Raga Pravaham by D Pattammal - a database of thousands of ragas - if you're the nerdy type

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SrinathK
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#1 Raga Pravaham by D Pattammal - a database of thousands of ragas - if you're the nerdy type

Post by SrinathK » 15 Feb 2019, 12:03

Disclaimer : This link may interest you only if you are a nerd, a musician, a researcher, a composer or a musicologist. All others may choose not to trouble themselves. :mrgreen:

The book is available in pdf here : http://www.dpattammal.com/downloads/rag ... h-full.pdf

Contains thousands of Carnatic ragas listed from a huge number of sources, from panns to rAgAs in the oldest texts to modern day rAgAs created by musicians of the 20th century and even the HM equivalents of many CM rAgAs.

Most of these rAgAs are lying unused. Who knows how much potential CM is yet to unlock, as vast as it already seems.
Last edited by SrinathK on 15 Feb 2019, 17:55, edited 2 times in total.
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RSR
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#2 Re: Raga Pravaham by D Pattammal - a database of thousands of ragas

Post by RSR » 15 Feb 2019, 15:38

@1-> I have downloaded and glanced through the overwhelming volume.. It may be a good source for reference but not suitable, if our aim is to take CM to the present-day students and youngsters in tamilnadu. To quote Martin Fowler..'comprehensiveness is the enemy of comprehensibility'. ' It is enough if we confine ourselves to the ragas in which the Trinity and Purandaradasa have composed. That itself, will come to nearly 250 ragams. The advantage is that it is well-documented and well-known. ( though, different schools may have difference of interpretation). Let us simplify the system. avoiding jargon. My suggestion is to take only the janya ragams of 32 non-vivadi parent ragams and do away with things like r3,g3,d3,n3. It will then enable us to follow the much simpler and straight HM notation. I find that even among the 32 such parent scales, most janya ragams are from Karaharapriya, Harikambodhi, sankarabaranam, natabairavi ,kalyani , todi and mayamalavagowla. We can follow the naming adopted by Thyagaraja uniformly. We should not cite film songs as examples. ( except those of Dandapani desikar, musiri, GNB,( are the songs from his very early films available still?), ofcourse Smt.MSS and NCV. ( but all these are pre-1950). ....Let us give importance to the ragam and krithi for easy identification. Even if we limit ourselves to four well-known krithis in each ragam, it will come to a thousand songs. Enough for a lifetime.
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#3 Re: Raga Pravaham by D Pattammal - a database of thousands of ragas

Post by SrinathK » 15 Feb 2019, 16:59

I do not agree with that. I do not even agree that the CM notation is all that complicated. A thousand songs is a lot for some people, but many performing musicians know a lot more than that now. MS Amma for one crossed that threshold probably 4 times over. Anyway, the CM system is much vaster than what most of us know, to dispose of it is tantamount to destroying it through neglect.

The ragas threads which I have been exploring, if you look at them almost all of them have been explored by the trinity for and a handful beyond that are new. This will still hold even at the time I come to ragas starting with Y.

But I need to tell you. You have stumbled upon the occasional thread devoted to the cause of the musicologist / researcher type of personality. Most of the ragas in D Pattammal's book (I'd say over 90% of them) are unused ones, no known compositions exist in them. Maybe someday in the future musicians and composers might take a few of them up (of course they'd have to take care that ragas don't get too close to each other and start encroaching on each other's scope, such a problem already exists with the 72 mElakartas). So once in a while, on this forum you will find such "Nerd" threads.

But if your goal was to introduce CM to people, then the task is much simpler and I can use your approach. I'll tell you that for most of my teens and early 20s I hardly knew more than 200 compositions and maybe like 100 ragas - I had like 25 GB of collections at best. 11 years ago, I probably knew only about 40 ragas and 70 compositions and just some 10 talas or so (Adi tala, the 7 talas from alankarams and mishra and khanDa chapu) - and that was enough to keep my interests going. I used to come to rasikas, but knowing only that much, I did not want to write anything on music at that time.

What helped me out back then was that we had this Worldspace radio (now radioweb carnatic), always broadcasting something on music every day which I'd listen in my spare time. It was entirely due to the radio that I got really interested in CM. The role of the radio in turning many people into rasikas is a critical one. If you want to introduce many people to CM, you should make them listen to radio concerts and programmes. Now that AIR doesn't broadcast CM the way they used to do, I would ask rasikas to try radioweb carnatic instead. http://radioweb.in/

My main gripe as to why CM is not as popular as it could be is the lack of enough number of Tamizh songs to compete with the Telugu, Sanskrit and Kannada ones. Tamizh rasikas will be much happier with tamizh songs and even though a lot of things CM comes from Ancient Tamil music, I feel we are not having enough tamizh songs even now and we don't get rasikas to listen to more of them. Tamizh songs need to get popularized even more than ever.

But any CM rasika, if they are willing to go to a concert today, must be ok with the thought that one will often hear a song or a raga that one has no heard before, and they'll have to keep themselves open to that.

It's only in the last 3-4 years that circumstances allowed me to find some time, portable TB hard drives, a better laptop and a broadband connection good enough to explore more freely - I have also been aided by the fact that the bulk of CM music collections and resources have come to light on the internet only in the last 4 years - we can't imagine the efforts some rasikas have taken to preserve and convert them.

So one day, I decided that everyday I will listen to something I do not know or have heard before. The rest is then history as they say.
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SrinathK
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#4 Re: Raga Pravaham by D Pattammal - a database of thousands of ragas - if you're the nerdy type

Post by SrinathK » 15 Feb 2019, 20:52

@RSR, On another thread, can you come up with a good list of only tamizh songs (can and should also be film songs if they're carnatic based and bharatanATyam numbers) in the rAgAs of your choice? You are already opening lots of web pages with many popular songs.

These may greatly help introduce CM to more of the tamizh population. You can make your list as long as you wish, provided you cover a few songs in all the ragas. We can play a select few to anyone who we want to introduce to CM.

I will put this list up in General Discussions also for other rasikas to contribute.
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#5 Re: Raga Pravaham by D Pattammal - a database of thousands of ragas - if you're the nerdy type

Post by RSR » 15 Feb 2019, 21:22

@3->Thank you for sharing your experience.
Your approach is meant for musicians, aspiring raagam creators, composers and music students and musicologists.
When I write 'students', and youngsters I did not mean students of CM in a professional way. but the general category of literally lakhs of school and college students from all branches of study., especially from all the rural areas of tamilnadu. ....( not confined to the cities) ....more a question of general interest and acquaintance with the basics of CM ragams. to the extent of identifying some ragam correctly... That is how it used to be many decades back.
Thank you for the link on radioweb. As you correctly point out, the best way is by listening to radio. and other sites which give downloadable mp3 as sangeethapriya.
My approach is meant for young people without any exposure to CM.
Whatever be the subject, I am all for gradual introduction ( simplified) than material of R&D standard right in the beginning. I strongly believe that students ( not music students) just do not have time to concentrate too much on classical music. You may be familiar with 'raga surabi' site. It takes the correct approach but can be sopplemented)
I am now . working on janya ragams of the ten parent scales common to both CM and HM.
Harikambothi itself is parent for more than 100 janya ragams

. I am afraid that for the ten parent scales, the number may come close to 500 at least.
--
Our 'ends' are different. and so are the means.
( Though Smt.MS had a repertoire of more than a 1000 songs( ragams ?..not likely), she sang only about a hundred in concerts. So do all the reputed musicians. The audience must have familiarity with the ragam and even the krithi. It enhances their sense of participation and empathy).
I am in no way, critical of your method for your stated aim.
--
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SrinathK
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#6 Re: Raga Pravaham by D Pattammal - a database of thousands of ragas - if you're the nerdy type

Post by SrinathK » 15 Feb 2019, 22:09

I'd only start young tamil people on a diet of tamil songs in popular ragas (and basic varisais if they're interested to learn). Looking back, I only now realize how important the radio was. Musicology and research is only for the Ph.Ds and geeks.

Raga Surabhi is a great resource. I wrote to them about it as well. Most of the commonly heard ragas there. That and links to the most popular songs will do the job.
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#7 Re: Raga Pravaham by D Pattammal - a database of thousands of ragas - if you're the nerdy type

Post by RSR » 16 Feb 2019, 13:44

SrinathK wrote
======================
My main gripe as to why CM is not as popular as it could be is the lack of enough number of Tamizh songs to compete with the Telugu, Sanskrit and Kannada ones. Tamizh rasikas will be much happier with tamizh songs and even though a lot of things CM comes from Ancient Tamil music, I feel we are not having enough tamizh songs even now and we don't get rasikas to listen to more of them. Tamizh songs need to get popularized even more than ever
.
==========================
Absolutely.
However, non-tamizh compositions , either in telugu or kannada or sanskrit cannot be leftout. May be my personal preference..but I have not come across krithis matching the best from PD, MD, and Thayagaraj. and Sadasiva Berammendra and Shyama sastri. in tamizh.
I understand that Paapanasam Sivan has created many tamizh krithis, closely based on Thyagaraja's creations. Such krithis can be brought to light and popularized.
There is a great difficulty however with the recent generation. The theme of all these krithis is religion-based. and the present generation does not care much for religiomn, be it vaishavam, saivism, saalktham, koumaaram and gaanapathyam.
Romance seems to be the only theme in film songs. even if set to CM. and dance should not be brought in.
tamizh isai movement of 1940's tried its best. struck a compromise.
Perhaps, the best solution may be to teach basics of all the Dravidian languages including the script along with sanskrit made easy, to all the students from very young age.
But that is a far cry in the present situation. Spend scarce time more on learning English than other languages, especially , Sanskrit.
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#8 Re: Raga Pravaham by D Pattammal - a database of thousands of ragas - if you're the nerdy type

Post by RSR » 22 Feb 2019, 13:53

There are quite a few (blog) sites , maintained by non-music-professionals, dealing with hundreds of ragams in CM and their counterpart in HM also. One such site by saidvk. The site gives illustrations of each ragam, ( rare too) from contemporary artistes and a few from HM stalwarts too. Good effort ( but may not be always correct in ragam identification). especially from film songs. Even the TheHindu column always gives film songs as examples..
My objection is that giving film songs as examples, that too from youtube, brings in the visual element. ( as M.R.Rdaha, jocularly and may be seriously, used to say, when we mention 'seethaa' , the filmy generation immediately thinks of the second of the famous dancing trio of travancore. !
I think, I have followed your guideline in providing songs for illustration for the common ragams. No recent vocalists. No likelihood of copy right violation. No films either except in very rare and great instances. Actually, it is rather difficult to locate the correct tube version .
The artistes chosen are mostly sangitha kalanidhis! and lyricists in tamizh also are great people.
shankaranK objects.... sometimes rightly so, that many horrible songs are tolerated in the guise of devotional music. True. but I do hope that my choice of the songs is not banal either in fidelity of ragam ( coukd it ever be, when the singers are so renowned?) , or in lyrics or in bhaavam. .
The truth is that there are very few songs of quality in tamizh-CM
To reach 100 CM ragams sung in tamizh is proving to be rather difficult. .
If you wont mistake me, how is that with so much R&D quality differentiation of ragams and swarams, my simple queries for ragam identification, are not getting any response?
Experts are not even trying. I request them to help me.
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#9 Re: Raga Pravaham by D Pattammal - a database of thousands of ragas - if you're the nerdy type

Post by RSR » 24 Feb 2019, 10:07

SrinathK-> May I have your help in identifying the ragam of quite a few songs? I will keep posting them in this particular thread only. ( for continuity).
------ 1) ghan shyaam aayae re - Hindi Meera- Smt.MS and Nagaiah
2) third and fourth stanzas of 'oLi padaittha kaNNinaay' of Smt MS ( original 78 rpm of 1950)
( the first two stanzas are in kalyaaNi, I believe) ( sites.google.com/site/ + homage2mssubbulakshmi)
3) However much, I search, I am unable to get 78 rpm records of MLV .in tamil. ( Kindly help. The thiruppaavai and thiruvempaavai songs,I am afraid are under commercial category(
not available in youtube.)
4) Kindly help with tamil old songs of greats of earlier era ( 1935-1955) preferably non-film, and not of MKT etc. in ragams not covered so far.
( by singers like Maharajapuram Visvanatha Iyer, Musiri Subramanya Iyer, Ariyakkudi, Musiri, AAlatthhoor, MaduraiMani, Satthoor, GNB, DKP, and MLV)
5) particularly, I need songs in ragams like
hamsanadam,
ravichandrika,
hindolLa vasantham,
deva manohari,
devagaandhaari,
natabairavi,
sAramathi,
kamalamanohari,
aanandabairavi,
aahiri,
aandholLika,
dharmavathi,
charukesi.
We can easily get songs in these ragams in other languages but quite a problem to get them in tamil , especially from singers of 'carnatic summer'.
Best Regards.
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