What is chatusra tisram?

Tālam & Layam related topics
Post Reply
nmn1974
Posts: 2
Joined: 01 Sep 2009, 08:48

#1

Post by nmn1974 » 01 Sep 2009, 08:52

Hello All,

I think my subject is self-explanatory :-) Could anyone please explain what is chatusra tisram? Can this be sung in any pallavi? Also can this be extended to chatusra khandam/misram or similar combinations?

Thanks!
0 x

rasikaranjan
Posts: 23
Joined: 24 Jul 2009, 21:02

#2

Post by rasikaranjan » 01 Sep 2009, 11:00

Tisram, Chatursram, Khandam, Misram and Sangirnam are kinds of natais or gatis in the parlance of music. It is rhythmic gait. It is measured by beats. Beat containing 3 swaras is called tisram, four=chatursram, five=Khandam, seven=Misram and nine=Sangirnam. Commonly all songs are rendered in Chatursra natai. Kritis like Shankari Sahnkuru (of Shyama Sastri), Vallabhanayakasya Bhakto Bhavami (Dikshitar) etc. are sung in Tisra Natai. Only those who are blessed with the element /gene of laya can sing these natais. Those who are not, sing these kritis in roopaka talam. Conversely, laya experts sing rupaka tala kritis in Tisra natai.

Able and scholarly teachers train children to sing even all varisais in all these natais. All Varnams can be (rather should be practiced) in all natais, at least in Tisra Natai. You would have noticed brilliant laya experts rendering swaras in jet speed, while rendering manodharma swaras, which can be appreciated only by the layagnanis, which some stupid critics call as mad rush or other dim-witted words You would have heard about Shatkala Marar, It is said, marveled by his dazzling control over laya, Tyagaraja swamigal composed the Sriraga Ratnam. (the concluding pancharatnam)
Prof: Sambamoorthy paying high tributes to Mahavaidyanatha Iyer says "The ringing and fascinating character of his voice and his ability to sing to all the six degrees of speed charmed one and all beyond measure. "

Pallavis can be sung in all natais.
0 x

nmn1974
Posts: 2
Joined: 01 Sep 2009, 08:48

#3

Post by nmn1974 » 01 Sep 2009, 12:12

Thanks Rasikaranjan.

However, I was referring to the technique of singing a pallavi in chatusra tisram. I have heard this term very frequently, but would like to know what it means and how one would execute this in a pallavi.

Could any of the laya experts please help?
0 x

Nick H
Posts: 8879
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 02:03
x 616
x 256

#4

Post by Nick H » 01 Sep 2009, 17:26

It simply translates to four three --- so, expressed thus, it is a nonsense!

So there must be something missing, or assumed.

Let's take the full description of tisra nadai "adi" talam as a possible example:

Tisra Nadai Chatusra jathai Triputa talam

Indicating that

--- the tala is triputa, ie it consists of one laghu, followed by two druthams.

--- the length of the laghu is four counts (clap plus three fingers)

--- each of the counts, four in the laghu, two in each drutham, is subdivided into three pulses.

chatusra, in this context: the number of counts in the laghu[s]

tisra, in this context, the number of pulses in each beat.

In the palavi context, I can only think that it is to do with singing in different speeds, which can be done 1st, 2nd, tisra, 3rd, 2nd-tisra. First, second and third are chatusra (unless the palavi is in another nadai anyway) and are simple doublings; tisra is moving from four beats per count to three or six, ie a nadai change.

Shots in the dark here... maybe some help?
Last edited by Guest on 02 Sep 2009, 02:11, edited 1 time in total.
0 x

arunk
Posts: 3424
Joined: 07 Feb 2010, 21:41
x 2

#5

Post by arunk » 01 Sep 2009, 20:25

I may be wrong. This is basically singing a song that is set in catusra gati, in tisra gati while keeping regular catusra gati tala. Applies to varnams and pallavis.


Arun
0 x

srinivasrgvn
Posts: 1013
Joined: 30 Nov 2008, 07:46

#6

Post by srinivasrgvn » 01 Sep 2009, 22:08

nick H wrote: Tisra Nadai Chatusra jatai Triputa talam
Did you mean jathi?
0 x

Nick H
Posts: 8879
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 02:03
x 616
x 256

#7

Post by Nick H » 02 Sep 2009, 02:11

Yes... Thank you, I did.

Post edited :)
0 x

vasanthakokilam
Posts: 10916
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 00:01
x 9
x 37

#8

Post by vasanthakokilam » 02 Sep 2009, 02:45

arunk wrote:I may be wrong. This is basically singing a song that is set in catusra gati, in tisra gati while keeping regular catusra gati tala. Applies to varnams and pallavis.
Arun
Such cross-rhythms is my understanding of chatusra tisram as well. There have been some other discussion about this elsewhere. ( Essentially nothing changes at a fundamental level )

Arun, I am intrigued about what you say regarding 'varnams and pallavis'. I am always unsure of what 'tisram' singing in varnams and pallavis refers to.

In one Bombay Sisters' varnam in pUrvAngA, they sing Tisram for half and then tisram double speed for the other half and it takes the same time as chathusram. I thought that is quite a neat idea.
Since tisram length is 1 and 1/3 of chathusram and tisram double speed length is 2/3 of chathusram, 1 1/3 + 2/3 = 6/3 = 2 of chathusram. Nice!!

That leads to the obvious conclution that if they had sung tisram for the whole pUrvAngA it would have taken them 1 and 1/3 time to complete the pUrvAngA. Are such things done as well?
0 x

arunk
Posts: 3424
Joined: 07 Feb 2010, 21:41
x 2

#9

Post by arunk » 02 Sep 2009, 06:35

singing tisram for varnam I have heard is an advanced lesson for strengthening one's handle of laya. It is similar what is done in Bombay Sisters example above and I think same is done in pallavis also (i.e. besides anulomam and pratilomam, tisram is also done sometimes).

I should note that here the tala (keeping) remains same but the melody switches gait (thus length of notes changes) i.e. to tisra gati. So this is really singing tisram only - the only additional "caveat" is that tala keeping doesn't reflect tisra gati, and stays in catusra gati (thus perhaps the need for catusra-tisram term in colloquial use). Anyway, this is the opposite of keeping the melody same but changing the tala (say you put 4 cycles of rupaka capu vs. 1 cycle Adi tisra gati) - I wonder if this is what you were referring to in your first para above and "essentially nothing changes..."

Arun
0 x

msakella
Posts: 1891
Joined: 30 Sep 2006, 21:16
x 48

#10

Post by msakella » 02 Sep 2009, 07:11

Dear brother-member, vasanthakokilam, Each and every Varnam cannot be sung in the same manner. amsharma
0 x

vasanthakokilam
Posts: 10916
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 00:01
x 9
x 37

#11

Post by vasanthakokilam » 02 Sep 2009, 07:58

>(say you put 4 cycles of rupaka capu vs. 1 cycle Adi tisra gati) - I wonder if this is what you were referring to in your first para above and "essentially nothing changes..."

Yes, along those lines though I was not thinking of that example. ( side bar: in such cases, the eduppu also sometimes changes , so there is a lateral shift )

The example I was thinking of was in Kalpanaswarams, thani or bharathanatyam ( as practised sometimes in pancha-nadai ), the sub-beat size does not change, the beat interval does not change ( though suspended temporarily ), only thing that is done is the size of the grouping. So take 3 avartha of adi for 24 beats - 24 groups of 4 in chathusram = 96 sub beats. Temporarily set aside the thala avartha, now that we have flattened it to the sub-beat level. Regroup it to 32 groups of three. It is still the chathusram sub-beat length but grouped as a thisram hence chathusra thisram. ( so essentially same as your example ).

So, arun, if chathusra thisram is what I described above, then it is not same as what is done in Varnams or Pallavis, right?

Akellaji: Is your comment in reference to singing thisram in Varnam? Intriguing. Please explain further.
0 x

msakella
Posts: 1891
Joined: 30 Sep 2006, 21:16
x 48

#12

Post by msakella » 02 Sep 2009, 15:08

Dear brother-member, vasanthakokilam, Let it be either any Varnam or any Pallavi for that matter the mathematical application while singing the meterial in Trisra-gati which is already set in Chaturashra-gati, is the same. That is OK. But you wrote ‘In one Bombay Sisters' varnam in pUrvAngA, they sing Tisram for half and then tisram double speed for the other half and it takes the same time as chathusram’. In general, many of our artists choose a Varnam which is mathematically convenient to do such thing. That too they do such things in respect of the Purvanga only but conveniently avoid to do the same in respect of Uttaranga. Once if you look into the Uttaranga of 2 or 3 different Varnas and try to apply the same you can very well understand the implications. amsharma
0 x

Venkatachalam J
Posts: 16
Joined: 01 Sep 2009, 18:21

#13

Post by Venkatachalam J » 02 Sep 2009, 17:01

Is it chatusra jathi thisra gathi (or) chatusara gathi thisra jathi
0 x

arunk
Posts: 3424
Joined: 07 Feb 2010, 21:41
x 2

#14

Post by arunk » 02 Sep 2009, 18:09

vk,

What i am referring is the case where sub-beat lengths (or more pertinently the lengths of swaras/notes of the melody) DO change and hence is NOT the same as you thought I was referring.

As you know, there are 2 possibilities in gati switch:
1. Melody remains same (i.e. lengths in time of swaras/notes that make up the melody remains same), but tala keeping (i.e. length in time of avarthana) changes.

2. Tala keeping remains same (i.e. length in time of an avarthana remains same) but melody changes (i.e. lengths in time of swaras/notes that make up the melody changes).

In BOTH cases, across the switch, the duration of say any particular portion of melody would be different RELATIVE to the duration of avarthana as kept in tala.

But IMO, this is not as significant as the question "does the duration of particular portion of the melody" CHANGE in time i.e. # of seconds it takes across the switch?

Say sarasuDa in that rendition was done so that one avarthana of 2-kalai took 16 seconds (so one 1 second per "tap" in 2-kalai). There are 32 "swaras" in first line of the pallavi ( s , r , g , rg r, , , ... <=> sarasuDa ninnE kOri ) . In catusra gati, then 32 swaras take 16 seconds i.e. 2 swaras per tap i.e. 2 swaras per second. When doing second speed in catusra gati, now 32 swaras take 8 seconds i.e. 1/2 the tala or 64 swaras are fit in that 16 second avartana.

When doing tisram, the first 24 swaras of the pallavi are sung in the same 16 seconds while putting the same 2-kalai tala (1 tap per second). Thus the first line of the pallavi which fit in 16 seconds, now will stretch beyond the 16 seconds. So this is the case #2 above.

What you were referring to is where the sarasUDa ninnE kOri STILL takes 16 seconds after switch, but the tala keeping changes so that one avarthana shortens to 12 seconds (?not sure about math (16/32)*24 = 12)

In any case, catusra tisram is really not that special. I believe it is #2 above - which is basically one way of doing gati switch.

Arun
Last edited by arunk on 02 Sep 2009, 18:10, edited 1 time in total.
0 x

Nick H
Posts: 8879
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 02:03
x 616
x 256

#15

Post by Nick H » 02 Sep 2009, 21:44

1. Melody remains same (i.e. lengths in time of swaras/notes that make up the melody remains same), but tala keeping (i.e. length in time of avarthana) changes.

2. Tala keeping remains same (i.e. length in time of an avarthana remains same) but melody changes
I think that is aniloma and pratiloma, which two words I have probably mangled, and quite likely got the wrong way around --- not nadai change. Can both come under gati?
0 x

arunk
Posts: 3424
Joined: 07 Feb 2010, 21:41
x 2

#16

Post by arunk » 03 Sep 2009, 02:42

Nick I think you are right. I am not 100% sure but I think in the usual/common case anulomam and pratilomam, the gati/naDai remains same - and so it is "time stretching and contracting" over same gati/naDai. So spread what took in say 1 cycle (at the start of pallavi) of the tala to 2 cycles of the same tala in same tempo, and on the other end do it in 1/2 and even 1/4th cycle (thus repeat 2 and 4 times to fill a cycle). But if we generalize, then this above doing tisram while keeping tala constant also should fall under anulomam.

Now of course I also want to say that I am not 100% if this is indeed what is called catusra tisram :)

Arun
Last edited by arunk on 03 Sep 2009, 02:43, edited 1 time in total.
0 x

cmlover
Posts: 11498
Joined: 02 Feb 2010, 22:36
x 3

#17

Post by cmlover » 04 Sep 2009, 10:05

VK
what is the caveat?
One can do these for any thaaLam. The mridangist can easily play three avarthams for four cylcles of thaaLam without any difficulty..
0 x

vasanthakokilam
Posts: 10916
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 00:01
x 9
x 37

#18

Post by vasanthakokilam » 04 Sep 2009, 10:15

CML, by caveat, I am referring to the test in my post #21 above "1) If ( Thala avartha count x BN ) is divisible by NN, then "BN NN" switch is feasible". This is a requirement for non fractional convergence on each repetition of the pallavi line. ( non fractional convergence means each cycle in NN should finish on a BN sub-beat and not a fraction of a BN sub-beat )

That is, when the singer is doing "Misram" while you are keeping the thala in "Sankeernam" for a pallavi which is originally set in Kanda Jathi Triputa thala sankeerna nadai, the singer's pallavi frame would not finish on your chathusram count. It will fall in between a sub-beat . Such practical difficulties aside, yes it is mathematically possible and who knows, for our laya experts, it may not be a super big deal ;)

FYI, in the above example for Khada-Triputa, each avartha in Misram consisting of 81 misra swaras will fall on 104.14285714285714285714285714286 th sankeerna swara. :)

The same sankeerna misram technique will work out fine without fractions for Tisra-Triputa, Khanda-Ata, Chatusra-Jhampa, Khanda-Roopaka, Mishra-Eka and Chatusra-Dhruva thalas.
0 x

arunk
Posts: 3424
Joined: 07 Feb 2010, 21:41
x 2

#19

Post by arunk » 04 Sep 2009, 17:00

I am still confused :) - vk what you explain was what I thought would happen for catusra tisram but Balaji sir's explanation confused me.

Anyway what you explain above from what I can tell this is standard catusra gati to tisra gati switch (and if true, a separate label like catusra tisram adds more confusion to me! ). If the mridangist plays a rhythm that is in line of the target gati (i.e. tisram), then the tala keeping is somewhat irrelevant to the musical aspect isnt it? It isnt completely irrelevant as it does play a role to ensure that the avarthana cycle remains the same

Arun
Last edited by arunk on 04 Sep 2009, 17:00, edited 1 time in total.
0 x

msakella
Posts: 1891
Joined: 30 Sep 2006, 21:16
x 48

#20

Post by msakella » 04 Sep 2009, 20:14

vasanthakokilam wrote:FYI, in the above example for Khada-Triputa, each avartha in Misram consisting of 81 misra swaras will fall on 104.14285714285714285714285714286 th sankeerna swara. :)
vk - Leave alone the Chaturashra-trisram, but in Khanda-triputa carrying 9 Kriyas, each Avarta in Mishram arrives at the total of 9 x 7 = 63. But I am unable to arrive at a total of 81. I am also confused. Of course, our birth right is to make others confused or to become ourselves confused. Then only people think us stalwarts as per our tradition. But, I am still more surprised to know when did you learn my Talaprastara even without my knowledge and got this little number ‘104.14285714285714285714285714286’ to make me still more confused. amsharma
0 x

mridangamkid
Posts: 150
Joined: 03 Sep 2007, 22:11

#21

Post by mridangamkid » 04 Sep 2009, 20:14

From what I understand, Chathusra thisra is merely playing a chathusra pattern in chathusra nadai however after ever 3 (thisra) beat.

The best/easiest example is using Rupaka thalam, if we play a normal 4 beat pattern.... thakadhina.... in Adi thalam Chathusra Nadai, it will fit perfectly, as shown

http://www.sendspace.com/file/1ptdls

This is just me saying "Thakadhina" in different speeds in Adi Thalam Chathusra Nadai

Now if you do the exact same thing as above but in Rupaka thalam it will be as follows

http://www.sendspace.com/file/zgsduw

If you'd notice, when I said "Tha dhin dhin na, thaka dhin din na, dhina dhin dhin na, thatha dhin dhin na", I had to repeat it thrice, rather than once or twice as I would in a normal 8.

Now in Chathusra-Thrisa, though it may not sound like it, I will still be in normal Chathusra nadai, however I am subdividing it into 3. The reason why this is so controversial however, is because at first I play a note after every 3 beats "THA tha tha KA ka ka DHIN dhin dhin NA na na". (Capital letters only being audible), however once you go into double speed, it will go into 1.5, then .75, and so on and so on.

If you'd notice now, I will play what I payed before in Adii -chathusra and Rupaka Chathusra... however this will fit perfectly as if it would in Adi thalam.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/mftabh

The same can be done in Kanda Chapu if you divide thakadhina into 5, and same with mishra and sankeerna into 7 and 9 respectivly.

As always, please tell me if I made any mistakes or am confused at all (it wouldn't be the first time).
0 x

vasanthakokilam
Posts: 10916
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 00:01
x 9
x 37

#22

Post by vasanthakokilam » 05 Sep 2009, 00:48

Mridangamkid: Thanks. I listened to them. Still have to digest..

My posts above are based on what nmn wrote. With Arun's comment, I am now officially confused as to what chathusra thisram is. I thought Balaji agreed with nmn. I will sit by and wait for mridangam and mridangamkid to sort this all out for us.

Death and taxes are considered the only certainties in life but we should add 'nadai terminology confusion' as a third item :)

akellaji: That is quite funny :) No thalaprasthara knowledge on my part, except for the serial number looking scary number in my post. I was explaining to CML that ( 81 * 9 /7 ) gives this large fraction and not an integer.

>but in Khanda-triputa carrying 9 Kriyas, each Avarta in Mishram arrives at the total of 9 x 7 = 63. But I am unable to arrive at a total of 81.

Correct. Let me explain. This is all in the context of what nmn1974 wrote. I was confused by that originally as well. Khanda-triputa in Sankeerna is 9*9 = 81 sankeerna aksharams. If you recite these 81 syllables in Misram, it will take ( 81 * 9 / 7 ) sankeerna aksharams.
0 x

mridangamkid
Posts: 150
Joined: 03 Sep 2007, 22:11

#23

Post by mridangamkid » 05 Sep 2009, 08:14

Well I really hope not to confuse anyone, and I especially don't want to confuse anyone by giving anyone false information.

Let us go back to Mridhangam sir's post where he talks about rupaka thalam (I am purposely using rupaka always because I find it the easiest).

Sir asks us to say "Thakita" in Rupaka thalam. If we do this it will fit 4 times.

Now emphasize the "tha" in Thakita.

Now make it such that only the Tha is audible while the "kita" is inaudible.

With this you can say "Tha" four times and make it fit into Rupaka thalam. That (as I understand), is the very very basic form of Chathusra Thisra.

From that you just elaborate into more complex lessons, the problem is keeping it balanced and keeping it on thalam.

If you want to know Chathusra Kanda, do the same for Kanda chapu

Say "Thadhigina thom" in Kanda chapu, such that you say Thadhigina thom twice in one cycle.

Now emphasize the "tha"

Then make "Tha" the only one audible.

With this you will say Tha 4 times within 2 cycles. Double the speed and you will say it 4 times in 1 cycle.

This is the most basic form of Chathusra Khanda....


Is this correct? Because perhaps I understood wrong from my teacher
0 x

msakella
Posts: 1891
Joined: 30 Sep 2006, 21:16
x 48

#24

Post by msakella » 05 Sep 2009, 09:43

mridhangam wrote:take Rupaka Talam and say thakita thakita thakita thakita for one avartanam taking it to 12. Change each thakita to thakadimi thakajonu thakadimi thakajonu ..it is chatusra tisram.
Dear brother-member, mridhangam, If you have to spell out four-trisra-breaks, ‘thakita thakita thakita thakita’, in one avartanam of Rupaka-tala taking it to 12, it is only Chaturashra-gati divided into four-trisra-breaks. Later, in place of these four-trisra-breaks, if you have to again accommodate four ‘thakadimi thakajonu thakadimi thakajonu’ they are Chaturashra-breaks. Some are used to make a difference between Gathi and Nadai that while the units running in each Kriya should be called Gathi the units running in each break should be called Nadai. Even though this is not agreeable to one and all and even if this is applied here, this should be called Chaturashra-gati-trisra-nadai-chaturashra-nadai as there are three steps of usage in this kind of rendering. But, how any one can justify in calling it as Chaturashra-trisram I do not understand. There is nothing wrong in doing any kind of acrobatics but one kind of discipline should always be maintained and, more over, it should properly be defined in every respect without any ambiguity for the posterity. Due to some flenatics (fenatics+lunatics) our kids have already been sufferring a lot in this respect and it is the duty of each and every individual to fully stop it at one point or other even for the sake of our kids. amsharma
0 x

vasanthakokilam
Posts: 10916
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 00:01
x 9
x 37

#25

Post by vasanthakokilam » 05 Sep 2009, 23:07

>Well I really hope not to confuse anyone, and I especially don't want to confuse anyone by giving anyone false information.

mridangamkid, you did not cause any confusion for me...( at least not yet ;) ). This terminology confusion is quite common in any "Nadai Switch" discussion. We will look to Sri. msakella, Sri. Balaji and you to offer the definitive answers on 'what to call what' about the things that are practiced in the field.

I am still processing your info and demos which are very much appreciated.
0 x

Post Reply