AbhEri - Old and New

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SrinathK
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#1 AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

The old AbhEri that used Shuddha Dhaivatam (D1) is literally extinct now. Were it not for a couple of recordings still left of it, we'd not know.

Ever since D2 got introduced into nagumOmu, this rAga has become karnATaka dEvagAndhAri (which in turn is the same as it's hindustani equivalent bhimplAsi), with dhanashree being yet another polymorph of what is essentially the exact same scale.

As it turns out, there are two versions of the rAga, one of the Dikshitar school (veenAbhEri) -
S M1 G2 M1 P S / S N2 D1 P M1 G2 R2 S
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAKOF41vWlY

And the other version : S G2 M1 P N2 S / S N2 D1 P M1 G2 R2 S - which belongs to the Thyagarja school.
Only Vedavalli mami still sings nagumOmu with the old D1. This has been recorded by her in an album called "Pramanam" - it's available on Amazon Music (a free 30 day trial will give you unlimited listening) or you can get it here : https://www.kalakendra.com/music/carnat ... alli-sa491

That album also contains old versions of many other kritis and ragas.

M L Vasanthakumari also sang Papanasam Sivan's kandA vandaruL in the old scale (the original scale is very naTabhairavi -sh in it's flavour, maybe it was why naTabhairavi itself didn't develop much as a rAgA) -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYFZng1kshg

MLV has even done a full AlApana for the old AbhEri.

As part of my latest brainwave (I hope I get time to at least implement some of them, many projects I started are in limbo due to lack of time), I am going to develop the raga threads next. The time is right that enough free music is now out there to share and we can hope that the links will remain for years down the road.

ajaysimha
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#2 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by ajaysimha »

the thumb rule is abheri is with d1 and karnataka devagandhari is with d2 in both the schools.

but in the process of metamorphosis abheri of nagumo has become replaced with d2 for jana-ranjaka-prayogam in a few pathantarams and has continued to stay (need to identify from when the change happened ?)
(also the rasikas of today like the nagumo with d2 prayogam, as it gives the pleasant elevation in mood of listener)

you can also hear to the actual abheri here in Thyagarajars documentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWPRNdNZK9o

just curious to know does both ragams (abheri and karnataka devagandhari) have same rasa/bhavam ?
is the bhavam of nagumo changed or still remains same ?

i also think the same has happened to
pre-trinity composer Oothukkadu venkatakavi's composition Nanda gopala - Abheri/Adi:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkhsLDKbssU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_C3CKLf0cK4

and also to Papanasam Sivan's kandA vandaruL

RSR
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#3 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by RSR »

Can I get help from enthusiastic and learned members in this forum in building up this site?
https://sites.google.com/site/carnaticgems/home
It is enough if I get 100 ragams, well known.
and songs ( mp3) with links
googlesites allows collaborative efforts.

SrinathK
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#4 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

Give us time. With so much free music out there we will be doing a lot of link posting in coming days.

SrinathK
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#5 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

but in the process of metamorphosis abheri of nagumo has become replaced with d2 for jana-ranjaka-prayogam in a few pathantarams and has continued to stay (need to identify from when the change happened ?)
(also the rasikas of today like the nagumo with d2 prayogam, as it gives the pleasant elevation in mood of listener)

you can also hear to the actual abheri here in Thyagarajars documentary
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWPRNdNZK9o

just curious to know does both ragams (abheri and karnataka devagandhari) have same rasa/bhavam ?
is the bhavam of nagumo changed or still remains same ?

i also think the same has happened to
pre-trinity composer Oothukkadu venkatakavi's composition Nanda gopala - Abheri/Adi:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkhsLDKbssU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_C3CKLf0cK4

and also to Papanasam Sivan's kandA vandaruL
It totally changed when the D1 was changed to D2. Did you know that sAramati might have used D2 at one point (this was why Brinda never sang mOkshamu because it was originally composed with D2 - can you imagine how that would sound?)

Regards OVK, all his compositions as sung today are in modern versions (the only known versions) of ragas and not how they existed pre trinity (which were according to the prevailing lakshana texts of those times). It's a long story, but it concerns a big question mark over how Thyagaraja's ragas are so different from all other schools of his time -- dark age tune fixing seems to have created a new system of ragas that completely overwrote the book, and these are the popular versions of the ragas we use today. Only Dikshitar's school to an extent has remained attached to the old ways - it's relative obscurity preserved more of it - even there many ragas changed even between his time and when the SSP was written. Otherwise, we have no idea how ragas or krithis sounded in those times anymore.

Now, even if they held on to the old versions, the level and sophistication of gamaka has now gone far beyond anything conceived back in those days - old treatises seem to treat ragas and gamakas like swara combinations with some oscillations sprinkled for taste, and this is even reflected in some old varnams or even the attempts to reproduce the SSP exactly as per the uber-text. Old folksy sounding gramaphone records would also support this. tODi for example would be unrecognizable to anyone 200 years ago.

It's clear that raga and tune fixing were rampant in those days. Only after the 1960s when recordings started preserving music did ragas finally stabilize for good and that's where they've been ever since. The music of OVK (and all composers before or since) is essentially modernized.

kandA vandaruL still survives with it's pathos mood intact even now. I recently heard a Lalgudi Jayaraman recording played with it's original tune.

RSR
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#6 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by RSR »

Aberi, Beemplaas, Karanataka Devagandhari sound very similar.
Nagumomu by Musiri is said to be the modified version that has survived seven decades.
panchaashadpeeta roopini by DKP ,that of Karnataka Devagandhari
a nice song by NCVasanthakokilam
and ofcourse that of Madurai Mani Iyer.
https://sites.google.com/site/hindustha ... /beemplaas
------------------------------------
Is Rathipathipriya song jagath janani suka paani ...very different from beemplaas? Not in my opinion.
Dandapani Desikar had the best voice among all the male musicians. Sad, that he is not given due recognition.

RSR
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#7 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by RSR »

From wiki on Musiri...
"In his career, the popularity of Musiri and his name reached every corner of India. His 78 rpm gramophone records were successful to the point that the audience would sometimes demand he sing songs in the exact way as heard on the record.
Beginning with the krithi Nagumomu, everything Musiri recorded were best sellers. Nagumomu was a song that, previous to Musiri, was only sung in the Abheri raga, as India's Trinity composer Tyagaraja is thought to have composed it in Abheri.
However, Musiri Subramania Iyer felt that the song sounded more emotional in the Karnataka Devagandhari raga, (a similar but subtly different raga) and he sang and recorded Nagumomu with Karnataka Devagandhari.
Carnatic music is an exacting music that places large importance on tradition. Therefore, Musiri Subramania Iyer's rendition of the song in a different raga than it was originally written caused outrage in many Carnatic musical purists. But Musiri stuck to his decision. Given that Musiri was a devotee of Tyagaraja, taking liberty with Tyagaraja's song was out of freedom of spontaneous expression and not out of irreverence.
As a point of fact, Nagumomu sounded so suited to Karnataka Devagandhari raga that everyone began to perform it in the "Musiri Subramania Iyer way", artists such as Bangalore Nagarathnamma, M. S. Subbulakshmi, and Bhanumathi Ramakrishna. "


--------------
we can listen and order the song from saregama page on musiri

ajaysimha
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#8 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by ajaysimha »

RSR wrote: 10 Jan 2019, 22:17 From wiki on Musiri...

However, Musiri Subramania Iyer felt that the song sounded more emotional in the Karnataka Devagandhari raga, (a similar but subtly different raga) and he sang and recorded Nagumomu with Karnataka Devagandhari. "
yeah, even i have heard the same, when i was looking for authentic version of thyagarajars keerthanais

SrinathK
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#9 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

SSP version of veeNabhEri - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XICA270RN4M

I've been checking these against the SSP itself. veeNabhEri and Dikshitar's Abheri as rendered today is pretty much as it is. And the chittaswaram for the kriti is also in the SSP.

SrinathK
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#10 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

This thread really deserves to be split into 3 actually.

One for the slightly modified karnATaka dEvagAndhari (with a rare GRG phrase), the D2 version, with a few shades of D1 appearing maybe once or twice for an optional dose of pathos, which is what everyone calls as AbhEri now (nope...). And once you get into this, you will change course and head for bheemplAs, dhanashree and karnATaka dEvagandhari.

Well, Musiri popularized it, but it seems to have existed before him. Apparently his guru Sabesha Iyer did not approve either, but this is the disc that really sold it into eternity : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QelO2f_54X0 (All said and done, Musiri had an incredible voice in his prime with a seamless mixed voice).

A 2nd thread for the shuddha dhaivatam AbhEri of the early 20th century (e.g. kandA vandaruL of PS). In this rAgA D1 is a very strong note, and can be held as a sustained note. Phrases like MPNS-D or MPS-D are present, and N2 is mostly plain. There is also a PD1-MP in it.

G2 can have oscillations or can, like the D1 stand stark plain as well (particularly on the avarOhanam, it is plain, while on the arOhanam it has kampita gamaka) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHPmyAsgA68 - shades of naTabhairavi and jOnpuri can be heard in this version. Well, at least this explains why naTabhairavi was "late to the party". I believe that apart from the predominance of the D2 AbhEri today, the rise of naTabhairavi also explains why this rAgA is now virtually extinct. But also, just where it came from is another mystery, for me at least.

The 3rd is the Dikshitar school's version of AbhEri, where Subbarama Dikshitar explicitly writes that N2 is varjya (absent) in ArOhaNa for the shloka for this rAgA. So SMGMPS is the ArOhaNam and SNDPMGRS. This survives because of SSP and veenAbhEri, and even here, it's interesting to see how compositions evolve beyond the books with time even when sung as is :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XICA270RN4M - Dr. TRA's SSP version
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAKOF41vWlY - MS Amma's version.

In this I also found out why GNB did not sing nagumOmu. I found out from his family that for him, AbhEri was the raga with D1, and so left it to others.

So with only this much on the table, I say - "AbhEri kana lEni nA jAli tElisi Sri raghuvara!" :lol:

SrinathK
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#11 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

Ok, so in between my A-Z progress of ragas (currently going through "G" right now) , from time to time I will revisit some of the older threads to talk more about the phrases and compositions in these rAgAs.

Actually I have to confess, when I started from A, I had no idea what was up in store. Now I realize I haven't got a choice except to discuss these ragas comprehensively, cover the repertoire, and crack some humorous stories on them. It took until I got to dvijAvanti before I got into full stride and start realizing how little I knew about what was out there and in what detail I had to cover it. So ragas A-D really needs a revisit from time to time to be covered as well as they should.

The shuddha dhaivata AbhEri (not the Dikshitar SSP Abheri) has an equivalent in Hindustani Music called Abhir. The scale goes as SGMPNS SNDPMGRS with some more non scalar phrases like PDP and PS in addition to PNS. I've now listened to a full recording of it in dhrupad style here :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvaLyIYPtZ0

And here is a khayAl in Abhir : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-M9xzO3m7w

Here we have a few types of HM compositions in it : A sargam, a tarana, khayal and dhrupad. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yisfCtJpeY

And what do you know? A lec dem (by Sh. Arijit Mahalanabis). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uzhsH_8kTU - It's an hour long, I haven't the time to listen to all of it (Turn up the volume, it's low). He also makes a few points about Dhanashree as far as I've listened.

This raga is very clearly the exact same one of Thyagaraja's nagumOmu that is available in old texts.

We know now from HM that Abhir and Bhimplasi are clearly different that the first uses D1 and the second uses D2. It is only CM that has somewhere lost the plot on this raga, and now D2 has come to stay (along with a few other phrases like occasional use of D1 and GRG also).

Speaking of GRG, I am going to look from another angle. Guess which other raga I just covered uses GRG with D1, that's right... ghanTA! The upAnga ghanTa. Just take away the GRG from it, and the pure SGMP with R2 ghaNTA is virtually Abheri itself, with NDNS or SDNS - get rid of that too, and you have proper Scalar D1 Abheri. Just go see my ghaNTA post now and read it again.

Why I say this is because in the Walajapet Manuscripts, the raga of nagumomu is listed as ghanTaravam(!! :shock:), though the notation is not available... let that sink in for a second. But S A Ramaswamy Iyer's book lists it under 20th mEla - he learnt from both Umayalpuram and Walajapet schools - and it is properly following the scale of D1 Abheri.

Now at this point we must ask a question if this raga was imported into Carnatic Music at some point of time from HM to become Abheri, or did it have some local origin as a modified form of ghaNTA? Or was it both?

Was Thyagaraja influenced by HM ragas in his own compositions? Or did someone else down the road import Abhir into CM as Abheri, an version distinct from the Dikshitar school Abheri? Did Thyagaraja compose nagumOmu in ghaNTA and it got "converted" to D1 Abheri? Or did he originally compose in D1 scalar Abheri itself? Or was Abheri the result of SGMP getting more importance than SGRGMP in ghaNTA or was it both? Please keep in mind that Thyagaraja has followed the old lakshanas in rAgAs common to him and the Dikshitar school for which there are numerous examples. So this hypothesis might just turn out to be correct, but only we could only QED if we can find a notated version of nagumOmu in the Walajapet school.

Asking questions is easy. Answering them though...sheesh! That's the hard part.

Anyway, one thing is sure. The Abheri of the Dikshitar school was forgotten for a while, but saved in the SSP. The D1 Abheri of Thyagaraja (for all we know it could be been a "detuned" ghaNTA) got change into a D2 version proper, and everyone forgot about the past altogether. Now that Abheri has lost her identity to Karnataka Devagandhari / Bhimplas in CM, the next post will cover some of the less heard compositions in the modern "Abheri" with D2.

PS : If this keeps continuing, I shall rename Carnatic Music as Conspiracy Music :lol:, which I am sure I will do when I am done.

SrinathK
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#12 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

This post will be about some of the lesser heard numbers in Abheri :

pADa pADa - details unknown - http://www.sangeethamshare.org/muralida ... i_Concert/ - Madurai Somu

Ishwari rAjEshwari of Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3pa510mTJE - Mysore Doreswamy Iyengar - let's hear that crisp Mysore style veena playing - a unique feature here is that Doreswamy Iyengar plays the kriti with D1, so this is old school Abheri. A rare recording

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qggFiePEV_k - Maharajapuram Santhanam. He sings it in a D2 version.

paluku tEnalatalli (Annamacharya kriti - obviously it wasn't originally like this). http://www.sangeethamshare.org/muralida ... Concert-29

PS : At this point you may all help the cause by looking up the list on karnatik.com and searching for stuff on YT and sangeethapriya. Oh by the way, I request you to download the links if possible, we might not get them a second time. :ugeek:

SrinathK
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#13 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

Some more rare numbers in AbhEri :

kAna Ayiram kaN vENdum :
http://www.sangeethamshare.org/muralida ... ve_Concert

pAhi pankaja nayana (Swati Tirunal) :
http://www.sangeethamshare.org/manjunat ... -USA-1992/

ishTa deivamE :
http://www.sangeethamshare.org/sreekant ... _Concert6/

vEdAnta dEsikam :
http://www.sangeethamshare.org/sreekant ... _Concert1/

And of course, RTP :

http://www.sangeethamshare.org/manjunat ... -USA-1998/ - TVS

http://www.sangeethamshare.org/sreeniva ... rt-2-of-2/

I am saving bhajare mAnasa for karnATaka dEvagandhAri and some others for bheemplAs, simply because. Let people not forget they existed!

Now, these are all less heard numbers. The whole base of modern AbhEri rests on the kriti 'nagumOmu'. And tracing the history of that kriti and the raga it was originally composed in has opened up a whole bunch of unexpected complications.

More on that with an article in the next post. With that we can conclude the AbhEri mystery.

SrinathK
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#14 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

So yesterday Dr. A published an article in guruguha.org on his research into the versions and the rAgA of Thyagaraja's nagumOmu, which is the center from where the entire controversy and confusion over AbhEri started. Were it not for this, there would have been no confusion between AbhEri and Bheemplas in the first place.

http://guruguha.org/blog/2020/04/10/the ... %e1%b8%b7/

Let me see if I can sum it up simply enough.

Abheri started under keeravANi mEla before getting into bhairavi mELa during vEnkatamakhin's time --> Dikshitar version following old texts

Sangraha Chudamani and Sangeeta Sara Sangrahamu, etc. give the modern D1 scalar version of Abheri, which is identical to the HM raga Abhir. At least in HM Abhir and Bhimplasi are clearly distinct. So these are the 2 versions of D1 AbhEri.

Then of course, pApanAsam sivan has handled Abheri in a way that is somewhere between the 1st and second version with a more naTabhairavi tinge.

S A Ramaswamy Iyer's version of nagumOmu is in proper scalar Abheri with D1. Nothing unusual there.

Thyagaraja did not name many of his unique ragas. Others who came after him named them, for which they usually found the closest similar raga in a contemporary treatise like SC and assigned it to his kritis - this results in some of his ragas only resembling the texts, while others have modified both kriti and ragas as per Sangraha Chudamani and other treatises. In the process, the lakshanas of the old ragas have also changed. This move has resulted in enormous confusion. Some of these kritis have changed more than once (many times in fact) over history. nagumOmu is likely one of these kritis.

One author has mysteriously assigned punnAgavarALi to nagumOmu (in fact all the names he has assigned to Thyagaraja's kritis are strange). No notation. This is an anomaly.

One version mentions Abheri as kharaharapriya (22 mEla) janya - it is an old version of what is now karnATaka dEvagAndhAri. This is where the D2 version seems to have originated. So this version did exist before Musiri cut his disc that changed the raga landscape for good.

One version is similar to the old Karnataka dEvagandhari version, but with D1 instead of D2 (a reverse influence??!!)

1 other manuscript version uses phrases like naTabhairavi and hindOlam also, and another has many non-scalar phrases not seen in any version of Abheri. These 2 are outliers and give rise to a suspicion that nagumOmu might not have been in AbhEri at all, but a unique raga created by Thyagaraja that was similar to it.

At this point the Walajapettai version (considered most reliable given that WVB even notated many of these songs in Thyagaraja's time and the meticulousness with which he did it and the matching of old raga lakshanas with the Dikshitar school) mentions the rAgA as ghanTA(ravam), but alas, there is no notation available. A notated version could have cracked the mystery once and for all. Theoretically, a version of ghanTA that used SGM and SGRGM (see my post on versions of ghaNTA) would by default include all the scalar phrases of AbhEri and then some more beyond the scale, which could also in theory explain why 2 versions with non-scalar phrases could exist.

Unfortunately the lack of a Walajapet version means the true raga and the original version of nagumOmu may never be found or determined with certainty. Honestly this reflects very poorly on the extended shishya parampara of Thyagaraja -- all of them had one job, and they just botched it and then botched it some more and then some. And not just this one kriti either. So much for all claims of upholding tradition in Carnatic Music.

In the end we have no choice but to accept that HM and the Dikshitar school alone have maintained clarity here. We are left wondering if Thyagaraja composed nagumOmu in a version of old ghaNTA or whether he used the scalar D1 version of AbhEri or whether he created a new raga whose exact lakshana couldn't be cracked by anyone. The D2 version of Abheri at this point is here to stay and the current version of nagumOmu will rule the CM world maybe forever.

So let's have a story to end on a light note shall we? Ultimately nagumOmu kanalENi (Unable to behold your smiling face) has indeed proven itself to be nagumOmu kanalEni in more ways than one!!! The raga used by Thyagaraja has proven to be a beautiful veiled lady - one day a mysterious lady walked in a gathering of ragas and musicians at Thyagaraja's house for the daily Rama Puja, her face fully covered by the veil of her saree. But she was seen smiling sweetly for a brief moment under her veil - the smile seemed very familiar. Then she sang a composition of Swamigal that stunned the gathering in a most enchanting new voice. Then she quickly left and disappeared. Strangely, no one seemed to remember exactly what she looked like -- she must have had some power like a Jedi mind trick to stop others from recognizing her. Or they were just too enchanted to react. A few minutes later, her spell lifted and the others came to their senses and realized she'd left. They immediately went out on the streets to find her and bring her back, but she had vanished.

New visitors coming to Thyagaraja's house every other day wasn't new - he seemed to have a new guest of honor every time. But this lady was a mesmerizing mystery. Everyone was enchanted by her bewitching smile and voice. They spared no effort to discover who she was. They searched far and wide across the entire raga country but could not get accurate details about any beautiful veiled lady - wherever they went they were told of an unknown lady and that she looked like this rAgA or that rAgA, but often they were dead ends - those ladies didn't resemble the one they sought.


One person made a vague recollection of her having used the gold/silver bell that day at the puja at Thyagaraja's house, but the rest of the group dismissed this as it was an isolated claim. None of the others seemed to have any memory of such a thing. Besides by then only bell metal and alloy bells were selling in the market, gold and silver bells were rare. Whoever she was, she had a very powerful memory charm up her sleeve, and had cast it so subtly that no one noticed, until she was gone.

The one person who knew who she really was, was Thyagaraja himself, but he had a habit for never letting others know the names of many of the new faces who frequented to his house, probably he didn't even name some of them. It was believed these personalities were actually raga devatas secretly consecrated, often inspired on the spur of the moment, into life by the nAda yogi and set free into the music world, they'd then return to his house from time to time - it was up to the disciples to get hold of them while they were still in his house and note down their looks and voices and the songs he had given them - some of them would stay only briefly, or not come back a second time, so they had to be sharp, attentive and retentive. For all they knew, the smiling veiled lady could have surely been his latest creation. Not all of them were equally gifted in the grasping department though. And this latest visitor had played with their memories.

A lot of people didn't realize that many visitors to Thyagaraja's house were not always new, but long lived well known personalities who also went to Dikshitar's house and had also visited their gurus' houses and then some. This lack of awareness was because they didn't frequent Dikshitar's house that much and so once memories faded, often ended up identifying them as other people who resembled these visitors. This would come into play during their great search of the smiling stranger, skewing their conclusions.

Some stories of the great search are still doing the rounds. At first they looked around in the immediate area. This beauty could not have vanished from the streets in such a short time unless she lived nearby. So they first suspected she was that girl named Abheri who played the veeNA and flute at Dikshitar's house, she was a simple and sweet girl, pale skinned, but not in the habit of wearing veils. They weren't convinced in the end.

The musicians then suspected her to be one of the prominent beautiful ladies of the raga country, and based on their best memory of her characteristics each one identified her with whoever they thought resembled her mysterious smile best -- this created a controversy and much bickering. Each person sought to record their claim to have found the shy visitor. Some even lied that they had seen her (they actually found a known lady who resembled her as far their memory could recollect).

Why did they do this? One, this would become their claim to fame and recognition. Two, the fact that no one remembered the sound of her voice didn't help. Actually what they failed to realize about their veiled vistor was that her memory charm was powerful, she had not only made them unable to properly recollect what she looked like, but also the tune of the song that was offered to Rama using her voice. So some people went to the extent of getting their preferred raga ladies to sing the song in their own voices and tunes and used it to garner support for their claims of their favourite lady being "the woman behind the veil". All these things greatly complicated the efforts of people who tried to search for her much later in time.

Case in point. Suspecting that the veiled lady could be from North India, (where it is common for royal ladies to be veiled), a minority group consisting of elders discovered that a princely woman from the North had also lived in South India under a similar name, in fact she too happened to go by the name Abheri down south. The elders promptly declared they had identified the unknown veiled lady. As a result, the name of Abheri began to get very popular, but only a few knew that this wasn't the same girl from Dikshitar's house.

The younger generation that was the majority however found a girl called dEvagAndhAri in kharaharapriya's house. That is, after they ruled out the dEvagAndhAri from shankarabharanam's estate - she was older and well known - no mistaking her for anyone else. They loved her jolly emotional nature and argued for her as she ALSO had an identical presence in North India under another name, plus in the North she had wealthy ancestry (her mother from the North was dhanashree). They were convinced she was the one, despite the fact that they had never seen the original veiled lady - see, none of them were even present (or even born) on that day when the lady who hid her face appeared in Thyagaraja's house. Eventually backed by the support of the youngsters', she sang the song in her voice, which became an instant super hit. They even called her Abheri as by then everyone was calling the mysterious veiled lady by that name.

Their girl quickly became a popular star and got all the honors from the music community, convincing everyone out there that she was the one.

Well almost everyone...

For one, the elders knew that she wasn't the one, and that she wasn't even the Abheri who lived in Dikshitar's house. But who was listening to them? Even amongst them, a couple of elders still debated whether their original Abheri was indeed the mysterious woman, and now this happened. Now everyone thought they were all one and the same. These youngsters had very strong opinions on things they never witnessed or experienced first hand. :lol: For them opinion and debate mattered more and they judged the past based on values relevant only to the present without knowing the whole story. As the older generation became history, so did the original memories of the events of that day. Everyone now believed whatever they heard from the next person about Thyagaraja and Abheri.

But some people never stopped searching for the mystery lady, hoping someday to find her, unveil her and see her face as she was, and give her a rightful place in their musical kingdom - but despite their best efforts, they never found anyone quite exactly like the goddess who had mysteriously come and gone that day at Thyagaraja's house. There was one disciple who had sat right next to Thyagaraja during the puja and probably had the best possible view of her. If anyone other than Thyagaraja had a face to face view of her and had heard her voice in close proximity, it had to be him. Alas, he passed away with only a vague recollection that she might have rung the bell that day. Had he managed to tell the whole tale with a detailed description of who she was and what she did, we would could have saved ourselves a century and a half of confusion. :cry: But perhaps the memory charm still played with his fate, making him forget to write it down.

In the end, the real mysterious lady cunningly played games and eluded us all, and the music world was unable to uncover her smiling face or her true voice, but believed otherwise. She was a true "nagumOmu kanalEni", whose smiling face was never truly spotted in all her glory with certainty.

Who knows, maybe her name really was kanalEni! :lol:

PS : Wishing Dr. Aravindhan a very Happy birthday today and pray he will continue to uncover our lost treasures and that the world of Carnatic Music will be much richer in the long run from his efforts. 8-) :)
Last edited by SrinathK on 12 Apr 2020, 08:45, edited 26 times in total.

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#15 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by bhakthim dehi »

Great imagination SrinathK
Some people never stopped searching for her, hoping someday to find her and give her a rightful place in their musical kingdom - but they never found anyone quite exactly like the goddess who had mysteriously come and gone that day at Thyagaraja's house.
Explains the confusions seen with the kritis of Tyagarajar, not necessarily only this kriti in a much fathomable manner.

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#16 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

@ajaysimha, @rajeshnat, @arasi. Lockdown has given me some time to write the stories you were waiting for. ghaNTA and gauri are out, and now we have a plot for AbhEri.

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#17 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by rajeshnat »

@srinathk
I am assuming even if the original lady lives as of today if she hears TNR playing nagumOmu ganaleni , that lady would have fallen at the feat of TNR/karaikurichi. I am assuming extraordinary musicians like SSI, MMI , Ms amma , santhanam,GNB,madurai somu all of them took this particular krithi from only TNR/karaikurichi as a source.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f63kR_Qo4CI
The above nagumOmu is thumbsup- Taste the thunder. Comments say it is not TNR but Karaikurichi. I also think it is only karaikurichi , lot of aural melody.

Brilliant writing srinathk !!! My Like thumbsup will be delayed as it is presently not working.

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#18 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by cienu »

This is why rasikas.org is such a fascinating forum. Hearty congratulations @srinathk.
Listening to "Nagumomu" will never be the same again. Will the veiled lady ever make a comeback ? ;)

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#19 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by shankarank »

Here is an exposition of this ragam by Vid. Sumitra Vasudev in the old version : https://youtu.be/44ZsPXvViI4?t=524. She sang the kriti, kanda vandaruL after the Alapana.

It sounds like a muted/controlled jonpuri - which is the bhashanga extension of this? I looked up jonpuri to see that it is in asavari thaat! Well asavari has it's own dilemmas with the Rishabha instead :

https://www.parrikar.org/hindustani/asavari/

Natabhairavi scale is a trouble maker in Carnatic music. The grandest one bhairavi had to employ both daivatams to attain the king status.

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#20 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by Vakulabharana »

@shankarank

You can refer to the article cited by Srinath. You will be surprised to know the truth. Certainly, replacing chatusruti dhaivatam with suddha dhaivatam in nagumomu will not make it Abheri.

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#21 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by shankarank »

Fine! But we are doing two damaging things!

We are so obsessed with what is the "original" Abheri as if we have lost something. And we implicitly show the tradition bearers in poor light!

Then we weave narratives on, how the conception of beauty might be different between us and those who lived in svAmigaL's times, giving rise to these consumerist trend kind of picture! This subjecting ourselves to anthropological examination has become fashionable and appreciated. And this is supposed to give some people license to change stuff to cater to latest trends!

When every evidence points to a continuous tradition! kritis were held inside pedagogical streams and mostly never sung to public. One kriti and then a pallavi straight.

My post's intent was such a divergent view of a "named raga" is not unique to us, it is there in Hindustani tradition as well.

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#22 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by Vakulabharana »

I will definitely pity you if you say we have not lost the original ragas/raga svarupas. Our music is beyond the realm of concerts. Unfortunately we get to hear only the concert music now. Concert music is catered to public and definitely it will have certain elements to entice the consumers. These composers didnt compose these kritis for concerts and we need to extract the available information from the past if we even want to know the music of their times. Again you can pose a question, is that important? It becomes important to everypne who have a faith and tenacious affection on these composers.

I feel people didnt develop the required maturity to accept research as a research, as in other fields. The idea of a genuine researcher is only to get unknown things out. His idea is not to demean anyone or any tradition. Do we have any record of the musicians lived during 1800s? Do we have any method to get an idea of how they sang ? The reply is 'no' for all. In such a case, what we get is only the information bequeathed to us by the musicians who lived in the early part of the last century. Interestingly, this was the period wherein the seeds of the present day Carnatic music were sown. Also, we get information from various records on the changes that happened.

If we place all these pieces together, we feel the need for such research. Coming back to Abheri, I suggest you to hear 'vinabheri' of Dikshitar and do some reading on the lakshanam. Any wise mind will concede the researches happening.

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#23 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

It is what it is. We have actually lost more than we think. You will see more and more down the road.

About your second argument, this is not the first or last time I've heard or will hear the skeptics arguments'. It is kind of ironic, but researching the tradition actually makes many traditionalists uncomfortable, because it turns out to be much bigger and complex than what any of us bargained for.

And if some people feel I am attacking them by writing this, well I am not. That has never been my intention. I am just curious and I'm just sharing what I find. If they see it that way, or take these musical notes personally, they must first examine why they feel so. Why do we feel uncomfortable when new discoveries about ragas and compositions come out? It is only human nature to scoff at anything beyond our comfort zone.

All I can say is that if there are changes in our music, obviously there are human beings who are making them.

It is better for us to know what the tradition is and how far it really goes so that :

a) We don't lose any more of our musical wealth
b) This will widen the scope of CM if musicians will see it as an opportunity.
c) Changes and innovations need not be disruptive or destructive and can find their own space.
d) It should bring a much needed level of honesty and transparency in this whole tradition-innovation phenomenon.

The ragas of CM is a vast and fascinating subject. And it's no doubt going to be controversial. That is why I take the edge off these issues by writing those funny stories with ragas as the characters. It's a hilarious way of viewing these changes over time.

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#24 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by sureshvv »

Not all is lost.

Watch parivadini on Monday, Oct 19th!

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#25 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by shankarank »

Actually at this time, the CM community as whole lacks the level of conviction to make that kind of changes anymore. With recordings in place , it will be harder.

We would be able to put this into perspective, if we looked at the rAgA process as a mUrchana (something I remember Dr BMK saying , but isn't this known thing commonly?). In this case the dhaivata is also a fleeting svara, not held for any long.

So when the parampara was in the midst of so much of turmoil - loss of patronage, destruction of eco systems, such a confusion is bound to happen. So if there is really an undiscovered rAgA that would really sound different that we lost, why nobody has found one? Now that we are relatively stable system ( past 60 years!)? We have to consider all that!

This "somebody did it" to sell their record is actually not fair! So nobody out there should listen to music? Or would it have retained it's structure if people just sang in pUja room and their chamber? That eco-system lost it's everything isn't it?

When did we start seeing concerts as some sinful act? I am actually a modernist!

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#26 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by shankarank »

Vakulabharana wrote: 15 Oct 2020, 09:42 Coming back to Abheri, I suggest you to hear 'vinabheri' of Dikshitar and do some reading on the lakshanam. Any wise mind will concede the researches happening.
I have listened to that many times, the Guruguha vANi AIR release recording from MSS in 1975 @MA dIkshitar centenary. It was a refreshing rendition! But has anybody attempted any exposition in that mode? Or is it just another stamp we collected, another piece of philately?

What will happen to this rAgA if a musician starts dwelling on various facets in this rAgA vINAbhEri. Any recording available?

I remember a post in sangeetham.com. This when discussing a kalyANi navavaraNam. Somebody was objecting to a pallavi taken for neraval and any manodharmam for a dIkshitar kriti! "A dIkshitar kriti rendition should NOT be appended with any neraval or svarams. It should be just sung!"

So is that it?

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#27 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by Vakulabharana »

When did we start seeing concerts as some sinful act? I am actually a modernist!
I dont think you, me or anyone else doing a research on this subject sees concert as a sinful act. I dint think even it was reflected subtly anywhere. What we wish to have a separate repetore for these old versions so that we can get closer to the original. Concert versions can remain as it is and it need not be disturbed.
You area biased modernist :D Encouraging only a particular artist or school who speaks about tradition and old Abheri and condemning us for for giving more valuable evidence !
With recordings in place , it will be harder.
I think you are living in seclusion. Even now changes are taking place. I myself had heard few musicians singing Deekshitar kritis in a different raga.
loss of patronage, destruction of ecosystems, such a confusion is bound to happen.

It is true that we have lost the original tune of some kritis due to the reasons mentioned by you. This certainly cannot be applied to all. You should read the articles written by the cited author, placed in the same site to know more. A breech happened to the continuing tradition. Read the article on Balahamsa. He has proved how the Balahamsa of the past was much different from what is being sung now.
Its not about bringing a change. Its an effort to get out the truth.
"somebody did it" to sell their record is actually not fair
Read that article again to get a clear picture. It has multiple layers and repeated reading alone help us to unravel the truth. The version with d2 was existent even before the record was cut. The truth was known to many. Either their voices were inaudible or they restricted themselves so they are no more audible.

P.S I am not the author of the mentioned article.

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#28 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by Vakulabharana »

What will happen to this rAgA if a musician starts dwelling on various facets in this rAgA vINAbhEri. Any recording available?
To my knowledge, I am not aware of any alapana in the real Abheri.
A dIkshitar kriti rendition should NOT be appended with any neraval or svarams.
I think this is nothing but interfering with the liberty of the musicians. If the selected phrase conveys a proper meaning, it can very well be elaborated .

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#29 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by Vakulabharana »

When did we start seeing concerts as some sinful act? I am actually a modernist!
I dont think you, me or anyone else doing a research on this subject sees concert as a sinful act. I dint think even it was reflected subtly anywhere. What we wish to have a separate repetore for these old versions so that we can get closer to the original. Concert versions can remain as it is and it need not be disturbed.
You area biased modernist :D Encouraging only a particular artist or school who speaks about tradition and old Abheri and condemning us for for giving more valuable evidence !
With recordings in place , it will be harder.
I think you are living in seclusion. Even now changes are taking place. I myself had heard few musicians singing Deekshitar kritis in a different raga.
loss of patronage, destruction of ecosystems, such a confusion is bound to happen.


It is true that we have lost the original tune of some kritis due to the reasons mentioned by you. This certainly cannot be applied to all. You should read the articles written by the cited author, placed in the same site to know more. A breech happened to the continuing tradition. Read the article on Balahamsa. He has proved how the Balahamsa of the past was much different from what is being sung now.
Its not about bringing a change. Its an effort to get out the truth.
"somebody did it" to sell their record is actually not fair
Read that article again to get a clear picture. It has multiple layers and repeated reading alone help us to unravel the truth. The version with d2 was existent even before the record was cut. The truth was known to many. Either their voices were inaudible or they restricted themselves so they are no more audible.

P.S I am not the author of the mentioned article, though I know him personally.

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#30 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

shankarank wrote: 17 Oct 2020, 11:33
Vakulabharana wrote: 15 Oct 2020, 09:42 Coming back to Abheri, I suggest you to hear 'vinabheri' of Dikshitar and do some reading on the lakshanam. Any wise mind will concede the researches happening.
I have listened to that many times, the Guruguha vANi AIR release recording from MSS in 1975 @MA dIkshitar centenary. It was a refreshing rendition! But has anybody attempted any exposition in that mode? Or is it just another stamp we collected, another piece of philately?

What will happen to this rAgA if a musician starts dwelling on various facets in this rAgA vINAbhEri. Any recording available?

I remember a post in sangeetham.com. This when discussing a kalyANi navavaraNam. Somebody was objecting to a pallavi taken for neraval and any manodharmam for a dIkshitar kriti! "A dIkshitar kriti rendition should NOT be appended with any neraval or svarams. It should be just sung!"

So is that it?
Even a bathroom singer with no singing tone like me managed to sing an alapana and swaras in it and was quite surprised by what you can do, especially if you let it sink in over many days.

The non linearity of the raganga school ragas is a challenging and formidable barrier and they won't flow so freely like their linear cousins. You have to spend time working out valid possible swara combinations. They seem to be designed for a different style of music.

Among the entire Dikshitar clan, Muthuswamy Dikshitar is particularly and distinctly more non linear. So much so that I have trouble distinguishing between stylistic use of non linear phrases vs structural non linearity that defines the basic structure of the raga - this makes it more difficult to study ragas based on his kritis alone. He's almost a maverick in his family, with a different way of thinking.

But with some creativity one can work through and with these challenges.

If you want these ragas elaborated, someone has to try. Who's ready and willing?

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#31 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by shankarank »

Was thinking about the same! Need a gharaNa or dIkshitar gramam where the musicians are isolated from all other styles that are prevalent. May be something will come out!

But then we should not assume because his composition covers only certain modes, that, that indeed is the lakshaNa expanse of the rAgA! Only a sadhakam with conviction will confirm!

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#32 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

shankarank wrote: 18 Oct 2020, 03:01 Was thinking about the same! Need a gharaNa or dIkshitar gramam where the musicians are isolated from all other styles that are prevalent. May be something will come out!

But then we should not assume because his composition covers only certain modes, that, that indeed is the lakshaNa expanse of the rAgA! Only a sadhakam with conviction will confirm!
Certainly there are more phrases and combinations than what he has given. Singing the raga for a while and taking equivalent ideas from others gives many new ideas. I am totally sure MD didn't exhaust the potential of the raga and give all the phrases. In fact the composers seem to have saved a few phrases for each kriti in a raga.

The trick here is to figure out which phrases do not violate the raga structure. One also has to have the distinction between situational non linear phrasing and structural non linear phrasing, the former can go beyond the scale, the latter cannot. If one is not careful, in the future it could lead to unwarranted changes to the ragas. Fortunately we have SSP to refer to. Or else who knows, an entire tradition would have been lost, with no one the wiser.

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#33 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by shankarank »

Ok TMK has done it : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV87abxrPCs

But really, the only expression of a rAgA that it has , in this day and age, is that of Jonpuri! Rest of it is pure grammatical exercise. Do we need this grammatical one time wonder?

The kriti can be sung as originally composed, if it really came down via Oral tradition also however. Kriti is kriti - has it's own music. I reject the notion that a kriti was composed to express a rAgA.

Otherwise pointless.

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#34 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by Vakulabharana »

Rest of it is pure grammatical exercise. Do we need this grammatical one time wonder?
You need to understand our musical system cannot be restricted to our comprehension alone. The music that we hear is a changed one and it is getting adapted to the needs of the generation. The music which you have quoted is evidence of the past and anyone who sings the past music tries to give a hint of the music of the bygone era. You cannot understand or enjoy the music if you keep the present day music as a yardstick.

Secondly, your statement is very subjective. It might be a grammatical exercise for you. It necessarily need not be the same for people who enjoy it. I very well know many including me, who enjoy this archaic music. For us, this is certainly not an exercise. Hence it cannot be labeled as an exercise based on our limited capacities.

On the other hand, we do not know whether Deekshitar expounded this raga or just composed a kriti alone to keep the raga alive. If the former case is true, we cannot certainly determine the way he has elaborated. We cannot equate the music of Deekshitar or any other composer of that era with the music of present-day musicians.

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#35 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

Do we need this grammatical one time wonder?
Says who? This is merely rationalizing away what you don't like. Liking it or not - that's up to you. You might not like it, but someone else will.

You know, everyone who asks the question "Is it necessary" needs a translator. Translation : "Should I burden myself even more?" I didn't ask you to carry that burden, it's mine. :mrgreen:

Is this needed? Well if it was not needed why would SD at the age of 60 plus have gone through the trouble to write a 2000+ page behemoth of a book to preserve what his parampara passed on to him? His opinion is more important to me.

Now coming to your other question, I do believe that kritis also had a secondary motive of bringing out raga nuances. As far as I have seen, there is a reason for choosing certain phrases at certain places in many Dikshitar school compositions -- they all bring out more aspects of the raga. This is intentional and especially true in the more organic phrase based ragas.

Thyagaraja would not have composed almost 30 kritis in tODi or shankarabharanam if those ragas didn't have so much to offer. A kriti may have come out of inspiration, but the second reason behind composing any kriti, even if not explicitly said, is to explore the raga.

We are in the ragas section of rasikas.org. From the raga perspective, the raga very well unfolds and expands through the kriti just as much as it does in raga alapana or tanam or swaras. Ragas that might be repetitive in alapana end up showing much greater scope in kritis. Lyrics act as scaffolds for the rhythm and then the melody of the kriti and they shape the flow of the raga.

The kriti and the raga are more closely intertwined than we realize. In the case of Dikshitar, many ragas like kurinji, navaroj, paras, sourashtram, gauri, ahiri, punnagavarali, etc have all expanded themselves through the kriti in ways that they wouldn't do via raga alapana. You can examine the kritis composed in these ragas and see this for yourself.

Many kritis are melodically encapsulated versions of ragas. In fact there is evidence that Thyagaraja and Dikshitar studied earlier compositions extant or notated to understand the contours of many ragas and then composed along those lines. SD has himself said explicitly at many places that certain ragas can only be properly grasped from the compositions.
Last edited by SrinathK on 23 Oct 2020, 08:01, edited 2 times in total.

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#36 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by sureshvv »

shankarank wrote: 22 Oct 2020, 08:22 <snip>.

Otherwise pointless.
Apt summation of your post.

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#37 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by shankarank »

Vakulabharana wrote: 22 Oct 2020, 12:32
Shankarank wrote:Rest of it is pure grammatical exercise. Do we need this grammatical one time wonder?
The music which you have quoted is evidence of the past and anyone who sings the past music tries to give a hint of the music of the bygone era.
It is a reconstructed music based on what has been heard orally from other usages of the same svara at the current time! We should not believe that that is "original" music. We are giving "written" records some kind of an extra "aura" due to the thinking [:cough;] of "current times" and not acknowledging enough the fact that we can even hold the d1 as we do only because of Oral tradition. And building a controversy around it.

What is more distressing, it follows the pattern of how the Western view point has derided native cultures of not having a "history" - and a written one at that. I am making a general observation without elaborating further.
Vakulabharana wrote: 22 Oct 2020, 12:32 Secondly, your statement is very subjective. It might be a grammatical exercise for you. It necessarily need not be the same for people who enjoy it.
Well it is TMK who used the characterization non rAgA rAgAs for many rAgAs - e.g. simhavAhini. To be fair, he did question the resistance to many musicians who created newer rAgAs by the establishment of their times and beyond. Muthiah Bhagavatars rAgams were mentioned as example. If we are to be open minded, we should be open minded to the idea that grammatical structures of all kinds , like 4 note scales, the tALa structure of the kriti ( Asu) all have musical nuances. We seem to only get concerned if rAgAs change tune.

My point above is, when looked at holistically, it sounds like Jonpuri, especially when they land and traverse d1. So we have not lost anything here in terms of svarUpam. Compared to that kaRnATaka dEvagAndhAri has a good unique svarUpam to itself. But you can have this Abheri under the understanding that it is different but we have not missed any svarUpam as a result of the change.
Vakulabharana wrote: 22 Oct 2020, 12:32 On the other hand, we do not know whether Deekshitar expounded this raga or just composed a kriti alone to keep the raga alive.
It does not matter. The whole thing is music not just the rAgA or lakshna employed. A musician can expand based on experience with singing the kriti. What we should not indulge in is presenting what is sung today using d1 as authentic and original and it was changed because musicians could not hold d1 etc as happened here: http://rasikas.org/forums/viewtopic.php ... 54#p308854

After all if they slipped because d1 is difficult and musicians naturally land only in D2, a rAgA was born naturally or recognized naturally! Unintentional isn't it? If the original Abheri could not compete with it, then tough luck!

But I said what I said in my post to provoke a discussion and thanks for your response!

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#38 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

When I first got into this raga business, that is what I thought too - I also had these questions. But over time I see there's so much more to it. There is a method to the old notations.

Maybe after studying a hundred or so of these kritis (and I will write about them down the road), you will get a better idea how Carnatic Music has been evolving.

How to handle a note is an art that comes over time and lots of experience with these ragas. Specifically Dikshitar's Abheri is a case where the raga swaroopa actually shines better with more plain notes than notes with lots of kampita and vali gamakas. It is quite the opposite with old bhairavi and the upanga version ghanta (the "pure gold" one), which are very heavy ragas. Todi is a raga that today starts out as very heavy, but in long alapanas you can do almost anything with each note. Mohanam sounds good in whichever way you sing it. Vakulabharanam should actually be sung with less gamaka (like the Phyrgian Dominant scale that it is) keeping in mind its antiquity and should not sound like some attempt to fuse todi and mayamalavagaula together. Old Paras, aTANA, Takka, old gurjari, chayatarangini all have multiple possibilities.

Such quirks are peculiar to each raga. Without deeply studying each of them, these FAQ's aren't going to be answered. The ragas will make you work for it.

Vakulabharana
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#39 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by Vakulabharana »

It is reconstructed music based on what has been heard orally from other usages of the same svara at the current time! We should not believe that that is "original" music.
True. Everything that we hear is reconstructed music. Do you think the versions transferred through the oral tradition are exact reproductions? Not at all. Just talk with any musician. They will never claim it to be the version sung by Swamigal or Deekshitar. They will always claim it as version taught by their teacher. Unless you have the voice of a composer recorded, you cannot sing like him.
But the positive point with respect to these old versions is the raga structure is kept intact, leave alone the gamakas. Even this has been changed in the presently heard versions. THis is the point we wish to reiterate.
What is more distressing, it follows the pattern of how the Western view point has derided native cultures of not having a "history" - and a written one at that. I am making a general observation without elaborating further.
Actually an aura of negativity has been created around the notation system and its uses. It is actually a written record of an aural exercise. Hence, notations too were sung by a few, at least by the author. The problem with the notation system is they cannot show us the gamakas, excluding some cases. The same problem is with the oral tradition too. No one can reproduce the gamakas used by the composer as we have not heard and the gamakas too have changed over a period of time.
it sounds like Jonpuri, especially when they land and traverse d1.
When you take phrase by phrase it can resemble many other ragas. Are we not experiencing this with Sriragam, Manirangu, etc? It is mainly due to our lack of acquaintance and expertise with these ragas.
what is sung today using d1 as authentic and original
I think a proper understanding of the article would have not made you ask this question. The author also questions the use of d1 as very many versions of this kriti were available and a benefit of the doubt is to be given to all. This is where manuscripts play a vital role. Changing a note and calling it as Abheri, when the structure of the kriti deviates from the lakshana is not logical. We should remember that we are dealing with the kritis of Swamigal, an adept in Sangita Sastra and a disciple belonging to the school of the revered Venkatamakhin.

I am much glad that you are discussing a topic like this.

shankarank
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#40 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by shankarank »

Vakulabharana wrote: 23 Oct 2020, 11:58 When you take phrase by phrase it can resemble many other ragas. Are we not experiencing this with Sriragam, Manirangu, etc? It is mainly due to our lack of acquaintance and expertise with these ragas.
Manirang/Sri etc, a gamaka can completely distinguish them. Once Prof SRJ demonstrated dhanyAsi by hitting one note.

Why we need to go that far? We can come closer here. Including notes and some phrases , kaRnATaka dEvagAndhAri indeed overlaps modern rItigauLa. But just by traversing differently modern rItigauLa sounds completely different. There is not much of gamaka play there to help. Just the route taken!

I cannot believe SrI dIkshitar's rAgAs are like Chinese faces and it is our familiarity that helps us differentiate the former two. May be nArikELa pAka means that. Somehow SrI tyAgaraja is known to make his rAgAs [Ahem!] clear at the outset as the cliche goes!

sureshvv
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#41 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by sureshvv »

shankarank wrote: 24 Oct 2020, 12:53 I cannot believe <snip> are like Chinese faces and it is our familiarity that helps us differentiate the former...
You think there is something special about "Chinese" faces that is unlike other ethnicities?

SrinathK
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#42 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

Somehow SrI tyAgaraja is known to make his rAgAs [Ahem!] clear at the outset as the cliche goes!
Actually so does Dikshitar. I for one can't recall any Dikshitar kriti that doesn't make the raga clear with key phrases on the first line.

shankarank
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#43 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by shankarank »

sureshvv wrote: 24 Oct 2020, 14:40 You think there is something special about "Chinese" faces that is unlike other ethnicities?
All relative. It is Indian faces for them!

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#44 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by sureshvv »

shankarank wrote: 24 Oct 2020, 21:28
sureshvv wrote: 24 Oct 2020, 14:40 You think there is something special about "Chinese" faces that is unlike other ethnicities?
All relative. It is Indian faces for them!
Great. Thanks for clarifying.

And Dikshitar ragas are indistinguishable to you? You likened then to Chinese faces.

nAdopAsaka
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#45 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by nAdopAsaka »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAOIpZoj_gI

an enlightening discussion that highlights "starting" phrases of close ragas and how composers carefully maintain distinctive features out of the gates..At 14 minute Prof. SRJ expounds etc.. rest is also pretty useful..

readers may be aware of this collection, posted 4-5 years ago.

Vakulabharana
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#46 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by Vakulabharana »

Manirang/Sri etc, a gamaka can completely distinguish them.
We are giving undue importance to gamakas. Svaras are more important than gamakas and the latter are used only as ornaments. The usage of gamaka is highly subjective and there are no restrictions or prescriptions for the usage of gamakas. Contrarily, the svaras to be taken by a raga is very well prescribed. This highlights the element to be used for distinguishing any two ragas. It is a basic understanding that only a variable can be used to distinguish two identical parameters.
I took this example as they can be well distinguished by their svara prayogas itself. Perhaps in the last century, distinguishing a raga based on gamakas was developed.
kaRnATaka dEvagAndhAri indeed overlaps modern rItigauLa.
Surprised to see the usage 'modern'. My posts atleast made you to realise ragas were changed and it is pertinent to use the term old, modern etc.
When you compare, it is better to compare two old ragas or two new ragas. I call this as vertical comparison. Horizontal comparison is the one in which you compare old and new forms of a same raga.
I suggest you to read that article again wherein he mentions a phrase, arterial to Karnataka Devagandhari, which I don't remember now. I don't think that phrase is extant now. I will take this an opportunity and ask Dr Aravind to write an article on Reethigowlai.
I cannot believe SrI dIkshitar's rAgAs are like Chinese faces and it is our familiarity that helps us differentiate the former two
.

If you ask a first standard kid to distinguish between differential calculus and trigonometry, will he be able to do so? He should read more and equip himself to even understand the concept. Above all he should realise he is not a scholar in mathematics and just a novice.

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#47 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by shankarank »

sureshvv wrote: 24 Oct 2020, 22:36 And Dikshitar ragas are indistinguishable to you?
Now in context all Chinese faces are not indistinguishable - but a random few suddenly in front of you could be.

All such rAgas ( in context) which are quintessentially only "dIkshitar's" have a problem with svarUpam if "others" elaborate on it.

As regards easy identification : Some of them pUrva prasiddhas like Ananda Bhairavi as in tyAgarAja yOga vaibhavam which starts as sa-sa pa-pa -pa - (ga)ri-ri - almost making a cycle of 5ths up! Takes a bit to identify!

While Sri dIkshitar focusses on many other things, we are taking his compositions and trying to reverse engineer a rAgA lakshana!
Last edited by shankarank on 25 Oct 2020, 06:42, edited 1 time in total.

shankarank
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#48 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by shankarank »

Vakulabharana wrote: 24 Oct 2020, 23:22 If you ask a first standard kid to distinguish between differential calculus and trigonometry, will he be able to do so? He should read more and equip himself to even understand the concept. Above all he should realise he is not a scholar in mathematics and just a novice.
Aha! That is a good finding. Scholars can discern everything! Then they should do it in their scholarly sadas and chamber. So you agree this should not have spilled into streets with issues being taken to general media with socio-political narratives , as to who changed it and what is their motive etc?

If this remains in a corner in this forum or in a Journal of Mecca or some PhD thesis which will be dusting up , who cares!

SrinathK
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#49 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by SrinathK »

@shankarank And your point is what exactly? You were the one who started raising all these issues in post #21. Till then it had only restricted itself to the raga and a funny story weaved around the topic of changes happening over time in CM.

The best and most non controversial way to deal with many potentially controversial issues is humor. It takes the edge out of these topics and also lets others understand some complex points between the lines.

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#50 Re: AbhEri - Old and New

Post by sureshvv »

shankarank wrote: 25 Oct 2020, 01:23 Now in context all Chinese faces are not indistinguishable - but a random few suddenly in front of you could be.
Love the way you try to climb out of every hole that you dig and then promptly fall into.
All such rAgas ( in context) which are quintessentially only "dIkshitar's" have a problem with svarUpam if "others" elaborate on it.
Please list some of these that you have this problem with.
Takes a bit to identify!
Whatever gave you the idea that "easy identification" is a criterion that composers concern themselves with?

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