Valachi vachi - navaraga varnam

Carnatic composers (other than performing vidwans)
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ragam-talam
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#1

Post by ragam-talam » 27 Jan 2009, 14:35

I always thought that the navaraga varnam 'Valachi vachi' was a composition of Patnam Subramania Iyer. However, recently I read that this may be a composition of Kothavasal Venkatarama Iyer.

Can a knowledgeable person here clarify this please. Thanks.
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cmlover
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#2

Post by cmlover » 28 Jan 2009, 01:24

It is paTnam kriti only. See the venkatesha mudra at the anupallavi...
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Lakshman
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#3

Post by Lakshman » 28 Jan 2009, 01:49

There is an article in the book Carnatic Music Composers in which Mudikondan Venkatarama Iyer has stated that many of the so called Patnam's kritis were really the work of Kottavasal Venkatarama Iyer.
If anyone is intersted I can scan the article and send it.
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cmlover
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#4

Post by cmlover » 28 Jan 2009, 02:38

Is Mudikondan V by any chance a relative of Kottavasal V ?
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ragam-talam
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#5

Post by ragam-talam » 28 Jan 2009, 02:39

Lakshman, I would appreciate it if you could post/email the article. Thank you.
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Lakshman
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#6

Post by Lakshman » 28 Jan 2009, 04:16

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cmlover
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#7

Post by cmlover » 28 Jan 2009, 07:06

Very interesting article Lakshman! If it is true an injustice has been done on him due to the confusion on Mudra. And to claim that the famous ones like jalajaksha (hamsadhvani) era na pai (todi) were not those of paTNam but falsely attributed to him is an eye opener (if true). The musician community however appear to be blissfully unaware. Perhaps Vidya can throw some light on the historical issues...
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prashant
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#8

Post by prashant » 28 Jan 2009, 11:10

Lakshman Sir - do you have notation for the anubandha of the rAgamAlikA varNa? It is referred to in page 3 of the article you have uploaded...
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Lakshman
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#9

Post by Lakshman » 28 Jan 2009, 20:14

Sorry I don't have it.
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vidya
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#10

Post by vidya » 29 Jan 2009, 05:00

cmlover wrote:Very interesting article Lakshman! If it is true an injustice has been done on him due to the confusion on Mudra. And to claim that the famous ones like jalajaksha (hamsadhvani) era na pai (todi) were not those of paTNam but falsely attributed to him is an eye opener (if true). The musician community however appear to be blissfully unaware. Perhaps Vidya can throw some light on the historical issues...
Several other luminous minds have already thrown extensive light on this aspect. We only need to reflect.
Mudras in Tanavarnas - Dr.B.M.Sundaram's article that appeared in the 1984-85 Krishna Gana Sabha journal archive
This article that appeared in the 80s, also cites Shri.Mudikondan Venkatrama Iyer's article which Lakshmanji has posted and lists the various Venkatesa mudras.
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cmlover
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#11

Post by cmlover » 29 Jan 2009, 06:03

Thanks vidya
It is indeed confusion worse confounded :)
with lots of 'He said/they said etc.,'. It is unlikely that any clear light will be thrown by further investigations.
After all what is in a name ! Venkatesa ultimately refers to the Lord at Thiruppati (and also at many other local temples in SI) and as such all credits ultimately belong to him :)
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ragam-talam
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#12

Post by ragam-talam » 29 Jan 2009, 16:53

Lakshman, thank you for the Mudicondan article.

And Vidya, thanks very much for the fascinating article by Dr Sundaram! It was quite enlightening to read about the amount of study that's gone into this area.

I wonder if it would be possible to do a Writing style analysis to disambiguate the authorship issue, at least in some instances. I do know that this has been done to establish authorship of books, e.g to verify whether a work was of Shakespeare, etc. With the power of modern computing algorithms, this may be doable exercise.

Can a software-savvy forumite like Arun (or others) educate us on the possibilities?
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vidya
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#13

Post by vidya » 30 Jan 2009, 10:23

ragam-thalam,
- Stylometric analyses of Varnam compositions won't work because most Telugu varnams have a minimal vocabulary set and linguistic style.
Even if one does a Principal components analysis you only have a few Vanajakshis and a few neepais across the board.
- Emotional stylometry as applied to Beatles etc won't work again because these compositions don't really have any emotional content.
- Third for musical stylometry you need a large enough data set of undisputed authorship. For example it might work for Tyagaraja compositions where one has a large enough initial dataset to analyze sonorities. This again won't work for Varnam composers as their quantitative musical output is meagre enough not to merit a comparison even within some margin of error. ie Even if Veena Kuppaiyer has over a 100 varnams and you think one of them is actually another composer A's you don't have enough data on A to conclude anything.

Dr.Gift Siromoney and K.R.Rajagopalan have written a paper on Style as information in Karnatic music (www.cmi.ac.in/gift) but such methods don't seem to have lead us anywhere. People who say that certain compositions are not Dikshitar's or Tyagaraja's or disputed actually do an intuitive heuristic stylometry based on language used in other compositions, musical conception, phrases used , compositional structure etc. That said I personally think stylometry works better in the realm of literature than music because of the intangibles involved.
Last edited by vidya on 30 Jan 2009, 10:29, edited 1 time in total.
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ragam-talam
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#14

Post by ragam-talam » 30 Jan 2009, 21:47

Vidya, thanks for the reference. http://www.cmi.ac.in/gift/Music/musi_karnatic.htm

I agree it must be rather difficult to do a conclusive analysis on authorship of CM kritis, esp varnams. I have heard of similar analyses done on Western classical compositions (in the context of the veracity of a few Brahms compositions, I think), with conclusive results. Heard about this recently on BBC; will try to dig out the reference.

Such an exercise would be even more challenging in CM, considering some of the composers were directly linked thru lineage, hence could have borrowed/inherited styles.

In this instance, Patnam was a disciple of Kothavasal - and they both used the same Venkatesa mudra!
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ragam-talam
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#15

Post by ragam-talam » 30 Jan 2009, 22:20

prashant wrote:Lakshman Sir - do you have notation for the anubandha of the rAgamAlikA varNa? It is referred to in page 3 of the article you have uploaded...
Prashant, in the video recording of MDR he has sung this varnam, and has included the swaras starting in Kambodhi, after the Sri ragam swaras where most people end the varnam.
Perhaps this can provide you the answer.
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Lakshman
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#16

Post by Lakshman » 31 Jan 2009, 05:53

I have one of these videos where he has sung this varNa but it does not have the anubandha. Maybe there is more than one Video.
The one I have is with TNK on the violin and UKS on the mrdangam. It was a concert held at a private residence in Adayar in 1977.
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