gamakakriyA - Dikshitar - old and new

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SrinathK
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#1 gamakakriyA - Dikshitar - old and new

Post by SrinathK »

gamakakriyA is the 53rd rAgAnga rAgA aka the 53rd asampUrna mEla.

Ok, regarding the gamakakriyA / pUrvikalyANi debate - let's clear the air by stating that Subbarama Dikshitar himself stated that gamakakriyA was also known as pUrvikalyANi in his days. There really isn't enough difference to call them as two separate rAgAs, but keeping the different names and schools in mind, I will proceed accordingly.

There's evidence that the rAgA emerged before the Trinity and was popular and well established in the Pre-Trinity era. Although its the sangraha chUDAmaNi that really popularized the name of pUrvikalyANi.

But let me add a caevat - pUrvikalyANi changed a bit after those days, incorporating phrases like PDPS as well (although it does not strictly stick to its own scales and uses GMDS also). What everyone calls gamakakriyA now is the modern pUrvikalyANi, which has swallowed gamakakriyA up in both name, form, and in compositions too, with virtually all the compositions of gamakakriyA sung in modern pUrvikalyANi. But as I said earlier, there isn't much between them. Overall the difference between them even today is a even less than the differences between dwijAvanti and jujAvanti. It's a case of evolution rather than differentiation.

So first up, a very detailed article from Carnatica's newsletter archives discussing quite a lot of this rAgA (more specifically, pUrvikalyANi) including the origin of its name : http://carnatica.in/newsletter/poorvakalyani.htm

But I will be sticking only to the Dikshitar school for gamakakriyA as I wanted to respect the differences and some old prayOgas of gamakakriyA - and I want to call that version as gamakakriyA. For the rest, please wait till pUrvikalyANi. :twisted:

So gamakakriyA, while it sounds like a gamaka heavy rAgA, actually the swara with the largest range of oscillation is the G3, while D2 has a small range of oscillation around its position, and then the R1. Most of the other gamakas are really glides between the notes or vibratos. The jhAru (long slide) of course is possible and abundant and mostly used on S and P and in phrases like D-S or GM-R

The G3 can connect to other notes though G-R, G-M, G-P (as in GPMGR), G-D (GDMGR) and G-N also (GNDP). Most of the non-linear phrases in the rAgA originate from the G3. P and S again are important resting places. R1 can shine by itself in certain phrases that no not use S (like MDR).

The G3 can also be totally plain and held for long kArvAis (and the phrases ending on G3 are used for the characteristic defining opening phrases of the rAgA like PMGRS-D,S,R-G,,.). The ability to hold on to G3 as a plain note is significantly greater than that in modern pantuvarALi, which can't do it for so long without suddenly treading on pUrvikalyANi territory.

N3 is a weak note that does not stand alone, and is mandatory to be skipped in ArOhaNam, and can be skipped optionally in avarOhanam or hidden as a janTa on the S. Therefore, it is PDS in the ascent, and RSND and RSD or RSSD are all possible in the descent.

Therefore, in the ArOhanam, gamakakriyA goes like S R1 G3 M2 P D2 S - with PDS being used liberally in the old days, but the P can also be skipped on both ascent and descent to give MDS and NDMGR. The panchama varjya phrases (not using P are still abundant, and used for more moving passages), but unfortunately, this PDS phrase has now vanished - you may hear a vestigial use of it at the end of a pUrvikalyANi AlApanA on the last phrase, but now only MDS rules. But we shall see a lot of PDS in the SSP version of the compositions in this rAgA.

But PDPS is also possible, and while Dikshitar preferred PDS or MDS, PDPS grew so dominant it has taken over the rAgA now.

gamakakriyA however, also permits a rare DND phrase in it which also gives rise to PDND as a possible phrase (While DND is still around, PDND does not exist in the modern form of pUrvikalyANi). DNPDS is also a possibility that does not exist now. Most of the other stuff can still be found in modern pUrvikalyANi.

Since I'm trying to get into a time machine in discussing the prayOgAs of Dikshitar's rAgAs, I am going to share a very different version of Dikshitar's famous swan song - meenAkshi mE mudam dEhi - that is actually the closest possible to the SSP version of it, by T Brinda :

http://www.sangeethamshare.org/ksj/Brin ... r-Kritis-/

Yes I checked her with the book in front of me - its the real deal, almost ditto SSP, with the PDS phrases. I do not know who composed the chittaswaram, that part is not there. But I won't be surprised if someone tells me tomorrow if it was SD himself (but I'm just speculating here). This version might come as a tad unfamiliar to those used to the more romantic modern phrases and sangatis, but this is how it is in the book too (of course, being T Brinda, one can expect much more modern gamaka and a few extra sangatis than the "baroque" version). Would love to hear Dr. TRA sing this someday in his right off the book style.

There are other kritis claimed to be Dikshitar's also, but all of them are sung in modern pUrvikalyANi - and they're spuriously attributed to him.

Here's EkAmranAtham bhajEham : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXgXgntrK0k

kAsi visAlAksheem bhajEham bhajE - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62niGWaxOE4 - SSI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScQq-5ZlBZY - Maharajapuram Santhanam

I'm debating if I could just put them in the pUrvikalyANi thread instead.

There is also a kriti of Maharaja Jayachamraja Wodeyar in it, still using the PDS phrase - neelakanTHam mahAdEvam : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjr91HgLPUw - which I just happened to find on YT

There is a tana varnam by Sonti Venkatasubbayya (ninnu kOri) - which is in the SSP with the old gamakakriyA prayogas. Maybe it will come out not long down the road. It has both PDS and PDPS in it - so there.

Well, I think a fitting rendition of meenAkshi mE mudam dEhi as it is up and till recently would show you the differences between old gamakakriyA and today's pUrvikalyANi, but no one can deny the beauty of the new either : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSLbXnIKykk - Who else did you think I'd be sharing?

At least I'm happy this rAgA didn't go through that kind of face altering plastic surgery like so many others. Cheers. :mrgreen:
Last edited by SrinathK on 10 Aug 2019, 21:35, edited 4 times in total.

SrinathK
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#2 Re: gamakakriyA - Dikshitar - old and new

Post by SrinathK »

Here's a lec-dem on the lost lakshanas of rAgAs by Dr. T R Aravindan (he shared it with me) - and the first is the trio of gamakakriyA-pUrvikalyANi-gamanashramA. He's covering many more treatises apart from anything we've discussed here. He also demonstrates unheard compositions in the rAgAs he's covering.

Much thanks to Arkay Ramakrishnan for video archival of all these lec dems - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiHwOoJQ7As

D Pattamal has compiled many possible variations from all these old musical texts in one place in her book "Raga Pravaham" - and there I found all the ones covered in the lec dem presentation. Of course, I am only focusing on rAgAs and versions where audio is available or something very significant is mentioned about the lakshana and I really can't go further as a rank amateur into depth that is beyond the reach of even musicologists.

But my thoughts on Raga Pravaham is that if even a few of those rAgAs came out today (even in modern avatars), the universe of CM would be greatly enriched even further and even the scope of many rAgAs we sing today can expand by drawing back on their old prayogAs which they've forgotten. We owe it to all these musicologists who're moving heaven and earth at times to unearth all these buried treasures.

And a bonus, I also got a lec dem by Smt. Gayathri Girish on Carnatic Music in the pre-trinity period, where she has sung the varnam in gamakakriyA as the opening number (Big thanks to Parivadini for their video archival) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqFJvp9RNSc - (Of course this is sung in current style). It's a very big varnam and paints a very comprehensive picture of old gamakakriyA and it follows an old tradition where after completing the charanam, the varnam went back to end at the pallavi (sometimes with an appendix passage called "anubandham" to complete it). We don't do this today.

In the old ways, gamakas were much more sparing, but also the types of gamakas used were clearly differentiated and when they were used, they were very noticeable. Since then though, the gamaka level has just exploded and somewhere we went from the equivalent of VIBGYOR to 10 million colors that can be seen with the eye.

SrinathK
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#3 Re: gamakakriyA - Dikshitar - old and new

Post by SrinathK »

An extensive article about gamakakriyA by Ravi Rajagopalan - http://guruguha.org/blog/2016/11/09/gam ... u-sreshta/

g3khasiram
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#4 Re: gamakakriyA - Dikshitar - old and new

Post by g3khasiram »

Hi,

I am trying to notate the kriti, kasi visalakshi in the ragam gamakakriya a rendion by Maharajapuram santhanam.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BE6G-jFZzSE

quite not sure about the last sangathi in the pallavi.
Is the prayoga DNSRSNDP(Bhajeham)allowed? Is that what I am hearing? Please correct me if I am wrong.

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