Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

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shreyas
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#1 Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

Post by shreyas » 03 Aug 2018, 19:51

Hey!
In the Kriti Nadopasana, (I'm referencing this video in particular):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuH3lZo0JsA

at around 3.40 (visvamella undi), why does the melody go M,M, MGRRPMP? It sounds very un-"begadine"...
Is that an accepted phrase in Begada?
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Sachi_R
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#2 Re: Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

Post by Sachi_R » 04 Aug 2018, 14:08

Shreyas
You're not alone!
Begada does sound quirky to me, too.
Here is a master, MDR, worth listening to. BTW Lalgudi was also a master of raga lakshana. So double benefit.
https://youtu.be/mVW2KwLk42U
Cue to 25:00 for the same point in the song.
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SrinathK
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#3 Re: Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

Post by SrinathK » 04 Aug 2018, 18:55

A plain M1 does exist in bEgaDa. This kriti is in fact the best example for it.
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sureshvv
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#4 Re: Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

Post by sureshvv » 04 Aug 2018, 22:59

What is so "un-begadine" about it? Sounds perfectly in place to me.
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Sachi_R
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#5 Re: Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

Post by Sachi_R » 04 Aug 2018, 23:05

Perhaps we are all missing the point Shreyas made.
He may like to clarify if he feels something in that rendition is not right or if he thinks Begada raga per se has many odd contours.

In the MDR Lalgudi recording I referenced, Lalgudi reponds with different phrases to MDR's phrases.They appear to have different approaches to the raga.
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narayan
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#6 Re: Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

Post by narayan » 10 Aug 2018, 07:46

Dear Shreyas,
Absolutely right, and all I can offer is that if you listen to it a few times, then it is acceptable. That's about it. The KVNarayanaswamy version of Nadopasana has the same thing. Begada has very many possibilities of traversing the notes and this jump RPMP is one of them - only in this song, as far as I know.
Sachi_R's pointer to the tuneful MDR is also much appreciated, and there it is more like GPMP or G,MP, which I guess is fine. In fact MDR's last flourish for vAralu in the anupallavi is unusual and I don't recall having heard that in Begada before.
The Hindu critic NMN had referred to Begada as the aesthete's delight, which I took to mean that in almost all places, there is a choice as to how to go about it.
Happy listening! Such a soothing exchange in these backwaters of Ragas, as compared to General Discussions. Not the first time I have escaped with relief.
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Sachi_R
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#7 Re: Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

Post by Sachi_R » 10 Aug 2018, 09:18

Narayan and Shreyas,
Begada is my favourite raga.

I wrote this almost 9 years ago:
https://rsachi.blogspot.com/2009/10/beg ... -raga.html
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Vayoo Flute
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#8 Re: Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

Post by Vayoo Flute » 11 Aug 2018, 08:36

For a superlative Begada and Nadopasana, listen to Flute Mali:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNgCyt9UvA0
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Sreeni Rajarao
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#9 Re: Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

Post by Sreeni Rajarao » 13 Aug 2018, 03:00

Just wanted to link this thread with the original thread for bEgaDa / bEgaDe rAga
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=911
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thenpaanan
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#10 Re: Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

Post by thenpaanan » 19 Aug 2018, 01:48

shreyas wrote:
03 Aug 2018, 19:51
at around 3.40 (visvamella undi), why does the melody go M,M, MGRRPMP? It sounds very un-"begadine"...
Is that an accepted phrase in Begada?
Indeed, when I first learned this kriti I stumbled on this phrase. In those days I was learning from cassette tapes sent over from India by my guru (Trichy Swaminatha Iyer) and I remember thinking how could this be Begada. In those days there was no Youtube or other easily accessible sources to cross-check with other singers or styles. It was only much later I came to realize that this peculiar phrase in this song exists in practically all schools as we are discussing here. There could be two possible explanations for this -- one, this was an innovation done by someone who was an early tyAgarAja disciple from whom all subsequent versions have descended. The second possible one, which I prefer, is that this phrase was present in begaDA in tyAgarAja's time -- since the raaga is an ancient one which predates modern theory it could be an old peculiarity that defies the theory (like many other phrasings in begaDA). However since this phrase does not occur in dIkshitar kritis that otherwise give a comparable presentation of the raga the first explanation is more likely to be the true one.

An interesting thing is that the phrase does not sound out of place when it is used identically in the charanam "tyAgarAja vandyulu". Perhaps because we are already used to it by then in the kriti?

-Thenpaanan
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thenpaanan
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#11 Re: Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

Post by thenpaanan » 19 Aug 2018, 01:52

narayan wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 07:46
In fact MDR's last flourish for vAralu in the anupallavi is unusual and I don't recall having heard that in Begada before.
I would not have noticed it if you had not pointed it out. It does sound very unusual, like a lazy or stylized rendering of the standard phrasing for that part. Indeed, MDR does not repeat the phrasing after that and in the charanam ("swatantrulu") he gives it the more or less standard treatment and does not use the stylized version he used in the anupallavi.

-T
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thenpaanan
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#12 Re: Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

Post by thenpaanan » 19 Aug 2018, 01:56

narayan wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 07:46
Happy listening! Such a soothing exchange in these backwaters of Ragas, as compared to General Discussions. Not the first time I have escaped with relief.
Concur heartily. This thread seems like a throwback to the old days, closer to the purpose of the forum (in my opinion). Too bad we don't get more of this kind of discussion these days. Not that we should not have all kinds of discussion here, but this kind of discussion that goes to the heart of the music seems at an ebb.

Thanks to the OP for this thread!

-T
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narayan
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#13 Re: Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

Post by narayan » 19 Aug 2018, 08:39

Heard another Begada last night, from Rama Ravi/Nandita Ravi, preceding Niverakuladhanamu.

Perhaps enough has already been said about this raga, but it is worthy of a lot of singing/playing and perhaps some discussion. A nice spin off for me was to look at Sachi_R's note on Begada written some years ago, and I had a listen of the Lalgudi varnam in Kannada that was there on the side, as a bonus. That was beautiful, as well, and since I do not know the words of that, it was just a purely musical idea that was presented, and it was appealing. So nice to leave it at that.
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classical91
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#14 Re: Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

Post by classical91 » 30 Aug 2018, 02:04

narayan wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 07:46
Slightly veering off the original post - interesting point about the KVN version! I have had the exact same discussion with my guru years back, when I pointed out his version of Thyagarajaya Namaste had kaakali nishadam in 'KAthyayani pathe' which is quite unique, and the dns prayogam in Prof. Sambamoorthy's book. (bringing in the whole debate of is it a janya of Shankarabharanam or Harikambhoji!).

The conclusion reached was - it all depends on your school. I have heard vainikas argue that the Begada Ni is kaisiki because the oscillations when they play the note on the veena is from the chatusruthi dhaivatham, not shatshruthi. Some schools just decide to be do their own thing and suggest that it is neither kaakali nor kaisiki, but a special nishadam called 'Begada nishadham' (creative indeed).

Ultimately, the same can be said about prayogas. The prayogam that has been mentioned in the original post (M,M, MGRRPMP) would probably be frowned upon in my school (Alathur school), as would the introduction of kaakali nishadam in 'pdn,dpmgmrgm' (KAthyayani). Same is clearly encouraged in the Ariyakudi school of music.
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bhakthim dehi
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#15 Re: Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

Post by bhakthim dehi » 05 Sep 2018, 08:57

More insights on Begada in this link

https://youtu.be/z1gy9AWr1dQ
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SrinathK
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#16 Re: Nadopasana - Why does the Begada sound so weird in places?

Post by SrinathK » 05 Sep 2018, 21:19

classical91 wrote:
30 Aug 2018, 02:04
narayan wrote:
10 Aug 2018, 07:46
Slightly veering off the original post - interesting point about the KVN version! I have had the exact same discussion with my guru years back, when I pointed out his version of Thyagarajaya Namaste had kaakali nishadam in 'KAthyayani pathe' which is quite unique, and the dns prayogam in Prof. Sambamoorthy's book. (bringing in the whole debate of is it a janya of Shankarabharanam or Harikambhoji!).

The conclusion reached was - it all depends on your school. I have heard vainikas argue that the Begada Ni is kaisiki because the oscillations when they play the note on the veena is from the chatusruthi dhaivatham, not shatshruthi. Some schools just decide to be do their own thing and suggest that it is neither kaakali nor kaisiki, but a special nishadam called 'Begada nishadham' (creative indeed).

Ultimately, the same can be said about prayogas. The prayogam that has been mentioned in the original post (M,M, MGRRPMP) would probably be frowned upon in my school (Alathur school), as would the introduction of kaakali nishadam in 'pdn,dpmgmrgm' (KAthyayani). Same is clearly encouraged in the Ariyakudi school of music.
There was an interesting lec dem at the Academy a few years ago where it became clear that almost nothing about this rAga ever stayed consistent over the years - it changed and changed and changed some more alright. bEgaDa is a phrase based rAga where the swaras have melted into their underlying phrases to quite an extent and that explains part of the confusion in what phrases were considered applicable to it (or not).

In a way, by trying to fit rAgas into melAs we have forgotten these subtleties that gave rAgas a very organic character where its identity was distinctly clear to the intuitive side, but not to the systematic side. The template rAgas have their beauty, but they haven't grown as much flesh and blood, they're still more bone than body.
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