Flow | Janya practice 5 & 6 notes – raga Vasanta

sa = middle octave (madhya sthayi), ‘sa = higher octave (tara sthayi)
An exercise inspired by exercises found in the standard syllabus
(abhyasa ganam) attributed to 16th c. composer Purandara Dasa >>
Concept & images © Ludwig Pesch | Feel free to share in accordance with the
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license >>

Explore renditions of raga Vasanta on YouTube >>
Find song lyrics (composers) & translations for these and other ragas >>
Practice with basic “Sa” = G#
Download this audio file (2 MB, 2 min. mono)
Credit: eSWAR / FS-3C Sruthi petti + Tanjore Tambura

Become fluent with the help of svara syllables (solmisation): practice a series of exercises, each based on a set of melodic figures that lend themselves to frequent repetition (“getting into flow”) | Practice goal, choosing your vocal range & more tips >>

South Indian conventions (raga names & svara notation): karnATik.com | Guide >>

raagam: vasantA 17 sUryakAntam janya
Aa: S M1 G3 M1 D2 N3 S | Av: S N3 D2 M1 G3 R1 S

Listen to Uma Ramasubramaniam demonstrating the svaras (notes) for the present raga(s) on Raga Surabhi >>

Practice with basic “Sa” = G#
Note: this recording has no fifth note “Pa”
(as advised for those janya ragas wherein “Pa” will not be sung or played)
Download this audio file (2 MB, 2 min. mono)
Credit: eSWAR / FS-3C Sruthi petti + Tanjore Tambura

Having but 6 notes (instead of 7), this type of raga pattern is traditionally classified as being “derived” (janya) from a melakarta raga. Text books refer to any raga limited to 6 notes as shadava raga. More specifically, raga Vasanta is an audava-shadava raga which means it has 5 notes in ascending, and 6 in descending melody patterns.

The most characteristic feature in the above svara pattern is the absence of the fifth note (pa) – the very note that conveys a sense of balance in most other ragas.

More about the above person(s) and topics

Periodicals and sites included | More resources | Disclaimer >>

Please note that the above figures lend themselves to several “Carnatic sister ragas”.

Learn more and download a free mela-pocket guide here: Boggle Your Mind with Mela (BYMM) method – free mini course >>

Flow | Janya practice 5 notes – raga Valaji 

An exercise for raga Valaji (YouTube) >>
Practice with basic “Sa” = G#
Download this audio file (2 MB, 2 min. mono)
Credit: eSWAR / FS-3C Sruthi petti + Tanjore Tambura
The above exercise1 is inspired by the eminent violin duo Lalgudi G.J.R. Krishnan & Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi rendering a varnam by their late father
Lalgudi Shri. G Jayaraman: Chalamu seya in Adi tala2

Become fluent with the help of svara syllables (solmisation): practice a series of exercises, each based on a set of melodic figures that lend themselves to frequent repetition (“getting into flow”) | Practice goal, choosing your vocal range & more tips >>

South Indian conventions (raga names & svara notation): karnATik.com | Guide >>

raagam: valaci (valaji), 16 cakravAkam janya
Aa: S G3 P D2 N2 S | Av: S N2 D2 P G3 S

Listen to Uma Ramasubramaniam demonstrating the svaras (notes) for the present raga(s) on Raga Surabhi >>

Practice with basic “Sa” = G#
Note: this recording has no fifth note “Pa”
(as advised for those janya ragas wherein “Pa” will not be sung or played)
Download this audio file (2 MB, 2 min. mono)
Credit: eSWAR / FS-3C Sruthi petti + Tanjore Tambura

Information about the persons, items or topics

Learn & practice more

  1. The present “Flow” series of exercises is meant to supplement the comprehensive standard syllabus (abhyasa ganam) attributed to 16th c. composer Purandara Dasa >>
    Concept & images © Ludwig Pesch | Feel free to share in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license >> []
  2. Live Concert at the Narada Gana Sabha Hall 1 January 2004 []

Flow | Janya practice 5 notes – raga Hamsadhvani

An exercise for raga Hamsadhvani (YouTube) >>
Find song lyrics (composers) & translations for these and other ragas >>
Practice with basic “Sa” = G#
Download this audio file (2 MB, 2 min. mono)
Credit: eSWAR / FS-3C Sruthi petti + Tanjore Tambura
The above exercise1 is inspired by the rendition by eminent flautist
J.A. Jayant (YouTube Channel):
Gaayathi Vanamali by Sadasiva Brahmendra in Adi tala

Listen to a Varnam sung by Bhushany Kalyanaraman >>

Become fluent with the help of svara syllables (solmisation): practice a series of exercises, each based on a set of melodic figures that lend themselves to frequent repetition (“getting into flow”) | Practice goal, choosing your vocal range & more tips >>

South Indian conventions (raga names & svara notation): karnATik.com | Guide >>

raagam: hamsadhvani
Aa: S R2 G3 P N3 S | Av: S N3 P G3 R2 S

Having but 5 notes (instead of 7), this type of raga pattern is traditionally classified as being “derived” (janya) from a melakarta raga. More specifically, text books refer to any raga limited to 5 notes as audava raga.

The above svara pattern may be sung, hummed or practiced silently with several svara variants you are already familiar with (e.g. raga Dhirasankarabharanam, mela 29, resulting in Carnatic raga Hamsadhvani which has long been popular among Hindustani musicians as “Hansadhvani”). For details on popular Hindustani ragas, refer to The Raga Guide by Joep Bor.

Once internalized you may want to contemplate and remember the same exercise with the help of the “8 x 8 beads” pattern shared here >>

Practice another raga with 5 notes here >>

Information about the persons, items or topics

Learn & practice more

  1. The present “Flow” series of exercises is meant to supplement the comprehensive standard syllabus (abhyasa ganam) attributed to 16th c. composer Purandara Dasa >>
    Concept & images © Ludwig Pesch | Feel free to share in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license >> []

Flow | Janya practice 5 notes

sa = middle octave (madhya sthayi), ‘sa = higher octave (tara sthayi)
An exercise meant to supplement the comprehensive standard syllabus (abhyasa ganam) attributed to 16th c. composer Purandara Dasa >>
Concept & images © Ludwig Pesch | Feel free to share in accordance with the 
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license >>

Explore renditions of raga Mohana, raga Bhupalam, raga Revagupti & Hindustani rag Bhupali on YouTube >>
Find song lyrics (composers) & translations for these and other ragas >>
Practice with basic “Sa” = G#
Download this audio file (2 MB, 2 min. mono)
Credit: eSWAR / FS-3C Sruthi petti + Tanjore Tambura

Become fluent with the help of svara syllables (solmisation): practice a series of exercises, each based on a set of melodic figures that lend themselves to frequent repetition (“getting into flow”) | Practice goal, choosing your vocal range & more tips >>

The above figures lend themselves to several ragas of Carnatic music:

South Indian conventions (raga names & svara notation): karnATik.com | Guide >>

raagam: mOhanam = raagam: bhUpALi (derived from the 28th melakarta raga, Harikambhoji)
Aa: S R2 G3 P D2 S | Av: S D2 P G3 R2 S

raagam: bhUpALam (derived from the 8th melakarta raga, Hanumatodi)1
Aa: S R1 G2 P D1 S | Av: S D1 P G2 R1 S

raagam: rEvagupti (derived from the 15th melakarta, Mayamalavagaula)2
Aa: S R1 G3 P D1 S | Av: S D1 P G3 R1 S

Listen to Uma Ramasubramaniam demonstrating the svaras (notes) for the present raga(s) on Raga Surabhi >>

Having but 5 notes (instead of 7), this type of raga pattern is traditionally classified as being “derived” (janya) from a melakarta raga. More specifically, text books refer to any raga limited to 5 notes as audava raga.

The above svara pattern may be sung, hummed or practiced silently with several svara variants you are already familiar with (e.g. raga Harikambhoji, mela 28, resulting in Carnatic raga Mohana which resembles Hindustani raga Bhupali, also known as Bhup or Bhup Kalyan). For details on popular Hindustani ragas, refer to The Raga Guide by Joep Bor.

Once internalized you may want to contemplate and remember the same exercise with the help of the “8 x 8 beads” pattern shared here >>

Practice a different arrangement with 5 notes: raga Hamsadhvani >>

  1. This is the present version of raga Bhupalam, the earlier one would have corresponded to Revagupti, see below. []
  2. According to P. Sambamoorthy this is the modern name for raga Bhupalam (commonly sung with notes derived from the 8th melakarta, Hanumatodi); also known as the Tamil pan Puranīrmai; in temples the earlier version of Bhupalam – the one based on 15th melakarta Mayamalavagaula – is rendered before dawn by nagasvaram players; and it used to be heard in women’s songs and other folk songs. – A Dictionary of South Indian Music and Musicians, Vol. I []

Voice culture and singing

Full screen viewing and download link:
https://archive.org/details/voice-culture-and-singing-kalakshetra-quarterly-1983

Tips: 1. Search inside this file by first clicking on the (…) Ellipses icon; 2. click eBook title to access [ ] Toggle fullscreen; 3. to Read this book aloud, use the headphone icon.

Voice Culture and Singing by Friedrich Brueckner-Rueggeberg

Peter Calatin (left) and Friedrich Brueckner-Rueggeberg (centre) with students at
Kalakshetra in 1983 © Ludwig Pesch

This course material was originally produced for – and used by – teachers and students at Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts, today known as Rukmini Devi College Of Fine Arts. To enjoy some of the vocal (Flow-) exercises offered for free on the present course site, it is useful to first identify a vocal range which suits your own voice (which may changes in the course in the day as well).

Beyond the lyrics that naturally call for specific moods or feelings (bhava) to be expressed, practical exercises for beginners and advanced learners1 may be compared with western solfège; in our context for the purpose of articulating, appreciating, memorizing or communicating Carnatic raga phrases in characteristic ways (with or with0ut conventional notation); eventually to be combined with rhythmic figures as part of compositions or improvisations in virtually any part of a concert.

Meaningless and uncontrolled singing and exercising are rather harmful since the long-term memory of the brain needs to be supplied with correct impulses which requires immediate recognition of functional disorders and their correction.

Herein lies the great and far-reaching responsibility of the teacher whose full care and control is demanded in order to allow the singer to acquire an automatic and playful sense for the correct usage of his voice. In this manner, he is relieved sufficiently to devote himself fully to content and presentation of his music (described as Bhava in India). […]

Many victims of either wrong techniques of singing or careless teachers keep wandering from teacher to teacher in pursuit of their shattered hopes. This fact lends weight to the concept of voice control from the very beginning before defects can encroach that are so hard to correct later on, if at all.

Quote from page 15 in the printversion | Learn more >>

Context

A two week long voice culture course was offered at the request of its Founder-Director, Rukmini Devi (1904-1986) when introduced to the renowned singer and voice trainer, Friedrich Brueckner-Rueggeberg in 1982.

This project was conceived on the basis of earlier experiences, namely that Indian singers would benefit from time-proven as well as modern methods such as described here, mainly in order to prevent injury caused by mechanical practice (e.g. a lack of awareness that a pupil’s vocal range, breathing and posture should be taken into account).

The method described here is oriented towards “intercultural learning” which explains why it has since been adopted by several voice coaches from all over India, be it for “classical” singing or otherwise.

It has also been adapted for a major chapter on vocal music in The Oxford Illustrated Companion To South Indian Classical Music by Ludwig Pesch (Oxford University Press, in print since 1999, 2nd rev. ed. 2009).

Credits

The Chennai branch of the Goethe Institut (German cultural institute, better known as Max Mueller Bhavan) sponsored Friedrich Brueckner-Rueggeberg and his senior disciple Peter Calatin to conduct the voice training course hosted by Kalakshetra in 1983 for which the present contents was created.

First published by K. Sankara Menon and edited by Shakuntala Ramani in Kalakshetra Quarterly Vol. V, No. 3 (Chennai, 1983).

Co-author, translator and researcher (adaptation to the Indian context including illustration and photography): Ludwig Pesch – the author’s former student at Freiburg Musikhochschule (Germany) – then a student of Kalakshetra College.

Illustration (graphics): Alain Mai

  1. As pointed out by Gouri Dange, learners are well advised to approach their daily practice with the same respect that characterizes the renditions of a revered musician:
    “Every kind of music has a protocol for ‘beginners’ or ‘learners’. Students must practise paltay, alankaras, scales, études, tonalisation exercises, depending on the kind of music they pursue. […] It is surely a disservice to a raga and to those who lift it to its best potential, and even more so a disservice to the young student, to allow the mental stamping of some ragas as ‘learner material’.” []