Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Carnatic composers (other than performing vidwans)
Post Reply
bhakthim dehi
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Feb 2014, 21:28
x 15
x 17

#251 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by bhakthim dehi » 20 Apr 2016, 16:27

Viswa Sir used to sing the only Shanmughapriya krithi of Thygaraja-- Vadane(I may be mispronouncing this!!)
Not only this krithi was notated by Thillaisthanam dicsiples as mentioned by Ravisri, this was also published in the weekly Svasamitran in 1940s. Interestingly, this is one among the few krithis notated in the boook Sangita Sarvarta Sara Sangrahamu published around 1870. So, the authentiity of this krithi cannot be questioned.

May I know the reason for you to doubt the authenticity of this krithi?
What does Sri Madhav mean by his comments on vAsudEvayani and sundari nI divya rUpamunu?
Valajapet disciples use to sing the krithi sundari only from its anupallavi mandagamana. Even in the book Oriental music in Europan notation published by Sri. Chinnasvamy Mudaliyar, this krithi was indexed as mandagamana and not as sundari, which is followed now!!
that most of the vivadi swara krithis or krithis in ragas like balahamsa,Sindhukannada,manohari,vivardhini,etc--must have been in his early decades when Manambuchavadi Venkatasubbier and Walajapet Venkatramana Bhagavathar were his principal disciples
Krithis in balahamsa (both divya nama and regular krithis) were much available to both Umayalpuram and Thillaisthanam disciples. Same with manohari, sindhu kannada an vivardhani. All these krithis can be seen in the book Thyagaraja keerthanulu/ kruthulu by Sri. Narasimha bhagavathar published in the year 1908. He belongs to Thillaisthanam school.
Naina Pillai learnt Thyagaraja kritis from Wallajapet Krishnaswami Bhagavatar and from Jalatarangam Ramanayya Chetty
Are you sure it is Valajapet Krishnasvamy bhagavathar?
0 x

RaviSri
Posts: 469
Joined: 10 Apr 2011, 11:31
x 19

#252 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by RaviSri » 21 Apr 2016, 17:39

Are you sure it is Valajapet Krishnasvamy bhagavathar?
Sorry, it should be Walajapet Ramaswami Bhagavatar.
0 x

RaviSri
Posts: 469
Joined: 10 Apr 2011, 11:31
x 19

#253 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by RaviSri » 21 Apr 2016, 17:45

There has been a lot of trading of songs among the various schools. For example Umayalpuram Swaminatha Iyer did gurukulavasam with Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer who was a disciple of Manambuchavadi. His son Venkatarama Iyer learnt from Thillaistanam Panju Bhagavatar also. It was only the Thillaistanam disciples Narasimha Bhagavatar and Panju Bhagavatar who studied only with Thillaistanam Rama Iyengar and therefore did not mix up the versions of the three/four schools. The Wallajapet tradition also came down without much of changes. It was the Umayalpuram school, especially starting from Venkatarama Iyer that changed a lot of songs of the bard.
0 x

RaviSri
Posts: 469
Joined: 10 Apr 2011, 11:31
x 19

#254 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by RaviSri » 21 Apr 2016, 18:03

MKR, K.V.Ramachandran, a musicologist and brother-in-law of Dr.Seethapati Iyer who was a friend of both Dhanammal and Tiger has written articles on ragas and their true lakshanas. For a start you can read one of his articles in the Academy journal of 1950. It was a lecture he gave along with B-M singing some songs as examples.

https://issuu.com/themusicacademy/docs/1950

You can maybe search for KVR's other articles in the journals all of which are uploaded on the Music Academy's website.
0 x

bhakthim dehi
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Feb 2014, 21:28
x 15
x 17

#255 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by bhakthim dehi » 21 Apr 2016, 18:38

Rightly said Ravisri. Umayalpuram disciples changed the lakshanam, pace, raga and tala of many songs. But I am not sure who started this in that lineage. U. Svaminatha iyer or U. Venkatarama iyer or the great doyens like MVI , SSI who came later.
But Umayalpuram disciples were able to make a noteable impact amongst rasikas than the other two.
Last edited by bhakthim dehi on 21 Apr 2016, 18:42, edited 2 times in total.
0 x

bhakthim dehi
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Feb 2014, 21:28
x 15
x 17

#256 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by bhakthim dehi » 21 Apr 2016, 18:40

There was also a good communication between U Svaminatha iyer and Thillaistanan Narasimha bhagavathar leading to exchange of songs between them. Similarly Dr Srinivasaraghavan, nephew of Thillaistanam Rama iyengar learnt from Jalatarangam Ramaniya Chetiyar, a disciple of Valajapet family.
0 x

Ramasubramanian M.K
Posts: 1188
Joined: 05 May 2009, 08:33
x 1
x 19

#257 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by Ramasubramanian M.K » 21 Apr 2016, 22:55

RaviSri/Bhathimdehi:My humble pranams to your elucidations. I regret not having followed this thread since I joined the forum,RaviSri--I will follow up on your threads.
If either of you happen to be in Chennai or near Chennai I would very much like to meet with you. I will be in India--mostly Chennai and Coimbatore-during the period June 23rd thru August 15,It will be an honor to meet and imbibe some of your knowledge(I agree I should do my homework first!!). I have never bothered to study Telugu even in a rudimentary fashion . Your comments/references have rekindled my interest.
In this connection on a trivial note I should mention I have been associated with Jalatarangam Ramanayya Chetty--Semmangudi Mama in my younger days(apparently I had a raspy voice) used to introduce me as Jalatarangam Ramanayya Chetty to anybody and everybody. Apparently Sri. Ramanayya Chetty had a hoarse voice.Till reading these posts with reference to Ramanyya Chetti and T.Sankaran's book Sangeetha Medaigal(a very crisply and elegantly written book on the erstwhile masters including Ramanayya Chetty) I had no idea of how high Ramanayya Chetty's stature was amongst his contemporaries. I felt being compared to him is the highest compliment in a strange and weird way!!!!
0 x

rajeshnat
Posts: 7926
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 08:04
x 30
x 112

#258 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by rajeshnat » 22 Apr 2016, 10:00

Ramasubramanian M.K wrote:RaviSri
I would very much like to meet with you. I will be in India--mostly Chennai and Coimbatore-during the period June 23rd thru August 15,
MKR
IIRC Ravi Sri are actually two persons - not sure if either of them write or both write with the same ID , is that not right RaviSri- there was a reference.
Certainly Bhakthim dehi and RaviSri are very special in bringing their deep knowledge.
0 x

Pratyaksham Bala
Posts: 3171
Joined: 21 May 2010, 16:57
x 43
x 35

#259 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by Pratyaksham Bala » 22 Apr 2016, 16:23

RaviSri - Ravi and Sridhar.

Ref: Post #27, Para 3 of -
http://www.rasikas.org/forums/viewtopic ... ri#p206474
0 x

RaviSri
Posts: 469
Joined: 10 Apr 2011, 11:31
x 19

#260 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by RaviSri » 22 Apr 2016, 18:38

But I am not sure who started this in that lineage. U. Svaminatha iyer or U. Venkatarama iyer or the great doyens like MVI , SSI who came later.
The changes were not made by Umayalpuram Krishna Bhagavatar or Sundara Bhagavatar. They stayed true to what Thyagaraja and Manambuchavadi taught them. Swaminatha Iyer also stayed true to the versions he learnt. I have it from a daughter of Palakkad Rama Bhagavatar that he used to sing many songs in dEshAdi tala, that was how he had learnt many songs from Swaminatha Iyer. It was Swaminatha Iyer's son Venkatarama Iyer who changed a lot of songs and this was carried forward by the likes of MVI and SSI. Ritha Rajan in her dissertation also explains with examples the songs that Venkatarama Iyer 'changed'. She uses the word "constructed" and "reconstructed",which only means that songs for which Venktarama Iyer did not know the meTTus, he simply tuned them himself.

MKR, below is a link to Ritha Rajan's dissertation on various versions of Thyagaraja kritis available in may parts, I think seven. She gives a detailed ccount of the different versions of the bard's songs, Wallajapet (which she learned from (Muktahmma), Umayalpuram (which she learned from Maruthuvakkudi Rajagopala Iyer) and Thillaistanam (which she learned from S.Parthasarathy and his wife). You can download the pdf files whch contain audio recordings of her also.

http://www.musicresearch.in/categorywis ... &authid=16

I'll meet you in Madras when you come between June and August.
0 x

RaviSri
Posts: 469
Joined: 10 Apr 2011, 11:31
x 19

#261 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by RaviSri » 22 Apr 2016, 18:38

not sure if either of them write or both write with the same ID
Only Ravi (myself) writes. Sridhar does not.
0 x

bhakthim dehi
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Feb 2014, 21:28
x 15
x 17

#262 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by bhakthim dehi » 22 Apr 2016, 22:07

The changes were not made by Umayalpuram Krishna Bhagavatar or Sundara Bhagavatar. They stayed true to what Thyagaraja and Manambuchavadi taught them. Swaminatha Iyer also stayed true to the versions he learnt. I have it from a daughter of Palakkad Rama Bhagavatar that he used to sing many songs in dEshAdi tala,
Umayalpuram Sri Krishna and Sundara bhagavathar were so devoted that they wont sing neraval or svaram for Svamigal's krithis. That was the devotion they had. Their versions (few krithis which are available match very well with the Valajapet versions. So, they are not culpable
.
0 x

RaviSri
Posts: 469
Joined: 10 Apr 2011, 11:31
x 19

#263 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by RaviSri » 23 Apr 2016, 18:11

Umayalpuram Sri Krishna and Sundara bhagavathar were so devoted that they wont sing neraval or svaram for Svamigal's krithis.
Soolamangalam Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar in his book says that Krishna and Sundara Bhagavatar never sang niraval or kalpana swara because Thyagaraja had forbidden them from doing so. Same case with Thillaistanam Rama Iyengar. Thygaraja's point was, the beauty of the kriti would be spoilt if niraval and swaram were sung (kIrthanayin gambhIram pOy viDum). We could experience the truth of the above point when vidvans used to sing elaborate niraval and swaras for kritis like O rangashAyi, srI subramanyAya namastE etc., and then rush through the charaNam like reciting a nursery rhyme. Once one of my friends told me that though he was listening to concerts for more than a quarter of a century he had never, repeat, never heard the charanam of srI subramaNyAya namastE properly.

Soolamangalam has also written that Umayalpuram Krishna Bhagavatar and Thillaistanam Rama Iyengar used to give concerts together. This shows that the direct disciples belonging to two different periods of Thyagaraja's life sang the same way. So much for the so called versions which were latter day aberrations.
0 x

rajeshnat
Posts: 7926
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 08:04
x 30
x 112

#264 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by rajeshnat » 23 Apr 2016, 21:16

RaviSri wrote:Umayalpuram Sri Krishna and Sundara bhagavathar were so devoted that they wont sing neraval or svaram for Svamigal's krithis.
....
Thygaraja's point was, the beauty of the kriti would be spoilt if niraval and swaram were sung (kIrthanayin gambhIram pOy viDum). We could experience the truth of the above point when vidvans used to sing elaborate niraval and swaras for kritis like O rangashAyi, srI subramanyAya namastE etc., and then rush through the charaNam like reciting a nursery rhyme.
RaviSri
Possibly towards the last few years when Sadguru Thyagaraja was old there may have been rama navami like celebrations where by mistake one of T's disciples took up neraval and swaras which was not appropriate for the occassion. T may have chided once and possibly we are over extrapolating that incident and kind of extending that one time chide as an all time chide. Anyway this is just a minor counter .

Few years back suguna varadachari told in a lecdem that neraval came from the thamizh word neravardu meaning it to make it even in melody and rhythmn. Is there a history of when neraval started ? My poor logical extrapolation makes me believe that the generation of Patnam/ Maha vaidyanatha sivan brought in more neraval/swaras or rather more musical output than the generation of T-MD-SS or before who were more krithi centric ?

Please correct me in all angles if my conclusion is way too wrong and please extrapolate what all you know about origin of neraval during different eras . Also if there is some truth in the angle of we excessively extrapolating that T was chiding on neraval and swaras?
0 x

Ramasubramanian M.K
Posts: 1188
Joined: 05 May 2009, 08:33
x 1
x 19

#265 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by Ramasubramanian M.K » 23 Apr 2016, 23:32

Re:Post#260-RaviSri: I will gladly take you upon your offer to meet. I will contact you via the forum when I get my cell activated in Chennai.Besides the insights into the Saint'skrithis I am also interested in knowing more about the Dhanammal family's interpretations,given your association with the family.Although my mother was close enough to Brindamma(thro the MSS connection) and also my cousin Kalyani Sharma(who learnt from both B and M Ammas),I never got a chance to delve del into it as you have so assiduosly cultivated.

I have the highest regard for the Dhanammal family for preserving without adding Sonda Sarakku,despite their Pandityam/Credentials in the Lakshya and lakshana of our music . My eternal regret has been not taking up Viswa Sir's offer to teach me if I would only commute to Connecticut from New York!!!

I wish our Society had done better in promoting the family's legacy.Sorry for the digression. I know this thread is about Thygaraja.!!!
0 x

RaviSri
Posts: 469
Joined: 10 Apr 2011, 11:31
x 19

#266 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by RaviSri » 24 Apr 2016, 18:22

rajeshnat, the earliest account of neraval, kalpana swaras we have are of Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer and the Anai Ayya brothers, from the writings of Soolamangalam Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar and U.Ve. Swaminatha Iyer. In the time of the Trinity too there might have been vidvans singing neraval and kalpana swaram. Before the time of the Trinity, when there were very few compositions and CM was mainly performed in royal courts, the pallavi was the main item sung, for hours together perhaps. Later with the advent of a lot of kritis, vidvans began bringing the aspect of neraval and swaram to concerts. I very well understand and appreciate Thyagaraja's opposition to neraval and kalpana swaras. I have myself felt suffocated in concerts listening to overdose of these two items. And even if crisp and short, personally I have felt what Soolamangalam says Thyagaraja felt, namely that the keerthanai's gambhIram will get affected. It is not just my friend but even myself, who, until I learn the songs myself, never got to listen to a decent rendering of the charanams of srI subramaNyAya namastE or akshayalinga vibhO and many other songs. After listening to music for more than 15 years, I was stunned to "newly" discover the full beauty of certain kritis when I learnt the songs from Mukthamma. The pUrvikalyANI kriti, 'paripUrNa kAmA' is such a beauty, especially its charanam but I discovered it much later when I chanced upon a recording of B-M singing it without the neraval, swaras. I did not request Mukthamma to teach me that song because I was convinced it was an ordinary song, just because everyone used to sing neraval and kalpana swaram.

Soolamangalam, when he writes in his book about Veena Dhanammal says, " nAn ethanaiyO vidvAngaLai kETTirukkirEn. inda ammAL neraval swaram eduvum pADAmal, verum sAhityangaLai maTTUm pADinAlum, avargaL ellOrayum viDa inda ammALIn sangItam muzumayAna truptiyai koDuthadu" (I have listened to many vidvans, but this lady even though she sings only the sahityams gives total satisfaction more than anyone else). One can dismiss this off as the subjective opinion of someone, but after so many years of listening I tend to agree. One can bring total satisfaction to the listener just by singing kritis perfectly with bhava. This quality has been missing in many vidvans for the last 60 years, except in a few. Well, this is my opinion. Butt this opinion of mine was vindicated when I read about Thyagaraja's advice to his disciples to eschew neraval and swaras.

MKR, society, the Carnatic music world I mean did a lot of wrong to their community as a whole. Not just to the Dhanammal family. What honours did that Abhinava Nandi from Needamangalam get? Or for that matter Nachiyar Kovil Raghava Pillai or Valangaiman Shanmukhasundaram or.......the list goes on. That is how it has been, is, and will be, the CM world. And where are the musicians from that community now? How will they dare to come to the field if the response of society is so discouraging? B-M's brothers and Bala's two brothers (Srinivasan and Varadan) studied and went on to work. They did not take to music. Now, in the generation after that even the ladies have studied, become professionals in fields other than music. What else can they do? It is a pity that the Dhanammal bhaNi has almost become extinct in their family.
0 x

RaviSri
Posts: 469
Joined: 10 Apr 2011, 11:31
x 19

#267 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by RaviSri » 26 Apr 2016, 18:02

I would like to write about the Thillaistanam school of Thyagaraja.

Thillaistanam is a village on the banks of the Cauvery, about 2 km west of Tiruvaiyyaru on the way to Grand Anicut/Trichy. There is a Siva ass well as a Vishnu temple. Thillaistanam is one of the seven shrines comprising the Saptastanam. Rama Iyengar belonging to this village was a disciple of Thyagaraja. He considered himself to be Hanuman to Thyagaraja's Rama. Rama Iyengar had two disciples, Thillaistanam Narasimha Bhagavatar and his brother Panju Bhagavatar. These two conducted the Aradhana utsavam at Tiruvaiyyaru for a couple of years before they fell out over differences in the account keeping for a particular year. The two started conducting the Aradhana separately. Narasimha Bhagavatar's team was called the Periya Katchi and Panju Bhagavatar's team was called Chinna Katchi.

Panju Bhagavatar had as disciple Rama Iyengar's nephew Srinivasaraghavan. The latter went on to become a doctor, settled down in Saidapet, Madras and taught the bard's songs to a few disciples, chief among who were S.Parthasarathy and his wife Ranganayaki and Sugandha Raman, mother of the Carnatic/Hindustani musician Shakuntala Narasimhan. The doctor knew all the charanams of all the songs of the bard and conducted monthly song sessions on bahula panchami days, the day Thyagaraja passed away. Dr.Srinivasaraghavan or Dr.Cheema as he was known died at the age of about 80 on a bahula panchami day in 1950 after singing Thyagaraja's songs. The kritis have not undergone much change. The doctor's disciples were not concert musicians and had therefore no compulsion to either speed up the songs or indulge in creating extra sangatis.
0 x

bhakthim dehi
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Feb 2014, 21:28
x 15
x 17

#268 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by bhakthim dehi » 26 Apr 2016, 19:35

Some more snippets regarding Rama Iyengar and Thillaisthanam school.
Sri . Rama Iyengar was a devoted disciple and used to be with his Guru always. He had a very nice, pliable voice and was a specialist in handling prati-madhyama ragas especiallly kalyani. He use to write the saint's compositions in palm leaves and it was preserved at Srirangam, by one of his descendants. He (descendant)gave those manuscripts to anyone who approached him. Thus it is not an exaggeration if I say the manuscripts were totally lost.
Dr. Srinivasaragavan also learnt from Jalatarangam Ramaniya Chettiyar, a disciple from Valajapet school. Hence, his versions are representative of both the schools.
0 x

RaviSri
Posts: 469
Joined: 10 Apr 2011, 11:31
x 19

#269 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by RaviSri » 27 Apr 2016, 18:16

Dr. Srinivasaragavan also learnt from Jalatarangam Ramaniya Chettiyar, a disciple from Valajapet school. Hence, his versions are representative of both the schools.
I have not heard about this. T.Sankaran who has told me about Jalatarangam as well as about Dr.Cheema did not tell me that the Doctor learnt from Jalatarangam. Can you tell me where this information is from? Is it from an authentic source? Apart from this, Dr.Cheema used to say, about certain songs, that Naina Pillai also sang the same way, meaning like how the Thillaistanam disciples sang. He used to say this especially of the Nata Pancharatnam in which the arrangement of the charanams is totally different from how it is being sung now with Thyagaraja's mudra occurring every three charanams. Also, Sankaranna has told me that Dr.Cheema learnt all the 800 songs from Narasimha Bhagavatar and Panju Bhagavatar.
0 x

bhakthim dehi
Posts: 413
Joined: 24 Feb 2014, 21:28
x 15
x 17

#270 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by bhakthim dehi » 27 Apr 2016, 19:54

The details regarding Dr. Srinivasaragahavan were quoted from Dr. Rita's doctoral thesis.
Dr.Cheema used to say, about certain songs, that Naina Pillai also sang the same way, meaning like how the Thillaistanam disciples sang.
It is not surprising as Naina Pillai had his sources from Jalatarangam Ramaniah chettiyar and Valajapet Ramasvamy Bhagavathar.
0 x

SrinathK
Posts: 1091
Joined: 13 Jan 2013, 16:10
x 24
x 86

#271 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by SrinathK » 28 Apr 2016, 08:35

@RaviSri, Coming from a parampara that is the closest thing we can get to a time machine, you all should share the versions of the compositions you know with the world. The things you speak of are probably not available in any recordings anywhere. I have been recently going through each and every one of the recordings available in the tribute pages as part of my listening project -- in many cases there are multiple versions of the same.

Here's another example -- Eg., Brinda - Mukta have sung nE mora pettitE in thOdi while it is now listed as rUpavati. While I found 3 (!) versions of nE pogaDa kunTe. But really the most striking thing was the very first song on the list -- A daya shrI raghuvara in Ahiri by Brinda-Mukta. Using the G2 instead of G3 as is done today gave that raga a completely different flavour altogether.
0 x

RaviSri
Posts: 469
Joined: 10 Apr 2011, 11:31
x 19

#272 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by RaviSri » 28 Apr 2016, 17:47

Yes, AdayasrI is a major song in Ahiri and it has a different flavour. Only the Alathur Bros used to sing this song among others, but it sounded different from that of B-M.

I can immediately recollect the famous song in tODI, 'EmijesitEnEmi'. The eDuppu is very different in the B-M version. I am in the process of reviving many songs as taught to me by Mukthamma and i'll slowly record one by one. Even their 'swAminAtha paripAlayAshumAm' (nATa) is different, in chauka kAlam as to bring out the beauty of the vivAdi swaras.

I know some Thillaistanam versions also which too I'll record.
0 x

RaviSri
Posts: 469
Joined: 10 Apr 2011, 11:31
x 19

#273 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by RaviSri » 28 Apr 2016, 17:54

There are about 120 songs Thyagaraja has composed in dEshAdi talam, none of which is being sung in that talam in concerts. The Thillaistanam disciples used to sing in dEshAdi. They used to say that if converted to Adi talam, as was done for all the dEshAdi songs, the original flavour of the song diminishes, especially the "gambhIram" of the vIchu in the talam.

Songs like nAdOpAsanA (bEgaDA), mEru samAna (mAyamALavagauLa), sItAvra sangIta jnAnamu (dEvagAndhAri), gItArthamu (shuruTTi), dinamaNi vamsha (harikAmbhOji) etc., were composed in dEshAdi only. When concerted to Adi 2 kaLai, the lines would have to be repeated twice for one Avartanam.
0 x

SrinathK
Posts: 1091
Joined: 13 Jan 2013, 16:10
x 24
x 86

#274 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by SrinathK » 28 Apr 2016, 19:03

When you say deshadi, are you referring to the +1 eDuppu or the +1 1/2 eDuppu (the one I'm aware of) or both? Currently these compositions are either in +1/2 eDuppu or +3/4 eDuppu in 2 kalai.
0 x

RaviSri
Posts: 469
Joined: 10 Apr 2011, 11:31
x 19

#275 Re: Thyagaraja (Krithis)

Post by RaviSri » 29 Apr 2016, 17:40

The eduppu is after the samam and two counts, just before the vIchu. This is in one kaLai.
0 x

Post Reply