Swara Identification Exercises, Vocal: Post Answers Here

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Suji Ram
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#126

Post by Suji Ram » 25 Sep 2007, 04:38

arunk wrote:You know suji I was thinking the same but obviously instrumental clips, swaras in slow speed.

Arun
How about a kalpanaswara clip with an instrumental part- in reply to a vocal rendition. That way we can cross check by posting the vocal part after people have answered. Offcourse it works only if the instrumentalist exactly reporduced the same swaras.
This indeed is a good exercise for swara gyana vs phrase in alapana (which I also like).

With regard to tempo we can slow it down using audacity :)
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arvindt
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#127

Post by arvindt » 25 Sep 2007, 07:48

So the question then is - would it be possible that those gamaka notations required additional interpretation as opposed to umambigiously indicate what the pitch movement is even to some who doesnt know *his* system? But then he explains how exactly to play each one in a vINa - so per that once you put two and two together in-theory you can reconstruct the sound.
I attended a (theory) symposium hosted by TMK about the SSP, and he was wondering (almost aloud) about the same question too: how could Thodi sound so different? He seems to be of the opinion that Thodi has indeed changed, but he mentioned another point: that Subbarama Dikshitar apparently intended the SSP to preserve the tradition as he had been taught it, which was even earlier (mid 19th century). He also says that Subbarama Dikshitar mentioned that musicians are "nowadays rendering ragas differently" or something of the sort, which indicates that every day practice was already diverging from the SSP. I'm saying this on the basis of what he said, so don't have a primary source myself.

He also observed that MVI used to render Kaddanuvariki flattener than we hear Thodi today (I have heard this recording, and it sounds remarkably Sindhu Bhairavi-ish), and based on these facts I got the impression that he believes vidvans and performers have indeed enriched and added considerably complexity (in terms of gamakas) to Thodi since the mid 19th century.

But it's still a puzzle that the gems of the Trinity shine so much as masterpieces in light of the rich gamakas with which they are rendered today (and in the mid-20th century), if they were composed at a time when gamakas were more sparingly used. Does it go to show that gamakas were indeed used (and so the notation in the SSP is suspect), or does it show the greatness of the Trinity in almost divining the future? I don't know.
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cmlover
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#128

Post by cmlover » 25 Sep 2007, 20:07

CM definitely has changed since 1950's. Prior to that strict 'classicism' prevailed and any deviations were resented to by the 'ruling' vidvaans. The inevitable happened with the incursion of the mass media and the influx of new instruments. As wehave seen a dramatic shift in movie songs of yore to the orchestral sympony (No! I did not say cacophony :) ) of today a similar shift has silently taken place in CM as well.
he gems of the Trinity shine so much as masterpieces in light of the rich gamakas with which they are rendered today (and in the mid-20th century), if they were composed at a time when gamakas were more sparingly used.
I agree with this having heard both the pre and post 50's CM. Most definitely the Trinity in their days would have been quite conservative in rendering their kritis. Also there were nothing other than 'tambura' available to them as accompaniment. The violin most certainly has permitted vocalists to boldly experiment with their voices (since it would mask shruti lapses :)
When GNB experimented with 'Nadasvaram-type' brigas the then stalwarts looked down on it as deviations from 'classicism' and a violation of the principles of CM taught by the Trinity. (I have personally heard comments from a great stalwart: 'avan mookkaalE naayanam vaashippan (he will be playing nadasvaram using his nose!). And the self same stalwart imitated the same technique after 1960's when he found his popularity fading! ( O tempora! O mores! :)
MVI (as I havee been told) resented santhaanam playing to the gallery sacrificing classicism but then the crowds loved him for it. KJY unwittingly (due to his movie exposure) introduced non-traditional singing of CM, a crime for which he may never be considered a candidate for SK..

Levity aside, I do believe there is more to gamakams than what was known and written in the 19th century books and it is time to investigate and develop scientifically this beautiful art and integrate it with 'modern' CM. Sometime ago our Arun developed a 'primitive' software to experiment with patterns of gamakams on the computer 'objectively' that I loved. But then Arun lost interest and dedication ( as is his usual nature).
brilliant minds are like butterflies flitting from flower to flower and never to stay long enough to savour the nectar ...
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arunk
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#129

Post by arunk » 25 Sep 2007, 21:47

cmlover isnt the question at hand, was there a marked difference between 1905 (atleast Subbarama dikshitar and his parampara), and those of other musicians in the 1920s/1930s (i.e. music of MVI/ARI/Musiri etc.)?

Was the music of ARI/Musiri in 1920-1930 more akin to subbarama dikshitar and hence very different from those in the some of the recordings we have which are from the 1950s?

Arun
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arunk
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#130

Post by arunk » 25 Sep 2007, 21:55

cmlover wrote:Sometime ago our Arun developed a 'primitive' software to experiment with patterns of gamakams on the computer 'objectively' that I loved. But then Arun lost interest and dedication ( as is his usual nature).
Ha-ha :) I missed that one. Quite true indeed. Although I do tinker with this once in a while. Even recently on one my posts on my blog (Ragas and Scales: http://sunson.wordpress.com/2007/08/19/ ... nd-scales/ ), a few samples were generated using this. These (4th and 5th sample) are the ones that "were supposed to be" Sankarabharanam - but the unanimous consensus of the readers was that they sucked pretty bad :)

But I do shift around a lot. Point taken.

PS: now how is that for devious advertisement of my blog ;) ?

Arun
Last edited by arunk on 25 Sep 2007, 21:57, edited 1 time in total.
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cmlover
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#131

Post by cmlover » 25 Sep 2007, 23:36

Short answer to your question is that the music of the 30's was quite different from the music of the 60's and now that of the 80's. I personally like the 60's. You can listen to the 78RPM of the 30's of ARI/SSI/MVI etc and compare their recordings after 50's (of course the audio is terrible) to see the change/evolution in them. During 30's and 40's SSI was indeed brilliant. You will notice a remarkable lack of gamakas in his music since he was very fast paced. We are also finding that fast music is difficult to analyze essentially due to lack of gamakas. I do not think the raga bhavana can be brought out in the kalpana svaram singing (sorry Suji to disagree with you). Ragas exist only in the 'aalaapana' (akaara based) also only in the slow pace. GNB's fast brigas (in my view) do not reveal the 'shakl' of the raga. The instruments (vina,flute, violin, nadasvaram(the best)) are ideal for raga elaboration. Ideally the fretless vina (gottuvadyam) is ideal for raga elaboration and micro-gamakas (Uday (if he is reading this) can elaborate the ideas scientifically!). Human voice has limitations (except in the case of the rare blessed souls like MS, SJanaki ( :) )as it is not as 'malleable' like the instruments. Perhaps I should stop my rambling here (as otherwise I will start sounding like Arun :)

Arun
Thanks for that blog! I loved it and the bold experimentation behind. Don't be diffident and defensive (and apprehensive too :) We all know you are not a 'performing' musician but that does not detract from your 'scientific' inquiring nature! Do you hear shaankarabharaNam in MD's nOTTu svaram ? and for that matter does anybody refuse to label it 'shankarabharaNam' :)
a rose is still a rose whether it bloomed in bhArata varSha (full of fragrance) or in the frigid stony crevices of Canada (totally devoid of frgrance) :)
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ramakriya
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#132

Post by ramakriya » 26 Sep 2007, 00:05

arunk wrote:PS: now how is that for devious advertisement of my blog ;) ?

Arun
Really nice :) :)
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ramakriya
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#133

Post by ramakriya » 26 Sep 2007, 00:19

cmlover wrote:Short answer to your question is that the music of the 30's was quite different from the music of the 60's and now that of the 80's.
I did ask my mother if she remembers anything of her mother's singing - specifically in kritis in tODi rAga. [Whatever my grand mother learnt was in the decade of 1910]

Unfortunately my mother was not able to shed much light on it - because when my grandmother could really sing well, my mother was very young, and could not have paid attention. By the time my mother could really appreciate her mother's singing, my grandmother had sort of lost her voice, and only playing harmonium. (I remember bits of her harmonium playing, and she was an excellent player, as my very young memory remembers).

There is a clue to the excessive kampita in Ga and Da in todi being a late entry in it's history. There is a rAga called shuddha tODi - about which Prof R Satyanarayana says - which takes the same svaras as tODi, but with very limited kampana on gandhara and dhaivata. ( I had posted a translation of his speech in the jayachAmarAjendra oDeyar thread). It has been a comman occurence when rAgas morph, the older form gets a prefix as shudda (pure) as evident in cases such as shuddha dhanyAsi, shuddha sAvEri and shudda vasanta.


-Ramakriya
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arunk
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#134

Post by arunk » 26 Sep 2007, 02:55

cmlover

I am skeptical - need more evidence.

I am not sure how much conclusions you can draw based on the 33RPM recordings of musicians to comment on their vidwat. I think all of them were very short in nature quite contrary to the concert format of 19th century. In other words, they could have been "packaged" for release in 33RPM. Also, there were also slow-paced musicians like Tiger then. Not everyone went express speed all the time. I also did not think Musiri went super-fast (?). Also we do have regardings of vINa dhanammal - they are in the form of music we love today. Now even though they are probably from a later time - I would highly doubt that she in particular would have altered her style "as per modern times".

Besides do you realize what you are saying would mean? The so call prized gamakas of carnatic music in the form that we cherish today (and i may add puff our chests and thump our chests at the drop of the hat - you know "being most evolved, most sophisiticated, etc. etc.),. is really something that developed *just* 50 years ago.

And thus in spite of an evolved theory and notations of SSP and mentions of gamakas earlier, to our palette today "it is very bland". Damning indeed - isnt it :) ?

But not because of this, IMO, things just does not add up at all.

I do not disagree that music changes/evolves - but to say that the music in the 19th century was "flat" and minimal gamakas (compared to today) like some interpretation of SSP today suggests, is a huge stretch. I like a lot more evidence. For example, how come all musicians suddenly started performing with gamakas in 50s (or event 40s, 30s)? Who was the torch-bearer of that style? Why didnt his/her "unique style" stand out so much that people didn't know of it? (newspapers and media were around then). And there are people alive today who were alive then or even alive 20 years ago. How come this went "unnoticed"?

To reiterate - just does not add up at all. If one applies Occam's Razor - the conclusion is our interpretation of SSP is not entirely accurate that the notations do not reflect all the dynamics of the gamakas.

Arun
Last edited by arunk on 26 Sep 2007, 03:08, edited 1 time in total.
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arunk
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#135

Post by arunk » 26 Sep 2007, 02:57

cmlover wrote:Do you hear shaankarabharaNam in MD's nOTTu svaram ? and for that matter does anybody refuse to label it 'shankarabharaNam' :)[/b]
I hear as much sankarabharam as sample #2 in my blog. It follows the structure like sankarabharanam (i.e. like a raga rather than a western piece in that scale - the difference being the theme of that blog post), but you take the gamakas out - it is like that varnam sample on a piano.

Arun
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ramakriya
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#136

Post by ramakriya » 26 Sep 2007, 03:50

cmlover wrote:Do you hear shaankarabharaNam in MD's nOTTu svaram ? and for that matter does anybody refuse to label it 'shankarabharaNam' :)[/b]
I beg to differ - I do not see shankarAbharaNa - of the akhayalinga vibhO, svararAgasudhA or pOgadirelo ranga - in any of the noteswaras, or in kritis such as varalIlagAna lOla.

They are of course in shankarAbharaNa scale, but not in shankarAbharaNa rAga.

-Ramakriya
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vasanthakokilam
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#137

Post by vasanthakokilam » 26 Sep 2007, 04:24

I am not sure how much conclusions you can draw based on the 78RPM recordings of musicians to comment on their vidwat. I think all of them were very short in nature quite contrary to the concert format of 19th century.
Right. Also, another thing to consider about the early 78 RPM recordings is, musicians are asked to sing at high volume ( 'shout' ) due to the primitive recording technology then. They put this huge 'sound capture' thing in front of the artist and and asked them to sing as loud as they can. That is not quite condusive to singing with subtlities. This, in combination with the short duration probably contributed to some of the 'uniqueness' of those early recordings.

I am stating this just in isolation about the nature of the 78 RPM recordings and not necessarily link it to the gamakam issue at hand.

It is a hard puzzle to figure out how the CM of the 19th century sounded. Interviews like the one Ramakriya attempted is definitely a great idea and people should pursue along those lines.
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cmlover
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#138

Post by cmlover » 26 Sep 2007, 05:25

Time for some objective analysis!
First of all let me correct my bloomer! It is 78rpm and not 33rpm which came much later.

I want you folks to listen carefully to the following and comment on the raga and the pattern of delivery.
http://www.sendspace.com/file/i5y05v

I apologize for the quality since it was made long before some of you were born (or even your parents!). It is from part of my family heirloom and there is a poignant family story behind it which if you like I will narrate (but do not want to digress from our topic or usurp the role of our dear Kulkarni who used to entertain us with his delectable family anecdotes (bless him!)
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ninjathegreat
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#139

Post by ninjathegreat » 26 Sep 2007, 05:39

Well, I did ask my grandmother this question about gamakams when she was here with me a couple of months ago. She says that the way gamakams are delivered is different - and it depends on the person, basically - but gamakams have been there since she learnt it (1920s and 30s)... (Her guru was Subbarama Dikshithar's disciple)... She also says that she finds the music nowadays to be more innovative and imaginative than in the 30s or even the 60s, as people are not afraid to innovate these days... (might have misunderstood her, of course :))
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vasanthakokilam
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#140

Post by vasanthakokilam » 27 Sep 2007, 21:40

CML, I can not download that file. Mediafire says 'Your download is starting' but nothing happens for a while and then it fails. Can you reupload please? Thanks.
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cmlover
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#141

Post by cmlover » 27 Sep 2007, 21:56

VK
here you go
http://www.sendspace.com/file/i5y05v
I trust this works
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ramakriya
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#142

Post by ramakriya » 27 Sep 2007, 22:08

ramakriya wrote:
cmlover wrote:
I was convinced it was suddha-dhanyasi during a many minute alapana. The he started "sAmavajavaragama
In spite of the single note difference there is amountain of difference between Hindolam and Sud dhanyasi. Perhaps BMK was doing some tricks :)
cml,

The point Arun was making was that he latched on to the wrong AdhAra shaDja ! :)

The fact was he they were singing Hindola all the time, and they must have tuned the tamboora to m-s-s-s (as they do in Hindustani). This must have made Arun to fix the AdhAra ShaDja on madhyama - and that is how he heard Shuddha dhanyAsi.

-Ramakriya
Here is a song from a kannada movie:

Ilayaraja nicely illustrating grahabhEda.

http://www.musicindiaonline.com/p/x/G4x ... As1NMvHdW/

Now, is it based on shuddha dhanyAsi or hindOLa? ;)

-Ramakriya
Last edited by ramakriya on 27 Sep 2007, 22:09, edited 1 time in total.
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arunk
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#143

Post by arunk » 27 Sep 2007, 23:16

hey that is pretty cool. BTW, I knew rajkumar was this good - he can even sing like janaki ;) (i am talking about the info about this song as displayed by mio)

cmlover - thanks for that one. Reminded me of vaNDinam muralum sOlai by MSS (azhwar pasuram). Also can people see similarities to hindolam in that?

Arun
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cmlover
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#144

Post by cmlover » 27 Sep 2007, 23:21

with his shruti travelling all over town I would say he is singing
avial :)
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vasanthakokilam
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#145

Post by vasanthakokilam » 28 Sep 2007, 01:26

cmlover wrote:VK, here you gohttp://www.sendspace.com/file/i5y05v I trust this works
Thanks CML. Great example to illustrate what we are talking about. In a few places it sounds a lot closer to sindu bhairavi and in most places like thodi with less pronounced gamakas. It is probably due to the fast paced nature of the song.

Arun, I did not hear hindolam in it, but I was not keenly paying attention to all of it either.
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vasanthakokilam
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#146

Post by vasanthakokilam » 28 Sep 2007, 01:35

Ramakriya, where all are the grahabedam segments? Are you referring to the swara singing starting around 4:25? If not, or if there are other places, please point to them as well. Thx.
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ramakriya
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#147

Post by ramakriya » 28 Sep 2007, 01:55

vasanthakokilam wrote:Ramakriya, where all are the grahabedam segments? Are you referring to the swara singing starting around 4:25? If not, or if there are other places, please point to them as well. Thx.
vk,

You can see it begining around 3:30 to about the time you are indicating.

-Ramakriya
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vasanthakokilam
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#148

Post by vasanthakokilam » 28 Sep 2007, 02:41

Thanks Ramakriya.
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cmlover
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#149

Post by cmlover » 28 Sep 2007, 05:13

Well done VK!
I just don't know where Arun listens to Hindolam!
That was by shanmukavadivu (who I guess is the mother of MS). It is not the speed alone but tODi was sung more flat in those days.
Now listen to the following
http://www.sendspace.com/file/i26bhu
We can then discuss both together! In the absence of DRS I will need a lot of help from ramakriya in my interpretations :)
I wish some of the oldtimers should also participate in these discussions. TMK is presenting only secondhand information when he is interpreting SSP...
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arunk
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#150

Post by arunk » 28 Sep 2007, 06:57

I did not imply that the whole thing is like hindOLam: resemblances are fleeting and with tODi it is possible because absence of pa in tODi is not uncommon (e.g. check the entire second half of tODi varnam) - so hovering around "g m d n s" with not much deep tODI ga would resemble hindolam. You bring ri "or remember its feel" - then the resemblance would just vanish in a flash

But then I was the guy who thought hindOLam was suddha-dhanyasi :)

Arun
Last edited by arunk on 28 Sep 2007, 06:59, edited 1 time in total.
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