Why HM sounds sweeter

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Nick H
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#251 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by Nick H »

Ranganayaki wrote: 02 Jul 2020, 22:35I do look at that positive side, and that’s how I enjoy music. I’m not speaking of less gifted voices. No I think it’s amazing that our music allows us to go beyond appearances and see more of the soul, so to speak.
I have no doubt that you do! :)
I mean a complete disregard for musicality, a lack of awareness of one’s bad vocal habits, a misunderstanding of or even a complete lack of concern for beauty; no attention to aesthetics..
Not many souls are worth suffering for! ;)

vgovindan
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#252 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by vgovindan »

RSR,

"..... It is possible only if we just forget meaning etc and focus on the melody. and hum It in your mind...."

Please see the rendition - link given. Please also study the meanings given therein. The music is elevating not because of the music per se, but because of the content that is being conveyed. In all such cases where the message is rasa - the substance, simply holding on to music, would be like missing the woods for trees.

https://youtu.be/o51cTaqAL6U

shankarank
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#253 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by shankarank »

The trinity compositions are in the Carnatic mainstream ONLY because they conform to yati viSrama principle and a Mridangam accompaniment can bring out nuances. This is since carnatic performance was invented by Ariyakudi. Before that kritis were NOT much performed in concerts!

Any pre-trinity (including AnnamacArya!) is essentially an also there , can be performed during the naya rAga cool down phase of the concert.

You are welcome to take a stand that the entire concert form / format is NOT music at all. Then we don't have any discussion beyond that.

sureshvv
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#254 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by sureshvv »

RSR wrote: 02 Jul 2020, 14:20 Dragging the name of the great Jawaharlal Nehru into this discussion is totally unwarranted. He was too cultured a gentleman to have done any thing as walking out of Ariyakkudi concert with such a remark.
You are not reading carefully.

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#255 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by RSR »

The Late Sri S. Rajam narrated an anecdote about the occasion of Sri Ariyakudi receiving the Padma Award in Delhi from Prime Minister Nehru himself and Nehru storming out angrily from the Carnatic concert at the ceremony because he found nothing musical about it

The purport of the quote is quite clear. It is disparaging to both Nehruji and Sri.Rajam.
Unless, you meant it to be otherwie.

vgovindan
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#256 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by vgovindan »

@sureshvv ,
Post #236,
Ariyakkudi was given Padma Bhushan in 1958. Earlier he was given Sangita Nataka Academy Award by President Rajendra Prasad in 1952.

There was foundation stone laying function for MMA in 1955; Nehru laid foundation stone. Then, according to the link, Nehru praised MSS. And Ariyakudi felt slighted and, therefore, he boycotted MMA for five years.

(At that time - 1955 - Nehru was receptive to CM)

Any link between these?

https://www.google.com/amp/s/sriramv.wo ... ademy/amp/

sureshvv
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#257 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by sureshvv »

The anecdote which happened in New Delhi was narrated by Late Sri S.Rajam himself at a felicitation function held at Hamsadvani in Chennai during the latter part of the last decade. I attended this function and heard it first hand.

May be there was some bad blood already but he did not mention that and I was not aware of it.

Also CM can be handled differently by different artistes - so it does not surprise me that a particular rendition was found unmusical by Nehru. I don't think it was Ariyakudi singing - as RSR has inferred wrongly.

RSR
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#258 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by RSR »

it is very unlikely that Nehruji had any acqauintance with Carnatic music, except that he was captivated by the sweet singing voice of Smt MS at her peak in 1947,especially due to her songs in Hindi Meera and her choice usually of ragams common to both CM and HM. Nehruji ofcourse had exquisite taste for classical HM being a native of Uttar Pradesh. with close association with the Muslim and Hindu aristocracy of UP in those decades. Yet he came back to India only in 1914 and was almost an Englisman in his way of life. Immediately he was involved in Independence movement and had close relation with Tagore. No time for studying much about classical music , either HM or CM or WM.
Whatever it be, he certainly would not have 'walked out' of any concert even if it did not suit his tastes.nor would have commented on it. He was a thoroughbred and beyond such ill-behavior. especially as a Prime Minister in an official function

Any such silly' gossip is grist to the mill of habitual detractors of Nehruji, and Smt.MS

I would then question either the memory or intention of Sri.Rajam for whose talents, everybody respects him. The only comment that I remember Nehruji to have written about classical music is about his disapproval of Harmonium by HM musicians. He was not alone in that. Nor was ARI's music universally appreciated by all in his own generation . though stalwarts like Chembai, GNB, MMI and others had high regard for him.

Let the matter rest there.
Last edited by RSR on 04 Jul 2020, 21:52, edited 1 time in total.

RSR
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#259 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by RSR »

Sri.V.Govindan,
@252
-------------
In the video cited by you, for non-kannada people like me, it can only be the ragam and rendition that may appeal.
----------------
I have the greatest respect to you for your dedicated work in transliteration in many languages and translation of almost all the kruthis of Thyagaraja Swani, Shyama Sastry and MD.

However, I am unable to agree with you in your over-emphasis on Lyrics and grammar. and in your assertion that the kruthis derive their beauty from the lyrics. It is a fundamentally flawed theory.

I will confine myself to Haridasa poets and Trinity. The music of Haridasa poets is lost and what we have today is just re-tuned versions ( and many of them are absolutely great tunes! Smt MLV is a specialist in Purandaradasa and other Dasar songs and it was her parents ' dedicated work to have unearthed many of the songs and notated them. Yet, I was hugely surprised today to learn through Lalitharam's interview of MLV when she said that she did not know much of Kannada! ( see parivadhini post in musicians and composers section).
An absolutely top-class interview. Never to be missed!
viewtopic.php?p=364535#p364535

I do not know Kannada and it has not prevented me and countless non-kannada-knowing rasikas , from being thrilled by the songs. When we do not know Kannada how can we still be enslaved by the message and literary niceties of those songs? It is the tune and the singing that sways us . Bless them.


In the case of Thyagaraja and Shyamasastry, their music has come to us through their disciples. Let me consider Thyagaraja only now. One of the main disciples of Thyagaraja Swami was
his own nephew ' Manambuchavadi' and two of the most illustrious disciples of him were Patnam Subramanya Iyer and MahaVaidyanatha Sivan. I have not come across any information about their mother tongue. MahaVaidyanathaSivan 's mother tongue must have been Thamizh. Poochi Srinivasa Iengar was a disciple of Patnam Subramanya Iyer. ( Tamzh) . Ariyakkudi was a disciple of Poochi Iyengar. Though, the entire lineage might have had a basic understanding of the lyrics of the Kruthis, it is very doubtful if they had given much importance to the lyrics to the extent that a born-Telugu like you has done.

For them, it was the music that was of primary importance. Nor were famous contemporaries and younger vocalists like Chembai, MVI, Musiri, SSI, MMI and GNB , from Telugu speaking families. All of them were Tamils. They may or may not have fully studied the lyrics except to the extent that mattered for its music and rendition.

The case of Sanskrit was slightly different. In the decades 1900 to 1960, all brahmin households in towns and villages, had exposure to Sanskrit through poojas and daily recitations of slokams and prayers. Some , even through Vedic Adhyayanam. Still, none of the greats of those decades were all that comfortable with chaste Sanskrit. It is said that the sage of Kanchi corrected the padaantharam of even the famous scion of Dhanammaal family. and ARI.

There were literally thousands and thousands of rasikas of Thayagaraja swami's music but very few vocalists and listeners worried too much about the lyrics, their exact meaning, philosophical implications and such. All that mattered to them was the music and 'paadaantharam'.

How is it that though so many of Thyagaraja swami's kruthis are about Rama , even confirmed Sakthas and Saivites and Subramanya worshippers could enjoy the music? How about the same kruthis being played inspiringly by great Nagaswaram Vidwans, Violin, Flute, VeeNa and Gottuvadhyam and Jalatharangam players? Why did common people in those decades throng the temple procession - playing by such Nagaswaram immortals? Did they attend for the language? Did they all know Telugu, Sanskrit and Kannada and even Marathi? No.

It was the music and they were true rasikas though not trained in classical music. Who trained Mali? NCV? DKP? MS? Did they have any gurukula vaasam? who trained Chembai?

Of course, for people who know Telugu, any grammar mistake or wrong pronunciation would surely be jarring. but we the majority of Tamils then and now, do not know either Sanskrit or Telugu or Kannada. or Marathi So, it does not matter much if the music is chaste and inspiring.

If any of the vocalists make jarring errors while singing in Tamizh, their own mother-tongue, it would surely be noticed and condemned. But such things are rare. though do occur. as we do not know literary Tamil these days.

HM has no such problems when it avoids lyrics and gives more focus to tune. and rhythm.

This is not a plea to jettison CM but putting things in proper perspective.

Raga itself has a bhaavam. It is not derived from the lyrics. So, the bhava of the theme and bhava of the ragam should synchronize and if possible be enhanced. That is the guiding principle of good CM.

Ranganayaki
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#260 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by Ranganayaki »

Is the appeal of CM secular or spiritual? Are lyrics important or insignificant ? Where does Bhava come from? We can argue forever about it, but we forget that art evokes a personal response. The hallmark of good art is that as we evolve, we find new layers of meaning and beauty in our favorite works and even in the genre as a whole. So let’s not argue over lyrics, raga, bhava and their relative importance. We will never reach a consensus and that is quite normal, an element of richness, not a sorry conflict. It depends on the state of the listener. Each one.

shankarank
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#261 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by shankarank »

From MMI thread on V&V forum.
RSR wrote: 02 Jul 2020, 21:43 This is a short story in Tamizh by Thi.Janakiraman.
''Ayiram piraikaLukku appaal'. It is a parody on the state of CM in the post-1970 generation. His preference for pre-ARI music and HM is clearly brought out .
https://www.valaitamil.com/aayiram-pira ... _1829.html
Then it talks about ARI style of concerts and finally of the post 1970 generation of keyboard music. ( derisively).
Anyways the composers did not do kutcheris, and were against doing svarams! The thing is, Indian search of truth and beauty is not restricted to one individual or one point in history (unlike elsewhere!)! It is a living breathing tradition.

Also don't ever call them composers! They never composed for anybody! Hence there is no intent before there can be any original intent!

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#262 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by RSR »

There can be no second opinion that any message if accompanied by music is more effective than mere text. Lullabies are typical illustration.
Last month, I managed to create and complete a limited blog on the deity of Guruvaayoor. The original plan was to give as many slkams from NaraayaNeeyam
as feasible with the rendition by Thrisoor Ramachandran .The music was by S.V.Venkataraman , in 100 ragams for the 100 slokamsets . Sri.@CRama helped by giving mp3 clips. I had created 31
1 select episodes and provided the Sanskrit text, English and Tamizh meaning. ( @mohan helped by giving links to tamizh translations.

As it was about Guruvaayoor, I felt that a page on another mystic and Malayalam poet Poonthanam a contemporary of Narayana Namboodhri and his famous song rendered by Smt MS 'kandu kandu' with transliteration and translation and music link will be appropriate.

Chembai Vaidyanatha Bgavathar was a vey well known devotee of Guruvaayoor. and luckily, I could locate two songs rendered by him on Guruvayoor ' one from NaaraayaNeeyam 'Agre pasyaami and another by maternal uncle of Swathi ThiruNaaL maharaja. 'karuna cheyyan thaamasam' a favourite of Sri.Chembai. I could get translation for these also.
---------
At the last moment , I came across the famous Kruthi by MD on the deity of Guruvaayoor sung by Smt.MS in 1964 in Music academy and a lovely translation by Sri.V.Govindan of the song. (Sri Krushnam Baja Manasa)
Accordingly, I re-arranged the blog posts, giving pride of place in the opening page to MD kruti, MS rendering in Todi( 30 minutes) and the Sri.Govindan's translation.
https://guruvaayoorkshethram.blogspot.com/

Happy blend of theme, music and lyrics. ( but would it appeal to everyone irrespective of Religious consideration? ) We can only hope.

vgovindan
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#263 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by vgovindan »

RSR,
MD kRtis translation - kind courtesy Ms Rajani Arjun Shankar of Veena Vadhini Group of Vainikas Jeyaraj and JayaSri. (The credits are given in blog post)

Ranganayaki
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#264 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by Ranganayaki »

shankarank wrote: 05 Jul 2020, 11:00
Anyways the composers did not do kutcheris, and were against doing svarams! The thing is, Indian search of truth and beauty is not restricted to one individual or one point in history (unlike elsewhere!)! It is a living breathing tradition.

Also don't ever call them composers! They never composed for anybody! Hence there is no intent before there can be any original intent!
Find the contradiction!

RSR
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#265 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by RSR »

Sri.Sankark ( @sankark ) has done a great service by translating Smt.MLV interview to @parivadini
viewtopic.php?p=364616#p364616
Heartfelt thanks. Kindly complete the remaining parts also.

shankarank
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#266 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by shankarank »

Ranganayaki wrote: 05 Jul 2020, 21:36 Find the contradiction!
You are welcome to achieve clarity by reconciling the contradictions yourself. :D

RSR
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#267 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by RSR »

@sankark
Thank you for the second instalment posted today by you , of the English translation of Smt.MLV's interview to @parivadini . Nicely done. Brings out the contribution of ARI to the concert pattern nicely. Good work. ( refers to sankark's post in musicians section - on MLV

parivadini
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#268 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by parivadini »

@RSR - MLV did not give that interview to me. I transcribed it. It was taken by Vid. Padmasini for Sampradaya

RSR
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#269 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by RSR »

@parivadini
Due and grateful acknowledgement to Vid.Padmasini. for 'Sampradhaya'. Without your transcription and the present translation into English by @sankark , rasikas who are unable to read Tamizh would have lost this GEM of an interview. So very educative and inspiring.

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#270 Re: Why HM sounds sweeter

Post by shankarank »

thenpaanan wrote: 19 Dec 2016, 21:21 It is possible to sing KHP without whiplash......

I remember one particular concert in Shanmukhananda in the 80s where he must have sung neraval just between the ni and high ma for about ten minutes -- it was so delicate and sweet that the violinist simply put down his bow, the mridangam player was just twitching, and the normally fidgety audience was pin-drop silent!
-T
musicofmdr wrote: 31 May 2020, 20:52 http://www.sangeethamshare.org/muralida ... ds-101-200
"05 - cakkani_rAhamArgamu - kharaharapriyA"

Not sure how you will categorise the above KHP rendition by MDR, but for me, it sounded very "sweet", and it appeared to be an "atypical" KHP which has much more than sangatis in offer :-)

Most will not consider MDR's voice to be "sweet" in the normal parlour (and I too agree about the base quality), but, with the right voice modulations and sound production,
We can talk about specific musicians who made grand stand with KHP! Particularly virtuous musicians like Sri Tanjore Kalayaraman and TNS stand out. Both of them bringing their laya nirmANam to bear as well. A virtuous musician can make any note sequence stand up.

As regards the point about MDR, already we are talking about sound production. For him the rAgAs needs him more than he needs them!

In recent times, Vid K. Gayathri made a good exposition with nadaci. She is a laya vidushi.

If we bring back the discussion about an ordinary child that ascends the stage ( one of the points raised by T), they cannot particularly sound good with KHP or it's derivatives even in a stock kriti rendition. By derivatives I do not include the older rAgas like kAnaDa etc. which were later classified into the KHP set.

My own personal experience as a child, having been in bhajan groups where popular rAgas like mOhanam, rakti rAgas like Arabhi, SankarabaraNam, Ananda bhairavi, Ahiri, Dhanyasi, suruTTI, madyamavathi are handled, or even contemplative ones like sAveri, pantuvarali, a first visit to listen to fellow children in a tyAgarAja utsavam singing the odd kritis in KHP derivatives is a turn off.

One thing we have to give to HM system - they do know more about what a Ragam is than us. As the southern history of rAgAs in it's older memory preserves a similarity to how they view it, if you ignore the differences in the style of musical system.

https://youtu.be/S2B9wQJp45s?t=213
aur rAAg gAtE samay hum thAAt jaisE nahin gAyEngE (while singing the rAgA kAfi, we don't sing it like the thAAT ( basic definition of arOhana/avarOhana))
This is not to take away from Sri tyAgaraja compositions in KHP - but then he did not just make the kriti with rAgAs did he? With yati viSrama, he brought a force to them and once I am trained to appreciate layam , I am in the game as a rasika.

Listening to nAdasvara vidvans do an expansive cakkani or pakkala gives one a good sense of it. In fact much of the virtousity that keeps KHP going is sourced from them.

Most other musicians do various varisais in it - once you hear manidanipada madapadamapa you know what is going on!

If you are so put off by musicians showing off their vidvat, instead of producing true music, you should be questioning the expositions in KHP. Unless of course if you consider laya as a valid musical experience - then different story!

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