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During the past years, I have posted the notation to one of my compositions in this space (and sometimes a recording too). I thought of continuing the tradition for this year as well.

Here is a sapta rAga mAlikA varNa, a garland woven in seven rAgas which I composed few years ago. The composition is about gouri, and I thought it was most apt to be share during this festival.

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(Dancing Parvati in brass: Image taken from pinterest.com)

 

The sAhitya is in kannaDa (bordering on sama samskrta), and includes rAga mudre. The lyrics are here.

sarasAngika vAchikAdi nartana chaturE SrI gouri ||pallavi||
suvarNAngi poreyE sadAshiva manOhari ||anupallavi||
gItaroopiNi latAngi ||charaNa||

ಸರಸಾಂಗಿಕ ವಾಚಿಕಾದಿ
ನರ್ತನ ಚತುರೇ ಶ್ರೀ ಗೌರಿ ||ಪ||
ಸುವರ್ಣಾಂಗಿ ಪೊರೆಯೇ
ಸದಾಶಿವ ಮನೋಹರೀ ||ಅ.ಪ||

ಗೀತ ರೂಪಿಣಿ ಲತಾಂಗಿ ||ಚರಣ||

The lyrics describe Goddess Parvati as one who is proficient in various aspects of dance such as Angika, vAchika and praises her as the embodiment of  song (ಗೀತ). The words can also be wrapped around to make her the embodiment of music. (  ಗೀತ ರೂಪಿಣಿ ಲತಾಂಗಿ – ಸಂಗೀತ ರೂಪಿಣಿ ಲತಾಂಗಿ)

You’d have noticed that the rAgas are Sarasangi, Suvarnangi, and Latangi. What about the rest? The Chitte swara is set in a rAga called Dhavalangi, and the ettugaDe swaras are set in the rAgas Latangi, Kanakangi, Dhaivatangi and Syamalangi.

Although I don’t have a good audio to share today, hopefully I will share that at a future date, but for those of you interested, here is the notation for the composition: sapta-raaga-maalike

Wishing all readers of “ಅಲ್ಲಿದೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಮನೆ” a very happy time during this festive season!

-neelanjana

Today is the tenth, and the last day of Navaratri – Vijaya Dashami. As per the Ramayana, this is the day when Rama defeated Ravana, and as per the Mahabharata, this is the day, on which Pandava’s ended their incognito.  This is also the day on which Goddess Chamundeshwari slaying demon Mahisha.

Goddess Chamundeshwari, atop the Chamundi Hill at Mysore was the royal deity when the Odeyars ruled Mysore. The Odeyars of Mysore started the Dasara celebrations more than 400 years ago, which they had carried carried forward from the Kings of Vijayanagara.

The last ruler of Mysore, Sri Jayachamarajendra Odeyar was a musican and vaggeyakara himself and has composed about 100 compositions. His guru, Mysore Vasudevacharya is also one the most important composers of the 20th century. He composed more than 300 compositions – most of them in Samskrta and Telugu. He belongs to the musical tradition of Tyagaraja. Since Vausdevacharya’s compositions are very much on Tyagaraja’s lines, he is often called ‘Abhinava Tyagaraja’.

On this day when Goddess Chamundeshwari goes in the Dasara procession at Mysore, what could be better than listening to a composition about Goddess Chamundeshwari of Mysore, composed by Mysore Vasudevacharya, and played on the Veena by Mysore Doreswamy Iyengar?

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Set in a bright and majestic raga,  Bilahari, I think this composition the conclusion for the festivities of the season. Click on the image below, and enjoy this musical feast!

It was indeed wonderful to write the posts in the series “Veena Navartri” during Navaratri 2014, and in that process listen to some excellent music and become familiar with some new artists as well.

I wish all visitors of “ಅಲ್ಲಿದೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಮನೆ” for an year full of happiness and  you the very best in your lives.

-neelanjana

p.s: Generally, I am careful about giving image credits. However, for this “Veena Navaratri”, I could not do that and idid not cite image sources. Just wanted to acknowledge this fact, All images belong to their respective copyright holders.

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

Today, September 24th, 2014 is the first day of Navaratri – The Festival of Nine Nights. Navaratri, also known as Dasara in many parts of India, is a good time for classical music listeners – The music festival at Navartri Mandapam in Thiruvanantapuram and at Mysore Palace are well known. In some of the earlier years (2007, 20082010… ), I have written about some musical compositions that are dear to me during the this ten day festival.   I thought of reviving this tradition and make a few posts during this year’s Navaratri as well.

Since Navaratri is a celebration of the various aspects of Devi, I will confine to the compositions to those that are about Goddesses such as Parvati, Saraswati, Durga etc who are worshiped during these Nine Nights. Also, as a way of remembering the recently-departed ‘God of Mandolin’, U Srinivas, I will confine to only instrumental renditions of such compositions. I will try to point out to some interesting tit-bits about those compositions too.

First a couple of words about U Srinivas – I think we were plain lucky to have lived in the same time as this artist, who brought in an alien instrument and turned it into our very own, as far as Indian classical music is concerned. If you ask me, it is high time we call this instrument as Sri-Veena 🙂 . Although we tend to associate the word Veena with the Saraswati Veena (which is actually only as old as the early 17th century), the term Veena actually refers to a stringed instrument, with or without frets, which may be played using plucking or bowing etc. We have had Veenas such as Nagaveena, Dhanurveena (which were played using a bow), just like a modern day violin. We have the Chitra Veena (a.k.a. Gotuvadya), Rudra Veena and the like. Guitar which has been adapted for Hindustani music by Vishwa Mohan Bhat is being called as Mohana Veena, and why not call mandolin as Sri Veena ? Just a passing thought as I started out writing this post!

In the 18th century, Tanjavoor was a great center of music and arts. Syama Shastry, who is considered as one of the “Trinity” of Karnataka Sangeeta  lived in Tanjavoor city. His compositions bear his signature  as ‘Shamakrishna’. He was the priest of Bangaru Kamakshi temple in Tanjavoor, and often addresses his favorite deity as  “Shamakrishna sodari” – the sister of Shamakrishna (Vishnu).  Although numerically his compositions are lesser than those of Tyagaraja or Muttuswamy Dikshita, each of his compositions is indeed a gem.

During Sharabhoji’s reign (1777 AD – 1832AD),  a musician named Bobbili Keshavayya, visited his court. Keshavayya was well known for challenging musicians. Since no other musician in Tanjavoor court were ready to face Keshavayya who was known for his expertise at singing pallavis with extremely complicated rhythmic structures, the responsibility fell on Syama Sastry.

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(Picture courtesy: The Hindu,   http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-fridayreview/carrying-on-the-legacy/article4463886.ece)

In the music-duel that followed,  Keshavayya sang a pallavi in Simha nandana tALa, which Shama Sastry comprehended and reproduced. Now, it was Shama Sastry’s turn to challenge Keshavayya next day. That night during his prayers to Goddess Kamakshi, Syama Shastry sang a new composition in a brand new raga – Chintamani, pleading her to protect him at this critical moment  (dEvI brOva samayamidE ati vEgamE vacci).

For the first day of Navaratri, the composition I want to share with you is this – “dEvi brOva samayamide” in Raga Chintamani, played on the mandolin by, who else but U Srinivas, and U Rajesh?

Wishing everyone a very happy time during this Navaratri.

-neelanjana

If you can read Kannada, then click the following links:

Sangeeta Navaratri – Day 1 :

Sangeeta Navaratri – Day 2 :

Sangeeta Navaratri – Day 3 :

Sangeeta Navaratri – Day 4 :

Sangeeta Navaratri – Day 5:

Sangeeta Navaratri – Day 6:

Sangeeta Navaratri – Day 7:

Sangeeta Navaratri – Day 8:

Sangeeta Navaratri – Day 9:

Sangeeta Navaratri – Day 10:

And here is what I wrote during  Navaratri festival in 2007:

navarAtriya dinagaLu

-neelanjana

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