- Ajay Parasuraman
Identifying the raga of a composition requires ample kelvi njaanam. Listening to a lot of songs will help you know better the usages of swaras in the raga.
Each raaga has it’s own prayoga (usages) of swaras which give it a distinct identity, one that distinguishes it from all the other raagas — much like what a signature is to a person. Every raaga will have it’s characteristic jeeva swaras (lit. swaras that give life) with which you can differentiate between any two raagas. The jeeva swaras are the ones that breathe life into a raaga. The jeeva swaras, as you will see, form an integral part of the ‘main’ prayogas in the raga .
Let’s have a look at one raaga, it’s jeeva swaras and prayogas. Reethigowla, say.
Reethigowla is the janya raga of Kharaharapriya, the 22nd Melakarta raga. (The Kafi thaat of Hindustani music is the equivalent of Kharaharapriya.)
A bit about the raagas aarohan and avarohan:
Aa: S G2 R2 G2 M1 N2 D2 M1 N2 N2 S
Av: S N2 D2 M1 G2 M1 P M1 G2 R2 S
The variant of Reethigowla in asampoorna paddhathi is with a shuddha daivatham. We term this loosely as Reethigowla. In the Dikshitar scale of Raagas, this raga is <sometimes> called Naari-Reethigowlai.
However the blueprint N2 N2 S gives Reethigowla a unique personality, the movements of which are very characteristic and identifiable.
Essence of the raga: The essence of the raaga lies in the prayoga N N S, G M P M G R S, to point out a few.
Watch these renditions of Subbaraya Shastryâ€™s Janani Ninnuvina :
1. By Sudha Raghunathan (Vocal)
As the etymology claims, the raga has a power to direct. The name of the raga comes from the Sanksrit word for rule/way(as in syntax of doing things), thus denoting a sense of direction.
Listen to these amazing renditions by Abhishek Raghuram — he happens to be the prodigious grandson of the Late. Sri Palghat Raghu. Do note how he uses the swaras to beautify the raga (in Video 2).
And after that dosage of Carnatic, listen to this song, one you — all south indians, atleast — must be familiar with.
And this Ilaiyaraja song: Thalayai Kuniyum Thaamarayai – Oru Odai Nadhiyagiradhu
S0 the next time you listen to a movie song, you should hopefully be able to tell whether it’s in Reethigowla or not
And if the above videos were not enough, here are some more classical compositions in Reethigowla:
* Thyagaraja:Â Â Â Â Nannu vidachi kadhalaku raa
+ Bale baalendhu bhooshini
+ Dwaithamu sukhama
+ Raga rathna maalikache
+ Chera rAvademi raa
* Subbaraya Shastry: Janani ninnuvina
* Papanasam Shivan: Tatvam ariya tarama
* Swathi Thirunal: Paripaalaya maam
* Ambujam Krishnan: Guruvaryoorappane appan
* Mutthuswamy Dikshithar: Sri neelothpala nayike
Reference: Kamala Keertana
- Raaga Primer: The Melakartha Raaga Paddhathi
- Identity of a Raga: Part 3 – Naattai
- Identity of a Raga (Part 5) – Gowri Manohari
- Identity of a Raga: Part 4 – Kedar
- Raaga Primer: Ragamala
- Identity of a Raga: Part 2 – Darbari Kanada
- Arike – Music Review (Malayalam)
- Apna Tendulkar – Divine Raaga’s Tribute Song to Sachin
- Star Plus Theme Song Tu Hi Tu by Vishal Bharadwaj out for free download
- Raaga Primer: Melakartha Raaga Paddhathi – The Chakras