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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vinayaka chathurthi

Zoom and read if the letters appear small

The symbolic attributes of Sri Ganesh are as follows:
¨ Huge head suggesting vast wisdom.
¨ Broad back suggesting ability to carry the burden of the nation on the back.
¨ Pillar-like legs depicting the steadfast, firm support to the edifice of the nation.
¨ Four hands carrying various instruments: one carrying books depicting knowledge and wisdom; another equipped with all sorts of weapons, conventional, as well as non-conventional- Nuclear (Shastra/Astra); the third with Modak (Prasad) distributing happiness (‘Mod’ means pleasure) and prosperity; and the fourth raised as a way of assurance and  blessings to the Praja– citizenry.
¨ Small eyes symbolize a critical eye for observing smallest details.
¨ Small mouth suggests very conservative with words.
¨ Big ears, ever ready to listen to everyone.
¨ Tusks that bear heavy loads of responsibilities.
¨ Trunk that can lift even a minute object as a small needle in a haystack, suggesting attention to the minutest distress of the society.
¨ A Pot belly suggesting swallowing any wrong doings of the subjects and ever forgiving.
¨ A mouse under his toes, which has a habit of nibbling and destroying things, representing anti-social elements- criminals, hoarders, corrupt, etc. that try to destroy the fabric of the society.

Thus, the form of Sri Ganesh really has great significance behind it.

Sent by Mr. Bhaskaran

Have you seen a show like this ?

Please click the link below and enjoy this. Thank Mr.Balayogi venkatraman

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mehdi Hassan Ghazals

Art without brush

Annamayya - Abburampu sisuvu

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Must read - Excellent report

Read this interesting article to know how this important agitation turned out so successful. Please click this LINK

Sent by Mr. Seshadri Srinivasan

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Thiruvarangam - Velukudi Krishnan

Blogger Banu said...

Thank you for the upload. The audio seems very fast, unlike any of the Sri. Velukkudi Krishnan's discourses. Did anyone feel so?
August 29, 2011 8:56 AM

Manakkal Rangarajan

  1. Aanandha nadamaduvaar - Poorvikalyaani 
  2. Appan avadharitha - Karaharipriyaa 
  3. Aalaapana - Mohanam 
  4. Bhavanutha - Mohanam (1) 
  5. Bhuvanatha - Mohanam (2)
  6. Brova baarama - Bahudaari 
  7. Emi nadachivo - Sahaanaa 
  8. Evaruraa - Mohanam 
  9. Kaa vaa vaa - Varaali 
  10. Kamalapatha - Brindaavana saarangaa 
  11. Kripayaa - charukesi  
  12. Marivere - Aanandhabhairavi
  13. Nagumomu - Aabheri  
  14. Nee paadamule - Navarasakannada
  15. Nenarunchi - Maalavi 
  16. Ninnuvinaa - Navarasakannadaa
  17. Raghuvamsa - Kadanakudhoogalam 
  18. RTP (Demonstartion) 
  19. Saalakalla - Aarabhi 
  20. Sankari nee - Begadaa 
  21. Sidhdhi Vinayakam - Shanmugapriya  
  22. Sobiuullu - Jaganmohini
  23. Sri raghuvara - Kaambodhi 
  24. Sriraama Jayaraam,a - Yadhukulakambodhi 
  25. Sriramaman naarayana - Gowlaa
  26. Thaaye idhu tharunam - Panthuvaraali 
  27. Vaathaapi - Hamsadhwani
To be continued

Anonymous Venkat S said...

Thank you sir!
August 28, 2011 8:32 PM

Anonymous rathnakumar said...

respected sir you have been doing yeoman service to music. you are really great
September 5, 2011 8:44 PM

Laugh ! It is good for health

A Spanish Teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine. 

'House' for instance, is feminine: 'la casa.'
'Pencil,' however, is masculine: 'el lapiz.'

A student asked, 'What gender is 'computer'?'

Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether computer' should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.

The men's group decided that 'computer' should definitely be of the feminine gender ('la computadora'), because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;

2 The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;

3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and

4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.


The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be Masculine ('el computador'), because:

1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;

2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves;

3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and

4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

The women won.

  Sent by Shrilaxmi

Anonymous Saras said...

Hahahahaha!! OMG, I am in splits! So very true and funny.
September 1, 2011 3:21 AM

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Learn a lesson with smile !


Once upon a time a married couple celebrated their 25th marriage anniversary. They had become famous in the city for not having a single conflict in their period of 25 years. Local newspaper editors had gathered at the occasion to find out the secret of their well known "happy going marriage".

Editor: "Sir. It's amazingly unbelievable. How did you make this possible?"

Husband recalling his old honeymoon days said: "We had been to Shimla for honeymoon after marriage. Having selected the horse riding finally, we both started the ride on different horses. My horse was pretty okay but the horse on which my wife was riding seemed to be a crazy one.
On the way ahead, that horse jumped suddenly, making my wife topple over. Recovering her position from the ground, she patted the horse's back and said "This is your first time". She again climbed the horse and continued with the ride. After a while, it happened again. This time she again kept calm and said "This is your second time" and continued. When the horse dropped her third time, she silently took out the revolver from the purse and shot the horse dead!!

I shouted at my wife: "What did you do you psycho. You killed the poor animal. Are you crazy?" 
She gave a silent look and said: "This is your first time!!!"."

Husband:" That's it. We are happy ever after. "

Sent by Ms. Mathasngi

Blogger BHASKARAN19 said...

Let us not show this to our..... they may not allow even first time.
August 26, 2011 4:43 PM

Mridangam-The Percussion Instrument Divine


Mridangam a must-percussion accompaniment for a carnatic vocal recital is a gift to the musicians of this genre from none other than Nandikeswara the mount, escort and close aide of Lord Shiva. Deity Nandi played Mridangam in consonance with the aggressive dancing of Shiva known in mythology as Shivathandavam which depicts the most intricate and convoluted style of dancing presented with astounding contorted postures of body embellished with delicate movements of limbs that camouflages the ferocity with utter

The evolution of Mridangam spreads over a period of more than 2000 years and this fact is
evidenced in the temple sculptures, rock edicts of various rulers, and innumerable stone
carvings found in myriads of locations in India. Mridangam takes its name from the conjoined Sanskrit words Mrid and Angam wherein Mrid means earth/clay and Angam means part/ body.Researchers have established beyond doubt that in its incipience the main body- that is the shell or barrel -of the Mridangam was moulded out of highly cohesive and plasticized clay which was dried under the sun and later burnt in a kiln like any other earthen / terracotta artifact. This shell / barrel the dimensions of which underwent many a sprucing and refined modifications was then harnessed with leather pieces cut round and with easily pliable straps.

The most vital stage in the process of making a Mridangam is the application of a kind
of mucilage (concocted with finely powdered basalt / black granite with a fairly high percentage of ferrous content and well cooked rice) in the centre of the right side disc.  
In the musical parlance this component is known as "Sadam / Soru". This hard paste is applied with fingers in wafer thin layers the number of which depends on the pitch or the "sruthi"of the instrument. This patch of "sadam" application exclusively contributes to the metallic ringing sound of Mridangam.

Over a period of time the clay shell gave way to a wooden one which was found to add to the tonal quality besides being absolutely durable and less heavy. After innumerable trial and error, wood obtained from the trunk of jack fruit tree was adjudged most suitable since
it was subjected to minimal distortions that the change in atmospheric temperature would
induce in solids. The leather components are of hides of goat, cow calf and buffalo. Broadly,  skin of goat and cow calf is used for the right side membranes and that of buffalo and goat for the left. For tying up the right and left units over on to the shell, leather strips of buffalo skin are used. The making of Mridangam is the work of a highly skilled person possessing in depth knowledge in music especially in rhythm compositions unique in
Carnatic music. He is an artist by himself with keen ears to distinguish between different
pitches (Shruthi) without the need for a base tuner such as Thambura or Shruthi box.
Different sizes of the shell cater to different pitches and a chosen size in respect of
length of shell, diameters of right and left apertures, and the enlarged diameter of the ridge
(or the bulge) situated in the shell nearer to the left aperture shall form the basis for the
bass and treble features of the instrument. A specific combination of these sizes will cater to a range of pitch(Shruthi) that is from less than one to 2, above 2to above 3, 4 and above etc.,. These ranges are classified as Thakku ( lower pitches) and Sthayee (higher pitches). The Mridangam player when accompanying a vocalist in a concert goes in for a Thakku if the singer is male and a Sthayee if the singer is female. Within the given range, the pitch of the  instrument can be further fine tuned to harmonize with that of the singer. Only the right side membrane with the mucilage coating is fine tuned which is achieved by striking the rim downward all around to make it become taut or upward to slacken it. The tauter the leather higher the pitch and the slacker it is the lower.the pitch. For this purpose two simple devices are used; one is a hard granite stone ellipsoidal in shape which fits into the fist and the other is a stub of tenacious bamboo or wood approximately 3" long. The stub is kept in the desired location of the rim and struck with the stone upward or downward depending upon the requisite plus or minus variations in the Shruthi at which the vocalist would sing.  . 
The Mridangist cocking his ears listens to the adjusted tone and this process is complete
when the fine tuned Mridangam is harmonized with the droning base tuner say a Thambura.   
There is no tuning done for the left side which is known in the musical parlance as "Thoppi" a term which is synonymous with the word cap. It is moistened and applied over with a tough paste / dough obtained by coalescing semolina (rava) with water. This hand-smeared application in the centre of Thoppi forming a rough circular shape facilitates it to  produce a kind of ear caressing sound unique in itself. When the playing is concluded the semolina paste is peeled off and the Thoppi cleaned thoroughly.

It was and still is the golden rule that no animal is killed exclusively for the hide that went into the making of a Mridangam. Such requirements are met with out of the raw hide
disposed of by abattoir where animals are slaughtered for the meat that is consumed by
human beings.     

There is no percussion instrument in the whole world which can equal the versatility of Mridangam and its scientifically developed grammar built into its rendition mode remains 
unsurpassable posing  a great challenge to the musicians world over. In a Mridangam 
more than 12 distinctly varying sounds can be produced and this will reach 24 if a little
bit of overlapping is conceded. This can be perceived by the reader only with the aid of
an audio system. The permutation and combination of these 12 + 24 +....  sonorous as
well as flat sounds while playing rhythmic phrases would horripilate and enthrall the 
listener and make him / her feel as if he / she were atop a precipice. There are staccato                 
and rapid-fire phrases that come cascading and rolling one over the other. These phrases are so composed that they snugly fit into a set of cyclic beats popularly known as Thalam of which there are many the details of which will be outlined in part 2 of this treatise.


To learn to play Mridangam is an arduous task in that like in almost all branches of 
fine arts it needs tremendous focus, steadfastness and of course sincerity and involvement.
Having a robust physique and the stamina that goes with it will contribute to a great extent
in withstanding the rigors of intense practising of the primary lessons It is generally believed that people who have long slender fingers will gain acumen at a faster pace. There have been exceptions to this belief inasmuch as the legendary Palghat Mani Iyer played Mridangam to the wonderment of the world with short stubby fingers.     
In the long past the Gurukulam style of imparting lessons was in vogue like it was for vocal
music. With the changing life style and various other socio-economic constraints in the modern world the Gurus became teachers who started offering courses encapsuled in a 
stifling time-frame and classes became the order of the day- like say 3 hours a day; 4 days a week.Gurudakhshina transformed into compensation package. Not only this, colleges
and universities with their spread in musicology have now faculties created exclusively 
for Mridangam by enrolling in which one can obtain bachelors and post-graduate degrees/diplomas. Remarkable! I would say.  But these mutations have not in anyway 
undermined the attraction to this instrument and as we see without a trace of ambiguity,
there is no slump in the enthusiasm for learning this divine art, for Nandikeshwara from the
heavenly abodes above keeps showering his blessings.

It would be a matter of some interest to know that a fledgling Mridangist in the bygone era 
had to practise in the preliminary stages on a device fully made of wood. This device comprised of two discs of about 9" diameter and an inch thick connected to each other
with a cross bar about 20" long all wood. This was a rough replica of a real Mridangam.
The student was allowed access to the proper instrument only after the guru had made up his mind that the student had sufficient potential to grasp end execute all the theoretical
as well as the practical aspects of the subject. Practising on the wooden disc enabled
the learners' palm harden up and when he started playing on the leather membrane the
sound of every stroke became quite distinctly audible. This practice of using wooden substitute for a Mridangam ended with the Gurukulam system and is now obsolete.   

The method of teaching may vary slightly from teacher to teacher but the primary lessons
are monophonic. In the theory-segment all about Thalams and its grammar is taught.
Thalam which can be described as "cyclic-counted-beats" is a brilliant innovation in carnatic music and this is a link that unifies rhythm and melody. There is no other musical compendium in the world so scientifically evolved combining rhythm and melody with mathematical precision. This is analogous to two persons straying away as their whims permit yet remaining linked together within a preordained demarcation and arriving together
at the destination concurrently with absolute aplomb. Here Thalam acts as catalyst to transform these two, that is melody and rhythm, into clairvoyants. Such is the profoundness of the methodology built into this system.

There are no prescribed printed text books conceived in imparting Mridangam lessons. 
The pupil writes down all the rhythm phrases that is taught to him and memorizes them.
He then in the presence of the teacher mouths the phrases synchronizing them with the
Thlam beats followed by practising them on the instrument. The lessons grow and grow and so do the volume of note books. These he preserves with utmost reverence as if it is 
something to be worshiped. Worshiped it is indeed  On the Saraswathi Pooja day these
note books are stacked in the shrine specially created for the occasion and these form part of the paraphernalia of the ritual. The Mridangam that he practises on also would be along
with the objects of worship. On the next day of Saraswathi Pooja that is on the Vijayadasami day the student plays the Mridangam starting from the very first lesson
for some time however much he has advanced through the course. A new lesson hitherto not taught / learnt is also taken up for practice.This custom is followed not only by the students but also by professionals who are well established in the field. Special prayers are chanted supplicating to Nandikeshwara.

To describe the Thalam layout it would be a marathon exercise and hence only the basics
with which one can with out much effort perceive the gargantuan nature of this formulation is discussed here.

The Thalams come under five sects / groups, known as Jaatis in the vernacular of carnatic music. These are Thisram, Chaturasram, Khandam, Mhisram and Sankirnam. There are seven most popular and oft-applied formulas of Thalams which are Dhuruva, Matya, Rupaka
Thirupudai, Jumpai, Ata and Eka. The characteristics each of these Jaatis can be applied to each of these Thalams and so there are in all 35 Thalams. These compositions are taught to the student in stages and steps along with the rhythmic phrases that would fit into each of these Thalams starting with single cycle advancing to cover multiple cycles.
Besides these 35 Thalams there are many more which the student come to learn at some
stage or other during the training period.    

The teaching of rhythm-phrase ( "Sol" as per the Mridangist's lexicon) is comparable to
that of a language which starts with alphabets followed by mono-syllables, multisyllables,
words, phrases, sentences and the grammar that keeps the such formations reined.   
In English the lesson starts with 26 alphabets A, B, C, D......etc.,. Likewise Mridangam 
lesson starts with 4. These are Tha, Thi, Thom, Num.   In these Tha and Thom are played
on the left membrane and Thi and Num  on the right. The established practice is to play
these 4 "alphabets" twice through a 8 beat cycle of Thalam which is Chaturasra Jaati Thirupudai Thalam also known as Adhi Thalam. The pace of playing twice through one cycle is specified as "Vilambam". Then these strokes are played 4 times and 8 times
increasing the rapidity but keeping the time span of the Thalam beat same all through.
These two rapider paces are Madhyamam and Dhuritham. Many more such playing strokes
follow some of which  are pronounced "Dhin, Na, Ri, Ke and Da, etc., . There are many compositions combining these basic "Alphabets" and these are practised at the three paces described above. By intense "Abhyasam" the student picks up proficiency and
reach the stage of becoming a full-fledged Mridangam artist. It is to be pointed out              
that the rhythm phrases and compositions abound and become so voluminous that a
student would up end up with nearly 2000 to 3000 pages ( fools cap size) of hand scripted 
lessons / notes  depending upon the extent of tuition he receives and imparted. Interestingly unlike drums of western music there are no notations prescribed for beats     .
in Indian percussion instruments especially Mridangam and Tabla. The individual beat or
a composition thereof can be written down in any language that the student is proficient in

When the teacher becomes quite satisfied about the capability of the learner to play as 
an accompanying artiste as well as to perform solo a new Mridangist is born who would 
all the time strive to keep climbing the ladder of popularity and to become well known in the
circle of critics. But his learning process would continue because new creations and innovations in his chosen field keep pouring in.

There are many many Mridangists mostly Brahmins who occupy the top slots in the 
hierarchy of this branch of carnatic music. If I sift them out in my mind to identify the ones par excellence in the contemporary scenario then two names emerge and they are
Guru Karaikudi Mani and J. Vaidhanathan ( son of vocalist D.K. Jayaraman and nephew
of D.K Pattammal). Their way of handling and playing the instrument and the Nadham
that emanates from their Mridangams are simply superb and enthralling to the highest 
degree. It is with some kind of sorcery that they perform on the Mridangam keeping the listeners- only those who have a keen ear for this gift from Nandikeshwara-spellbound.
These two highly accomplished artistes shine like morning-star in the horizon of percussionists ;no wonder so, because the nuances they flash successively like streaks of  lightning are hypnotic 

Speaking of "Nadham" it has no equivalent in English. It is not sound and not at all noise 
either. It is acoustical waves or ripples that transcend sound, noise etc., sometimes crunchy some other times mellifluous with evocative qualities. It pervades through the mind anointing and massaging it leaving a residue of utter bliss. Between Thakku and Sthayee
Mridangams the the former is always preferred by leading Vidwans because of its more soul-filling timbre qualities and mass appeal. For this reason Palghat Mani Iyer and his peers almost never accompanied female vocalists. Mani Iyer and D.K Pattamal became
Sambandis which familial relationship made it an obligation for Mani Iyer to play Mridangam
as an accompanist for D.K Pattamal on a few occasions.

Dwelling on the subject it would not be out of place to mention that carnatic music vouches
that Shruthi Matha, Laya Pitha which aphorism doesn't need any corroboration. Here Laya
is attributed to all percussion instruments the king of which is Mridangam. But unfortunately this very important aspect of the carnatic music is still remaining unpopular
and unappreciated by a large group of patrons who claim themselves to be ardent lovers of
carnatic music. This fact becomes more accentuated especially in a concert when the 
Mridangam Vidhwan starts his solo performance ( Thani Aavarthanam) many of the attendant listeners leave the auditorium as if an interval has been declared for them to relieve and refresh themselves. This despicable behavior can be witnessed time and again 
in the Sabhas of Chennai which is the world's capital for carnatic music. All I can say is 
these deserters who have opted to forsake the Pitha of Laya are nothing but a bunch of
desecraters of the divinity of the carnatic music as a whole. They become reduced to 
hypocrites and prove themselves to be " Jgna Soonyass". Maybe a day will come when this trend will change and one and all will become knowledgeable enough to revere the
Pitha the Laya and put an end to committing this kind of sacrilegious act.             
                  LET  THE   GLORY   OF   MRIDANGAM   SPREAD   ALL   OVER

Received from Mr. Bhaskaran Sivaraman

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Concert - Dr. Balamuralikrishna

Download 01 Sathguna=Sourastram.mp3
Download 02 Sobillu=Jaganmohini.mp3
Download 03 Bagayanayya=Chandrajyoti.mp3
Download 04 Varuga varuga=Pantuvarali.mp3
Download 05 Aya Kalaikkellam=Mohanam.mp3
Download 06 Kanikaramunji=Panchamam.mp3
Download 07 Hamsavinodini=Ragam Tanam Pallavi.mp3
Download 08 Jagadodharana=Kapi.mp3
Download 09 Thukkadas.mp3

...that the mode in which the inevitable comes to pass
is through effort.

While God is there to help us every step along the way,

there is no free pass in life, 

and what occurs occurs as 

a result of the energy you give it.

That is true in all ways. It is true about physical energy,

mental energy, emotional energy, and spiritual energy.

Where are you putting your energy right now?

Blogger nandakumar said...

namaskaram sir,
thanks once again for this melodious concert. jagadodarana krithi is beautifully rendered. I believe the krithi tukkadas is telugu version of pibare ramarasam in ragam ahir bhairavi, which is also excellently rendered.Thanks a ton. regards
August 25, 2011 1:22 AM