub-beat level we are ignoring a hugely major aspect of the rhythm.

Here is how I would like to map it. Let the various sollus be equal length and represented by numbers

1 2 3 1 2 1 2 1 2 3 1 2 1 2 ( Misra Chapu )
1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 ( Tisra Triputa )

The ones in bold are the major stress points ( the outer beats ). The two do not match at many points. So the same song with a given set of stress points can not be overlaid on both stress point scales. To me that is a test that two stress point scales ( talas ) are not equivalent.

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Post by vijay » 04 Mar 2008, 10:47

VK I am not familiar with too many krithis in Tisra Triputa. However the major beats are the same as Misra Chapu - i.e 1/4/6 as per your first example...this is certainly the case in the Kalyani geetham. However there is no hard and fast rule (or any sort of rule at all for that matter) and it can very well follow the structure in your second example. However a Misra Chapu song following the same would be awkward - this is purely a result of the speed at which the taala is renedered.

Since Tisra triputa is rare, I don't think we can readily pin down a "standard structure" for the taala...but I am willing to be educated....

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Post by vasanthakokilam » 04 Mar 2008, 11:34

Vijay, What you are referring to are the major stress poitns that occur in the arudhi/drutham which is a separate (but significant ) aesthetic aspect. I am limiting myself to the outer beat stress.

I messed up my example. I really wanted to show the stress points on the outerbeat (along with showing the innerbeat ) and my example did not capture that. . Here is the redone example.

1 1 1 2 2 3 3 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 ( Misra Chapu )
1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 ( Tisra Triputa )

I have changed the meaning of the numbers. Each beat and its constituent sub-beats have the same number and the outer beat points are in bold.
I chose 2 inner beats per outer beat of TT. The inner beat lengths are the same in both the thalams.

Is the above a fair representation of the relationship between MC and TT as they are normally perceived, like two cycles of misra chapu for one cycle of tisra triputa. Now, there are only 6 outer beat points in MC whereas there are 7 outer beat points in TT and as you can see the outer beat points do not line up.

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Post by vijay » 04 Mar 2008, 11:47

Inner/Outer beat - VK, not very familiar with this terminology - presume you mean the 1.5 to be the outer beat and "1+1" to be the inner beats....in any case, your example for Misra Chapu is right - that is how the stress patterns occur...another important stress point (or rather eduppu point) as I have mentioned is, 4th matra or .75 beat (Etula Brotuvo, Pakkala Nilabadi, Akshaya Linga Vibho, Nidhi Tsala Sukhama and countless others)

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Post by vasanthakokilam » 04 Mar 2008, 12:11

I have now redone by example to present my question clearly ( hopefully ). Let us not bring the arudhi stress for both the thalas yet. Also, vijay, my menaing of outerbeat/inner beat is not the same as you understood. ( I am referring to the akshara/mathra type relationship for outer/inner )

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Post by vijay » 04 Mar 2008, 14:35

VK I think I understood your original example correctly in terms of the stresses. Also regarding inner/outer beat, I think I now understand - you mean beats which are reproduced (except the 3rd beat of M Chapu which is not "shown")....perhaps primary/secondary beats would be a better term.

Regarding your Qs.

1) For 2 kalai Tisra Triputa Taalam (7*2*4 = 56) you would have 4 cycles of M Chapu (14*4) and not 2 (14*2). Presume this is just an oversight.

2) The point about the number of inner/outer beats (or primary/secondary beats) is correct but I am not sure they have any particular significance or whether such a classicaition is recognized (as against a "kriya" which is different). For example beat 2 and 7 of the Tisra Triputa which are bolded do not represent stress points - as noted above, that would be the same as Misra Chapu (Going back to Kamala Jadala for want of a better example!). In particular, emphasis on the 7th beat, followed by one on the 1st strikes me intuitively inelegant.

Just to bring back some perspective on the original point: whether this outer beat structure is unequal - it now dawns on me that it depends on the concept of an"outer beat". In particular, you seem to classify the 2nd beat of Misra Chapu (actually matra 3 or the second "1" in your Misra Chapu example) as being an outer beat whereas beat 2 of Tisra Triputa (the first "2" in your example) is an inner beat. As I said, I am not sure about the validity of such a classification and therefore, the conclusion that the inequality is somehow different.

Once again this is not to say that the second beat of a Tisra Triputa cannot be stressed. AFAIK, no rules apply here. It is upto the composer's aesthetic sense. But obviously Misra Chapu, being a shorter tala, will have more limitations on stress points than a 2 kalai Tisra Triputa. It is, in fact, this shorter duration which emphasizes the "unequal structure" whereas in a Vilamba Kala Tisra Triputa, the inequality gets obfuscated. Is this the point you were trying to get at?

Interestingly in HM the Rupak Tala has the same structur as well :- "Tin" Tin Na /" Dhin" Na "Dhin" Na with bols in quotes being emphasized

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Post by vijay » 04 Mar 2008, 15:11

Just to sum up my PoV after that rather laboured post:

1) Misra Chapu and Tisra Triputa are structurally similar in their respetive halves and "suggest" the same stress points. However Tisra Triputa, being slower, allows more flexibility
2) This does not mean krithis in these talas should, therefore, have the same stress structure.
3) This does not mean that they have to be different
4) Stress structure of a song is the function of a composer's aesthetic sense and is not dictated by any tala although certain stresses may be implied. The composer is free to acknowledge or ignore these. Same goes for Pallavis and other manifestations of Manodharma.

Net, net, the akshara count of a tala is fixed. Eduppu of a song/line is fixed. The rest is fair game...

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Post by vasanthakokilam » 05 Mar 2008, 09:40

Vijay, thanks. I think I can relate to some of the summary items above. I am not sure if we are in sync on what I meant by outer/inner beats etc. I know it is not a standard terminology.

Let me put it another way.. I look at Misra chapu as a mixed nadai thala. The first beat has three sub-beats and the next two beats have two sub-beats each. Tisra Tripua has the same nadai ( # of sub-beats ) for all its beats.

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Post by vijay » 05 Mar 2008, 12:25

OK...I'll let you explain inner/outer beats some other day!

As for mixed nadai, once again it is an illusion of the faster rhtythm of Misra Chapu. If you play/keep tie to Tisra Triputa fast enough, you will get the same "mixed nadai". Also the sub-division of the beats in both talas is still 4 - Misra chapu 3.5*4 = 14 and Tisra Triputa 7*4 = 28 (I kalai). So both are in Chatushram throughout the cycle.

In your own example, Tisra Triputa also has the same sub beat structure as Misra Chapu

Kriya 1 = Laghu = 3 sub beats
Kriya 2 - Drutam - 2 sub beats
Kriya 3 - Drutam - 2 sub beats

This is the point I'm trying to make. This how you need to look at beats/sub beats or inner/outer beats in the two talas. But in the end as Arun says I guess you can look at it as as similar, or same, or different...and be right in your own way!

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Post by cienu » 05 Mar 2008, 12:37

What a wonderful thread ! Kudos to Vijay , Arunk , VK , Uday, CML and others who have made this so enjoyable.Mods may consider shifting this thread to the Tala & Laya Forum , lest it remains buried under Kutcheri review :)
Last edited by cienu on 05 Mar 2008, 12:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by vasanthakokilam » 05 Mar 2008, 12:51

Vijay;

As I wrote before, you made me see the 'similar' structure of 3+2+2 in both MC and TT. Also illustrative was the other point you made earlier that khanda chapu and misra jampa are not 'similar' in that sense even though both pairs have that 2:1 mathematical relationship. Great.


I like your way of representing TT. Let me recast the picture with TT & MC to show the essence of the difference as I see it. ( I think you also said as much )

TT

Kriya 1 - Laghu = 3 beats
Kriya 2 - Drutam - 2 beats
Kriya 3 - Drutam - 2 beats

MC

Kriya 1 - 1 beat with 3 sub beats
Kriya 2 - 1 beat with 2 sub beats
Kriya 3 - 1 beat with 2 sub beats

As you said, the difference boils down to whether you give different musical significance ( in terms of stress ) to beats and sub-beats. You seem to treat beats and sub-beats uniformly and hence hold the equivalence of the two thalas.

I believe that a song has inherent major stresses at each beat that is distinguishable from any stress that may exist at a sub-beat. ( The fact that there are quantitative differences in that major stress at the Samam, Arudhi, drutham beats is a different matter ). May be it is a mistaken belief but If that does not exist, how come we can instinctivly put the beat at those beat points ( and not just at the beginning of angas or arudhis ) without any external aid ( i.e in the absence of a mridangam and the singer showing any indication of thalam )? Also, if the beat boundary does not exist ( to distinguish between beats and sub-beats ), then nadai would not be perceivable musically.

( In the interest of full disclosure, the main weakness in my model of thinking is, most CM songs in misra chapu do not really sound like a mixed nadai rhythm. I wonder if this is due to the mainstream CM, while borrowing the Misra Chapu thala structure from Folk music, have flattened it out and eliminated that mixed nadai stress structure. I think there are a few Thiruppugazh songs that do give that mixed nadai feel . And for some strange reason, the Sanjay pallavi line gave me the mixed nadai feel, which was the start of this whole discussion ).


Note: Once this thread activity subsides, I will move the TT, MC discussion to the Tala section but we can continue the discussion here for now.

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Post by vijay » 05 Mar 2008, 15:11

Thanks Cienu! I too am enjoying this immensely and the process does help clarify one's understanding and thought process to which I am indebted to the other especially VK..

Coming back, I am not saying that the 2 talas are equivalent but similar in structure, that is all. As I said before, the feel of a 2 kalai TT would be very different from MC but I maintain that this is purely because of tempo and not structure.

About your point on stresses, not sure if I am getting this right but let me respond anyway. We instinctively put beats at those points because 1) Kriyas like Laghu would be too long (esp in 2 kalai) and most people would lose track of time and 2) We are conditioned to do so. This may or may not follow the stress structure of the song. Let us take examples of Adi 2 Kalai -

1st line of the Pallavi of Ramakatha Sudha...the stresses occur at the following points (assuming a 16 beat cycle) - "Ra"(2) "Ma" (3.5) Ka"Tha" (5) Su"dha" (8)...similarly Enduku Peddala - "En"(2) "Du" (3.5) "Ku" (4)" U"(5) "Pe" (6) Da"la"(8)...a certain rhythmic preference of Thyagaraja clearly comes through (most streses are at sub beats). Take Deekshitar in the same Adi 2 Kalai - Maragathavallim. "Ma"(1) "Ra"(2) "Ga" (3) "Tha" (4) "Va"(5) "Ll" (6) "lim" (7). MD's structure is recognizabley different. Similar examples can be shown for other talas. The Thyagaraja examples in particular are far from obvious without knowledge of Tala and rhtyhmic accompaniment. However, since they are so popular, we may be conditioned even to this oblique structure.

To take a particularly extreme example I had mentioned earlier - listen to Shankari Shankuru without talam/accompaniment and without knowlegde of the taalam - you will keep time to Adi 1 kalai instead of Adi Tisram! The stresses are mostly at the counter-intuitive points except perhaps Samam and Ardhi! This example also should answer your point about "perceiving nadai musically" - this is not always possible without reference to the taalam/tempo of the piece..you can make chatusram sound like tisram and vice versa and so on for other nadais.

The point is to reemphasize what I have already said and in response to "instinctively putting beat" - you can let your conditioning guide you and with adequate exposure, you will get it right 90% of the time...but this is not a failsafe method and it is possible to work out pallavis and krithis that "go against the grain"...

There is also nothing to show (whether theoretically or by way of practical analysis of krithis) that the stress structure of a kriti/pallavi should follow the major beats (that would make things immensely boring!). The majority of Thyagaraja's 2 Kalai compositions in fact go against such a concept. As for Pallavis, they are designed to confuse - therein lies the challenge!

As for folk Misra Chapu I have never heard a folk song and am therefore unable to make any comment on how the CM Misra Chapu differs...but MC does have a very characteristic feel: stress on Veechu and the beats, take off at 4 matras to name just a few...

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Post by vasanthakokilam » 05 Mar 2008, 21:20

Vijay:

I am intentionally staying away from talking about Anga boundaries for a reason. They are higher level rhythmic structures. When a Laghu is defined to be of 4 beats, dhrutham of 2 beats, anudhrutham of 1 beat, I want to focus on that definition and inherent manifestation of that 'beat' in a song. I also want to leave out Sankari Sankuru for now. Also, since you said 90% beats should be 'feelable', let us consider that 90%. We can always deal with the rest 10% as exceptions.

Your examples of T and MD songs are right on the mark. What you call as stress points falling off beat is definitely there ( a sort of syncopation ) and Thyagaraja was an expert at that. You rightly observe that in many cases, the stresses fall on the intermediate sub-beat. And I agree that if the song's stress points always fall on the beat, it will be very boring and it will sound like Beginners lessons in music.

Having said all that, you say that we are conditioned to put the beat at those instinctive places... I will have to dispute that. I am not talking about the capability of the individuals. How does a mridangamist who is hearing the song for the very first time play to the song. He has to have an idea on where the beats are. This is true of any music. I have asked people who have absolutely had no prior exposure to CM to listen to a CM piece and tap to the beat. They can do it without any problems, though the syncopation occasionally confuses people which is expected.

Think about this in this convoluted way: If something has to be off-beat ( syncopation as in your T examples ), there has to be something called beat point. If all stresses fall at off-beat points, then that off-beat point will become the beat points. So, off-beat syncopation only makes sense in the context of beats.

Coming back to T's handling of rhythm, he gives you enough stress points that match the beat points and then he gives a few that are syncopated. That is the beauty. But that does not take away the fact that there are beats inherent in the song and are Real and not due to conditioning on the part of the listener.

You mentioned Desadi thala songs of T in this context. Here are my thoughts on this. This will shed some light on what I call as built-in rhythm of songs, especially as handled by Thyagaraja on some of his simple and catchy songs.

If I just go by the rhythmic analysis by feel ( and ignoring CM conventions and how the thala is kept using the Kriyas of Adi etc. without meaning any offense to tradition )

Let us number the beats 1, 2, 3..., 7, 8. The eduppu is normally called 1.5 eduppu but the song really starts mid-point between beat number 2 and 3.
Each beat is subdivided into two. So the full numbering for our use is: 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 .5 5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5

I see these things. Let us call this minimal, sufficient and complete characterization of the rhythm.

The sathiya is set to an 8 beats cycle.

Looking at it from a pure rhythm point of view, some commonalities in the various songs can be observed.

The Stress on Odd beats are stronger than the Stress on Even beats. ( Odd and Even by the above numbering scheme ).

Some times, the stress on the 5th beat is a bit stronger than other odd beats but that is not always the case. We have been calling this 5th beat Arudhi but all we need for the minimalist purposes here is that the stress on the 5th beat be stonger than the other odd beats.

Now the odd beats are given a heavier stress than even beats. So you get an alternating Heavy-Not so heavy stress pattern in the song.

A lot of sahitya words start on the "Evennumber.5" boundaries ( 2.5, 4.5, 6.5, 8.5 ). But that is not syncopation really, that is just eduppu of the sathitya words. This is similar to the eduppu of the song itself except in this case, in the middle of the sahitya line, words start from the middle of the beat ( gap between the beats ). But it is all the same thing.

Now we can characterize these songs in a much simpler fashion using two methods.

If you ignore the heavier stress on beat 5, then all those songs can be cast into this 1-2 alternating stress structure. We do not need Adi at all. If one is agreeable to that, then the complicated 1.5 eduppu is an unnecessary thing.

Next time you listen to the desadi thala songs, just for grins, shift your eduppu by two beats. It will be perfectly comfortable. If you shift it by one, it will NOT be comfortable. This is because of the underlying simple structure of "Heavy - Not So heavy" stress structure in the song. It is symmetric over such a two beat structures. By shifting the eduppu by 2 beats ( say from 2.5 to 4.5 or 6.5 or 8.5 using the above numbering scheme), you are not really changing anything due to this symmtery. But you shift the eduppu by 1 beat, now you are changing something fundamentally and stresses would not match and hence there will be some discomfort. Every beat will feel like a syncopated beat. Another way of stating it is, Desadi thala is 0.5 Athitha eduppu over this two beat structure.

If you do not want to ignore the heavier stress on beat 5, then one can consider this desadi thala to consists of two parts. A poorvanga of 2 beats and an uttaranga of 6 beats. And both poorvanga and uttaranga again consisting of the above 2 beat structure of "heavy-not so heavy'. The song again starts at .5 athitha eduppu wrt to the poorvanga two beats.
That is a much simplier way of looking at it than laying it over Adi. The definition then has to be slightly modified to say 'Desadi thala is 0.5 Athitha eduppu wrt the poorvanga 2 beats'.

.

arunk
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Post by arunk » 05 Mar 2008, 22:14

I havent read through all points, but on further reflection I am more in line with Vijay. Except for the case of 2-kalai tiSra tripuTa, in the other cases both are same.

In "mEl-kalam" I said miSra cApu becomes ta-ka-ta-ri-ki-Ta | ta-ka di-mi | ta-ka u-Nu
In tiSra tripUta it is simple ta-ka ta-ri ki-Ta | ta-ka-di-mi | ta-ka-ju-Nu (as opposed to ta-ka di-mi ta-ka | dhi-mi | ta-ka leaves hanging unless strung two together)

For 2-kaLai tiSra tripuTa - I am it would be simply ta-ka-dhi-mi 7 times - possible. But I would think the
ta-ka-ta-ri ki-Ta-ta-ka ta-ri-ki-Ta | ta-ka-dhi-mi ta-ka-junu ta-ka-dhi-mi ta-ka-ju-Nu | ta-ka-dhi-mi ta-ka-junu ta-ka-dhi-mi ta-ka-ju-Nu

In other words, even here treating the laghu part in "threes" (i.e. tiSram) seems more natural.

So I tend to agree that miSra cApu is a "condensed" tiSra tripuTa and that gives a higher perception/illusion that the initial anga is in "tIsra naDai". In fact if you closely observe some people putting miSra cApu - they would do it exactly like this. A slap, followed by a quick 2 count with pinky and ring finger, and then two slaps. The first slap + 2 quick count is pretty much tisra laghu - but condensed in time.

Also I looked at notations for Dikshitar's songs in tiSra tripUta. Only the in 2-kaLai bR.haspaTe seems hard to imagine in m.cApu. The others tripuTa krithis that I looked: kamalAmbAm (bhairavi), SrI kamalAmbikayAm (sahana), Ananda naTana prakAsam (kEdAram), cidambara naTarAja (tanukrithi) etc. seem 1-kalai and eventhough I dont know the song just on a cursory look - it seems they can be comfortably put as tiSra tripuTa.

I am attaching a snippet of notations of bR.haspatE and kamalAmbAm below for additional reading. These were recreated using my notation typesetter (note: due to some current limitations in the typesetter I had to approx a couple of high speed swaras).

Image

And now for some cheap promotion: For more info on the typesetter, please visit http://arunk.freepgs.com/wordpress/cm-typesetter/about/

vijay
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Post by vijay » 06 Mar 2008, 01:48

Vk I feared I got your Q wrong and I am afraid I think I did! The "conditioning" I was referring to was probably misleading. I merely intended to say that if we know the eduppu of a song and that it is in a particular Taalam, we keep beats accordingly.

I agree that most people would be able to figure out the basic rhtyhm of most compositions without ever having heard or heard of CM before (OK 90% of the time!)...that it not what I was referrring to. I was talking about distinction between the main beat and sub beat as per your definition. That would not be obvious to a newbie or even a sesoned rasika. Going back to Endukku Pedda, If I did not know that it started on the 2nd beat (the sub beat) it could just as well be beat 1 and still "fit" equally well. In fact the "La" of "Peddala" would neatly fall on the Ardhi if I started at Beat 3 (Main beat - which would transpose the sequence I gave in my earlier post to yield more main beat stresses)!

"gives you enough stress points that match the beat points and then he gives a few that are syncopated"

In fact he does exactly the opposite in the examples above - the distribution of stresses is highly skewed towards sub-beats. 4:1 actually with 1 on a half beat in Enduku Peddala. This is not an isolated example - a majority of Thyagaraja's 2 Kalai Adi Taala compositions follow this broad structure. Nor is it uncommon for other composers to stress the sub-beats although they tend to respect the Ardhi a little more. Take "Karthikeya" in Thodi - the numbers are 1, 2.5, 4, 5, 6,6.5, 7 and 9...you will find such randomness of stresses between beats/sub-beats in most krithis....the point is, I can discern no greater importance accorded to the main beat over the sub-beat in terms of the stresses in a composition. In fact, I doubt whether this issue entered the composer's minds at all although their preference for a certain struture may have yielded a skewed distribution like in Thyagaraja's case.

Regarding your 1 Kalai Desadi example, shifting the beat by +/- 1 or 2 wold not make any difference one way or the other to the lay ear. A newbie will find it difficult to tell where these krithis start unless he/she is famioliar with 1) Thyagaraja's works ,2)The manner in which time is typically kept for such krithis (a double tap on the middle finger before the ardhi and same again before the samam - that's what makes it seem to fit so well) or 3) The importance of the Ardhi itself (which has a spl significance in CM). In fact, the most obvious starting point for the layman would be 0.5 (or half beat after samam) rather than 1.5. This is because it is the first half beat in the cycle (see below) and not for any other reason. 2.5 (shifting by 1 beat away) will not cause any specific discomfort compared to 1.5 unless one is sensitized as mentioned above. Net net, the eduppu point of these krithis is not obvious if you take away the CM context of Thyagaraja, Desadi Tala/timekeeping for the same and Ardhi.

Shifting by 0.5 is a different matter though (perhaps this is what you intended to say? Half beats and sub-beats are different) - that would sound plainly awkward even to the most rhythmically challenged listener. This comes closer to my understanding of syncopation (which, I will admit, is poor). The "on beat/half beat" difference is certainily something that is intuitively obvious.

But not so, main beat/sub beat in a 2/higher Kalai context - this is a result of the presumed importance of one over the other since one follows/replicates the other...To extent the sub-beat exists because of the main beat, I take your point about a certain hierarchy of importance. But I don't see how one can draw a correlation of these with stresses, no matter how broad....it may even turn out to be the reverse if we actually sit down to analyze...

vijay
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Post by vijay » 06 Mar 2008, 01:51

Thanks for your inputs Arun. At a more reasonable I will try and look at these!

vasanthakokilam
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Post by vasanthakokilam » 06 Mar 2008, 08:26

Regarding your 1 Kalai Desadi example, shifting the beat by +/- 1 or 2 wold not make any difference one way or the other to the lay ear. A newbie will find it difficult to tell where these krithis start unless he/she is famioliar with 1) Thyagaraja's works ,2)The manner in which time is typically kept for such krithis (a double tap on the middle finger before the ardhi and same again before the samam - that's what makes it seem to fit so well)
I would dispute this, especially the "shifting the beat by +1/-1 or 2" part. There is a very basic difference between shifting by 1 and shifting by 2. Shifting by 1 changes the heavy and not so heavy alternating stresses around and you will feel something odd if you continue to keep the beats the way way. I agree shifting by 0.5 is a no go.

I do not know why the double tap is significant. I have seen artisits do that. Also, I am taling at a fundamental musical level and I do not see why someone needs to be familar with Thyagaraja's Desadi thala works. If you analyze a lot of these desadi thala krithis, you do see an alternating stress pattern in the song.
In fact, the most obvious starting point for the layman would be 0.5 (or half beat after samam) rather than 1.5. This is because it is the first half beat in the cycle (see below) and not for any other reason. 2.5 (shifting by 1 beat away) will not cause any specific discomfort compared to 1.5 unless one is sensitized as mentioned above
"half beat after samam" would not work because the first major stress in the song would align with the second beat which is a minor stress in this alternating stress pattern. Same problem with 2.5. That is why 1.5, 3.5, 5.5 7.5 eduppu works because the natural major stress of the thala matches with the expectation. ( beware, here we have changed the numbering , it is 0 based as opposed 1 based in my previous example )
or 3) The importance of the Ardhi itself (which has a spl significance in CM). . Net net, the eduppu point of these krithis is not obvious if you take away the CM context of Thyagaraja, Desadi Tala/timekeeping for the same and Ardhi.
As I wrote before, if one feels that the arudhi stress is significant and is much heavier than other odd beats in the song, and you want to fit the Desadi into the regular Adi mould, then 1.5 is the right and only eduppu for this. I was offering a different point of view ( which traditionlists will balk at ) to view these songs at its most basic form in terms of rhythm and come up with a minimal description of the rhythm without losing anything.

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