Kriyas & Angas - Significance to musical & lyrical structure

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vasanthakokilam
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#1 Kriyas & Angas - Significance to musical & lyrical structure

Post by vasanthakokilam » 06 Nov 2011, 00:23

msakella wrote: in the Episode-45 it is explained that Adi & Rupaka-talas consist of 8 and 6-beats respectively. Even though the full details of the beats, waving-hands and finger-countings are also given, at last, the total number is given in terms of beats. As per the technical-terms furnished in our Taladashapranas it is desirable to give them in terms of ‘Kriyas’ i.e., 8-Kriyas for Adi-tala and 6-Kriyas for Rupaka-tala but not in terms of beats.
Akellaji: Can you explain what the (technical) difference between Kriya and Beat is? Thanks.

(Mod note: This thread was spun off from http://www.rasikas.org/forums/viewtopic. ... 49#p208849 )
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msakella
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#2 Re: RaagaRasika - A Podcast series on Carnatic music

Post by msakella » 06 Nov 2011, 07:17

Dear brother-member, vasanthakokilam, In Tala of our music ‘Kriya’ means physical action either sounded or un-sounded. While the beat is a sounded Kriya (action), waving hand, finger-counts etc., are un-sounded Kriyas (actions).

Kriya is a technical word for the relevant physical action. Mostly people are used to spell all of them beats, in general which, to tell the truth, is not apt. If each and everybody thinks properly, rationally and acts accordingly no problem occurs. But, with the people thinking themselves always great and doing things on their own without properly referring and verifying them with some introspection we can’t help. amsharma.
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vasanthakokilam
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#3 Re: RaagaRasika - A Podcast series on Carnatic music

Post by vasanthakokilam » 06 Nov 2011, 09:58

Thanks Akellaji. That brings to my mind another question. What is the musical significance of a non-beat kriya ( the un-sounded Kriya )?
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msakella
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#4 Re: RaagaRasika - A Podcast series on Carnatic music

Post by msakella » 06 Nov 2011, 10:19

Dear brother-member, vasanthakokilam, In which way the vowel becomes the extension of a consonant the duration of the un-sounded Kriya becomes the extended duration of the sounded Kriya. amsharma
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vasanthakokilam
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#5 Re: RaagaRasika - A Podcast series on Carnatic music

Post by vasanthakokilam » 06 Nov 2011, 10:33

Ah... Understood. Thanks.

Using that strictly and literally, let us consider a song in Adi that starts on the sounded kriya of the Laghu. We sense pulses and emphasis on the unsounded kriyas. Is there a difference in that pulse/emphasis when compared to the pulse/emphasis of the sounded kriya?
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Nick H
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#6 Re: RaagaRasika - A Podcast series on Carnatic music

Post by Nick H » 06 Nov 2011, 12:11

That any kriya was defined, in long-past days, as "having sound" was a great disservice to future generations, who not only have to live with the confusion, but also feel licensed to make sound when sound should only be made by those on stage!

Kriyas are a kind of notation, or signalling system. If all the numbers had the same name, we could still count, but nobody would understand. We do not give every beat in a cycle a different name, but we use sufficient number of names so that people may not be lost. Kriyas are, simply, symbolic of those names.

The conductor of a western orchestra uses specific movements for each beat. By his gesture, the players can tell where they are in the cycle, just as we can tell by watching the vocalist's hand. There is no sound. His "kriyas" are different, just as his spoken language is probably also different, but his purpose, to keep and mark the beat, is the same. Rhythm proceeds in pulses in all [? it's always dangerous to say "all"!] the world's musical systems

If we are to try to associate stress, or emphasis, with "sounded" kriyas, then what do we make of Misra Chapu talam, where the first two kriyas are (or should be!) without sound?
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vasanthakokilam
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#7 Re: RaagaRasika - A Podcast series on Carnatic music

Post by vasanthakokilam » 06 Nov 2011, 13:00

Yes....but there is still merit to my question. I will wait for Akellaji's answer, I will comment after that if necessary. ( just as an aside, let us not discuss Misra Chapu in this context, it will derail this simple and narrowly focused discussion )
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msakella
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#8 Re: RaagaRasika - A Podcast series on Carnatic music

Post by msakella » 06 Nov 2011, 16:46

Dear brother-member, vasanthakokilam, Whether it be a sounded Kriya or un-sounded Kriya the pulse or emphasis of it acts in the same manner to a true Vidwan who makes use all of them in a metre with deft handling. There will certainly be a difference of all of them to a learner and unless he elevates himself to a very much higher point of handling all of them deftly he cannot become a Vidwan. Either in respect of Shruti or Laya the destination is of utilising them deftly like an expert car-driver driving the car deftly. amsharma
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cmlover
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#9 Re: RaagaRasika - A Podcast series on Carnatic music

Post by cmlover » 06 Nov 2011, 20:26

Sarmaji
Since the tala is born along with the raga, a vaggeyakara should pay attention to the swaras that fit the tala beats. In other words he must pay attention to the grammar of the Tala as well as that of the raga while constructing the kriti. Is there a manual that dictates what notes or swaras should occupy the places depending on the kriyas? For example the 'aRuthi' has to be a strong emphasized note and are there defined rules on what those notes ought to be? Similarly are there swara restrictions on 'eDuppu' ?
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vasanthakokilam
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#10 Re: RaagaRasika - A Podcast series on Carnatic music

Post by vasanthakokilam » 06 Nov 2011, 21:22

akellaji: Thanks. Since you are a true believer in rational analysis and clear explanations, I need to continue to bother you with this line of questioning. Apologies a priori for the pestering.

So, there is no well-defined or even prescribed relationship between the various kriyas and the magnitude or nature of the pulse/emphasis inherent in the song.

Given that, what is the musical significance of the kriyas then? Is it just along the lines Nick was getting at ( for marking where you are in the thala cycle which is definitely a useful thing that we experience in practice today ) or is there something more deeply musical about them? I have never been able to get a clear and non hand-waving answer for this and if at all there is anyone, Akellaji, you are the one to explain that to us ( assuming there is indeed something to explain ).
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msakella
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#11 Re: RaagaRasika - A Podcast series on Carnatic music

Post by msakella » 07 Nov 2011, 09:42

cmlover: Even though every thing is the creation of the Almighty and nobody can tell about the seriatim of the things he had created we can guess that man must, at the first instance, have become aware of the time i.e., rhythm in our music and music later.

For example, while comparing the gradings of All India Radio Shri M.S.Gopalakrishnan and myself, we both, belong to Top-grade. But, even in this Tope-grade if different levels are prescribed (fortunately not), while I get the bottom grade Shri MSG remains in the true-Top-grade. That is the real difference between us and I should not think that I am also equal with him. Even in this life time it is not possible to me to play even 10% of him. In the same manner true Vaggeyakaras are entirely different and the rules themselves follow them like in the case of Jayadeva, Narayanateertha, Sadashivabrahmendra, Thyagaraja, Ramadasa, Purandaradasa etc., etc., while all others try to follow these rules. We cannot and should not compare others with these true-Vaggeyakaras. The Almighty Himself made them all sing spontaneously and all their compositions themselves laid the path to frame the required rules which are followed by others later while sitting at a place and composing their own compositions. That is more than enough if all others truly and truthfully follow these compositions in every aspect in letter and spirit.

vasanthakokilam: In our mundane life we cannot maintain our routine without a metre either in scaling the time or counting the money or purchasing a piece of cloth or in calculating the distance of a place etc., etc.
What our brother-member, Nick H, wrote “Kriyas are a kind of notation, or signalling system. If all the numbers had the same name, we could still count, but nobody would understand. We do not give every beat in a cycle a different name, but we use sufficient number of names so that people may not be lost. Kriyas are, simply, symbolic of those names” is true. I sincerely feel that true Vaggeyakaras feel it as a ‘mind-metre’ but not a ‘physical-metre’ to make the people walk along with suitable pace of their invaluable compositions. Hope, I have made it clear enough with my very limited knowledge of this foreign language, Tenglish. amsharma
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vasanthakokilam
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#12 RaagaRasika - A Podcast series on Carnatic music

Post by vasanthakokilam » 07 Nov 2011, 09:56

akellaji: Thanks very much. That is quite a clear explanation.

One follow up matter: Let us take an 8 kriya cycle. Chathurasra Jathi Triputa, khanda jathi Jampa and trisra jathi matya thalas all fit that 8 kriya cycle. Beyond the usefulness in counting and not getting lost, is there any musical significance to those three different structures?
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msakella
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#13 Re: RaagaRasika - A Podcast series on Carnatic music

Post by msakella » 07 Nov 2011, 13:56

Dear brother-member, vasanthakokilam, Very nice question, dear. Let me bring out some background in
this connection. Our ancestors were very intelligent in choosing the Jaatis/Gatis (Nadais) of our music. At
the first instance, it seems they wanted to limit this choice of Jaatis/Gatis to a single digit. That is why they
did not exceed ‘9’. Later they have divided them into odd (1, 3, 5, 7 & 9) and even ( 2, 4, 6 & 8 ). Among
them they have omitted ‘1 & 2’ as ‘2’ is half of ‘4’ and ‘1’ is half of ‘2’ but they are not half of any other
figure. Thus, they have started with ‘3’ which is Trisra-jaati and proceeded with ‘5’ Khanda-jaati, ‘7’
Mishra-jaati and ‘9’ Sankeerna-jaati which are un-divisible. In even figures they have taken only ‘4’ and
avoided ‘6 & 8’ as they are divisible by ‘3 & 4’ respectively. Finally, even though they have included ‘9’
also in this group just to maintain the total ‘Pancha-jaatis’ they have avoided the inclusion of ‘9’ in
Alankaras as it is divisible by ‘3’. Even while bringing out a very convenient and well-balanced Tala they
have brought out the Tala having one even-Chaturashra- laghu carrying ‘4-units’ followed by two Drutas
carrying another ‘4-units’ arriving at a total of ‘8-Kriyas’ naming it ‘Adi-tala (the very 1st Tala)’ among the
35-Talas which is well balanced evenly and also to remember and follow easily. The remaining other
Talas you have mentioned carrying he same ‘8-units’ are not well balanced like ‘Adi-Tala’ and that is why
most of the composers preferred to compose the lion’s-share of their compositions in ‘Adi-Tala’ only but
not in any of the other Talas.

If the vehicle is well-balanced the person can travel safely and easily without any hitch and in the same
manner, as Laya is the vehicle for Shruti in respect of compositions, both the composer and the listener as
well enjoy the music well if the vehicle i.e., the Tala is well-balanced like ‘Adi-tala’. amsharma
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vasanthakokilam
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#14 Re: RaagaRasika - A Podcast series on Carnatic music

Post by vasanthakokilam » 07 Nov 2011, 23:31

Thanks Akellaji. Sounds good.

Let us summarize and stipulate where we are. The kriya structure is there (only?) to signal the various positions in the thala as Nick surmised which you agreed. We will call it 'External Signaling Symbols'. The implication being that there is nothing inherently musical about these kriya structure ( angas ), they are more for outward manifestations to facilitate certain performance related matters ( standard example being a conductor of an orchestra ).

If that is the case, the 'balance' that you talk about for Adi, is it still in the above context of ease of keeping track of where we are in the tala, namely External Signaling Symbols. I can understand that if that is the case. Given a choice of three thalas, it is better to use the more balanced one to mark where we are in the cycle. But your answer seem to indicate that there may be something more to it. If not, that is fine.

Strictly speaking, if the kriya structure is only for external signaling symbols, then the composer should be ambivalent about whether it is Adi, Trisra Matya or Charashra Jampa. And there is not much meaning even in asking the question if a 8 kriya composition is in any of those specific talas. An 8 kriya cycle composition can be in any of them. Is this strict interpretation true? Or, are we adding a bit more musical significance to the kriya structure with your above answer? What is that significance if at all? And if there is indeed one, is it for the vaggeyakara or to the performer or to the rhythmic accompanists?
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msakella
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#15 Re: RaagaRasika - A Podcast series on Carnatic music

Post by msakella » 08 Nov 2011, 08:24

Dear brother-member, vasanthakokilam, Yes, dear. Certainly there is something else than all these external things which could only be felt with pure heart, which we may call, than our mind, I think.

For example, a Polio affected person limping with his effected leg has a different kind of physical imbalance in his walking. But, if he is optimistic and takes every care that this physical imbalance doesn’t affect his mental balance he can enjoy his life well even with this handicap. If not his life becomes a hell.

In the same manner, in our music, while the even rhythmical balance of Adi-tala paves way to the musical and lyrical balance also to enjoy it fully there is every scope of being disturbed in one way or other not only rhythmically but musically and lyrically also in respect of the uneven imbalance of other tala-structures, Trisra-jaati-mathya (I3 0 I3) and Khanda-jaati-jhampa (I5 U 0) despite carrying the same value of units. But, Pakshini-jaati-dhruva (I2 0 I2 I2), Pakshini-jaati-ata (I2 I2 0 0) and Mishra-sankeerna-jaati-eka (I8) carrying the same value of units are far better carrying all the Angas of even units. amsharma
Note: the fligures in the brackets are of superscript.
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vasanthakokilam
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#16 Re: RaagaRasika - A Podcast series on Carnatic music

Post by vasanthakokilam » 08 Nov 2011, 23:53

Akellaji, let me quote one small snippet to ask for a clarification

>while the even rhythmical balance of Adi-tala paves way to the musical and lyrical balance

This indeed goes beyond the dry use of the kriyas and angas for just 'External Signaling Symbols'.
So are we saying then that the specific anga structure has an effect on the musical and lyrical structure?
That is what I was trying to get at and understand it better. This is the point that is usually not described or understood well.
Can you please elaborate further, with some examples if possible?
Not just the balance part, but how the anga structure affects the musical and lyrical structure? This way, we can show that
a composition that uses 8 kriyas per cycle that is set in Adi is different in musical and lyrical structure from a composition that uses 8 kriyas per cycle that is set in Chathurashra Jampa or Trisra Matya.
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VK RAMAN
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#17 Re: Kriyas & Angas - Significance to musical & lyrical struc

Post by VK RAMAN » 09 Nov 2011, 02:30

One of the best topics in talam I have seen in the last 6 years. Thanks Akellaji and Vasanthakokilam for discussing and elaborating in an understandable way.
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Nick H
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#18 Re: RaagaRasika - A Podcast series on Carnatic music

Post by Nick H » 09 Nov 2011, 03:01

msakella wrote:Dear brother-member, vasanthakokilam, Whether it be a sounded Kriya or un-sounded Kriya the pulse or emphasis of it acts in the same manner to a true Vidwan who makes use all of them in a metre with deft handling. There will certainly be a difference of all of them to a learner and unless he elevates himself to a very much higher point of handling all of them deftly he cannot become a Vidwan. Either in respect of Shruti or Laya the destination is of utilising them deftly like an expert car-driver driving the car deftly. amsharma
VK, I am not sure that we may not have discussed this presentation here before, but within the first three minutes of Benjamin Zander's TED talk on Music and Passion, I think he gives a clue, through the evolution of how children play the piano, to what msakella has said there. His post made me remember. Do watch: you'll enjoy anyway!
a composition that uses 8 kriyas per cycle ...
It doesn't use 8 kriyas, it uses 8 counts. (I prefer to say "beats," but not everyone agrees, so that is another conversation altogether.). If you keep your hands still, it uses zero kriyas. Yes! None at all! The kriyas are the physical expression (isn't the word also used in dance to denote hand movements?), and not the tala structure itself.

You may say I quibble, and, to be honest, you may be right, but I'll carry on with my train of thought...

The tala structure is given in angas, in lagus, druthams, anadruthams (and a few more, complex and now largely historical). So, adi talam consists of one chatusra jatti lagu, and two druthams, symbolically written as I400 (except we assume chatusra so just write I00. The point of my thought train is that the kriyas with their claps, do seem to imply a stress, with the physical intensity of a clap. It is much harder to get that feeling from the written representation or symbolism of the definition.
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vasanthakokilam
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#19 Re: Kriyas & Angas - Significance to musical & lyrical struc

Post by vasanthakokilam » 09 Nov 2011, 04:37

Nick, yes we had discussed Zander's TED talk before. Thanks for pointing out that initial section. Yes quite appropriate on how a child will emphasize every note. I now remember how the shop keeper next to our house jovially mocked me by imitating how I used to play Vara Veena a year earler. ;)

Nick, kriya vs count vs anga definitions aside ( those are not the primary issues though it started there ) , there may be, just may be, some interesting musical and lyrical significance to angas, beyond marking positions in the thala through angas. Let us see where Akellaji takes us.
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msakella
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#20 Re: Kriyas & Angas - Significance to musical & lyrical struc

Post by msakella » 09 Nov 2011, 08:56

Dear brother-member, vasanthakokilam, Leave alone me taking you somewhere, you took me somewhere, dear. As usual, today morning, I have opened my box (computer-box only but not Pandora’s box, of course) and found my chamber (thread) is missing even without any notice. Frantically I have searched and found it here. Very nice, indeed.

Yes, as you wrote, ‘This indeed goes beyond the dry use of the kriyas and angas for just 'External Signaling Symbols'. So are we saying then that the specific anga structure has an effect on the musical and lyrical structure?” Certainly dear.

Yes, even figures, 2 and its multiples, 4 & 8 have their own affect on human brain, I believe, just like Sarva-laghu playing in Mridangam. Most surprisingly, even while giving preference to SINGLE-DIGIT-FIGURES in choosing the Jaatis, even among these even figures, our ancestors chose only ‘4’ (as 2 is half of 4 and 1 is half of 2 and thus, 2 & 1 are part and parcel of 4 only but not of any other figure) but not ‘8’ as it is the next higher multiple of ‘4’ (even in respect of the odd-jaatis they have preferred to take only the first-odd-multiple of ‘3, 5 & 7’, but, as ‘9’ is divisible by ‘3’, even though they have included it in Jaatis to make a total figure of ‘5 (pancha-jaatis)’, they did not include it while furnishing Alankaras). But, while formulating a very easy, convenient and enjoyable rhythmical combination of ‘8-units’, even among the ‘6’ relevant Panchanga-prastara-combinations of ‘8-units’ (only in terms of figures - 1.8 ; 2.4-4 ; 3.2-2-4 ; 4.2-4-2 ; 5.4-2-2 ; 6.2-2-2-2) they have given preference to keep one elder i.e., Chaurashra-llaghu in the beginning followed by two youngers i.e., two Drutas and chosen the 5th combination, ‘4-2-2’ and having felt its multi-faceted convenience, named it as ‘Adi-tala’ as if it is the first Tala in the universe itself. Abundantly enjoying its multi-faceted convenience and effect in music each and every composer, without any exception, composed as many compositions as he/she can in this WELL-BALANCED ‘Adi-tala’ only, either in medium tempo or slow tempo but not in any other Tala.

However, in this connection, I prefer to send you the audio file of an Adhyatma-ramayana-keerthana in Telugu by g-mail as I do not have the knowledge of loading it here. We have great composers in each and every language of our Great Bharat and they have composed similar compositions in their languages with which, most unfortunately, I am not acquainted. Most unfortunately, as most of my life of four decades was swallowed by ‘Talaprastara’, I could not go deep even into my mother-tongue, leave alone our other beautiful south-indian-languages, Tamil, Kannada & Malayalam. amsharma
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vasanthakokilam
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#21 Re: Kriyas & Angas - Significance to musical & lyrical struc

Post by vasanthakokilam » 09 Nov 2011, 20:53

Thanks Akellaji. I will upload two files you have sent me and post the links here.
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cmlover
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#22 Re: Kriyas & Angas - Significance to musical & lyrical struc

Post by cmlover » 09 Nov 2011, 23:43

Sarmaji
Does Adi Tala the first tala conceived (and most popular) have any association with AnuShtub chandas, the basis of all Sanskrit shlokas and first conceived by Valmiki, the Adi kavi?
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msakella
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#23 Re: Kriyas & Angas - Significance to musical & lyrical struc

Post by msakella » 10 Nov 2011, 13:29

Dear brother-member, cmlover, To tell the fact all the rhythmical forms of the universe are invariably Chando-rupas. In our music, as per the tenth element, Talaprastara of Tala the origin of all these rhythmical forms could systematically be obtained and among them the details of each and every rhythmical form could also be obtained along with an authentic serial number of its own. Among them, some of them have been chosen and named after our Talas and furnished in some of our treatises even without their authentic serial numbers as the process to get these authentic serial numbers has long ago been lost. But, this process has recently been found out by extensive research spread over four decades and furnished by me in my book ‘Talaprastara Ratnakara’.

As per my very limited knowledge in Sanskrit the Anushtub-chandas pertains to the prosody of Sanskrit and always carries 8 syllables irrespective of the consisting Gurus (longer-ones) or Laghus (shorter-ones). For example in ‘Vamde Vaalmeeki Kokilam” (Vam-1; De-2; Vaal-3; mee-4; ki-5; Ko-6; ki-7 and lam-8) while there are 8 syllables as per Anushtub-chandas 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th & 8th are Gurus and 5th and 7th are Laghus. But in our music 8-units means only 8-laghus while Guru carries two units. amsharma
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vasanthakokilam
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#24 Re: Kriyas & Angas - Significance to musical & lyrical struc

Post by vasanthakokilam » 10 Nov 2011, 19:40

I have uploaded the two files Akellaji had sent me.

http://www.sendspace.com/filegroup/JIQv ... aMeS7gpMaw

There are two links: Cherivinaveshauri and Bageshree ( MSG )
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vasanthakokilam
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#25 Re: Kriyas & Angas - Significance to musical & lyrical struc

Post by vasanthakokilam » 13 Nov 2011, 09:00

I have uploaded the same files to soundcloud so you can click to play it. Akellaji, provide any commentary, if necessary. Thx.

cherivinaveshauri ( msakella )
http://soundcloud.com/carnatic-music-up ... naveshauri

Bageshree ( MSG )
http://soundcloud.com/carnatic-music-up ... ageshree-2
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