Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Carnatic composers (other than performing vidwans)
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punnagavrali1024
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#151 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by punnagavrali1024 » 18 May 2011, 10:39

"The post trinity period is very very close to ours and many people born in that period come tantalizingly close to our own generation. Patnam Subramania Iyer lived between 1845 and 1902 while Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan between 1844 and 1893.
Uday sir provides impeccable evidence supporting OVK's pretrinity standing, through pointing out a series of very logical chronological progressions and eras of various musicians. I find it quite humorous that Shastry sir and Co as well as Anoop ji have conveniently ignored the points made by Uday sir. In debate this is known as selective arguing; we discount the points that make us unhappy (because they prove us wrong and we cannot offer a LOGICAL counter argument) or that we are ignorant about and vehemently hold onto one or two points (however illogical) till the bitter end...even after the discussion is overwelmingly done and people are ready to move on!
Regarding Polur Govindakavi's work, he gives a mathematical possibility of number nine along with many other values for sankirna. But as OVK was not known to any of the vaggeyakaras or musicians of that period, it is safe to assume that he has not come across the work of Polur Govindakavi (coz any acquaintance with any vidwan of that period would've easily made a person like OVK popular). Then how did he fix upon the value of sankirna as nine?
This point is quite vague to me. WHY does OVK have to PERSONALLY meet Sri Govindakavi??? Why is it
safe to assume
anything??? AND how do we know OVK was not known to other musicians in THAT time?? Secondly it may be easier to show that two people did meet at a certain point in time but Anoop ji stresses that Govindakavi did NOT meet OVK (which is harder to prove) and even better, does not offer much evidence for the statement other than a fleeting and illogical statement. It is obvious that Sri Govindakavi wrote a BOOK and not a thesis. Thus he was not inventing/researching the concept of sankeerna. Thus, if sankeerna is being published in a book it can be said that it must have been a widely known concept even in that time and that Sri Govindakavi need not meet OVK to personally let him know that something called Sankeerna existed.

Regarding OVK's navavarnams, anyone who denounces such magnificent jewels as
any one of his other krithis
are seriously wounding their own ethos. There are times when I have teared up just looking at the beautiful words and passages in these navavarnam masterpieces, let alone listening to them being rendered. Learning atleast ONE of these navavarna krithis will surely change your perspective. They are by no means ordinary. For example look at Sakalaloka Nayike in the ragam Arabhi OVK states in the madhyama kalam passage in the charanam, "Bhuvana Prasiddha HreemkAra KAmeswara Bheeja Mantra Lole" No ordinary/"just another" krithi would have such stunning passages....

I find it hilarious that from the beginning of the discussion to almost 150 posts later, the same points have been clutched onto in desperation; Bhaskaraya's lineage and sankeerna. I encourage people who hold onto these points to let go and reassess their reasoning and logic and not post for the sake of posting :grin: .
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anoopnm007
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#152 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by anoopnm007 » 19 May 2011, 01:05

Dear punnagavarali,

i never said about a meeting of ovk and govindakavi. Wat i said was tat the probability of ovk comin across gk's work is low as he is not documented to have known to ANY musicians of that time. Also considering the genius of ovk somebody would've documented had they knew him.
You should also note that the bhaskara raya's question is still left unanswered...

Dear hamsaa, with due respect to you and your knowledge, please don't shout out your ignorance or try to exploit it. Books like ssp are available online or hard copies are also available for purchase at karnatik music book centre or music academy. Please refer those yourself. Your questions are like challenging a person to write down all the words in an oxford dicrionary starting with 'a'. I'm really sorry i had to put it this way. But i can help u to get a copy of both swararnava and ssp if required.

Regards
Anoop Krishnan
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chitravina ravikiran
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#153 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by chitravina ravikiran » 19 May 2011, 02:54

Respected Akella garu,

My namaskarams to you. I still remember a vocal concert of mine when I was around 6/7 (was it in Khammam?) where you encouraged me by accompanying me. If I also remember right, you mesmerised me even before the concert by moving your ears!

This post is merely intended to respond to some of the points you have made with respect to tala, dasha pranas, sankeerna etc and not intended to change your views on the subject, which I am sure you have arrived at after years of study and contemplation. As you definitely know, me and my guru and father, Shri Chitravina Narasimhan, hold you in high esteem. However, I thought that rasikas here need to be made aware of different perspectives of such deep subjects and then evolve their own opinions in the process. Sir, I am also sure that what I say may sound elementary to you, but let me start off with some fundamental facts, in order to facilitate other followers.
Tala is the name of a musical-metre which, in turn, has ten-kinds of disciplines
Tala is fundamentally nothing but (a) clapping of hands or against one's arm or (b) musical time or measure. (Monier Williams Dictionary lists numerous other meanings which are not contextual to music).
‘Tala-dasha-pranas’
1. These are just attributes of a tala that have been classified for purposes of study and understanding. This is because, the architects of Indian music realized that the concept of tala can never be fully explained - it must be realized. However dasha pranas are an attempt to describe the manifestation of talas.

2. They are clearly latter-day developments than the concept of tala. Dasha prana classification and codification was based on a study of various talas and an assessment of common properties. In other words, tala can include but need not be limited by dasha pranas.

3. Therefore, anga talas, chanda talas or chapu talas will all very much come under the 'legal' definition of talas.
Among the five basic Jaatis, Trisra (3), Chaturashra (4), Khanda (5), Mishra (7) and Sankeerna (9) the Chaturashra (4) is the only even
Strictly speaking, there are only two basic jatis - chaturashra (4) and tishra (3). This is true for many other systems of world music too. In India, we took it further.

Mishra (mixture of the two fundamentals) = 4+3.
Khanda (split) = 4+3+3 / 2
Sankeerna (integration) = 4+5
Even among these four odds while Sankeerna (9) is the only divisible one (by ‘3’) all others, Trisra (3), Khanda (5) and Mishra (7) are indivisible.
This is only a feature - not a deficiency or ineligibility, even after one takes prastara into consideration.
That is why this Sankeerna has been omitted even in the basic Alankaras
No one can say why sankeerna has been omitted in Alankaras. It could have simply been considered too challenging for students in their initial stages.
none in the Trinity did use it anywhere
This again, is no reflection on Sankeerna!! It is more a reflection of a general trend from late 1700s, as recent studies reveal. We all now know that the composed music definitely became much simpler in terms of rhythm, form and variety of sections, speeds, gatis etc within it. Several features (gati-bhedams, complex talas, jatis, faster sections etc) were taken out or used sparingly by composers starting from the trinity. Saint Tyagaraja almost never used them, MD used them moderately while SS employed them more than these two and soon earned a reputation for laya-wizardry.

To summarise, not using sankeernam is neither a credit to the composers, nor a discredit to the jati. It could be as simple as a personal choice.

In the bigger picture, one must always remember that books written in a particular period merely observed, documented or commented upon trends upto that period, to the best knowledge of the author. To elevate them to the stature of 'rule layers for perpetuity' would not merely negate progress made by brilliant minds over subsequent centuries but also dangerously distort perspectives about these prime movers of our great system.

For eg: If one were to argue that "Bharata never mentioned ragas in Natya Shastra. Therefore Matanga 'diluted' music by proposing the raga concept a few centuries later", where would our great system be? All developments are not necessarily desirable but that does not mean that every development is a dilution either...
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msakella
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#154 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by msakella » 19 May 2011, 15:18

Chi. Ravikiran dear, Extremely glad to hear from you, dear. Very glad to know that you still remember our concert on 13-07-1975 in Kalaparishat Hall at Khammam along with me and Chi. Ella when Shri P.V.R.K.Prasad, a friend of your father and the District Collector arranged it there. Really I am surprised of your remembering capacity of moving even my ears, which is the quality of an animal (Janthulakshana), of course.

It is very true that your father and me are very affectionate to each other since many decades and, that is why I do not forget to speak to your father whenever I go over to Chennai. Moreover, being his very talented sons, I always wish you both Mahapaanditya in your respecative field and Sarvajanaadarana by the grace of the Almighty.

After having served for 35 long years as a teacher I, only after deep introspection after retirement, came to know that it is far easier to become a Top-grade Violinist but not an efficient teacher at all even though many are unable to believe me. Thus, at this old age, I have very strong convictions of my own which are very helpful to me amazingly but inconvenient to others naturally.

As you wrote, no doubt, the division of Tala-dasha-pranas, clearly, is a latter-day development than the concept of Tala. To tell the truth, even though the division of Talas-dasha-pranas has been made later all these ten-clements are funished in detail in many of our treatises. But, most unfortunately, the last 10th element, Prastara, which is the origin for all the rhythmical forms of the universe and which is 100 times more than all the remaining nine elements put together, has never been brought out by any author of any period or in any language within the reach of the aspirant mostly shutting many of the doors of this Tala-chapter. That is why, while there are around 400 Shlokas, in total, in the Taladhyaya of Sangita Ratnakara around 100 Shlokas are devoted for Prastara only. In this manner, I can bring out umpteen examples in bringing out the importance and greatness of Prastara. But, unfortunately, one cannot understand all these details unless he/she himself/herself goes deep into it. And many are also running away from learning this very highly complex topic which swallowed my precious life of four decades.

The person who goes deep into Prastara only can understand the limits of it like the ‘legal or illegal’ definitions but not others at all. At this old age, I cannot discuss such things at length in this thread.

I cannot totally agree with your opinion that books written in a particular period are merely observed, documented or commented upon trends up to that period, to the best knowledge of the author.

Creating or bringing out novel things should not always be taken as brilliance while many people, nowadays, are doing so for easy money and fame. There are so many facets even in respect of either development or dilution which could only be discussed at length in the presence of knowledgeable people. amsharma
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uday_shankar
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#155 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by uday_shankar » 19 May 2011, 16:48

anoopnm007 wrote: Then how did he fix upon the value of sankirna as nine?...
Wat i said was tat the probability of ovk comin across gk's work is low as he is not documented to have known to ANY musicians of that time.
This doesn't make sense. I repeat the point made by punnagavarali - it is not necessary to be aware of a documented source of an idea or term for somebody to have been aware of it. Even in the rigorous and jealously guarded world of scientific authorship often the first publication of an idea is not necessarily the origination of it. Example, the "Darwin-Wallace" theory of evolution and the "Maxwell-Hertz-Heaviside" Equations of Electromagnetism :). These things are infinitely more casual and fuzzy in the world of Carnatic "history" - Did Bharata specify musical intervals one fine day and then everybody started using them ??!! Did Maatanga originate the idea of a rAga one fine day and then everybody started using the idea ??!!

Again, we know of very few musicians of any era, so it is equally possible that OVK met some obscure musician of his era and got hold of the gk's work and both this fact and OVK's existence itself drowned in historical obscurity. In fact OVK needn't have know ANY musician to have found a source for the work ! This line of reasoning, i.e., "somebody would have known something or somebody and written about it somewhere" gets more difficult in orders of magnitude the further back in history you recede. This is why it is much easier to investigate, as I was trying to imply with my earlier post, the possibilty of a much more recent date for OVK - specifically the post-trinity era - and then decide if it is plausible or not. The trail of innumerable sources from that era hasn't yet grown cold in the present times - there are still people living today who have met and talked to people who lived in that era (i.e., early to late 19th century). For example, my father-in-law (1931-2010) has talked to his grandfather (1866-1943). Incidentally, I would think the very fact that OVK is NOT mentioned in SSP as indicative of the fact that he was NOT contemporaneous with either Subbarama Dikshitar (1839-1910) or the generation before him, i.e., the trinity generation.
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mahavishnu
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#156 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by mahavishnu » 19 May 2011, 17:35

Uday, well said. Your analogy to the diffusion of scientific ideas/paradigms is very apt.
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cmlover
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#157 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by cmlover » 19 May 2011, 19:14

A decade ago when the OVK controversy was raging in Sangeetham site there were claims that 'OVK' was an elaborate hoax perpetrated by NKB who was fobbing off his own compositions under a mythical legendary figure. The book of poems uncovered by RK was claimed to be a forgery by NKB. It goes to the credit of RK that he fought off these slurs and duly established and restored OVK to his place of honour in CM history. I am just mentioninng this just for historical completeness!
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hamsaa
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#158 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by hamsaa » 19 May 2011, 20:16

Anoop,

Thanks for your gratuitous advice! I appreciate it!!
Most of us following this thread know that Sri Ravikiran has answered all issues raised in this thread - some of them more than once. He has done so with indisputable examples, counter-examples, references as well as logic and sense. I am sure even you have found Uday's reasoning and logic beyond dispute about how OVK could never have been modern too, but quite conveniently ignored it.
BR has not been answered...
Check again the sequence of events. The answering has not been from Shastri/your end!!

(a) RK has always quoted the BR-OVK with a rider of ‘believed to have’ as against a definite statement.

(b) Sri RK shared his source of information - a descendant of a minister in Tanjore who was well known to OVK. (Whether it 'proves' BR-OVK or not, it shoots out of the park the 'modern and recent' theories proposed in the first post.)

(c) But Shastri brought other points of reference to question this.

(d) But these are not conclusive since anyone who is into Srividya knows that schools merge/change practices over years.

(e) Despite all that, if X says, I am the sole authority on BR’s disciple list, X must prove it.

(f) Can anyone prove that he has the entire disciples list for BR’s 100?

(g) BR or not, OVK's navavaranams are great, period

SSP issue:
SSP mentions Chinnayya in all the copies I have seen. So, I wondered if you had another special copy of it!! It does not refer to Arunagirinathar either. It also does not mention Swathi Tirunal – it only says Kulashekara Perumal. As Sri Ravikiran says, SSP is great but it is not bible.
Swararnava-Thyagaraja connection:
Why should I get copies? If X is caught selling a myth like that to support his anti-OVK theory, the onus is on X to accept that he was wrong or prove he was right. Or at least he knows what he is talking about.
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uday_shankar
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#159 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by uday_shankar » 20 May 2011, 06:42

hamsaa wrote:reasoning and logic beyond dispute
That's not true Hamsaa. There is always room for dispute in any speculative reasoning. But that's not the point. I quote from Shri Ravikiran's earlier post:
Each of the points I made above may by itself not be sufficient 'proof'. However, taken in tandem, they present a strong case that support his family's records, which is very vital here indeed. It has to be noted that records by family/disciples are the main sources in the case of numerous people and even sketchy and incomplete ones have been accepted at face value in the case of most composers/other personalities by us - until conclusive proof is found to alter our perception. So far no proof to the contrary has been found by anyone with regard to Venkata Kavi, despite speculations from a distance in select quarters. When such proof is presented beyond all doubts, I am sure that everyone will be willing to stand corrected. That said, I re-iterate that to me, the period (even plus minus a few decades) is absolutely only a statistic in the context of actual works of a person - be it OVK, Tyagaraja, Edison or Einstein.
Most people posting here, me included, are just armchair theorists. Chitravina Ravikiran, in the midst of all his other activities, has actually done the practical fieldwork of meeting the descendants/family of OVK, poring over the manuscripts, etc.. Why is it so hard for people to believe the family's account? Particularly since it has been vetted by Shri Ravikiran. Nobody has any vested interest in perpetrating a hoax. Perhaps it is an unfortunate fact, that some people with a lot of time and a dark brooding mindset are susceptible to conspiracy theories. Remember, nothing is holier than the Truth, and the Truth can never hurt us. Get over the darkness and look at everything in the light of pure reason and logic. AND TRUST PEOPLE, FOR GOD'S SAKE. There is neither a character nor a competence problem.

Knowing Chitravina Ravikiran as I do, he of all people has the least vested interest in affixing any date to OVK. His sole concern in this matter is propagating this musical phenomenon called OVK to the general public. I remember very well having a conversation with him during his heady early days of the OVK discovery when he was poring over the manuscripts awestruck and stunned. I likened him to G H Hardy circa 1913 examining a manuscript that arrived in the mail from India, containing strange squiggles and formulas he had never seen in his life. I could imagine Ravikiran the musical genius remarking to himself about those OVK manuscripts as Hardy remarked about the Ramanujan manuscripts "they must be true, because, if they were not true, no one would have the imagination to invent them" ! Sometimes it takes a genius to recognize another.
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Ponbhairavi
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#160 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by Ponbhairavi » 20 May 2011, 12:10

An interesting observation:
Those who claim that OVK lived after the Trinity also proclaim that his compositions have no real merit(Full of mistakes befitting a "modern" composer) though they may not know enough tamil to understand even the meaning of OVK's compositions let alone Arunagirinathar's.Therefore it is clear that they have strong prejudiced opinion that good music is only telegu and it came to tamil nadu only with Thyagaraja. Prejudiced people can hardly be convinced: you can take a horse to water but not make it drink-- You can wake up a sleeping person but not one who does not want to get up-- The rabbit i caught has only 3 legs. But one good result is that the thousands of viewers who have been following these notes would have come to know where truth is thanks to RK's patient, unshakable logical authoritative arguments. I would quote 2 lines of an ovk's composition which appears in another thread about its value


innAr innapaDi enrE terinda pin eDuttu sholvadenrO nIti
ennAlE sholvadalla indap-pazhamozhi ettanaiyO pEr shonna shEdi
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cmlover
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#161 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by cmlover » 20 May 2011, 20:31

uday_shankar wrote: .....
I could imagine Ravikiran the musical genius remarking to himself about those OVK manuscripts as Hardy remarked about the Ramanujan manuscripts "they must be true, because, if they were not true, no one would have the imagination to invent them" ! Sometimes it takes a genius to recognize another.
Very picturesque Uday and aptly stated.
As Ponbhairavi states the 'proof of the pudding is in its taste'... OVK should be assessed on his own merits.
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chitravina ravikiran
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#162 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by chitravina ravikiran » 21 May 2011, 03:39

Dear Akella garu,
our concert on 13-07-1975 in Kalaparishat Hall at Khammam along with me and Chi. Ella
Your memory for details is phenomenal! I had no idea about the exact date and was also vague if it was Ella Venkateshwara Rao garu who was on the mrdangam then. I do remember that I was not in great form that day and it was surely not musically memorable for me!!
the last 10th element, Prastara, which is the origin for all the rhythmical forms of the universe
I agree with you completely, prastara (permutation) is a very important part of rhythm. As you rightly say, not many people know about this or use it extensively. Even seasoned vidwans tend to focus more on vistara. Luckily my father, being a consummate musician and guru, had given me an introduction to the fascinating subject of dasha pranas even before he had put me on the stage as a vocalist. So, at least I have a working knowledge of it, even though it may take decades to go very deep into it, like you have done. Prastara is definitely a very interesting aspect which must be showcased in concerts even in small measures by every artiste.
At this old age, I cannot discuss such things at length in this thread.
I will sure get a copy of your book upon my return to Chennai and go through it.
Creating or bringing out novel things should not always be taken as brilliance while many people, nowadays, are doing so for easy money and fame.
I agree wholeheartedly. I also feel that novelty must not be used as an avenue by escapists who wish to shy away from the rigours of traditional and the classical. We all see hundreds of sub-standard compositions by composers who are devoid of even basic rules of tense, verb and grammar, leave alone yati, prasa, chanda, alankara or raga-tala lakshana (which reminds one of Tyagaraja's Vararagalayagnulu in Chenchukambodhi). (I have sometimes felt that workshops/seminars could be conducted on the basic approaches to composing, like they do in the West.)

My only difference with you is: we must not club composers of divinely inspired genius like OVK, Tyagaraja, Shyama Shastri etc in the other league. The scholarship, intellect and skills of these people was exponentially higher than average musicians/composers and they would have had sound reasons for extending the boundaries of our music... As my guru Sangita Kalanidhi Brinda garu used to remark, "I know my grammar as well as anybody. But yet, I do not change certain things because I believe that the great composers/musicians would have had a valid reason for a particular usage" (periyavA anda prayOgam vechurinda, adukku edO kAraNam irukkaNum). In other words, I feel that classification under dilution or development is a based on the quality of a person, his reasons and context.

I have only two doubts and if possible, please help readers understand those better:

1. Isn't it true that when we talk of prastara, we talk of the prastara of the number and this has nothing to do with a laghu count? Am I right in stating that prastara is not on a jati/laghu but more in the rhythmic sub-divisions within the laghu (or on any given number of units?) We count the fingers only one way in Carnatic music whether the laghu is 4, 3, 7, 5 or 9.

2. Even though 9 is divisible by 3, aren't there numerous options to do prastara using 9, without bringing 3 into the picture at all? Therefore, prastara should be possible irrespective of a number being odd/even, prime or not?

Thank you and regards...
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msakella
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#163 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by msakella » 21 May 2011, 12:19

Chi Ravikiran dear,

Extremely happy to go through your post. There is nothing great in just referring my ‘Diary of concerts’ and give the details of our concert (Rs.180/- inclusive of travel expenses - just forgot to mention in my last post).

You may not remember your concert in that younger age but you did it extremely well (if you take it jovially and don’t laugh at me - you did everything just like a monkey-kid trained by her master in doing acrobatics of his own).
(I have sometimes felt that workshops/seminars could be conducted on the basic approaches to composing, like they do in the West.)
If you feel only sometimes I always feel that periodical workshops and seminars only could minimise the indicipline of our musicians and music-teachers (if you don’t laugh at me - magic-teachers or music-cheaters).
My only difference with you is: we must not club composers of divinely inspired genius like OVK, Tyagaraja, Shyama Shastri etc in the other league. The scholarship, intellect and skills of these people was exponentially higher than average musicians/composers and they would have had sound reasons for extending the boundaries of our music
Up to some extent only I can agree with you but not fully. Unfortunately, my past experience of spending four decades of my precious life on the extensive research of Prastara, even sacrificing much of my artist career, will not at all allow me to agree with you in this particular aspect. Many of our elders were telling me not to abuse our ancestors for the hardship we are facing now. In one way, it may be true if it is applied to many other general problems. But mine is entirely different with all others and I can’t even speak of my toil leave alone writing it in lengthy sentences. Even though I can’t write it, now, in lengthy sentences I shall give you only one example. If I tell 3 X 3 = 9 and either OVK or Thyagaraja or Shyamashastry or even Lord Venkateshwara tells 3 X 3 = 8 what do you say? Please answer ( I shall explain my plight in person when we next meet).

Had you gone deep into Prastara you would not have asked me these two questions. However, I shall certainly answer these two questions.

1.You are absolutely in-correct. Prastara has everything to do with the laghu count. Prastara is absolutely mathematics being full of precision and the basic element of the system of the Tala. But, please make a very important note, one can understand this only after arriving at the opposite shore of the sea.

2.Yes, even though 9 is divisible by 3, we will get only one prastara using 9 and many more prastaras even without bringing 3 into picture. One must mind that Prastara is inclusive of all numbers and, at the same time, also devoid of all numbers while making the process of permutation.

But, in respect of Sankeernam, I have a point. You are telling that the scholarship, intellect and skills of the composers of divinely inspired genius were exponentially higher than average musicians/composers and they would have had sound reasons for extending the boundaries of our music. Yes, me too agree with you in this respect. But, in respect of Sankeernam, according to our Indian tradition, which are named after Sankaram or Sankeernam must be avoided in our religion. I guess, that is why, while ‘7’ was named after Mishram only ‘9’ was named after Sankeernam and was also avoided not only right from the primary Alankaras to be fed to our kids but also even by Muthuswamy Dikshitar who had composed in all the seven Soolaadi-talas. Thus, does utilising Sankeernam not come under going beyond the traditional boundaries established by the great Trinity of our music? Even if you treat OVK as a pre-trinity composer we all must thank the Trinity for having not followed OVK in this respect but wantonly avoided Sankeernam maintaining our tradition. amsharma
Last edited by msakella on 24 May 2011, 07:29, edited 1 time in total.
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cmlover
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#164 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by cmlover » 21 May 2011, 21:25

Quoting from
Sangita Darpanam of Catura Damodara..

brAhmaNashcaturasraH syAt tisraH kShatriya Eva ca
khaNDOvaishyastathAshUdraH mishrOgnEyO vicakShaNaiH |
sankIrNajAtissamkIrNaH kathitAstALavEdibhiH || (701)


'jAti', caste-wise catusram is brahmin, tisram is kShatriya, khaNDam is vaishya, mishram is shUdra and
sankIrNam is mixed-caste (?fifth caste or caNDALa).
Hence it is only natural for the caste-conscious Trinty to avoid sankIrNam whereas OVK, himself almost an outcaste had no hesitation using it freely..
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musicfan_4201
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#165 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by musicfan_4201 » 22 May 2011, 12:43

cmlover wrote:Quoting from
Sangita Darpanam of Catura Damodara..

brAhmaNashcaturasraH syAt tisraH kShatriya Eva ca
khaNDOvaishyastathAshUdraH mishrOgnEyO vicakShaNaiH |
sankIrNajAtissamkIrNaH kathitAstALavEdibhiH || (701)


'jAti', caste-wise catusram is brahmin, tisram is kShatriya, khaNDam is vaishya, mishram is shUdra and
sankIrNam is mixed-caste (?fifth caste or caNDALa).
Hence it is only natural for the caste-conscious Trinty to avoid sankIrNam whereas OVK, himself almost an outcaste had no hesitation using it freely..
There goes CML with his anti-Trinity crusade !!!
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hamsaa
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#166 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by hamsaa » 22 May 2011, 16:42

The person who goes deep into Prastara only can understand the limits of it like the ‘legal or illegal’ definitions
1. Prastara may appear like a big subject to many musicians but to de-mystify it for those with a math background, it is nothing but permutation.

2. Any number can be permuted as well as the others .

3. Therefore to say that sankeerna is a disadvantage/illegal in prastara does not seem consistent with logic.
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uday_shankar
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#167 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by uday_shankar » 22 May 2011, 17:44

uday_shankar wrote:OVK manuscripts
It has been pointed out to me that the term "manuscript" has a specific meaning in the context of Indic/Indological research, typically writings (on palm leaf or other media) attributable to original sources or something close, etc... In this instance, I meant to say "notebooks and papers" in the possession of the descendants/family of OVK.
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cmlover
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#168 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by cmlover » 23 May 2011, 09:57

Does OVK refer to AruNAcala Kavi?
He belonged to the same time period...but his songs were tuned much later.
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msakella
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#169 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by msakella » 23 May 2011, 14:59

1. Prastara may appear like a big subject to many musicians but to de-mystify it for those with a math background, it is nothing but permutation.
To de-mystify Prastara for those with a math background if it is nothing but permutation why none had solved this element and brought out all the latent secrets of it within the reach of our aspirants since 12th century? Most of my extensive research on Prastara, started from 1963, was made even without the computer or even calculator which were not available in those days.. Even now, I can answer any questions pertaining to Nashta or Uddishta or Kalita with the help of the figures and tables of my book, Indian Genius in Talaprastara only but without utilising either the computer or even the calculator. Can you do the same in this manner now?
2. Any number can be permuted as well as the others .
Of course, yes. I didn’t say anything against about this in my post.
3. Therefore to say that sankeerna is a disadvantage/illegal in prastara does not seem consistent with logic.
Even in respect of Sankeerna also I didn’t say anything, dear. Would you be kind enough to verify them again, dear. amsharma
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ShrutiLaya
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#170 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by ShrutiLaya » 23 May 2011, 20:21

cmlover wrote:A decade ago when the OVK controversy was raging in Sangeetham site there were claims that 'OVK' was an elaborate hoax perpetrated by NKB who was fobbing off his own compositions under a mythical legendary figure. The book of poems uncovered by RK was claimed to be a forgery by NKB. It goes to the credit of RK that he fought off these slurs and duly established and restored OVK to his place of honour in CM history. I am just mentioninng this just for historical completeness!
This is brilliant! I'm not saying I believe this is real, and the wealth of other evidence clearly suggests otherwise, but looked at narrowly as part of the armchair debate, this demolishes Sri.Uday's posts 137/138; In essence, Sri.Uday argues that if OVK was not pre-trinity, he must have lived in well documented times, and should have been known to a number of people. This novel claim says OVK was neither pre nor post trinity, he never existed!

- Sreenadh
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#171 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by uday_shankar » 24 May 2011, 19:12

ShrutiLaya wrote:and the wealth of other evidence clearly suggests otherwise
Just curious, what exactly is this "wealth" of other evidence ? As far as I am concerned, I rely on two things a) the assessment of infinitely better minds than mine b) that such minds are acting with integrity and good faith. So my so-called "arguments" are nothing more than a little armchair side show. But once you question the integrity and good faith of the primary participants in this drama, all bets are off. For example, there's no further discussion with folks who suggest the 9/11 is an Israeli conspiracy to designed bring a bad name to Islam. Again, I would be curious to know what exactly is the "wealth of other evidence", even from an armchiar perspective. Or is it a sop after my so-called arguments have been "demolished", not unlike the twin towers by those damned Israeli bombers:) ?
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ShrutiLaya
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#172 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by ShrutiLaya » 24 May 2011, 19:52

I'm referring to the wealth of evidence in the multiple posts of RK (which, I too rely on for much the same reasons as you) ..

- Sreenadh
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chitravina ravikiran
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#173 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by chitravina ravikiran » 25 May 2011, 05:23

Dear Akella garu,

I wanted to contemplate on the subject a bit and hence the delay in my reply.
But, in respect of Sankeernam, according to our Indian tradition, which are named after Sankaram or Sankeernam must be avoided in our religion.
1. I think we are confusing two distinct things here. (a) Traditional/cultural meaning and context of the word (b) Musical development over centuries where the word has been used to represent a specific concept (eventually to do with the number 9).

2. If we were to apply (a) as our yardstick, things will get dangerously misleading. For eg, in our culture it is also true that:

Mishra = adulterating
Khanda = deficient, defective, crippled etc...

3. In this case, all composers including PD and Trinity would be critiqued for using such 'polluted' jatis! I am not saying they did - am just pointing out the dangers of selective or narrow interpretations of any concept to judge great people.

4. A counter point could be brought about saying that 9 - being such a sacred and important number in our religion - nava rasa, nava vidha bhakti, nava graha, nava -avarana and so forth. And someone who used 9 can be extra-glorified! Again, I am not saying they should be...

5. In the context of OVK, it would be misleading to suggest or even speculate that some composers avoided sankeernam because of cultural or religious reasons. Sankeernam has indisputably enriched our great music and its beauty - as a laghu or a gati. Its aesthetic beauty is undeniable. It just needs skill, scholarship to handle larger talas.

6. In another thread on Tala prastara you have yourself hit the nail on the head on post # 17.

http://rasikas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1879
In the good olden days the Talas are very lengthier and as they all are very difficult to remember all the Talangas of them and also to execute them properly. Smaller Talas are introduced to make the matters easier to a common man. Even in these Talas, all the composers preferred to compose their compositions in much smaller Talas only. That is why we will find all the compositions of Saint Thyagaraja are composed either in Adi or Rupaka or Triputa
7. This is the correct reason and I agree with you 100%. The complex talas of the 'good old days' were gradually avoided in the latter parts of 1700s to make music accessible.

8. One cannot turn around in this thread and say that complex things were avoided because they were negative! And thank people who avoided them as well!!

9. As I said, it could have been just a personal choice or a gradual collective feeling that things had to be made simpler. Definitely the earlier decades/centuries had a few artistes who had no problems executing tougher talas and even relished using them. Otherwise, why would we find brilliant compositions by people like Arunagirinathar or OVK or others in such talas? Only Shyama Shastri - being the oldest among the trinity - carried more warmth for at least some of the 'tougher' talas and handled them with elan.

10. A composition like OVK's Sadanandamayi in Sankeerna Mathya is absolutely stunning without compromising on rakti, bhakti or bhava. That is almost an impossible balance to achieve, as we all know. The composer has chosen Hindolam for this weighty masterpiece shows his melodic vision of that raga as well. I am positive that being a vidwan of high calibre yourself, you will declare that OVK must be celebrated if you heard such pieces of his.

With sincere regards...
Last edited by chitravina ravikiran on 25 May 2011, 05:32, edited 1 time in total.
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cmlover
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#174 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by cmlover » 25 May 2011, 05:31

Simply beautiful powerful arguments RK!
I have no words to commend you!
I hope sarmaji has arguments to substantiate his stance other than based on religion or metaphysics!
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msakella
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#175 Re: Oothukkadu Venkata kavi - a pre trinity composer?

Post by msakella » 25 May 2011, 11:39

Chi. Ravikiran,

Sankeernam-9: All are aware that even numbers are always divisible and odd numbers are, in general, indivisible. Irrespective of the greatness of the number ‘9’ like navarasas or navagrahas etc., etc., in particular, in our music, it is not that convenient and easy to bear with or relish with ‘9’ like other odds 3 or 5 or even 7 pertaining to single-digit-figures. That is why all most all the composers have preferred to leave it alone may be except one or two. Even in respect of performers of music or dance, just one or two may be able to perform in music only to prove their efficiency but not to make the audience relish and I have seen none using this Sankeernam in any dance performance.

Even Arunagirinathar (Dindimabhattu), as per the history, used the prosody of Sanskrit in Tamil and composed some lyrics even without mentioning either the Raga or the Tala and they are our musicians who gave the names of Ragas and Talas and used them in their concerts that too in the absence of the knowledge of Prastara. Even in respect of Shyama Shastry, he did use only one tougher-tala, Sharabhanandana that too in the absernce of the knowledge of Prastara, but not Sankeernam at all. Accordingly, I also feel, it is useless to discuss about this particular point at length when this has already been avoided even by our ancestors even right from the primary lessons to be fed to our kids. amsharma
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