chalanATa - asampUrna mELa - Dikshitar's nATA

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SrinathK
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#1 chalanATa - asampUrna mELa - Dikshitar's nATA

Post by SrinathK » 12 Feb 2019, 12:28

This was the original raga known as nATa, which was called chalanATa in the asampUrna mEla scheme. As per the text of the SSP, nATa liberally used the D3 N3 S phrase back in the day.

Now-a-days the raga we call chalanATa is the 36 sampUrna mela that is quite a different raga. In the meantime, nATa itself has changed to avoid the D3 completely, creating another version that is the modern one that everyone sings. So this chalanATA has made quite a drama by turning from one rAgA into 3 different ragas.

In the early days of the MA, reading the journals would tell you that fixing the lakshanas of nATa must have been quite a debate.

pavanAtmajAgaccha is a well known kriti in Dikshitar's nATa. This version comes pretty close to the SSP one : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOic-yPuzqU - although even this has slightly changed to avoid using D3.

The modern version of the kriti is completely the modern nATa that has no D3 anywhere : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAqICVY8gTI

swAminAtha paripAlaya is also by Dikshitar. Of which GNB's version is the most popular one, but it is in modern nATa with no D3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1t8BYA7CvQ

Interestingly, Veena Dhanammal's rendition of this kriti would have been near identical to the SSP version, but for a curious tendency to replace every R3 with G3 and make it sound like gambhira nATa at almost every opportunity :-
https://archive.org/details/SwaminathaP ... aDikshitar

So this makes a fourth version of nATa??

Just my observation, if you changed all those extra G3's back to R3, it would be the SSP rendition almost exactly.

In the meantime, if Dr. Aravindhan finds out his channel is being linked to a lot in recent days over here, he may grace us with a true SSP version of chalanATa. :)

I wonder why CM had a superstitious fear of vivAdi so much like a dOsham that the musicians of the times tried to do all this - and one raga became four, not to mention all the other compositions of the Trinity that were stripped of their original vivAdi.
Last edited by SrinathK on 12 Feb 2019, 13:34, edited 3 times in total.
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RaviSri
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#2 Re: chalanATa - asampUrna mELa - Dikshitar's nATA

Post by RaviSri » 12 Feb 2019, 12:56

If you changed all those extra G3's back to R3, it would be the SSP rendition almost exactly.
You wonder why they had a superstitious fear of vivAdi so much like a dOsham that they tried to do all this.

How did you assume that "they", whoever they may be (I assume it, to mean the Dhanammal family, since, the comment comes immediately after your giving the link of my singing the song). I think you have assumed that the SSP is perfect and genuine, since it was written by a relative of the composer and that the others, even if they belonged to a line of a senior disciple (Dhanammal was a great grand disciple of Dikshitar, so near it is), they may have changed it. That was not the case. The Dhanammal family did not change anything. We have evidence for this. I can assert that the Isai Velalar community did not change anything that they learnt especially those of the Trinity. Here, Naina Pillai was an exception. He chamged a few vivadi raga krits into non-vivadi swara songs, but not the other songs. The Dhanammal family, the whole lot of them, were not guilty of such a practice.

Look at my post in the DHanammal versions thread also.
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SrinathK
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#3 Re: chalanATa - asampUrna mELa - Dikshitar's nATA

Post by SrinathK » 12 Feb 2019, 13:40

@RaviSri, I confess that with the level of variations involved, the more I start looking into it, the stranger these things seem to get. So far I am counting 4 versions of nATa including Brinda Mukta's. Your rendition now makes me wonder if nATa is even older than the asampUrna mEla system.

Ok, to avoid misunderstanding, I have edited my original post to better reflect what I had in mind. I personally am grateful I have all this material available preserved on record by dedicated disciples like you. It makes my study of ragas that much more fulfilling.

For e.g. SSP's vAtapi is what is sung today for the most part without all those sangatis, and Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer probably added those a few decades before the book was written. There's Andhali, that had G3 by that point while the Dhannamal Bani still sings it in G2. Of course there would have been rAgA traditions older than the trinity.

But for me it is surprising how within the same shishya parampara differences of this nature could start appearing. On the one hand they've preserved it almost identically and on the other hand there's that one major difference. In the paramparas of Thyagaraja some of them have run riot with the changes while others have tried to preserve and restore them, but the preservers were disadvantaged by lack of publicity and recording facilities.

Well, I am not pinpointing anyone in particular - but as the case of Jagadanandakaraka and many other compositions of the trinity show, there was a tendency to try and get rid of vivAdi notes. In fact among the earliest MA journals is a lengthy discussion of trying to settle the lakshanas of nATa and many different arOhanam - avarOhanam potentials were discussed. If I can find it I will try to link here.

One of my goals in opening the raga threads was to see if I could find different traditions of ragas and kritis, as well as getting to know ragas which I had not heard before - well, I got more than what I bargained for. But I am happy that these are now being preserved and archived, or else all this will be lost in a generation.
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bhakthim dehi
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#4 Re: chalanATa - asampUrna mELa - Dikshitar's nATA

Post by bhakthim dehi » 12 Feb 2019, 15:23

Now-a-days the raga we call chalanATa is the 36 sampUrna mela that is quite a different raga. In the meantime, nATa itself has changed to avoid the D3 completely, creating another version that is the modern one that everyone sings
There were few liberties given in hadling of a ragam (during the time of Trinity) and we have strangulated in the event of following a scale. One important liberty given was the use of an optional svaram in a ragam. In few ragas, atleast 6 to my knowledge, use of a particular svara was an option. That svara might be an alpa or non-alpa svara; however using or not using a svaram will not change the ragam. The dhaivatam of Nata and Sri belong to this category. In my opinion, Tyagaraja svamigal didnt use dhaivatham in both these ragas !!

The prefix "chala" is added only to satisfy the rules of Katapayadhi. Nata is really a raga of great antiquity and it was called only as Nata throughout the history.
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SrinathK
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#5 Re: chalanATa - asampUrna mELa - Dikshitar's nATA

Post by SrinathK » 12 Feb 2019, 17:10

bhakthim dehi wrote:
12 Feb 2019, 15:23
The prefix "chala" is added only to satisfy the rules of Katapayadhi. Nata is really a raga of great antiquity and it was called only as Nata throughout the history.
nATa seems to be over a thousand years old, having been mentioned in the earliest texts on rAgAs. Even older than that, it is mentioned in the tamizh paNNs, where one paNN called nATTapadai (spelling correct?) is equivalent to gambhira nATa. So that would push it back further to maybe even 2000 years ago. Who knows what history it must have had.

I wonder on a humorous note, if anyone gets the feeling that if rasikas.org keeps going like this, we might become a classical music text all to ourselves - imagine someone quoting links and discussions from here. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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SrinathK
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#6 Re: chalanATa - asampUrna mELa - Dikshitar's nATA

Post by SrinathK » 12 Feb 2019, 22:56

Here's something interesting I found : http://guruguha.org/wp/?p=2197

It's a long and interesting read. It ends with a recording of Semmangudi singing mahA ganapatim avoiding even the R3 itself! So that's the 4th version alright.
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