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Books > Performing Arts > Carnatic > Rhythmical Beauties in The Compositions of Musical Trinity
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Rhythmical Beauties in The Compositions of Musical Trinity
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Preface

 

Music has been great passion to me all along my life. I remember to the best of my memory many a great concerts of eminent personalities right from my childhood, thanks to my revered parents who have imbibed the music culture and heritage to us at an early stage. I have learnt some kritis of Saint Tyagaraja taught by my mother even while travelling to and from attending Aradhana Festivals of Saint Tyaga Brahma at Tiruvaiyyaru. At the same time Percussion instruments have also attracted my attention, and soon I found myself at the feet of great mridanga vidwans, learning mridangam. This, I suppose, is also one of the factors that have influenced me in choosing the present topic of research.

 

I used to accompany on mridangam in concerts and regularly so at home on every major puja occasions like Vinayaka Cavithi, etc; which also had given me an opportunity to learn art of understanding the subtle nuances in the compositions of various vaggeyakaras. My revered father has always asserted, that the most effective way of accompanying would be, as the saint composer has put it, ‘Sogasuga Mridanga Talamu’, Mr. George Santayana has rightly said ‘Music is mathematics made audible’, the urge for research in this direction has taken a definite shape during my postgraduate study at New Delhi, Prof. T.R. Subrahmanyam along with my revered father have suggested very aptly the title to my research study. Though it quenched my thirst, the quest has just begun.

 

To my knowledge several comprehensive studies have already been attempted covering the musical, philosophical and literary aspects in the compositions of the Trinity. Hence I became bold to choose the current aspect as my topic of inquiry.

 

I wish to use this opportunity of a ‘Preface’ to acknowledge my indebtedness and gratitude to my teachers, friends and acquaintances, who have directly and indirectly helped me and made this work possible. It is both a duty and for me to place on record my sincere thanks to all of them.

 

To begain with, I invoke the blessings of my grand-parents; My paternal grand-father the late Sangita kalanidhi, Padmas’ri Dr. Dwaram Venketaswamy Naidu garu, whose name is etched in golden letters on the annals of Karnatak Music of this century, and my maternal grand- father the late Vidwan Gummuluri Satyanarayana Pantulu, a great Sanskrit scholar, generous patron and philanthropist. It is my conviction that the merit I must have acquired over a series of ‘Janmas’ in the past has enabled me to be their grand-son. I like to believe that from the celestial regions above, they have been indulgently watching my progress and blessing me. It is my good forture that my father, Sangitakalaprapoorna, Gandharvavidyabhusana, Prof. Dwaram Bhavanarayana Rao, and my mother, Vidushi Smt. Venkata Varadamma, have been my teachers of music. They have been as much involved in my esearch as lam myself. I bow down to them in gratitude.

 

It is very difficult fot me to express in words my gratitude to my research guide Sangita Vidwan (Dr.) Sri G. Mohan Rao garu, Head of the Department, Vocal Music, S.V. College of music and Dance, Tirupati. He is a unique Personality and a rare combination of the intellectual, aesthetic, philosophical and spiritual. Few are steeped in Indian tradition and culture like him. As my research suprevisor, he has been meticulous, searching and penetrating in his questions as well as insights, impatient of superficial views and adhoc judgements. He taught me Research - Methodology, Chapter Alignment and gone through each and every aspect showing great care and affection for me. He has been more than an academic guide to me. Association with him has enabled me to grow inwardly. To him I can only say in all humility, ‘Thank You’ for what I have received. I’m also thankful to the members of my Guide’s family, Smt. G. Mohan Rao garu, Chy. Kum. Lavanya and Chy. Kum. Vasavi.

 

I have had the opportunity to learn from a number of great and distinguished vidwans from time to who have enable me to grow and develop as a student of both Karnatic and Hindustani style of Indian classical music. To Sangitacarya J.V. Subba Rao, Sangita Vidwan Sri Pernrnaraju Surya Rao, Sang Ita mahamahopadhvava, Sri T.R. Subrahmanyam, Sangitakalanidhi Sri Nedunuri Krishnamurti, the late Sangltakalanidhi Sri D.K. Jayaraman and others from whom I have valuable insights into music, I pay my humble tribute of thanks.

 

In the Department of Music Dr. Gauri Rarna Mohan (Coordinator) and other Teaching Faculty deserve my thanks for their sympathy, cooperation and encouragment.

 

The Librarians of Andhara university, S.P.M. Viswavidyalam, Sn Venkateswara University, S.V.U. Oriental Institute, Rashtriya Sanskrit vidyapeetha, Tirupati, Govt. Oriental Research Institute(Chennai), Madras University Library(Chennai), and Central University, Hyderabad, readily made available to me several books, and periodicals required for my studies. I remember their invaluable help with gratitude.

 

I am greatly indebted to (late) Sri Perala lakshamana Rao, Smt. & Dr. V. Chandrasekharam. Smt. & Sri K.T. Sastry, Smt. &Sri Dr. G. Iswara Prasad, Smt. & Sri G.M.B. Prasad and Smt. & Sri G.R.K. Prasad and their families for sustaining me with their moral support.

 

I have intentionally waited till to express my gratitude to the members of my family. They have been at the back of everyone of my efforts, always encouraging and supporting. To all of them Smt. Dwaram (Nemani) V.J. Lakshmi & Sri Nemani Venkataramana, Smt. Dwaram (Silamsetty) Padmasree and Sri Silamsetty Prabhakar (USA) Sri Dwaram A.V. Swami and Smt. Dwaram (Battula) Manisree, and my betterhalf Smt. Dwaram (Kandula) Nagamani, and Chy. Sunil Selamsetty, Chy. Anil Kaivalya, Chy. Bhavana Dwaram, Chy. Tej Bhavan Silamsetty Chy. Sai Dwaram and Chy. Varada Narayani Priya Bhavana Dwaram. I convey loving thanks. My respects are also to my uncle (late) Sri Dwaram Satya Narayana garu, who had always encouraged me both in my professional and personal matters.

 

I thank the staff of the Adyar Students Xerox, especially. Mr. Murali, Smt. lalitha, Ms. I. Saraswati (Ammulu), Mr. Ramesh, Mr. Diwakar, and the Managing Directors, Sri Umapati & Sri Dinakar- who did their best for bringing the thesis in good shape.

 

It is appropriate to end this preface expressing with a humble and devout gratitude to God for the many blessings He has showered . on me. I have known from experience that not even a blade of grass can stir without His ‘sankalpa’.

 

Introduction

 

Music pleases all is a simple statement of fact universally accepted. The pleasure is experienced by not only human beings, but also believed to influence all ceratures in this universe. Further, music possesses the power to influence even inanimate things. The foilowing Popular aphorism in Music:

 

‘Sisurvetti pasurvetti vetti ganarasam phanih’

 

It means that the child, the animal and the serpent enjoy music. It may be interpreted, in other words, that music is enjoyed by the ignorant, the brute and even poisonous. Both Indian, and European support, if not confirm the afore-said views.

 

‘ .... Jantra gatramula ralgaragincu

vimala gandharavambu vidyamadi ... ‘

 

meaning, our music is such that it melts even stones. This speaks of the supernatural power of music even on the inanimate things.

 

Literature-pauranic, poetic, historical etc; since ancient times to date, abounds in references to the greatness and supreme powers of music.

 

In India, music is regarded as a from of God.

 

‘Kavyalapascya Kecitgtani sakalanica

sabda murti dharaisyeti Visnoramsa mahatmanah’.

 

Kavyas and music which are forms of sadba (nada) are the forms of God. Nada (sound) is the very body of God. God is ‘nadatanu’

 

‘Nadatanum anisam Sankaram namami’ says Tyagaraja.

‘Nadamadhye Sadasivah’,meaning Lord Siva is in the centre of the sound.

‘ .... Nada tanum tamuddhura jagatgitam mude sankaram’

 

Worship of Nada is worship of God. According to the ancient musicologists, Nada is of two varieties, namely Ahata and Anahata. Ahata nada is music that could be heard and practised by the common man whereas Anahata Nada is that sound which risis[saints] can hear and practise. That is to say sound that within the audibility of human eara is Ahata Nada; and that sound which is beyond the capacity of the human ear to hear is Anahata Nada. Thus, it is that Ahata Nada could be heard and cultivated is widely known as Sangita.

 

Originally the Song, Vocal and Instrumental, and Dance - all the three have been said to constitute Sangita.

 

‘Gitam Vadaym tatha Nrityam trayam Sangitamucyate’

 

In the course of evolution, Music in India has been evolved as a separate and individual branch of fine art, with its theory and practice, and, yet continues to be an important constitient of Dance.

 

It is a universally accepted fact that Rhythm is the basis for all natural phenomena and that all world-processes follow the Law of Rhythm. And thus the ultimate basis of everything is vibration. Vibration in its turn involves the idea of time, space and movement. And Rhythm is only ordered movement in time and space. We thus see the basic value and significance of Rhythm. Ordered movement in any kind of phenomena is the fundamental basis. We thus realise the basic value of Rhythm: Laya, vibration, ordered movement. There may be all Kinds of movement, but only ordered, disciplined, well planned movement can fit in with the basic laws of Nature.

 

The study of the evolution of music in India as both Science and Art makes it very interesting and absorbing. A great deal of scientific approach and always with an eye and ear for ‘ranjakatva’, ‘pleasing effect’ has gone into making Indian music and its’ systems what it is today unique, great and outstanding-among all the systems of music the world over.

 

Many a reference to music are found in the ancient Puranic lore. Music in India has its beginning in the Vedic period. It is said to have been derived from Sama Veda and grasped by Brahma, the God of Creation.

 

Contents

 

1.

Introduction

9-15

2

The importance of laya in Indian music

16-19

3

The exposition of lay a in ancient treatises on music

20-26

4

The application and explanation of tala dasa pranas

27-43

5

The aspects of laya in musical compositions

44-53

6

The variety of lay a patterns in the compositions of sri tyagaraja

54-78

7

The treatment of rhythmical aspects in sri muttuswami diksitar’s compositions

79-86

8

Special flair for rhythmical exercises·in the compositions of sri syama sastri

87-93

9

Conclusion

94-95

Appendices

96-113

 

Sample Page


Rhythmical Beauties in The Compositions of Musical Trinity

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Preface

 

Music has been great passion to me all along my life. I remember to the best of my memory many a great concerts of eminent personalities right from my childhood, thanks to my revered parents who have imbibed the music culture and heritage to us at an early stage. I have learnt some kritis of Saint Tyagaraja taught by my mother even while travelling to and from attending Aradhana Festivals of Saint Tyaga Brahma at Tiruvaiyyaru. At the same time Percussion instruments have also attracted my attention, and soon I found myself at the feet of great mridanga vidwans, learning mridangam. This, I suppose, is also one of the factors that have influenced me in choosing the present topic of research.

 

I used to accompany on mridangam in concerts and regularly so at home on every major puja occasions like Vinayaka Cavithi, etc; which also had given me an opportunity to learn art of understanding the subtle nuances in the compositions of various vaggeyakaras. My revered father has always asserted, that the most effective way of accompanying would be, as the saint composer has put it, ‘Sogasuga Mridanga Talamu’, Mr. George Santayana has rightly said ‘Music is mathematics made audible’, the urge for research in this direction has taken a definite shape during my postgraduate study at New Delhi, Prof. T.R. Subrahmanyam along with my revered father have suggested very aptly the title to my research study. Though it quenched my thirst, the quest has just begun.

 

To my knowledge several comprehensive studies have already been attempted covering the musical, philosophical and literary aspects in the compositions of the Trinity. Hence I became bold to choose the current aspect as my topic of inquiry.

 

I wish to use this opportunity of a ‘Preface’ to acknowledge my indebtedness and gratitude to my teachers, friends and acquaintances, who have directly and indirectly helped me and made this work possible. It is both a duty and for me to place on record my sincere thanks to all of them.

 

To begain with, I invoke the blessings of my grand-parents; My paternal grand-father the late Sangita kalanidhi, Padmas’ri Dr. Dwaram Venketaswamy Naidu garu, whose name is etched in golden letters on the annals of Karnatak Music of this century, and my maternal grand- father the late Vidwan Gummuluri Satyanarayana Pantulu, a great Sanskrit scholar, generous patron and philanthropist. It is my conviction that the merit I must have acquired over a series of ‘Janmas’ in the past has enabled me to be their grand-son. I like to believe that from the celestial regions above, they have been indulgently watching my progress and blessing me. It is my good forture that my father, Sangitakalaprapoorna, Gandharvavidyabhusana, Prof. Dwaram Bhavanarayana Rao, and my mother, Vidushi Smt. Venkata Varadamma, have been my teachers of music. They have been as much involved in my esearch as lam myself. I bow down to them in gratitude.

 

It is very difficult fot me to express in words my gratitude to my research guide Sangita Vidwan (Dr.) Sri G. Mohan Rao garu, Head of the Department, Vocal Music, S.V. College of music and Dance, Tirupati. He is a unique Personality and a rare combination of the intellectual, aesthetic, philosophical and spiritual. Few are steeped in Indian tradition and culture like him. As my research suprevisor, he has been meticulous, searching and penetrating in his questions as well as insights, impatient of superficial views and adhoc judgements. He taught me Research - Methodology, Chapter Alignment and gone through each and every aspect showing great care and affection for me. He has been more than an academic guide to me. Association with him has enabled me to grow inwardly. To him I can only say in all humility, ‘Thank You’ for what I have received. I’m also thankful to the members of my Guide’s family, Smt. G. Mohan Rao garu, Chy. Kum. Lavanya and Chy. Kum. Vasavi.

 

I have had the opportunity to learn from a number of great and distinguished vidwans from time to who have enable me to grow and develop as a student of both Karnatic and Hindustani style of Indian classical music. To Sangitacarya J.V. Subba Rao, Sangita Vidwan Sri Pernrnaraju Surya Rao, Sang Ita mahamahopadhvava, Sri T.R. Subrahmanyam, Sangitakalanidhi Sri Nedunuri Krishnamurti, the late Sangltakalanidhi Sri D.K. Jayaraman and others from whom I have valuable insights into music, I pay my humble tribute of thanks.

 

In the Department of Music Dr. Gauri Rarna Mohan (Coordinator) and other Teaching Faculty deserve my thanks for their sympathy, cooperation and encouragment.

 

The Librarians of Andhara university, S.P.M. Viswavidyalam, Sn Venkateswara University, S.V.U. Oriental Institute, Rashtriya Sanskrit vidyapeetha, Tirupati, Govt. Oriental Research Institute(Chennai), Madras University Library(Chennai), and Central University, Hyderabad, readily made available to me several books, and periodicals required for my studies. I remember their invaluable help with gratitude.

 

I am greatly indebted to (late) Sri Perala lakshamana Rao, Smt. & Dr. V. Chandrasekharam. Smt. & Sri K.T. Sastry, Smt. &Sri Dr. G. Iswara Prasad, Smt. & Sri G.M.B. Prasad and Smt. & Sri G.R.K. Prasad and their families for sustaining me with their moral support.

 

I have intentionally waited till to express my gratitude to the members of my family. They have been at the back of everyone of my efforts, always encouraging and supporting. To all of them Smt. Dwaram (Nemani) V.J. Lakshmi & Sri Nemani Venkataramana, Smt. Dwaram (Silamsetty) Padmasree and Sri Silamsetty Prabhakar (USA) Sri Dwaram A.V. Swami and Smt. Dwaram (Battula) Manisree, and my betterhalf Smt. Dwaram (Kandula) Nagamani, and Chy. Sunil Selamsetty, Chy. Anil Kaivalya, Chy. Bhavana Dwaram, Chy. Tej Bhavan Silamsetty Chy. Sai Dwaram and Chy. Varada Narayani Priya Bhavana Dwaram. I convey loving thanks. My respects are also to my uncle (late) Sri Dwaram Satya Narayana garu, who had always encouraged me both in my professional and personal matters.

 

I thank the staff of the Adyar Students Xerox, especially. Mr. Murali, Smt. lalitha, Ms. I. Saraswati (Ammulu), Mr. Ramesh, Mr. Diwakar, and the Managing Directors, Sri Umapati & Sri Dinakar- who did their best for bringing the thesis in good shape.

 

It is appropriate to end this preface expressing with a humble and devout gratitude to God for the many blessings He has showered . on me. I have known from experience that not even a blade of grass can stir without His ‘sankalpa’.

 

Introduction

 

Music pleases all is a simple statement of fact universally accepted. The pleasure is experienced by not only human beings, but also believed to influence all ceratures in this universe. Further, music possesses the power to influence even inanimate things. The foilowing Popular aphorism in Music:

 

‘Sisurvetti pasurvetti vetti ganarasam phanih’

 

It means that the child, the animal and the serpent enjoy music. It may be interpreted, in other words, that music is enjoyed by the ignorant, the brute and even poisonous. Both Indian, and European support, if not confirm the afore-said views.

 

‘ .... Jantra gatramula ralgaragincu

vimala gandharavambu vidyamadi ... ‘

 

meaning, our music is such that it melts even stones. This speaks of the supernatural power of music even on the inanimate things.

 

Literature-pauranic, poetic, historical etc; since ancient times to date, abounds in references to the greatness and supreme powers of music.

 

In India, music is regarded as a from of God.

 

‘Kavyalapascya Kecitgtani sakalanica

sabda murti dharaisyeti Visnoramsa mahatmanah’.

 

Kavyas and music which are forms of sadba (nada) are the forms of God. Nada (sound) is the very body of God. God is ‘nadatanu’

 

‘Nadatanum anisam Sankaram namami’ says Tyagaraja.

‘Nadamadhye Sadasivah’,meaning Lord Siva is in the centre of the sound.

‘ .... Nada tanum tamuddhura jagatgitam mude sankaram’

 

Worship of Nada is worship of God. According to the ancient musicologists, Nada is of two varieties, namely Ahata and Anahata. Ahata nada is music that could be heard and practised by the common man whereas Anahata Nada is that sound which risis[saints] can hear and practise. That is to say sound that within the audibility of human eara is Ahata Nada; and that sound which is beyond the capacity of the human ear to hear is Anahata Nada. Thus, it is that Ahata Nada could be heard and cultivated is widely known as Sangita.

 

Originally the Song, Vocal and Instrumental, and Dance - all the three have been said to constitute Sangita.

 

‘Gitam Vadaym tatha Nrityam trayam Sangitamucyate’

 

In the course of evolution, Music in India has been evolved as a separate and individual branch of fine art, with its theory and practice, and, yet continues to be an important constitient of Dance.

 

It is a universally accepted fact that Rhythm is the basis for all natural phenomena and that all world-processes follow the Law of Rhythm. And thus the ultimate basis of everything is vibration. Vibration in its turn involves the idea of time, space and movement. And Rhythm is only ordered movement in time and space. We thus see the basic value and significance of Rhythm. Ordered movement in any kind of phenomena is the fundamental basis. We thus realise the basic value of Rhythm: Laya, vibration, ordered movement. There may be all Kinds of movement, but only ordered, disciplined, well planned movement can fit in with the basic laws of Nature.

 

The study of the evolution of music in India as both Science and Art makes it very interesting and absorbing. A great deal of scientific approach and always with an eye and ear for ‘ranjakatva’, ‘pleasing effect’ has gone into making Indian music and its’ systems what it is today unique, great and outstanding-among all the systems of music the world over.

 

Many a reference to music are found in the ancient Puranic lore. Music in India has its beginning in the Vedic period. It is said to have been derived from Sama Veda and grasped by Brahma, the God of Creation.

 

Contents

 

1.

Introduction

9-15

2

The importance of laya in Indian music

16-19

3

The exposition of lay a in ancient treatises on music

20-26

4

The application and explanation of tala dasa pranas

27-43

5

The aspects of laya in musical compositions

44-53

6

The variety of lay a patterns in the compositions of sri tyagaraja

54-78

7

The treatment of rhythmical aspects in sri muttuswami diksitar’s compositions

79-86

8

Special flair for rhythmical exercises·in the compositions of sri syama sastri

87-93

9

Conclusion

94-95

Appendices

96-113

 

Sample Page


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