Monthly Archives: May 2016

3D-Aspect Of Music

Music is studded with varied faces and has an immense power of altering human’s life for better. Usually music is considered in three prime forms: Gaayan, Vadana, and Nritya or singing, playing (instrumental) and dance. These three aspects has its individuality and integrity both at the same time. In other words, playing, singing, or dancing can be performed and would implicitly be called music even if they are executed solely. As in, you can enjoy the vocals with or without instrumentals and dance, or vica versa. Hence we find the musical aura much identity-oriented and unified as well.

With this aspect of music, can you associate music with some other faculty? Probably our mind. Our mind implies the same temperament if we take time to examine it. Believe me, the mind cooperates us much more than we think it is. If we keep it single-sided directing it on one object, subject or field, it will make us master that individual area. On the other hand if we multi-direct it  to the plethora of subjects and areas, that will culminate the mind and destiny work in multi-dimensions in various fields making one more versatile, competent and all-rounder.

The story of a young Bharatanatyam dancer Lakshmi Raj clearly illustrates the theory much clearly. Her specialization since childhood was corporate marketing. Like many other routined IT-freaks and monotonous traders of happiness, she  too graduated and mastered in business marketing to work with Logistic companies as a business developer. However, Indian classical dance prevailed in their family liking but overlooking the reality and hanging on the conservative affairs is what Indians are good at. “My mother aspired to be a dancer herself when she was young but she grew in a rather conservative society where in the ancient India, dance was considered to be performed by the girls of low society to entertain the Royals. Hence she never got a chance to pursue her dream.” Says Lakshmi. To have a prestigious education and job, she pursued the IT and marketing.

Around two decades back, to accompany her introvert sister into dancing area, she joined dance since when she starting delving deep into the dance world.

“My mother got my sister into a Bharatanatyam class very close to where we lived in order to make her dream come true through her daughter. It was my good fortune that, to the fear of new faces and the sound of the ‘Tatta Kazhi‘ (beats) my sister would do nothing but cry in the class; so to give her company, I was introduced to the world of dance and since then there is no stopping.”

Lakshmi started her dance journey by receiving training from my ‘Guru’ (mentor) Ms. Lata Raman for the last 18 years now.  She realized her mechanical, cliched life and non-contented money-making scenario in marketing job and give it an end entering purely into the nritya-sadhana.

Lakshmi lives in Boston and is a well-known Bharatanatyam performer in the States performing in the events like Telugu association of Greater Boston.

“My sister and I did a duet dance for a dance reality show in 2001 on Star Plus (India’s leading family entertainment channel). We even won the title for that show named ‘Kya Masti Kya Dhoom‘ that was the first time I was on television and happens to be the most memorable one!” Lakshmi shares ecstatically.

Whether or not we are cognizant, our mind and brain attains an incomprehensible power of attaining knowledge at any age. Now It depends on how we want to walk on its  unfathomable circumference. Whether we deplete our mind in dwelling the normal unwanted routined life just for the spondulicks; or we choose to stop by, contemplate on what exactly I want in  life and grab the bite of the related knowledge.

I am an Indian Classical Vocalist, Journalist, Dancer and Traveler. Trying to educate via my Blogs.

Technique To Remember and Vocalize Komal and Teevr Swaras

Out of the blue, while vocalizing natural note-phrases for a long time, you are asked to sing the Re-Komal that is Re-Flat. Now that’s the puzzling, tension-some era. More than 90% of my beginner students, or even amateurs get the jimjams and go wrong, out of tune, when asked to switch from natural notes to Komal. And why not? this is one of the most reasonable and possibly appropriate timings to get puzzled especially when you have started randomly without pondering over it for a few seconds.

 Normally, flat or komal denotes dull, faded version of the notes. Sharp or teevr denotes dominating or acute, ready to invade. Komal is the Hindi word for ‘soft’ and teevr refers to ‘tez‘ or clever. Thus, the first step is to perceive and grasp these terms clearly by imaging them as the meaning indicates.
Technique To Remember and Vocalize Komal and Teevr Swaras

Technique To Remember and Vocalize Komal and Teevr Swaras

 The proper sequence of the 12 notes in a chromatic scale or in the realm of 22 shrutis are:
 S  re  R  ga  G  M  ma’  P   dha   DH    ni   NI  SA
  •  upper case denotes shuddha/natural ones
  • lower case+italics+Underlined = komal (re ga dh ni)
  • lower+italics+apostrophe = teevr (which is only ma)
 The good news is that we never struggle to sing the seven natural notes (S R G M P D N) or major scale (C D E F G A B) because that’s the base scale, which is subtly printed in our brain. If you have even a speck of interest in music, you know the seven notes sequence be it what so ever culture or country you belong. Indian system calls it ‘saat shuddha swara‘ or ‘saptak‘ while the western discipline calls it major scale. Major means happy, so these are the happy tunes. 
 Visualize the Location Of Notes
Remember the sequence by hard as it helps visualize the location of note, hence you will grab the tonic ‘Sa’ and grab the subsequent note. Initially its hard to grasp the note, but far much easy to remember the location or diagram you had drawn. For instance, you are asked to track ‘ga’ komal. Visualize, imagine the location of ga komal: between shuddha re and shuddha ga, or at least think that, “I’ve to dim down the natural Ga.” You are all set. 
 Sing the Shuddha Version First
Once you have analyzed the concept of direction in your head, reach the natural destination of a particular note and back it up to dull it. Do not haste to ruin the things. Simply establish the base/tonic note Sa (on whatever scale) and reach out with S R G with G natural and return or back slightly by making the normal Ga to dull/dim. In other words fade the happy Ga to its dull form. This is not only the rational way to vocalize the vikrita swaras (komal/teevr) but also makes you a proficient 12-note singer. It’s actually hard to master singing the 12-notes together at one go.
 Ragas Help a Lot
Another very catchy option to reach out complex notes is: recall the basic ragas you have learnt and experiment the notes taking its help. Let me illustrate. Suppose you are asked to sing Raga Shivaranjini, a pentatonic raga omitting Ma and ni, which you are learning as of now, but don’t exactly memorize the tune at the moment.  In such case, we are all familiar with Raga Bhupali whether as a beginner, intermediate or advanced. Bhupali tunes are well inculcated in our brains so it might surely guide the way through. Fortunately, Bhupali is also a pentatonic scale raga which omits Ma and ni. But what’s the difference: Shivarinjini comprises of Ga komal instead the shuddha one like in Bhupali. Memorize and sing the Bhupali tune structure and dull the Ga in Bhupali, which lands fairly on Shivaranjini. In fact, this is how our 20th century musicians and gharanedaar veterans have experimented the different notes and created the new ragas. 
 Take Help Of The Movie Songs
Last but not the least, the most interesting and engaging way to address the different complex  notes are memorize the movie songs. Lets take Raga Shivaranjini as there are ample of songs in this raga, so if you are unable to bring the Aaroh-avroh in your head, simply hum the popular song “Jaane Kahan Gaye Woh din” from an old movie ‘mera naam joker‘. The first line is exactly the aaroh-avroh of the Raga Shivarajini. Get ready sing all the notes as now you have mastered it.  Similarly, if you unable to grab the lower ni to start raga Yaman’s ni Re Ga, simply remember the song ‘Ye Moh Moh Ke Dhaage‘ as the starting notes of this song is ni-Re-Ga…
 Analyzing the Indian classical  swaras and then pondering upon how they’re selected and combined to make a raga or melody is the most enthralling moments in the journey of learning classical music. Our honorable music legends have created these numerous incredibly scintillating ragas and indeed provided us a plethora of inestimable stuff to brood over and get startled. The only thing we need to do is to contemplate on those stuffs and value the moments, instead of puzzling ourselves with notes.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

I am an Indian Classical Vocalist, Journalist, Dancer and Traveler. Trying to educate via my Blogs.

Acknowledging “Rabindra Sangeet” on the Tagore’s 155th Birthday

 

Musicquote

Musicquote

It’s worth cherishing to ponder what an amazing Indian culture, people and heritage we have achieved as born in India. For example, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. I pay him a grand tribute on his 155th birthday and salute his various contributions towards music, dance, literature, drama and so on.

Rabindra Sangeet is one of his precious gift. Distinctive songs authored by Tagore in Bengali language is Rabindra Sangeet. It is absolute a unique genre of semi-classical music which involves a significant amount meend, murki etc. Rabindra Sangeet is usually a blend of classical variations and folk music. Hence it’s very popular in the nation especially in the areas near Bengal, Bangladesh, Assam etc. Some of the songs are like: Sei Bhalo sei bhalo, Aaji Godhuli lagone ei, Swapne Amar mone holo, Aaj Sobar ronge rong etc..

Rabindra Sangeet primarily depicts the shringar rasa or rati bhava in its composition. Sringara rasa incorporates the expression of romanticism and beloved’s affair. In some of the songs, moppet’s playfulness and mischief is also demonstrated. Apart from these the base themes of Rabindra Sangeet are worship, (bhakti Rasa), and the description of six seasons etc.

He composed songs in Yaman raga, Poorvi, Kedar, Todi, Asavari, Desi, Hameer and in various mishra-ragas. He somehow disliked the stylization of Khayal gayaki as the lyrics are pretty much dissected in that genre.

Sitar, Esraj, jag jhampa, nakkara instruments are much common in Bengal and are said to be accompanied in the rabindra Sangeet. According to the great musicologists Shri K.D Banerjee and Sir Surendra Nath Tagore, Bengal is said to be the land of instruments and Rabindra sangeet is bestowed with most of them while the recitals.

Many of the bollywood songs has been influenced by rabindra sangeet. For instance, the movie Parineeta songs especially phool phool bhawra dole man me gooje teri yaad. The soothing, gentle, natural notes-oriented intonations fulfills the aura of romanticism and defines rabindra sangeet. In the same movie, a popular track rabindra-influenced pihu bole piya bole also reverberates the soul  and represents a unique era of music.

Photo Credit: By Unknown – State Archive, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47866012