Eduppu Varisai: Early Lessons with three different Eduppus

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Eduppu Varisai: Early Lessons with three different Eduppus

#1  Postby vasanthakokilam » 28 Nov 2011 09:47

Couple of years back, I mentioned in some other thread about the idea of 'Eduppu Varisai'. The idea is to sing/play some sarali varisai like simple scale patterns with different eduppus to showcase how different eduppus feel. Not sure how useful this will be to learners ( may be of some use ) but I thought if I keep it simple, straightforward and to the point, even lay rasikas (wrt to laya) can experience how different eduppus affect the rhythmic feel of a song.

To provide a concrete representation of what I am thinking of, here is something I recorded.
It is set in the simplest of tala cycles: a 2 beat (count) cycle. I just played the scale while changing the eduppu a few times.
Some parts are played to samam. ( After the initial momentary indication of samam, I switch to non-samam just to keep it interesting. The other samam parts occur later in the recording ).

I chose the kiravani scale just for a change.

In the two beat cycle, I incorporated the three eduppus that we normally encounter in songs: On the beat ( samam in principle ), and 1/2 a beat after the first beat ( like madyadi in principle ), 1/2 beat after the second beat( like desadi in principle ). I may have habitually played to 4 such pairs for a 8 count super-cycle pattern but that is incidental.

http://soundcloud.com/dabbler126/variouseduppus

Please provide feedback, if any. Thanks.
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Re: Eduppu Varisai: Early Lessons with three different Edupp

#2  Postby SrinathK » 02 Sep 2013 20:04

The idea for this occured to me a long time ago while I was still in college. It's a brilliant way to develop laya skill, however it is only matched by it's sheer insanity of just how far it can go.

Saralis, jantais, dhaattus and alankarams nothwithstanding, in chaturashra nadai alone there are 4 eduppu positions and one more if you count deshaadi. And what to speak of other nadais.

The thing I realized is that the last round of those exercises have to end with samam regardless if eduppu so there has to be an adjustment made at the end to ensure proper closure.

The same thing can also be extended to the various patterns of 4, 5, 6 etc... up to at least 9 units.

Further the scalar exercises should extend to all other talas as well. As and when a new tala is introduced the corresponding exercises should also be introduced. Now throw in nadais. In mishra nadai there will be 7 eduppu positions and likewise for other nadais. For an even crazier challenge, try the alankarams at very slow (1 note per 4 beats) to at least 8 if not 16 notes per beat. For insanity throw in double talas. To pass the final exam throw in nadai bhedam. Pancha nadai scales?

You quickly see that thousands of exercises can be made by combination of swara patterns, tala, jaathi, nadai, kaalam and eduppu points. It would be good to practice at least a few exercises in one tala or nadai everyday and over a period of years you will attain laya-brahman. B-) to

You may fetch my straitjacket now... O:-) :-o
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Re: Eduppu Varisai: Early Lessons with three different Edupp

#3  Postby SrinathK » 02 Sep 2013 21:11

On a serious note, these exercises should be introduced to students in the beginning for both chaturashram and trisra nadai for samam eduppu. By the time they have finished basic geetams and are ready to move to varnams and krithis, other eduppus should be introduced. Slowly other nadais must be introduced once the chaapu talas have been mastered.

It's a pity that the basics are almost never explored in greater detail after one has come to varnams and krithis. In none of the music books I have seen has this topic been deliberately dealt with and for me barring AMS' methods and this created major problems in my music learning at a later stage. These exercises should be introduced one by one over a period of time so that the technical left brain study must evolve along with the intuitive, aesthetic and creative right brain approach over a period of time otherwise it could result in mere technicians but not musicians.

Indeed, the vastness of each aspect of our music would never be grasped even after several lifetimes!
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Re: Eduppu Varisai: Early Lessons with three different Edupp

#4  Postby msakella » 03 Sep 2013 07:27

Dear brother-member, SrinathK, What you wrote is absolutely true, dear. Unless a very strong rhythmical base is provided right from the beginning to the aspirant he/she cannot even stand on his/her own legs leave alone either walking or running further. Only an efficient teacher could only look into these aspects and feed his/her kid with highly energetic food but not a performer at all as a performer always strives hard for his self aggrandizement only while an honest teacher strives hard to equip his/her kid with all the abilities just like mother. Only to serve this purpose some intricate rhythmical exercises are provided in the audio-tracks from 124 to 152 in the Special-laya-exercises of AMS Easy Methods-2007 CD which is available from http://www.sangeethamshare.org/chandra/ ... hods-2007/ both for Chaturashra and Trisra-gatis. Even the relevant video files are also provided in ‘youtube.com/ser/msakella’ to be helpful to the aspirants. As a professional teacher I honestly did my duty and it is up to the teachers and the aspirants to utilize them properly. Here, in our music-institution, Svarabhangima, the only one of its own kind on the globe, all the 100 kids ably render all these exercises efficiently and that is the minimum requisite in our institution. amsharma
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Re: Eduppu Varisai: Early Lessons with three different Edupp

#5  Postby SrinathK » 05 Sep 2013 01:32

In rendering jathis in various nadais, the eduppu exercises are automatically included within them, for e.g : Mishra pattern - tkt tkdm in trisra nadai chaturashra Eka taalam comes like this

tkt | tkd |m-tk |t-tk || dm-t |kt-t |kdm | tkt || tkd |m-tk |t-tk |dm-t || kt-t | kdm | tkt | tkd || m-tk | t-tk | dm-t |kt-t || kdm | tkt | tkd |m-tk || t-tk | dm-t | kt- t | kdm || t (end).

Totally 7 cycles before return to samam. Now 2 beats of trisra nadai at this kaalam contain 6 notes. However, as a 7-note pattern is being sung, every two beats the eduppu shifts forward by 1/3 rd, so after 3 repetitions of the jathi, the eduppu again falls in line with the beat. In this way, all 3 eduppus of trisra nadai can be practiced with a single exercise although for best attention I recommend practicing the exercise each time with a different eduppu point. This is because the brain finds it easiest to register the start and the end of a long sequence.

An theoretical upper line which can be drawn on the number of such exercises using only the 35 talas are : 35 talas x 5 nadais x 5 jaathis x 4 kalais (1 kalai, 2 kalai, 3 kalai and max. 4 kalai) = 3500 !! In six degrees of speed this would multiply to 21000 repetitions !! The total no. of all patterns available for 3, 4, 5, 7 & 9 units add up to 4+8+16+64+256 = 348 -- which gives a grand total of 21000 = 7,308,000 possible ways of carrying out the eduppu exercises with only the 35 talas what to speak of other talas or even larger kalais !! :-o :-o . To put that in perspective, do 100 exercises a day and it will take you exactly 200 years and 1 month to finish it :))

However in practice only 2 jathis of each type are needed. For example in 7-jathi -- tkt-tkdm and t,, ,,, - d,, ,,,, will be enough so that still gives 7000 eduppu varisais and 42000 exercises in 6 degrees of speed. At a hundred exercises a day (which is rather extreme for all but most serious musicians) the eduppu varisais can be learnt in just 2 months and 10 days and within 14 months of hard practice one can do them in any nadai in any tempo up to 4 kalai which is much more doable. That is enough time for even small children to develop the laya skill to handle even the most complex music. Even at a much more leisurely 20 exercises a day (~ just about 30 min to 1 hr of my practice time) the same can still be achieved in about 6 years, which is still well within the child prodigy period. ;)

All said and done the learning curve is not steep after a point, when one can do jathis in a few talas in 5 nadais it's not so hard to extend it to any other tala or even larger kalais like 8 or 16 -- it's no longer a brute force exercise after exercise approach rather it becomes more of a logical extension of what has already been mastered very well. So laya expertise is not really out of reach of anyone who wishes to work every day.
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Re: Eduppu Varisai: Early Lessons with three different Edupp

#6  Postby msakella » 05 Sep 2013 04:13

Dear brother-member, SrinathK, Having regularly worked for 35 years in an institutionalized system of teaching our music I have experimented various methods of teaching upon hundreds of students of different age groups and ultimately found some novel and modern methods of teaching by which I was able to efficiently and successfully make this process of teaching ‘time-bound and result-oriented’ for the first time in the history. In this process the teacher need not exert himself even for the maximum of 10 mts. in the duration of 1 hr. class-teaching but he must provide everything in terms of audio and visual aids to only initiate the aspirant work on his own for many hours of the remaining day. In this process, mainly, the barest minimum technical details only are imparted to the aspirant to make him proceed further on his own with minimum reliance upon the teacher. Basing upon the level of his/her brilliance he/she pushes himself/herself further and further and finishes the process of learning within a maximum period of not more than two years. In this process along with the single-even-chaturashra-gati the aspirant needs to get proper acquaintance with even one-odd-trisra-gati at the least among the four-odd-gatis, 3, 5, 7 & 9. The aspirant himself/herself has to work hard to get acquaintance with the remaining odd-gatis going through the lists you have very kindly provided in your post. amsharma
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Re: Eduppu Varisai: Early Lessons with three different Edupp

#7  Postby SrinathK » 06 Sep 2013 07:47

Right now I have practiced jathis of 3,4,5,6,7, & 9 in Trisra jaathi and Chaturashra jaathi eka talam only in trisra nadai and I will keep working on it with time.

The challenge for me since I play the violin is to render these talas on the feet -- the problem is that since the hands are very flexible they can show all sorts of movements which means the vocalist does not have to spend time wondering which beat he is on. But since the feet are much less flexible and the toes cannot do what the fingers can, as a violin student I had the problem of not knowing where I was in the talam when I had to concentrate on the playing. Since there is no one around to put the talam for me I cannot describe how much I suffered with the talam problem in my practicing before I found a metronome.

For this, with the steady beat of a metronome program, I have come up with my own ways to render the talangas on the feet which basically involve very small but just noticeable movements in the toes and the ankle to differentiate between the beats. Earlier I had tried the system of bending the toes by large amounts but as this created a lot of strain in my foot I had to reduce the movement to such a small level (a couple of mm) that there is just enough force in the muscles (actually it's almost like willing the foot to feel a slight muscular impulse in the toes) for the brain to register it. It is regrettable that there is not a single book with any system of tala for the foot to aid the poor violin students till today.

I have just started practicing these exercises for the foot and am quite pleased with the initial results.
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Re: Eduppu Varisai: Early Lessons with three different Edupp

#8  Postby msakella » 06 Sep 2013 13:32

Yes, there is not even a single book with any system of tala for the foot to aid the poor violin students till today. Basing upon the individual instinctive level of rhythm one must find his own way to do this. It is desirable to train kids in such tasks right from their younger age and an efficient teacher only can do this. amsharma
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Re: Eduppu Varisai: Early Lessons with three different Edupp

#9  Postby SrinathK » 08 Dec 2013 07:45

Here is a good exercise to develop skill in various eduppus. It is an exercise involving learning to shift the eduppu points through all the possible positions. This is a formula I'm still working on so it's still beta :

Chaturashra nadai (4 notes per beat)

1) kttk / kttk / kttk / t , k, / t, k, / t, k, /t,,, / k,,, / t,,, / k,,, / tk - kt / tk - t,, /,, - k, /,, - t , /,, - k, /,, - t , /,, - k, //Tha (End) (Samam and 1/2 positions).

How it works : Adding a tk-kttk (6 unit) pattern shifts the eduppu point by 1.5 beats allowing one to practice in 1/2 eduppu.

The next is a little harder

2) kttk / kttk / kttk / t, k, / t, k, / t, k, /t,,, /k,,, / t,,, / k,,, / t d g n /t - t, k /, t , k /, t , k / , t , k /, t , k /, t , k /, t , , /, k , , /, t , , /, k , , /,t , , /, k , , / , tkt // Tha (End) (1/4 position eduppu exercise)

How it works : Tdngt is a 5 beat battern so it shifts the eduppu from samam to 1 and a quarter beats away, essentially shifting it forward by 1/4 of a beat and allowing the quarter position eduppu. To return to samam, use a 3 beat pattern. This will shift the eduppu back by a quarter of a beat and bring it back in sync with the beat)

3) kttk / kttk / kttk / t, k, / t, k, / t, k, /t,,, /k,,, / t,,, / k,,, / tkt - t/, k ,t /, k, t /, k, t /, k, t /, k , t /, , , k /, , , t / , , , k / , , , t / , , , k / , , , t / , , , k / , , , t / d g n t //Tha (End) (3/4 position eduppu exercise)

How it works : Introducing a tkt pattern shifts the eduppu back by 1/4th of a beat, allowing the 3/4 position eduppu. To bring it back in sync with the beat, throw in a 5 note pattern, tdgnt , and then the eduppu will shift forward, bringing it back in sync. This last technique is the most commonly used pattern to end
a neraval or kalpanaswara sequence and most korvais.

One point here to note is that although I marked everything as t,,, k,,, t,,, k,,, etc... first one has to keep counting t,,, / k,,, etc... as 4 counts (@4 notes a beat), then one should count them in the next lower speed as t , / k , /t , / k , (2 notes a beat) and finally one should count even slower as t / k / t / k (1 note per beat), then go in the reverse order back to 4 counts a beat and then only finish the varsai.

It's not possible to show properly how this works in notated text when this exercise is repeated for 1/4 and 3/4 eduppus so for this a sound sample is necessary. You will find syllables criss crossing the beat as a result.

A challenge is to combine the 1/4 and 3/4 eduppu exercises. Add a tk-kttk pattern in the middle of a 1/4 eduppu exercise and the eduppu will shift to 3/4 position. Then when it's time to end, throw in a tdgnt and finish on the samam with a "Tha".

(Inspiration of this exercise : Alathoor Bros. Sankeerna Nadai Pallavi recording, which contains all these features in trikalam singing. Will notate that down too later to show it).
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Re: Eduppu Varisai: Early Lessons with three different Edupp

#10  Postby msakella » 08 Dec 2013 20:32

In fact, here, in our music institution, Svarabhangima, in order to make our kids resistive to such odd eduppus even in odd-gatis, more than 300 symbolised-easy-muktayis, along with many others, are furnished in my ‘Sangita-svararaga-sudha’ for their regular practice in all the popular Talas like Khanda-chapu (5) Rupaka (6), Chapu (7), Adi-medium-tempo (32), Adi-slow-tempo (64) and Adi-trisra-gati (48). Surprisingly enough, after practicing all of them, now, our kids, even before learning the first Kriti, are able to create more than 500 symbolised-easy-muktayis on their own and render them efficiently. Regular practice of all these symbolized-easy-muktayis not only gives the aspirants the required acquaintance with all kinds of different-gaps of jatis or notes but also with the easy-muktayis in which the arithmetical element is fairly lessened for their convenience. Even though the conservatives may not agree with me in this respect all these muktayis, thus, facilitate the aspirants perform one kind of ‘regular-drill’ both with Laya and Swara..

Even though none of my teachers ever taught me even the little odd Trisra-gati or none of them or my colleagues ever discussed any of the methods in teaching music but followed only the useless-quantitative-method singing only a number of items and also making the aspirants also sing following along with them, my introspection only lead me to the modern-qualitative-methods in teaching making the entire process ‘time-bound and result-oriented’ for the benefit of the aspirants and their parents. Only such discussions made by the professional teachers on the methods of teaching music will certainly bring out umpteen modern methods in teaching. But, as we have only umpteen performers but not teachers at all and as all these performers also think themselves as the best teachers, unfortunately, not even a single conference or seminar has ever been held in this respect even by the prestigious Mecca of Carnatic music, the Music Academy, Madras. amsharma
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