Doing Trikalam in Varnams, as all esteemed members know, is a very attractive, yet strenuous task. I myself, as a student of Carnatic music, have struggled with doing Trikalam for Varnams.
But then, a new technique occurred to me.
Doing Tishram in Varnams involves allocating 3/6 aksharams per kriya. What if, the first half of the Talam cycle is rendered in 1st kalam, and the 2nd half in second kalam?
Doing tishram the conventional way will see a total of 24 aksharams per talam cycle (3x8=24). However, doing tishram my way means that the total number of aksharams also remains 24 (2x4+4x4=8+16=24).
Moreover, one of the normal challenges of doing tishram is the necessity of having to repeat the mukhyathi swarams a couple times to come back to salaam. This is an especial problem in the Saveri and Hamsadhwani varnams. However, using my technique, this problem, and the unattractive solution, is eliminated! Samam is returned to in every third avarthanam, and thus, the excess spillage is avoided. This method is also very easy, and is very attractive, grabbing the audience by the collar!
I will post a recording when I have the time.
Please let me know what you think!
New Technique for doing Trikalam in Varnams

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#2 Re: New Technique for doing Trikalam in Varnams
You are going to try something similar to this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiCy4Dru0Xg
In principle, this is similar to playing tisram at double speed in Mishra chaapu to get 21 strokes per avartanam which PMI pioneered.
If you do this in tisram, you can do the pallavi / anupallavi / chittaswaram in 3 cycles as you said. The time taken will be (relatively speaking) : 2+1+2+1+2+1 = 9 times the duration of the 1st 16 swaras. So the same thing will also work for sankeernam and you can do it in one avartanam.
However for tisram 2nd speed, you can sing normally at constant speed and it will take only 1+1+1 = 3x the time.
I also believe that in khandam, you would have to sing the chittaswaram alone at 2x speed to get it done in 5. Time taken : 2+2+1 = 5x
For mishram it gets even more tricky, you will sing the first half of the the pallavi in one speed and then the rest all in double speed to get it done in 2+1+1+1+1+1 = 7x.
A simpler and smarter option for mishram would be to sing the pallavi in one speed, the anupallavi at 2x speed and the chittaswaram at 4x speed, allowing you to finish in 4 + 2 + 1 = 7x the duration. You would have ended up rendering the 1st half of the varnam in 3 degrees of speed.
In principle, this is similar to playing tisram at double speed in Mishra chaapu to get 21 strokes per avartanam which PMI pioneered.
If you do this in tisram, you can do the pallavi / anupallavi / chittaswaram in 3 cycles as you said. The time taken will be (relatively speaking) : 2+1+2+1+2+1 = 9 times the duration of the 1st 16 swaras. So the same thing will also work for sankeernam and you can do it in one avartanam.
However for tisram 2nd speed, you can sing normally at constant speed and it will take only 1+1+1 = 3x the time.
I also believe that in khandam, you would have to sing the chittaswaram alone at 2x speed to get it done in 5. Time taken : 2+2+1 = 5x
For mishram it gets even more tricky, you will sing the first half of the the pallavi in one speed and then the rest all in double speed to get it done in 2+1+1+1+1+1 = 7x.
A simpler and smarter option for mishram would be to sing the pallavi in one speed, the anupallavi at 2x speed and the chittaswaram at 4x speed, allowing you to finish in 4 + 2 + 1 = 7x the duration. You would have ended up rendering the 1st half of the varnam in 3 degrees of speed.
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#3 Re: New Technique for doing Trikalam in Varnams
This is not exactly the case, sir (can I call you sir? Or should I call you something else?)
What I am basically saying is, during trikalam, we convert the simple adi talam cycle into threes, so it becomes 24 aksharams. Instead of splitting this as 12+12, I am splitting it as 8+16 (or multiples thereof).
I have some recording samples of this technique used on ata tala, adi tala, and jhampa tala varnams. I am in the process of learning a varnam in Khanda Triputa from Govinda Rao's Varnasagaram, and will record this technique on the same. What is the best way to share this with you?
What I am basically saying is, during trikalam, we convert the simple adi talam cycle into threes, so it becomes 24 aksharams. Instead of splitting this as 12+12, I am splitting it as 8+16 (or multiples thereof).
I have some recording samples of this technique used on ata tala, adi tala, and jhampa tala varnams. I am in the process of learning a varnam in Khanda Triputa from Govinda Rao's Varnasagaram, and will record this technique on the same. What is the best way to share this with you?
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#4 Re: New Technique for doing Trikalam in Varnams
Similar thing is done where pallavi is rendered in as tisram, and anupallavi in melkalam and it will align to one cycle of 2kalai Adi. There is a Bombay Sisters rendition of saveri varnam online that demonstrated this. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC4mlF2rva0 (varnam starts at 20:36, tisram at around 24:41)
The Math:
pallavi in keezhkalam tisram is 64 matras (2 cycles/lines of twokalai Adi, 2 matras per kriya) = 64/3 = 21 1/3
anupallavi in keezhkalam tisram = 64/6 = 10 4/6 = 10 2/3.
Add both 21 1/3 + 10 2/3 = 32 => 2 cycles of two kalai Adi.
Or one could rendering pallavi itself (2 cycles/lines of 2kalai Adi) the same way (32/3 + 32/6 i.e. 10 2/3 + 5 1/3 = 16)
I think you are suggesting even do each half/line of pallavi that 16/3 + 16/6 = 8 for first cycle, and then do for the second line of pallavi same way for 16 i.e. one cycle of 2kalai Adi.
Same concept  would be more challenging I imagine as you would alternate speeds more often, but it also aligns more often
The Math:
pallavi in keezhkalam tisram is 64 matras (2 cycles/lines of twokalai Adi, 2 matras per kriya) = 64/3 = 21 1/3
anupallavi in keezhkalam tisram = 64/6 = 10 4/6 = 10 2/3.
Add both 21 1/3 + 10 2/3 = 32 => 2 cycles of two kalai Adi.
Or one could rendering pallavi itself (2 cycles/lines of 2kalai Adi) the same way (32/3 + 32/6 i.e. 10 2/3 + 5 1/3 = 16)
I think you are suggesting even do each half/line of pallavi that 16/3 + 16/6 = 8 for first cycle, and then do for the second line of pallavi same way for 16 i.e. one cycle of 2kalai Adi.
Same concept  would be more challenging I imagine as you would alternate speeds more often, but it also aligns more often
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#5 Re: New Technique for doing Trikalam in Varnams
Respected sir,
I do not suggest playing it in tishra nadai at all. I am merely saying that, in chaturashra nadai, playing the first four kriyas in keezh kaalam (thaka thimi thaka thimi) and the next four kriyas in mel kalam (thakathimi thakathimi thakathimi thakathimi) to achieve the effect of tishra nadai (thakita thakita thakita thakita thakita thakita thakita thakita). The recordings below will demonstrate the following:
https://soundcloud.com/user220333618/a ... lamsample
https://soundcloud.com/user220333618/a ... msample1
https://soundcloud.com/user220333618/a ... msample2
https://soundcloud.com/user220333618/j ... lamsample
(please excuse my bad keyboard playing).
Hence, the calculations will be as follows:
8*n + 8*2n = 8*3*n = 24n, where n represents the number of matras per kriya.
In terms of kalai, my method is equivalent of singing the pallavi in 1.5 kalai (viz. singing the first quarter in 1 kalai, and the next quarter in the double speed of that (0.5 kalai)).
I will be in Madras from the 19th of June to the 22nd of July; perhaps I can meet and show this to you facetoface?
Cheers
Siddharth
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#6 Re: New Technique for doing Trikalam in Varnams
Sorry. misunderstood what you said.
I am not sure how what you say achieves the effect of tiSra naDai. The way I understand it (and I could be wrong), doing tiSra naDai in varnam involves a very specific tempo change: Let us say taps of 2kalai Adi are 1.2 seconds apart, then in first speed, each matra (or a swara that spans a matra) say 0.6 seconds. Thus in second speed, a swara that spans a matra would takes 0.3 seconds, in tisra nadai you would sing it such that each swara that spans takes 0.4 seconds (so as to fit 3 swaras between each tap  your tala keeping tempo doesnt change). In your example while you will overall align with the talam, your swaras that span a matra are either 0.6 or 0.3, and so not sure it would achieve what the true tiSra naDai effect. Wouldnt this be closer to doing rupakam in chatusra nadai? (albeit multiple cycles)
PS: I am not based in Chennai.
Thanks
Arun
I am not sure how what you say achieves the effect of tiSra naDai. The way I understand it (and I could be wrong), doing tiSra naDai in varnam involves a very specific tempo change: Let us say taps of 2kalai Adi are 1.2 seconds apart, then in first speed, each matra (or a swara that spans a matra) say 0.6 seconds. Thus in second speed, a swara that spans a matra would takes 0.3 seconds, in tisra nadai you would sing it such that each swara that spans takes 0.4 seconds (so as to fit 3 swaras between each tap  your tala keeping tempo doesnt change). In your example while you will overall align with the talam, your swaras that span a matra are either 0.6 or 0.3, and so not sure it would achieve what the true tiSra naDai effect. Wouldnt this be closer to doing rupakam in chatusra nadai? (albeit multiple cycles)
PS: I am not based in Chennai.
Thanks
Arun
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#7 Re: New Technique for doing Trikalam in Varnams
Respected Mr Arun,
You are absolutely right. This is merely a theoretical hypothesis, and the aural impact of it is very different from what is done in tishra nadai. However, I disagree that this will be the equivalent of Chaturashra Roopakam, Chaturashra nadai. This is not an attempt to transition to C/Roopakam. I have merely expressed adi tishram in terms of mel kalam and keezh kalam chaturashram. The fact that C/Roopakam in C/Nadai has 24 aksharams is purely coincidental. If you put C/Roopakam for the recording, you would find that the turbidity of the splitting of the sangathis will not be as constant as it is when Adi talam is applied. I hope this makes sense.
Cheers
Siddharth
(PS: I hope my keyboard playing was not too much of a strain on your ears )
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#8 Re: New Technique for doing Trikalam in Varnams
yes correct  ignore my rupaka comment  doesnt make sense.
Arun
Arun
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