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thillana

Niroshta – Ragapedia 8

Niroshta is a relatively new age ragam, with a pentatonic scale. What is unique though, it doesn’t have either PA or MA as a part. How does it matter? It does because if you cannot smack your lips in between your singing for a long time, you might end up drooling.

The name of the raga roughly means “without the lips” and it follows the parent raga Sankarabharanam. Hence the scale would be:

Aarohanam – S R2 G3 D2 N3 S

Avarohanam – S N3 D2 G3 R2 S

Carnatic Compositions

Harikesanallur Muthiah Bagavathar invented Niroshta (sans P and M) and composed a song, Raja raja radhithe. The speciality of the song is, even its lyrics with no bilabial syllable in it (i.e) udhadugal ottadhu; and it has a crisp chittaswaram to add to the beauty of the composition. It is said that he composed this song when the Mysore Maharaja was unwell with swollen lips!

There is another interesting theory I read in Rasika forums, and I quote, “The word sin or papa comes from the first sound of the pa-group repeated twice. The sounds in the pa-group are called papa-pankti and avoiding these sounds is Niroshta. Avoiding papa-pankti is indicative of reminding ourselves that we are trying to avoid the papa and punya for the good of our extended self.”

Here is my attempt at singing the song.

There is a thillana in the same raga, composed and rendered by the genius TN Seshagopalan.

Use in Movies

Though there are no movie songs in Niroshta, the song Raja Raja Radhithe has been used in the Malayalam movie Ananda Bhairavi. I wonder at the Malayalam music directors who aptly place such unusual Carnatic compositions in their movies. Another such instance I quoted in my post for Andolika.

Related Ragas

When I was reading about Niroshta, I found that there is a similar raga called Banupriya with the swaras in the scale the same as Niroshta. There is a composition by Aalathoor Vijayakumar in Banupriya, called Banupriyasani. (I am writing this here, because I don’t know much about this ragam to make a separate post). The flow of the song sounds a lot like Ganamurthi.

Until next,

Vid 🙂

16. Mohanam

After Nattakurinji, for a fitting finale, I could not have chosen anything better than Mohanam. One will have the feeling of having lived life King size after listening to this raga; it is that grand and fulfilling.

Mohanam belongs to the family of Harikamboji with 5 swaras in scale – S R2 G3 P D2 S / S D2 P G3 R2 S

Mohanam is the oldest ragam known to mankind, according to Dr. S. Ramanathan’s doctoral dissertation. It can be sung in any phase of the concert, proving to be the all-time raga that it is. Also called as Bhoop / Bhoopali in hindustani, this raga is used to denote bravery; it is used in Chinese, Japanese and Swedish music it seems.

A favourite of trinity and contemporary composers alike, mohanam holds a lot of kritis to its credit:

Thyagaraja’s Bhavanuta, Dhayaranee, Mohana Rama, Nannupalimpa, Evarura Ninnuvina …

Dikshitar’s Rajagopalam, Narasimha Aagacha, Gopika Manoharam (by Ambi Dikshitar) …

Papanasam Sivan’s Kapali …

Annamayya’s Cheri Yashodhaku …

Arunachala Kavi’s Yen Palli Kondeerayya …

Oothukkadu’s Swagatham Krishna …

GNB’s Sada Palaya (Sa Da Pa are the same notes) …

Maanikka Veenai Endhum from unknown composer …

For a complete understanding and enjoyment of Mohanam, please listen to this blend of instruments by Lalgudi Jayaraman, Ramani and Venkatraman – playing violin, flute and veena respectively. (performed in 1967)

Some very interesting compositions from the myriad of movie songs I had to choose from are:

  • Aaha Inba Nilavinile from Maaya Bazaar
  • Pazhaga Theriya Venum from Missiyamma (writing this suppressing the feminist in me!)
  • Giridhara Gopala from Meera
  • Paadumbodhu Naan Thendral Kaatru from Netru Indru Naalai
  • Ninnukori Varnam from Agni Natchathiram
  • Kanmaniye Kaadhal Enbadhu from 6 ilirundhu 60 varai
  • Vaan Pole Vannam from Salangai Oli
  • Porale Ponnuthayi from Karuthamma (influence)
  • Pakkadhe Pakkadhe from Gentleman
  • The Chinese song in 7am Arivu …

In the striking voice of Ghantasala and P. Leela, Aaha Inba Nilavinile…

A special thanks to dad (for equipping me with most of the knowledge that I have said and teaching and singing along in all the recordings), karnatik.com (main reference) and to everyone else for your encouragement.

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Mohanam

After Nattakurinji, for a fitting finale, I could not have chosen anything better than Mohanam. One will have the feeling of having lived life King size after listening to this raga; it is that grand and fulfilling.

Mohanam belongs to the family of Harikamboji with 5 swaras in scale – S R2 G3 P D2 S / S D2 P G3 R2 S

Mohanam is the oldest ragam known to mankind, according to Dr. S. Ramanathan’s doctoral dissertation. It can be sung in any phase of the concert, proving to be the all-time raga that it is. Also called as Bhoop / Bhoopali in hindustani, this raga is used to denote bravery; it is used in Chinese, Japanese and Swedish music it seems.

A favourite of trinity and contemporary composers alike, mohanam holds a lot of kritis to its credit:

  • Thyagaraja’s Bhavanuta, Dhayaranee, Mohana Rama, Nannupalimpa, Evarura Ninnuvina …
  • Dikshitar’s Rajagopalam, Narasimha Aagacha, Gopika Manoharam (by Ambi Dikshitar) …
  • Papanasam Sivan’s Kapali …
  • Annamayya’s Cheri Yashodhaku …
  • Arunachala Kavi’s Yen Palli Kondeerayya …
  • Oothukkadu’s Swagatham Krishna …
  • GNB’s Sada Palaya (Sa Da Pa are the same notes) …
  • Maanikka Veenai Endhum from unknown composer …

For a complete understanding and enjoyment of Mohanam, please listen to this blend of instruments by Lalgudi Jayaraman, Ramani and Venkatraman – playing violin, flute and veena respectively. (performed in 1967)

Below is a rendition of a Thillana in Mohanam raga, a composition of Harikesanallur Muthiah Bagavathar.

Some very interesting compositions from the myriad of movie songs I had to choose from are:

  • Aaha Inba Nilavinile from Maaya Bazaar
  • Pazhaga Theriya Venum from Missiyamma (writing this suppressing the feminist in me!)
  • Giridhara Gopala from Meera
  • Paadumbodhu Naan Thendral Kaatru from Netru Indru Naalai
  • Ninnukori Varnam from Agni Natchathiram
  • Kanmaniye Kaadhal Enbadhu from 6 ilirundhu 60 varai
  • Vaan Pole Vannam from Salangai Oli
  • Porale Ponnuthayi from Karuthamma (influence)
  • Pakkadhe Pakkadhe from Gentleman
  • The Chinese song in 7am Arivu …

In the striking voice of Ghantasala and P. Leela, Aaha Inba Nilavinile…

A special thanks to dad (for equipping me with most of the knowledge that I have said and teaching and singing along in all the recordings), karnatik.com (main reference) and to everyone else for your encouragement.

Until next,

Vid 🙂

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