Today, 10/2/2010 is the ninth day of Navaratri, which is celebrated as Mahanavami.  The first eight days of Navaratri, the music compositions I posted were all about Parvati (or one of her forms). Since, Mahanavami  s also the day when many people perform Saraswati pooja, I thought it would be very appropriate to share composition about Saraswati today.

The Sharada shrine in Shringeri, which dates back to Adi Shankara’s days is one of the most famous shrines of Saraswati. The  temple is known for it’s grand celebration of Navaratri.

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In one of my earlier posts this series I had mentioned how the term Veena was a term used to indicate any string instrument. Some sculptures of Saraswati show her playing a fret-less string instrument. The music compositionI am sharing today is also played on a Veena without frets. Known as Gotuvadya or Chitra Veena, this instrument is a close cousin of Vichitra Veena and Rudra Veena which are used in Hindustani system.

The composition starts with the words “Sarasiruhasanapriye” and praises the Goddess as one who is delighted by singing and Veena playing. It is a composition of Puliyur Doreswamy Iyer, a post Trinity composer ( and father of Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer and Ramaswamy Shivan).

This composition is in rAga nATa, which has been a popular raga for several centuries, and particularly considered an excellent raga to play tAna. No wonder the artist has preceded the composition with a short Alapa and tAna.

Happy listening!

-neelanjana

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