Flow | Mela practice

sa = middle octave (madhya sthayi), ‘sa = higher octave (tara sthayi)

The present “Flow” series of exercises is meant to supplement the comprehensive standard syllabus (abhyasa ganam) attributed to 
16th c. composer Purandara Dasa | Janta variations >>

Concept & images © Ludwig Pesch | Feel free to share in accordance with the 
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license >>

Explore renditions of raga Mayamalavagaula, raga (Dhira)Sankarabharanam and raga (Meca)Kalyani on YouTube >>
Listen to two kritis in ragas
Simhendramadhyamam and Sankarabharanam (6th and 7th items)
sung by Bhushany Kalyanaraman >>
Find song lyrics (composers) & translations for these and other ragas >>

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: mAyAmALavagauLa
Aa: S R1 G3 M1 P D1 N3 S | Av: S N3 D1 P M1 G3 R1 S

raagam: shankaraabharaNam 
Aa: S R2 G3 M1 P D2 N3 S | Av: S N3 D2 P M1 G3 R2 S

raagam: kalyANi
Aa: S R2 G3 M2 P D2 N3 S | Av: S N3 D2 P M2 G3 R2 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

The above svara pattern may be sung, hummed or practiced silently with any svara variants: those you are already familiar with (e.g. raga Mayamalavagaula, mela 15, raga Dhirasankarabharanam, mela 29, raga Mecakalyani, mela 65) or any other you want to practice.

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

Enjoy practicing by way of gradually getting into a state of flow: deep concentration while feeling completely absorbed by an activity.

And with a rich store at our fingertips in the digital age, let’s remind ourselves that there really is no such thing as a ‘learner’ raga’; a fact that sets us free to explore any raga with a sense of wonder: through joyful – active – involvement, whatever level or age group we happen to occupy!

The long-term goal is to become fluent in all the 72 melakarta ragas (including those rarely heard). In this manner it becomes easier to recognize both, melakarta and janya ragas, by distinguishing their characteristic notes even when modulated or “embellished” in accordance with classical conventions (gamaka). Their application is demonstrated in an elegant, highly instructive video (duration: 7 min.): The 13-part Sanskrit composition of Chitravina N Ravikiran. For a more detailed application, listen to Smt Kiranavali’s students at Cleveland Aradhana (Part 1) | Part 2 >>

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

For learners interested in staff notation for the above ragas and more, also check this course author’s reference work:

Find a copy of the Oxford Illustrated Companion to South Indian Classical Music