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 » 11 Nov 2008, 09:51

When/how does a vocalist know he must pick up a song after the thani avaratnam?
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vasanthakokilam
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#2

Post by vasanthakokilam » 11 Nov 2008, 10:08

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.
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gn.sn42
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#3

Post by gn.sn42 » 11 Nov 2008, 11:51

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.
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vasanthakokilam
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#4

Post by vasanthakokilam » 11 Nov 2008, 13:00

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.
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gn.sn42
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#5

Post by gn.sn42 » 11 Nov 2008, 23:55

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.
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vasanthakokilam
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#6

Post by vasanthakokilam » 12 Nov 2008, 05:50

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
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vijay
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#7

Post by vijay » 12 Nov 2008, 11:45

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
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mridangamkid
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#8

Post by mridangamkid » 18 Nov 2008, 01:38

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.
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Nick H
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#9

Post by Nick H » 18 Nov 2008, 13:32

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!
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vasanthakokilam
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#10

Post by vasanthakokilam » 18 Nov 2008, 22:04

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.
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Nick H
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#11

Post by Nick H » 18 Nov 2008, 23:21

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!
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mridangamkid
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#12

Post by mridangamkid » 19 Nov 2008, 02:36

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.
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vasanthakokilam
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#13

Post by vasanthakokilam » 19 Nov 2008, 04:38

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 ).
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mridangamkid
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#14

Post by mridangamkid » 19 Nov 2008, 06:37

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.
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vasanthakokilam
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#15

Post by vasanthakokilam » 19 Nov 2008, 07:43

No problem MK. Do it when you can. Looking forward to it and thanks.
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Nick H
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#16

Post by Nick H » 19 Nov 2008, 11:52

'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?
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krishnaprasad
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#17

Post by krishnaprasad » 02 Mar 2009, 12:29

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!
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vasanthakokilam
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#18

Post by vasanthakokilam » 18 Apr 2009, 21:34

So, whatever happened to the idea discussed here of someone (mk? ) recording a good, clean and clear demonstration of the thani ending sequence?
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mridangamkid
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#19

Post by mridangamkid » 20 Apr 2009, 08:37

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.
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vasanthakokilam
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#20

Post by vasanthakokilam » 20 Apr 2009, 08:53

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.
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mridangamkid
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#21

Post by mridangamkid » 21 Apr 2009, 07:43

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)
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vasanthakokilam
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#22

Post by vasanthakokilam » 21 Apr 2009, 07:46

MK, no problems. I am sure it will be worth the wait. Thanks.
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mridangamkid
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#23

Post by mridangamkid » 24 Apr 2009, 22:38

I just finished recording everything, can someone please tell me how to upload it on here?
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rshankar
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#24

Post by rshankar » 24 Apr 2009, 23:00

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.
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vasanthakokilam
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#25

Post by vasanthakokilam » 20 May 2009, 06:10

MK, any update on the upload?
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