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

Tālam & Layam related topics
mridangamkid
Posts: 150
Joined: 03 Sep 2007, 22:11
Location: Detroit MI

#26

Post by mridangamkid » 21 May 2009, 04:11

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
0 x

vasanthakokilam
Posts: 10908
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 00:01
x 8
x 36

#27

Post by vasanthakokilam » 21 May 2009, 11:42

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.
0 x

bilahari
Posts: 2631
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 09:02
x 11
x 30

#28

Post by bilahari » 21 May 2009, 21:03

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!
0 x

vasanthakokilam
Posts: 10908
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 00:01
x 8
x 36

#29

Post by vasanthakokilam » 26 May 2009, 09:22

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 :)
0 x

mridangamkid
Posts: 150
Joined: 03 Sep 2007, 22:11
Location: Detroit MI

#30

Post by mridangamkid » 26 May 2009, 10:02

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.
0 x

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

#31

Post by vganesh » 26 May 2009, 10:03

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

vasanthakokilam
Posts: 10908
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 00:01
x 8
x 36

#32

Post by vasanthakokilam » 26 May 2009, 10:44

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.
0 x

vasanthakokilam
Posts: 10908
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 00:01
x 8
x 36

#33

Post by vasanthakokilam » 26 May 2009, 13:07

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.
0 x

mridangamkid
Posts: 150
Joined: 03 Sep 2007, 22:11
Location: Detroit MI

#34

Post by mridangamkid » 27 May 2009, 08:54

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.
0 x

vasanthakokilam
Posts: 10908
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 00:01
x 8
x 36

#35

Post by vasanthakokilam » 27 May 2009, 10:55

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.
0 x

mridangamkid
Posts: 150
Joined: 03 Sep 2007, 22:11
Location: Detroit MI

#36

Post by mridangamkid » 28 May 2009, 03:30

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).
0 x

vasanthakokilam
Posts: 10908
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 00:01
x 8
x 36

#37

Post by vasanthakokilam » 16 Jun 2009, 07:32

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.
0 x

mridangamkid
Posts: 150
Joined: 03 Sep 2007, 22:11
Location: Detroit MI

#38

Post by mridangamkid » 17 Jun 2009, 05:35

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.
0 x

cacm
Posts: 2202
Joined: 08 Apr 2010, 00:07
x 1

#39

Post by cacm » 17 Jun 2009, 08:40

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
0 x

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

#40

Post by vganesh » 17 Jun 2009, 09:24

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.
0 x

mridangamkid
Posts: 150
Joined: 03 Sep 2007, 22:11
Location: Detroit MI

#41

Post by mridangamkid » 17 Jun 2009, 09:53

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.
0 x

vasanthakokilam
Posts: 10908
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 00:01
x 8
x 36

#42

Post by vasanthakokilam » 17 Jun 2009, 11:32

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?
0 x

mridangamkid
Posts: 150
Joined: 03 Sep 2007, 22:11
Location: Detroit MI

#43

Post by mridangamkid » 18 Jun 2009, 08:25

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
0 x

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

#44

Post by vganesh » 18 Jun 2009, 09:50

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.
0 x

vasanthakokilam
Posts: 10908
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 00:01
x 8
x 36

#45

Post by vasanthakokilam » 18 Jun 2009, 09:55

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?
0 x

mridangamkid
Posts: 150
Joined: 03 Sep 2007, 22:11
Location: Detroit MI

#46

Post by mridangamkid » 18 Jun 2009, 10:13

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.
0 x

vasanthakokilam
Posts: 10908
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 00:01
x 8
x 36

#47

Post by vasanthakokilam » 18 Jun 2009, 11:43

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

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

#48

Post by Vijayakumar » 03 Aug 2009, 12:05

@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.
0 x

mridangamkid
Posts: 150
Joined: 03 Sep 2007, 22:11
Location: Detroit MI

#49

Post by mridangamkid » 03 Aug 2009, 21:35

You are correct sir, thank you for the correction.
0 x

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

#50

Post by Vijayakumar » 12 Aug 2009, 09:50

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.
0 x

Post Reply