Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Of Raj Kalyan

I was listening to the song "Katril varum geethame" again and I found that more than sometimes, the panchamam is skipped while sliding through the avarohana, which gives the raga a slight haunting feeling, eg: -- n3-d2-m2-g3. This is esp. noticed first in the short alapana in the first interlude and then in the notes sung in the second interlude (s- n3-d2-m2-g3-r2-s).

There is a raga by Vasant Rao Deshpande called Raj Kalyan which is basically Kalyan without the panchamam: http://www.sawf.org/audio/kalyan/vasantrao_rajkalyan.ram

That same effect is obtained in Tukaram's Abhang "Sundar te dhyaan" sung by Lata. Though the pallavi seems to be rooted in Maru Bihag (the background music for Raincoat), the second and third charanams register a spike near this "Raj Kalyan" frequency.

Great tool this can be for people like Ilayaraja who specialise in haunting tunes.

10 comments:

Aakarsh said...

I didnt know this.Interesting Observation.Dude!i envy your knowledge sometimes.

Gandaragolaka said...

I envy it all the time! But it is not mine. I just try to take some of it from the huge pool.

Surya said...

Sometimes I wonder if IR has thought of these 'variation ragas' and made music or it just flowed and they happen to fit into these variations. Just a thought....I am literally illiterate on these raaga matters other than knowing what they mean.

SVR said...

So, I think those phrases "n3-d2-m2-g3", "(s- n3-d2-m2-g3-r2-s)" occur fairly often in many (Carnatic) Kalyani pieces, no?

I remember a bit of this Kalyani jathiswaram in which it happens in very first line that's repeated all the time... (Here is the jathiswaram, though I think it might incomplete:
http://www.musicindiaonline.com/l/20/s/theme.231/)
Some of the later jathis may also be interesting...)

It feels like that very distinct sound one gets in Kalyani by dropping the Pa either in the arohanam or the avarohanam occurs all over the place in many songs, but I don't know the swaras to point them out. :(

Gandaragolaka said...

actually yes. In carnatic, once the swara-set for a major raga like Kalyani is established, I guess (only a guess) you can play around with n-number of swara-phrases and patterns...
unlike hindustani where you have to adhere to some signature phrases all the time (unless u want to hide the raga as a tirobhava).

Actually, in kalyani adi talam varnam itself, we find that in the first chittaswaram we have:
p,,,m,g, r,d,m,g,| r,n,s,r g,m,p,d,|

clearly, d-m-g-r is used frequently in kalyani...

thanks for pointing it out... I might have posted this Raj Kalyan post in over-enthusiasm. Nevertheless, it has come to light that there is a raga called Raj-Kalyan in Hindustani that drops panchamam altogether.

SVR said...

In carnatic, once the swara-set for a major raga like Kalyani is established, I guess (only a guess) you can play around with n-number of swara-phrases and patterns...
Huh. Actually, my guess would have been the opposite, re: playing around with the patterns to get the major ragam, but again, only a guess :) On the other hand, they don't seem to teach a ragam with its signature patterns, but only by its pieces, at least initially...

Nevertheless, it has come to light that there is a raga called Raj-Kalyan in Hindustani that drops panchamam altogether.
Oh, yeah, that is still very interesting! And further, until now, I didn't realize that these patterns are not that common in the Hindustani equivalent...

Karthik Rao Cavale said...

I thought that that song was a classic yaman. didn't think there could be another raga that came even closer.

As far as I know, carnatic musicians are guilty of ditching the madhyam, not the pancham. I have often thought that their Kalyani was Mohana-kalyani (kind of Bhoop-Kalyan in Hindustani). Of course, I might be wrong.

But 'kaatril varum geethame' is a very haunting song.

Gandaragolaka said...

>>"As far as I know, carnatic musicians are guilty of ditching the madhyam, not the pancham"

Even in Hindustani, the phrase "m2-dha2-n3" is very important, infact one of the defining phrases of yaman!

Karthik Rao Cavale said...

That's what I meant! In Hindustani, the madhyam is very strong, the singers goes touching it, if not staying there.

In Carnatic, the madhyama doesn't seem to be very strong in the aaroha.

Gandaragolaka said...

I get your point.