Idiot's Guide to when to pick the song back after the thani

Tālam & Layam related topics
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kardha
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#1

Post by kardha »

When/how does a vocalist know he must pick up a song after the thani avaratnam?

vasanthakokilam
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#2

Post by vasanthakokilam »

First level answer is, when the violinist picks up the bow. But then how does the violinist know? The mridangist raises the eyebrows three times to indicate the end ;) Just kidding..

The protocol has been discussed either in this section or in the sangeetha kalalaya section but I can not readily find the thread to post a reference here. Hopefully someone else finds it and posts it here.

It will be useful if someone can provide a concise description along with a good clean audio sample to illustrate the point ( I think 1-2 minute audio sample should suffice ). We can then make it a sticky since this is a frequently asked question.

gn.sn42
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#3

Post by gn.sn42 »

vasanthakokilam wrote: It will be useful if someone can provide a concise description along with a good clean audio sample to illustrate the point ( I think 1-2 minute audio sample should suffice ). We can then make it a sticky since this is a frequently asked question.

I think this was addressed here:

http://rasikas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2359/structuri ... the-thani/

with several audio samples and detailed explanations from mridhangam and others.

I would of course welcome more examples and discussion on this.

vasanthakokilam
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#4

Post by vasanthakokilam »

That is one of the greatest rhythm oriented threads indeed, an all-star one. Thanks gn.sn42 for resurrecting it. It may be a bit advanced for this purpose though. As you said, We can use some more samples and associated commentary. Specifically, a few that answers the question in an understandable manner to a lay rasikas who can then figure out the end of the thani themselves in the next few concerts they attend.

gn.sn42
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#5

Post by gn.sn42 »

Yes, that thread covered a number of advanced topics. Some posts, though, did discuss the end of the thani, such as this one:

http://rasikas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=41832/#p41832

which was followed later by some examples kindly provided by mridhangam:

http://rasikas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=44057/#p44057

The links have probably expired now, but if someone could re-upload them, it would be valuable.

vasanthakokilam
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#6

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Thanks gn.sn42. I am pasting below the relevant portion here.

----
This has been a mystery for many of the young vocalists and rasikas alike.
I will try to explain this. There is no ambiguity about it at all. It is only by listening carefully that a vocalist has to take the song.

Before the end Korvai is rendered all the mridangists play a fast pattern called Farans and Mohara. Only after this Faran and Mohra (Mukra or mukda a word taken from north india i think)
the last korvai is played. This Faran and Mohra are set patterns and these are generally played by all the mridangists with a few exceptions.

There are different mohras for different talas and there is also another rule to form Mohras also for any tala. All the mohras will be preceeded by Farans
which are nothing but Fastpaced rhythmic patterns (these patterns generally dont have any karvais all the counts are filled with syllables). T
hese are colloquially called "Uruttai Chorkal". Cant think of a translation for Uruttai (may be some one can help). "Chorkal" are nothing but syllables in tamil.

So after this Faran and Mohra only the Korvai comes and this korvai is played always three times with or without variety.
Here I mean that there are korvais where first time it will be played to show the pattern second and third times will have
some improvisation over the first time. So it will appear that they are playing three varieties.

But actually the korvai is played three times with variety that is all. After this the song is taken.

There are some aspects which are easy to demonstrate than write. I am having the same difficulty here to write them in black and white.
As far as i could write here about mohra i have written. More later pls.
Thanks for the support.
J.Balaji

vijay
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#7

Post by vijay »

To try and further simplify

Assuming there are 2 percussionists, initally the 2 artistes take turns playing fairly long pieces of about 2-5 minutes. The the exchanges start getting shorter - 2 tala cycles, then 1, 0.5 and so on sometimes down to a beat. This is called Koraippu.

Next the artistes play fast phrases together for about 1-2 minutes. This is farans as explained above. At the end of this you need to start paying attention - there will be a Mohra followed by a Korvai.

Mohra is hard to describe - indeed I am unaware of the technical details (perhaps there in Balaji sir's posts) but you can usually tell the start of the korvai because the mrudangist will usually start, somewhat abruptly, followed in due course by the other artiste...the pace will be less frenetic with more pauses (karvais) and the rhythm will appear more structured (think of chitta swarams versus kalpana swarams...even better, think of the GRSND with which vocalists often conclude swara kalpana - this is a korvai as well).

The korvai pattern is played 3 times. Watch out for the eduppu of the neraval line at the end of the third korvai repetition which is where the vocalist takes off again.


More simple explanations:

http://www.tmkrishna.com/musicbasics.html
http://carnatica.net/sangeet/taniavartanam.htm

mridangamkid
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#8

Post by mridangamkid »

This is something I wrote a while ago, it may be confusing though so I"m sorry


nick H wrote:

I would like to identify when the artiste goes into the madhyama kalam, into the farans and the mohara. I will feel very satisfied if I could do this).

And I feel satisfied when I can, though goodness knows I have no excuse for not being able to, having sat though enough mridangam lessons, even if I didn't memorise those compositions.

On the whole though, I would say that if you learn Adi tala 'small farans' and mohara, you will be able to mostly recognise the similar patterns in the other talas.

You sound as if you probably have the experience to work backwards, ion some recordings, from the final korvais to identifying the mohara --- it has two 'verses' equal length, one shorter, then one shorter again, then thiermanum

(have to go. wife is dressed for outing, and I am not!)
If you don't mind sir, I would like to take a crack at explaining how to understand when an artist goes into faran, mohara, and the final korvai.

I first should point out that I am not an expert or even too "knowledgable" in this field and everything I'm about to explain I either just picked up by myself or I learned from my guru (and if what I write is wrong, I obviously did not understand it correctly).

Farans

It seems as though the general pattern to start the Faran's portion of the thani is to start with "Dhim- tharikita thaka dhim-". Such as for Adi Talam, what I have learned is "Dhim - tharikita thaka dhim - tharikita thaka dhkuthari kitathaka (or ]thaka thari kita thaka). (you play this twice to complete the cycle)

For a chapu thalam it is the same, such as for Mishra it would be Dhim- tharikita thaka dhim - tharikita thaka dhim - tharikita thaka dhim - tharikita thaka dhikutharikitathaka.

There are instances where the Faran's don't start with the phrase "Dhim - tharikita thaka dhim" such as another faran begining I learned starting as...

Dhim dhina tharikita dhim kita nathom kita thaka dhiku thari kita thaka......

In such cases what one would look for is the parttern of playing a phrase, followed by "dhiku thari kita thaka".

In the first lessoned I told you about, the lesson would continue as

.... Thankita dhikuthari kita thaka
Than kita dhiku thari kita thaka
Dhiku thari kita thaka

Naka dhi- than kita dhiku thari kita thaka
Naka dhi - than kita dhiku thari kita thaka

naka thari kita thaka dhiku thari kita thaka
naka thari kita thaka dhiku thari kita thaka

etc....

In the second lesson it would have

... Than kita dhiku thari kita thaka
Than kita thaka dhiku thari kita thaka
Dhiku thari kita thaka

Dhi kita dhiku thari kita thaka
Dhi kita dhiku thari kita thaka
Dhiku thari kita thaka

Dhiri kita thaka Thari kita thaka
Dhiri kita thaka thari kita thaka
Dhiku thari kita thaka

Thari kita thaka Dhiri kita thaka
Thari kita thaka Dhiri kita thaka
Dhiku thari kita thaka.

etc...

I'm not sure ifyou were able to read through all my rambling or if I explained it well, however there is a pattern between these. While they both are different notes being played, they are similar in the sense that you play a phrase on your mridangam twice followed by "Dhiku thari kita thaka" (at least that's how I was taught so far) .

And this is how I THINK it would be easier to identify the faran's portion, of course it will take some listening and getting used to quickly identify it, much like ragams.

For the MOHARA it is much easier.

This is what specifically tells the singer that the Tani is comming to an end.

The main (and as far as I know only) think you need to watch out for to understand the Mohara is the "Thalongu thom dhi thalongu thom" or some variation of that (such as Thalongu thom dhi thom dhi thom).

The Mohara as far as I know, always has the same structure.

Here is a simple Mohara---

Dhi- than kita dhiku thari kita thaka thaka dhi, than kita dhiku thari kita thaka
Dhi- than kita dhiku thari kita thaka THALONGU THOM DHI, THALONGU THOM

Dhi- than kita dhiku thari kita thaka thaka dhi, than kita dhiku thari kita thaka
Dhi- than kita dhiku thari kita thaka THALONGU THOM DHI, THALONGU THOM

Dhi- than kita dhiku thari kita thaka thaka dhi, than kita dhiku thari kita thaka
Dhi- than kita dhiku thari kita thaka THALONGU THOM.

Dhi- than kita dhiku thari kita thaka THALANGU THOM.

Dhi than kita dhiku thari kita thaka THALONGU THOM DHI THOM - THALONGU THOM DHI THOM - THALONGU THOM DHI (continue with korvai)

I capitalized tha thalongu thom dhi thalongu thom to show you where you would hear this phrase. As you can see, you play the openning sequence twice ending with thalongu thom dhi thalongu thom.

During the 3rd time you play it this whole phrase, you just end with Thalongu thom, then you just play half the sequence ( if you want to call it that) and end it with thalongu thom again, and finally finish it off, playing half the sequence and finishing it with thalongu thom dhi thom, thalongu thom dhi thom, thalongu thom dhi.

For KORVAI (or MUKTHAI (sp?))

You will realise when this begins because it is always after the Mohara. Korvai doesn't necessarily mean the end of the thani all together, but rather playing an ending (of whatever it may be) 3 times. You can have a thisra korvai to just end your thisra section of the thani, however the korvai that is after the Mohara will always be THE Korvai, meaning the korvai that ends the thani.

So to recap-

FARANS- Look for the beginning phrase "Dhim- thari kita thaka dhim" or just look for the pattern as shown above

Mohara - Thalongu thom dhi thalongu thom

korvai (final) - Always after Mohara.

I'm VERY sorry for my long rambling, and chances are no one really needed me to write out this whole thing, but quite frankly, I'm very bored right now and have nothing to do, and this was quite enjoyable for me to write this out.

If I made a mistake anywhere, please inform me because I would definitely like to learn correctly, not to mention I wouldn't like to give others false information.

Again sorry for the rambling, but hey? This was fun.... for me at least wink
Last edited by mridangamkid on 18 Nov 2008, 01:40, edited 1 time in total.

Nick H
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#9

Post by Nick H »

Please... do carry on rambling, Mridangamkid! :)

I do know, though, that many of our readers will have as much difficulty following the mridangam notation as I would have in producing a tune from a line for the letters SRGPND all mixed up! One of the reasons for this is the difficulty is the lack of familiarity with the time values of each word

Dhi, than, kidu diku thari kita taka

shows us that Dhi takes the same time as diku and that Dhi, is equivalent to than , kidu

Whilst the underline notation is excellent in our notebooks, though, it falls down for online explanations, as we have no double or triple underline, and no 'over line'

It is a problem!

vasanthakokilam
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#10

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Nick, thanks for pointing out the problem. I have the same difficulty. Arun's typesetting tool comes to mind as a solution.

For the main topic of this thread, the following needs to be done and done well and we can make it a sticky.

1) It should be understandable to the lay rasika. The objective is for the rasika to relate to the thani ending when the hear that in a concert. So assume as little as possible. Consider it as an 'Idiot's guide to thani ending". Trust me, it is not easy to do, so do not take it lightly.

2) A recording of one of our mridangam artist members playing the ending pattern including the take off point. If you want to include farans and Mohra, do so and please make sure that, somehow, you indicate in an unambiguous manner where a section begins and ends. It can be done by saying quickly 'Mohra begin' , 'Mohra end', 'Korvail begin' etc. so it is part of the recording.

3) Voice out the konnakkol and provide the corresponding notation. Please address the issue Nick has identified in some form so it is not ambiguous. May be it makes sense to have the same recording with and without konnakkol, I am not sure.

4) As a supplement, provide the above material for some variations in the korvai that people normally hear in concerts.

I am sure mridangam students and artists do this everyday during their practise. So please set aside 15 to 30 minutes during a practise session to plan and execute this Idiot's guide.

Another important thing is for those who already know and understand all this to resist the temptation to make it complicated and technical. Remember, this is an Idiot's guide.

Nick H
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#11

Post by Nick H »

I think many mridangam students and teachers do not use scientific notation: they are content that the context is there, they will remember what it means. Of course, many do the correct thing, and commit to memory, rather than paper, anyway!

I arrived at class one day to fond my guruji with a local dancer, surrounded by pieces of paper. The paper was covered in natavangam notation from an artist in India, which she was supposed to familiarise herself with. There was no indication of speeds or durations of any syllable and she was almost completely baffled. My guruji's mastery of laya and great experience of dance was able to make it into sense for her. No easy task! It was interesting to watch the work!

mridangamkid
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#12

Post by mridangamkid »

Honestly though, it isn't too hard to explain how the Thani ends if one has a mridangam and is speaking person to person. The hard part (like Nick sir has mentioned), is translating it to the computer.

I actually don't have too much homework today, so if you would like, tonight I can try to make a recording that explains exactly how a singer would know where to pick up the song. I'll keep a thala meter so you can follow along with thalam also.

vasanthakokilam
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#13

Post by vasanthakokilam »

MK, Please do. Remember, make it Idiot proof, speaking for myself :)

Speak into the recording when the Faran, mohra and korvai begins and ends and then spot the take off point also. That will be quite useful. Use a simple Korvai first and then in a separate recording use some common ones you hear in concerts ( again, should not be too complicated ).

mridangamkid
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#14

Post by mridangamkid »

I'm very sorry but I don't think I"ll be able to do it tonight.

I'll try to do it over the weekend.

vasanthakokilam
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#15

Post by vasanthakokilam »

No problem MK. Do it when you can. Looking forward to it and thanks.

Nick H
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#16

Post by Nick H »

'Kid... the respect is appreciated, but these days I'm looking for a title that makes me feel younger than 'Sir' does! :)

By the way, are you coming to Chennai for this season?

krishnaprasad
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#17

Post by krishnaprasad »

thani avarthanams are my favourites!!
i know its rather too strange to make taht comment..but due to my great interest for percussion music ,i have made it a principle never to miss a thaniavarthanam in a concert!

vasanthakokilam
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#18

Post by vasanthakokilam »

So, whatever happened to the idea discussed here of someone (mk? ) recording a good, clean and clear demonstration of the thani ending sequence?

mridangamkid
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#19

Post by mridangamkid »

Actually to be completely honest.... I completely forgot, I'm really sorry about that.

Tonight is a little too late (its 11 PM right now), I give you the mridangamkids personal guarantee that it will be up by tomorrow at this time.

vasanthakokilam
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#20

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Great mridangamkid. Given the tutorial level 'Idiot's guide' we are after, start simple and be as clear as possible with minimum assumptions on the knowledge of the rasika. If possible, play the solkattu ( the thakadhimi stuff ) while playing. And while writing down the solkattu, follow a standard that is unambigous in terms of how many mathrais ( sub-beats ) are represented. Usually when someone writes 'thakadeemthathiginathom' ( this may be nonsense ), I can not tell how many sub-beats are represented since I do not know if 'tha' and 'thom' are equal in length. May be you can just give a glossary for how to count the sub-beats given the solkattu.

You can structure it as multiple demos, starting from simple to advanced.

Alright, let us go. very much looking forward to it. Thanks MK.

mridangamkid
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#21

Post by mridangamkid »

I'm very sorry but I think that I have to go back on my personal guaranteed promise tonight because I just realized my dad, who is out of town, has the recorder. He will be back on Wednesday night (not sure how late) so I could probably put up a small sample then, or if not Thursday afternoon.

I feel really bad delaying this for so long, and I hope none of you will get too irritated by me (though I don't blame you if you do)

vasanthakokilam
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#22

Post by vasanthakokilam »

MK, no problems. I am sure it will be worth the wait. Thanks.

mridangamkid
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#23

Post by mridangamkid »

I just finished recording everything, can someone please tell me how to upload it on here?

rshankar
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#24

Post by rshankar »

MK - go to sendspace.com, or rapidshare.com and follow the instructions to upload the file you have created. After the upload, you will get a download link - copy it, open a new post here on the forum and paste the link.

vasanthakokilam
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#25

Post by vasanthakokilam »

MK, any update on the upload?

mridangamkid
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#26

Post by mridangamkid »

Wow, I could have sworn I posted this a couple weeks ago, in fact I'm positive because I remember analyzing each separate phrase I played. Anyway, I'm very sorry that everyone had to wait for so long, but here are two downloads.

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

http://www.sendspace.com/file/nh99br

These two downloads are sent to rupaka thalam, one is me saying the farans mohara and korvai, and one is me playing the exact same thing.

As you can tell, the farans started with a "Dhim, tharikita thaka dhim", however I played "Thankita dhikutharikitathaka jhem kita dhikutharikitathaka" to make it fit in rupaka (the important thing is, though, that it started with the "dhim-, tharikita thaka"

As for the mohara- as you can hear, it starts with the phrase "Dhi- than kita dhikutharikitathaka dhikutharikitahaka". As said earlier, this is the most common way of starting it (I added an extra dhikutharikithaka to keep it into thalam), although it doesn't HAVE to start start like this. What it does HAVE to have is the "Thalango thom dhi thalango thom"or some variation (in this case, it is the Thalangu thom dhi thom- Thalangu thom dhi thom). For the Mohara, you can tell that it is reducing as the lesson progresses, first you have the 2 whole cycles twice (if you are keeping thalam in the tradition 6 beat cycle), then you play 5 beats (starting 1 beat before samam) because you end with just "Thalongu thom". You then play half of this one more time, and then finish it off with the theermanam "Thalongu thom dhi thom, thalongu thom dhi thom, thalongu thom dhi".

Later as you learn more, you will see that you don't necessarily need to play the "Thalongu" patterns, however becuase you are first learning, just be associated with this (because it is most commonly employed).

As for the korvai, just know whatever is being played is being repeated 3 times, so after the third time, the song is picked up (I just played a small bit at the end because no song was being picked up).

I'm sorry I couldn't give a clearer understanding of this, I'm actually on a rush to go somewhere now (I just did this quick because I felt bad it didn't go through last time), but if I didn't make anything clear, I'll be sure to make it clearer later.

Sorry again.

DISCLAIMER: All mess ups from the recorded audio shown above is merely a figment of your imagination ;) :D

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#27

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Thanks very much MK. I listened to them once and you sound very well. I will give it a few more listens later on to understand the content well. Thanks.

bilahari
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#28

Post by bilahari »

Thank you, mkid. I will listen next week and get back to you with my doubts, of which I'm sure there'll be plenty!

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#29

Post by vasanthakokilam »

MK, Excellent job. I listened to your recordings many times and I think I got it.

Here are the timelines I arrived at based on the guidelines you provided.

Konnakkol:

Mohra starts at 0:49

Final korvai starts at 1:20

First repeat is from 1:20 to 1:28
second repeat is from 1:28 to 1:36
third repeat is from 1:36 to 1:45

And the take off point is 1:45

Mridangam:

Mohra starts at 0:52

final Korvai starts at 1:26

First repeat is from 1:26 1:35
second repeat is from 1:35 to 1:44
third repeat is from 1:44 to 1:53

And the take off point is 1:53

If you and other can, please check out my timeline and provide any corrections. The time may be off by one second, which is OK for our purposes.

Thanks very much mridangamkid. You are now officially a teacher for many of us :)

mridangamkid
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#30

Post by mridangamkid »

Perfect. I have absolutely nothing planned tomorrow (summer holidays is a beautiful thing), so if you'd like, I can quickly record the Farans Mohara Korvai in Adi, Kanda Chapu, and Mishra Chapu as well, just for some added practice.

In the meantime, if you would like, I suggest watching this youtube video,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJbiILmfuPc

It is of Bhaktavatsalam sir, Harishankar sir, and E.M Subramaniam sir. The whole thani is superb, but in it, it is quite clear and easy to spot where the mohara starts and where the Korvai starts. If you don't want to watch the whole video, start at about 3:00 minutes in, that is where they start to play together. The Farans are a bit ambiguous because 3 instruments are playing together, so it isn't as systematic as my example was, however see if you can spot out where the mohara starts and where the korvai starts, and you will be able to tell when the song starts back up.

vganesh
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#31

Post by vganesh »

VK Sir. Make the heading as "Idiots guide ......" and sticky also :)

vasanthakokilam
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#32

Post by vasanthakokilam »

vganesh: Good idea. I was thinking of the same thing too. Done.

mridangamkid: Yes, we will all definitely appreciate Farans, Mohara and Korvai in Adi, Kanda Chapu, and Mishra Chapu. If you can, please provide the timeline on when the various units begin and end.

Just for my own use, I have broken up your konnakkol and mridangam recording into Farans, Mohra, and Korvai into separate files and then for the Korvai, the three repeats separately and finally, the ending triple pattern of the 3rd repeat just before take back. This way, each piece can be listened to individually to get familiar with those pattern. If you do not mind and if others want it, I can upload it to esnips.

vasanthakokilam
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#33

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Thanks for that youtube link mk. Yes, after your lesson, I can now spot the mohra beginning time, korvai beginning time and when MLV was going to pick the song back up. Quite nice. And what an explosive thani it is.

mridangamkid
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#34

Post by mridangamkid »

I just finished the three thalams.

I played a bit before the farans just to show how one may lead up to it, and I tried to keep the Farans short because I know the main concern is Mohara. Just keep in mind I didn't do the traditional "Dhi- thankita", patterns, in all three thalams I started it off a bit different, meaning if you can tell where they start, you really understand it.

Here's Kanda Chapu
http://www.sendspace.com/file/gvn8ua

Mishra
http://rapidshare.com/files/237641505/misrah.wav.html

and Adi

http://www.sendspace.com/file/sam452

If there are any concerns or problems please tell.

vasanthakokilam
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#35

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Excellent. Thanks MK. Very good playing.

I listened to the three once. I will have to spend some more time with it.

Now, in khanda chapu, I think I got the three segments: farans, mohra and korvai.

The other two, I have to listen again, it is a bit fuzzy still to get comfortable in recognizing the patterns.

But one thing you taught us which stuck well for me is the Mohra finishing sequence, namely, the three 'THALONGU THOM DHI THOM' sequence. I can recognize them in all your playing. That is my light house. You hide that or fuzzify it, I am in big trouble ;)

Now, having gotten that, my difficulty is in the korvai, in getting the boundaries/demarcation of the three repeats. I am going to rely on the feature from your rupaka korvai where each of the repeats themselves had a three part ending sequence. That acted as a nice marker for each repeat. Can I depend on having that for yours as well as other thani avarthanams in general?

This way, I do not have to keep the thalam to figure out exactly where it is going to end, just that pattern is good enough. Let me know if that kind of a marker for each repeat always exists.

Thanks.

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

#36

Post by mridangamkid »

Yeah as I said the "Thalongu Thom Dhi Thalongu Thom", really helps, however again keep in mind, it doesn't HAVE to be that, it just usually is.

Here is a tough example from Pazhani sir

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c9j_Eu9YRw

I'd be surprised if you are able to find the placement of the Mohara (hint, it is in Thisra Nadai), however, this is an example of a 'difficult' mohara. This is one reason why one shouldn't just rely on the "thalongu Thom dhi Thalongu thom", all of the time, though it may work for 80%, and why one should put thalam with a long with the thani.

If you see here,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsDxH8gYGZU

Narayan sir started the Mohara at around the 3:10 mark, and (although it is hard to make out), he doesn't play the traditional "Thalongu Thom Dhi Thalongu Thom", from what I hear, he is play "Dhi Thalongu thom - Thalongu Thom", but the structure of the mohara stays the same in that it winds down to the final "Thalongu Thom dhi Thom, thalongu Thom dhi Thom, Thalongu Thom dhi Thom", or whatever it may be. THAT, is what one has to learn, the structure of the mohara, the Thalongu Thom dhi is a nice cue, however it won't work one hundred percent of the time.

There is actually an equation that relates to the mohara and how to form one, however I think that, that is a little too much for now. I"m not even sure if I'm explaining it well in the first place (and if not, please tell).

vasanthakokilam
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#37

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Mkid: Your training is paying off. Even without keeping thalam I managed to detect the re-take point in a couple of thanis, including one by PMI.

Here is where I am:

1) Get wrong signals before farans due to the abundance of 3-peat patterns.
2) Sort of know when the farans are going on due to the fast strokes
3) Still do not know how to detect the beginning of Mohra
4) If they do the 3-peat thalongu, then I sort of know when Korvai begins.
5) I can then sense the 3-peat of the overall pattern each of which has two sub-patterns, each of those two sub-patterns have a 3-peat pattern.

Most of the time I sense step 2 and step 5. I know step 5 is going on most definitely but occasionally fail to detect the re-take point.

I try to do all this with just getting at the pattern without keeping the thala.

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

#38

Post by mridangamkid »

I see, that is why I always find it easiest to identify the mohara. Just because a pattern is fast, doesn't mean that it is part of the Farans. And just because one piece is being played 3 times, doesn't mean its the "final korvai", it is a still a korvai, but that isn't where one would pick up the song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OX2TuHm ... -fresh+div

Here is an amazing thani from Sankaran sir, however it is during a concert, so nobody picks up from it. The mohara is very easy to identify here however it does not have the "Thalongu Thom dhi Thalongu thom" at the end, one should still be able to pick it up. (After the "final korvai" is played, sir still plays a little something in the end just to give completion to the Thani, just a little FYI)

And please, if somebody can explain a bit better, or correct me in any of my errors, please do so. I don't want to give false information or even "half-truth" information. All information I am giving is just information I learned from the past and if it is not right, that probably means I didn't learn correctly, so please correct if needed.

cacm
Posts: 2212
Joined: 08 Apr 2010, 00:07
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#39

Post by cacm »

Mridangam kid,
You are correct. One of these days I will persuade my friend PROF.V.Radhakrisshnan - theoretical physicist-Student of MDR, FLUTE RAMANI & T.K.MURTHY to write his UNIVERSAL FORMULA which totally simplifies all thes types of relationships. VKV

vganesh
Posts: 263
Joined: 04 Feb 2010, 16:25

#40

Post by vganesh »

Good thread & analysis. I am trying to pick up from the lesson. let me see If I can. But even if it is "Thalongu Thom dhi Thalongu thom", is it not who is playing in which concert?. I feel it is a choice depending on the time availabilyt, audience, the person who is playing etc., For example If it is UKS sir then Thani may be allowed from one korvai to other or one thalam to other thalam and so on. Correct me If I am wrong.

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

#41

Post by mridangamkid »

The 'Thalongu thom dhi thalongu thom" has nothing to do with time availability, irregardless of what one plays, it has to fill in those 12 beats (13th being thom). As you see in Shankaran sir's thani (the link posted above), in the mohara, he plays "Thakadhina Thakadhina Thakadhina Thom". Thakadhina Thakadhina Thakadhina being 12 beats... and thom. The only reason why I said listen for the Thalongu Thom dhi Thalongu Thom is because it seems to be the most commonly played phrase... why? I'm not sure. I have heard that different styles plays different endings but I can't confirm on that, I figure they just change it for the sake change.

As for the overall thani itself. I always felt it was due to the song you are playing the thani for. If the song is only 7 minutes long, you wouldn't want to play a 20 minute thani of course, while if the song was an elaborate 40 minute RTP... a longer thani would be suitable.

vasanthakokilam
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#42

Post by vasanthakokilam »

mridangamkid wrote:I see, that is why I always find it easiest to identify the mohara.
Tell me more. May be I missed it when you first taught us this. What clues are there to detect the start of the Mohra?

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

#43

Post by mridangamkid »

Mohara is USUALLY started with a "Dhi- Thankita dhikuthari kitathaka" (as shown in the Sankaran sir korvai above), but doesn't have to (as shown in the Pazhani sir thani and the one I played), and is USUALLY easily recognized with the Thalongu Thom dhi Thalongo thom... but doesn't have to be played that way (as shown in the Sankaran sir thani above).

The reason why I am emphasizing the "thalongu thom dhi thalongu thom" is because it is most commonly played, or at least a variation of that. But once you figure out that the mohara is being played, you KNOW that the next piece will be a korvai, and that korvai will be the "final" korvai no matter what.

Farans can also help, but it also can be very ambiguous, in the sense that just because something is being fast, doesn't mean that the farans are being played. Likewise, just because a korvai is being played (meaning a elaborate piece is being repeated 3), doesn't mean that that is where the artist picks up. However when the mohara is played, one KNOWS that is where the artists picks up.....


and if all else fails... look at the violinist and see if he's getting ready :-p

vganesh
Posts: 263
Joined: 04 Feb 2010, 16:25

#44

Post by vganesh »

The 'Thalongu thom dhi thalongu thom" has nothing to do with time availability, irregardless of what one plays,
You got me completely wrong :) . I generally told that an ending does not necessarily with a specific korvai, it is more to do with that days' concert. Thalongu is more common. I also obervered that many a time vidwans play the mohra 'thee thakita thakadom thakita thalang thom thi thalang dhom ......" , then a korvai and close.

vasanthakokilam
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#45

Post by vasanthakokilam »

mridangamkid:

> "Dhi- Thankita dhikuthari kitathaka" but doesn't have to .......... Thalongu Thom dhi Thalongo thom... but doesn't have to be played that way

Would either one be there in a recognizable form? If neither one is required we are left with nothing, aren't we?

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

#46

Post by mridangamkid »

Ha, I kinda noticed that after I posted it. Sorry for making this more confusing than this should be.

I gave the Dhi- Thankita dhikuthari kitathaka because that is the most common way of starting the mohara, so in most thani's you will hear that but don't be too dependent on it because it's not mandatory to play that.

The same goes with the Thalongu Thom dhi.... it is most commonly played but it isn't mandatory.

What IS mandatory, is the fact that one plays a cycle ending with a 12 beat phrase (may it be thalongu thom dhi thalongu thom or thakadhina thakadhina thakadhina thom). You play this twice, then you one cycle but rather than ending with a 12 beat phrase, end with a 4 beat phrase (thalongu thom or thakadhina thom). Play half a cycle ending with the same 4 beat phrase. And finally end it off with a 16 beat ending (thalongu thom dhi thom - thalongu thom dhi thom - thalongu thom dhi thom OR thakadhina thakadhina thom -thakadhina thakadhina thom -thakadhina thakadhina.

The problem with explaining it like this however is without putting thalam, the number I am telling you means nothing, making you even more confused.

So again, at first, forget everything about "it doens't have to be this or that". First look for the Dhi- Thankita....." and the "Thalongu thom dhi thalongu thom" just to get the general feel for the mohara, and after a couple listens, it s houdln't be too tough to pick it up.

vasanthakokilam
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#47

Post by vasanthakokilam »

I will use that to try to detect that pattern in the mohra. Thx.

Vijayakumar
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Aug 2009, 12:01

#48

Post by Vijayakumar »

@mridangamkid,

Thanks for your wonderful posts. in the post 46, "thalangu thom thi thalangu thom" is said as a 12 beat phrase whereas it is actually an 8 beat phrase when used in a mohra. (same for thakadina thakadina thakadina thom). please let me know if I am right.

By the way, I am about 40 and started learning mridangam about 2 yrs back and continuing. all the information that are presented in this forum are extremely useful for me.
Last edited by Vijayakumar on 03 Aug 2009, 12:06, edited 1 time in total.

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

#49

Post by mridangamkid »

You are correct sir, thank you for the correction.

Vijayakumar
Posts: 58
Joined: 03 Aug 2009, 12:01

#50

Post by Vijayakumar »

Thanks Mridangamkid. May I know your name please.(and a little bit more too...From the profile out here, i understand that you are based in Detroit, right?)
I never imagined that so many useful information about music and the thala system, particularly mridangam can be discussed over the web forums. Thanks to all those who spare their valuable time to share such useful information.

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