Structuring a Korvai in the thani

Tālam & Layam related topics
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sbala
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#1

Post by sbala »

Could someone explain how a korvai is structured? Are there set patterns? Are there differences between the different schools of playing? Is there any importance given to the talaangas in this process? Lots of questions but this is just an attempt to get some discussion going.

Nick H
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#2

Post by Nick H »

"There are two parts to a korvais: first part and second part. The first part can be any composition; the second part must be ThaDhiGhiNaThom composition"

:)

That's more or less what I wrote in my mridangam class notebook some years ago!

I don't think that any importance is given to the angas; only to the fact that the entire composition, on the third repetition, (or should that be second repetition? first time plus two repeats? ;)) must come to edipu.

The more convoluted the path there (it seems to me) the better! But, if it doesn't work as music as well as mathematics, then it isn't so nice to listen to.

I suspect that such things as ants and cows' tails will be mentioned in this conversation!

sbala
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#3

Post by sbala »

nick H wrote:"There are two parts to a korvais: first part and second part. The first part can be any composition; the second part must be ThaDhiGhiNaThom composition"
I hope it isn't like one of those Zen Koans with deeper meanings left to the student to discover

sankirnam
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#4

Post by sankirnam »

Cow's tails come up in the structure of the korvai... as far as I know, there are two types of structures, one is called "mrudanga yati", meaning starting off small, growing big in the middle, and ending small, like the surface of a mrudangam. The cow's tail is the other type of structure, meaning that it starts big, and ends small, like a cow's tail.
This is more of a theoretical subject, and can get quite complicated very quickly...

mridhangam
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#5

Post by mridhangam »

Korvai can be termed as a Rhythmic Pattern or a structured pattern of rhythmic activity performed in a concert. A korvai generally contains a Poorvanga (the first portion) the Madhyanga (the middle portion - Optional) and the utharaanga (the end portion). Again the Poorvanga and others are just combination of phrases to give the korvai the total effect.

Let us start with the basics. Say if you want a korvai for Adi Tala oru Kalai one cycle there are about 32 micro counts spanning for 8 beats. We have to split the portion of 32 and the first of the will be poorvanga and the last of them will be utharaanga. we can split them in any number of ways. But generally poorvaanga has a pattern played thrice without or with kaarvais and utharaanga three times with or without kaarvais. Assume you want to make a korvai for 32 we can split poorvaanga and utharaanga which are in themselves divisible by three. Make 15 as poorvaanga the remainder is 17. 15 is of course divisible by three as a straight forward case. Whereas the 17 is not divisible by three. Hence we have a concept of Kaarvais which can be introduced in between rhythmic patterns to form a part of the pattern. Hence we have to take the previous number 16 which is not divisible by three. Hence we again take 15 which is divisible by three and then add 1 karvai each for the first and second numbers to make the total to 17.
Here is a korvai for one avarta of Adi tala:

It is only bare mathematics.

5+5+5 (Poorvaanga)
5+1(karvai)+5+(1 Karvai)+5 then will fall on samam or idam as the case may be.

Then comes the rhythmic syllable replacement for the above korvai.

thakathakita thakathakita thakathakita
thadiginathom(1) thadiginathom (1) thadiginathom (tha - will be the start point)
One 5 within the poorvaanga can be further divided into 3+(2 Karvai)+3+(2 Karvai)+3+(2 Karvai)

this is how generally a korvai is done. The shorter the total number of the korvai easier to split. Longer Korvais have longer patterns which are again divided into perceivable poorvaanga and utharaanga.

Given below is the Poorvaanga and utharaanga table for easy mathematics reference.

Poorvaanga Table: The figures going down on the left side of the table is the Kanakku we will play. The right side numbers (across) gives you the karvais for the given kanakku. The chart gives you poorvanga total which is generally played three times.

Kanakku Karvai --> 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
|
V
1 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30 33

2 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30 33 36

3 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30 33 36 39

4 12 15 18 21 24 27 30 33 36 39 42

5 15 18 21 24 27 30 33 36 39 42 45

6 18 21 24 27 30 33 36 39 42 45 48

7 21 24 27 30 33 36 39 42 45 48 51

8 24 27 30 33 36 39 42 45 48 51 54

9 27 30 33 36 39 42 45 48 51 54 57

10 30 33 36 39 42 45 48 51 54 57 60

The calculation i have taken presuming that we have 4 syllables per beat. so if there are 2 avartanas of an adi tala there are 64 syllables possible in third speed. To give you an idea only i have taken this type of samples. we can take in madyama kala or even vilamba kala.

The Utaraanga chart is as follows: We have to be careful not to leave a gap after the last pattern for utharaanga whereas the symmetry of leaving equal gaps applies to each and every one of the patterns we use three times in poorvaanga, the utaraanga pattern three times takes karvais for the first two patterns only and hence a different kanakku table.

Kanakku Karvai --> 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
|
V
1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23

2 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26

3 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29

4 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32

5 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35

6 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38

7 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41

8 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44

9 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47

10 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50

From the above you can make any number of korvais using the combinations given above for poorvaanga and utharanga.

there are basically four stages in rhythmic activity.
1) Mathematics
2) Representation
3) Presentation
4) Aesthetics

We have as the base for all the mathematics since we use it for calculation for arriving at a certain sum.

Then the mathematical calculation should be musically expressed.

for 1 - we say Tha
2-Thaka
3-Thakita
4-Thakadimi
5-Thakathakita
6-ThakitaThakita
7-ThakitaThakadimi
8-ThakadimiThakajonu
9-ThakadimiThakathakita
10-ThakatakitaThadiginathom and so on and so forth as a representative values of the bare mathematics.

Then comes the presentation aspect of these bare representations.

Take for example we can take Takatakita and make interesting patterns for all the combinations (as per tala prastara there are about 16 combinations possible for 5) by judiciously using karvais also. This is how presentation aspect matters a lot.

Aesthetic aspect of korvais come next where the interweaving of patterns and also use of left right combinations make them pleasant to listen to.

What i have explained is only the basic aspects of korvai making. Each one of the above points can be elaborated further and extended further.

Question by sbala: Are these set patterns ?

The patterns are generally taught to us in the initial stages by our Gurus and later on we will be able to develop our own thru experience and constant listening.

Question: Are there differences between the different schools of playing ?

Though this is not relevant to this thread i would like to throw light on some of the aspects here. There are two giant schools in Mridangam Playing: One is Tanjore tradition as developed and popularised by Palghat Mani Iyer and another is pudukkottai school as developed and popularised by Palani M Subramaniapillai. There are lots of interesting information about how these two became giants and those are well known to the rasikas. The playing method and accompaniment method differs if you closely watch these two giants playing in concerts. It is very difficult to explain in mere words.

Question: Any importance given to the talaangas ?

Importance is given to talaangas in the sense that we have to be careful to watch the angas so that we start off and end off properly creating a proper cycle.

Hope this is suffice for now. More later.

Mannarkoil J. Balaji

arunk
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#6

Post by arunk »

thanks balaji sir - nice primer!

Arun

Nick H
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#7

Post by Nick H »

Wow.

Fantastic: thank you.

I do not believe that such a fine and thorough description and explanation has ever been given on-line before.

Can you give an example of a korvais with three portions, and say what distinguishes the middle portion from the first or last portions? please...
Last edited by Guest on 20 Mar 2007, 23:57, edited 1 time in total.

Suji Ram
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#8

Post by Suji Ram »

Nice expalanation. Now I see two terms Karvai and Korvai. Are they the same?

Now that I will be sitting thru mridamgam classes soon I can understand what's going on.

sankirnam
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#9

Post by sankirnam »

karvai is just a gap, whereas korvai is the rhythmic pattern that Balaji sir has beautifully explained.

vasanthakokilam
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#10

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Balaji, thanks very much. That is very informative.

While we are at this, can you shed some light on the ending Korvai of a thani which gives the unambigous signal to the other artists to pick the song back up ( the hand-off protocol, if I may ).

vijay
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#11

Post by vijay »

Balaji sir, that was great!

mridhangam
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#12

Post by mridhangam »

Thank you members. I am trying to follow the footsteps of akella garu in so far as knowledge dissemination is concerned while i am 100% sure that i can never attain the greatness achieved by him. Though i am incompetent to give out the tenets i can give you ample examples and thoughts that i have gained through years of experience.

Nick H : Korvai with three portions (poorvanga, madyanga and utharaanga)

These are again rhythmic patterns only. It has to be again mathematical combination with a with a definitive pause after every portion. As i have already explained earlier Poorvanga is a mathematical pattern with three consecutive variety after this poorvanga is over assume you have lots of space left in order to reach the samam. Assume you have about 1 1/2 avartas left after poorvaanga for a three avarta korvai. If we feel that 1 1/2 avarta would be too lengthy (1 1/2 avarta means 12 beats with 48 micro counts in third speed) then we can split that again into two portions. That is utharaanga of 48 will be split into two making them Madyanga and utharaanga. That splitting will have to follow the same rules as mentioned above (that which is divisible by three in itself). I will give below an example of this type of korvai.

Poorvanga for 1 1/2 avarta :

Dhitangitathakatharikitathaka(2 beats) thom tha(1 beat) thom kitathaka (1 beat)
Dhitangitathakatharikitathaka(2 beats) thom tha(1 beat) thom kitathakatharikita ((1 1/2 beat)
Dhitangitathakatharikitathaka(2 beats) thom tha(1 beat) thom

Madyanga and utharaanga for 48 in which the madyanga is split for 21 and utharaanga for 27.

21 is not straight 3 * 7 we can have an idea here with 3 * 6 + 3 (Karvai) inorder to mark the definitive madyanga ending.

Then the remaining 27 is straight 9 * 3.

So madyanga and utharanga can be represented thus:

Thadeekitathom thadeekitathom thadeekitathom (thaangu=3 karvai)

Tha.Dhim. Thadiginathom Tha.Dhim. Thadiginathom Tha.Dhim. Thadiginathom (Tha)

Recording of the above Korvai: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx9yl ... nlWMTJ3Zm8

Hope this answers your query sir.

Vasanthakokilam : Ending korvai as an indication for the vocalist to start off the song.

This has been a mystery for many of the young vocalists and rasikas alike.
I will try to explain this. There is no ambiguity about it at all. It is only by listening carefully that a vocalist has to take the song. Before the end Korvai is rendered all the mridangists play a fast pattern called Farans and Mohara. Only after this Faran and Mohra (Mukra or mukda a word taken from north india i think) the last korvai is played. This Faran and Mohra are set patterns and these are generally played by all the mridangists with a few exceptions. There are different mohras for different talas and there is also another rule to form Mohras also for any tala. All the mohras will be preceeded by Farans which are nothing but Fastpaced rhythmic patterns (these patterns generally dont have any karvais all the counts are filled with syllables). These are colloquially called "Uruttai Chorkal". Cant think of a translation for Uruttai (may be some one can help). "Chorkal" are nothing but syllables in tamil. So after this Faran and Mohra only the Korvai comes and this korvai is played always three times with or without variety. Here I mean that there are korvais where first time it will be played to show the pattern second and third times will have some improvisation over the first time. So it will appear that they are playing three varieties. But actually the korvai is played three times with variety that is all. After this the song is taken. There are some aspects which are easy to demonstrate than write. I am having the same difficulty here to write them in black and white. As far as i could write here about mohra i have written. More later pls.
Thanks for the support.
J.Balaji

jayaram
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#13

Post by jayaram »

Shri Balaji - thank you for that explanation. I wonder if you can illustrate with the help of an example - the short tani of PMI in this audio clip:
http://www.badongo.com/file/2526159

Perhaps you can tell us at what point in the clip the final 3 korvais you mention above start. That would help us (or at least me) to get a bit more clarity on this point.

Again, thank you.

mridhangam
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#14

Post by mridhangam »

I am also planning to upload specially prepared pieces to explain each and every aspect discussed above in a short while. Due to professional commitment i am not able to record right now .. i will do it specially for this forum shortly and upload for this purpose.
Thank you
J.B

mridhangam
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#15

Post by mridhangam »

Actually in that tani Avartanam upto about 1 minute there is something called Koraippu played by PMI and another Kanjira vidwan. After one minute suddenly the Nadai changes to Tisra (You can clearly hear the Tha thom tha thom )... At 1:14 the Faran in tisra nadai starts ... at about 1:40 the Mohara in tisra Nadai starts ....at 2:14 the korvai starts and the kriti Kantiki starts after that. You would have observed that the korvai has played with variety for poorvanga. The Poorvanga spans for 11 beats and utaranga spans 5 beats. Though the kriti is in Chatusra Nadai it is upto the mridangist to play any nadai even for mohra and korvais. I have even heard mohra and korvais in Khanda Nadai for a chatusra Nadai song. But the vocalist should be aware of it and should be able to comprehend them otherwise it wont create the proper effect. Even in this recording you would have found that Madurai Somu (i think) didnt start off the song. The violin starts the song and the vocalist starts at "tiki (part of Kantiki)" only. This confusion occurs sometimes when the mridangists plays mohras in other nadais on the spot. Is it clear Mr.Jayaram ?
J.B

jayaram
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#16

Post by jayaram »

Thank you, Shri Balaji. I am slowly digesting the information. :-) I will need to listen to it couple of times to understand the points completely.

Yes, it is from a Somu kutcheri. I did notice there's a gap between violin and vocal resuming at the end of the thani. Your explanation makes it clear.

Again, thank you so much. I may come back if I have more questions.

vijay
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#17

Post by vijay »

Looking forward to your upload and commentary, Sri Balaji!

Nick H
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#18

Post by Nick H »

Balaji, May I trouble you to read the korvais you gave in the notation I'm used to and tell me if I am interpreting it correctly, please, --- using "," for single karvais and underline for double speed....

Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka tharikita
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom ,

Thade , kitathom
thade , kitathom
thade , kitathom , , ,

Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom ||Tha

==========================================================

Next question arising...

In those korvais that, after the first part, have a reducing section before the final Tha Dhi Gi Na Thom *3,

eg

... ... ...

Tha , , , Dhi , , , Ghi , , , Na , , , Thom , , ,
Tha , , Dhi , , Ghi , , Na , , Thom , ,
Tha , Dhi , Ghi , Na , Thom ,

Tha Dhi Gi Na Thom
Tha Dhi Gi Na Thom
Tha Dhi Gi Na Thom || Tha

that those reducing lines would be classified as the mid, madyanga, section?

How about those that end like

Tha , Dhi , Gi Na Thom (3 times)
Tha Dhi , Gi Na Thom (3 times)
Tha Dhi Gi Na Thom (3 times) ||tha

?
Last edited by Guest on 22 Mar 2007, 19:30, edited 1 time in total.

ignoramus
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#19

Post by ignoramus »

is that PMI or Palghat raghu? i am a bit confused, could balaji sir give some idea?

sbala
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#20

Post by sbala »

Jayaram and Balaji - Thanks for the upload and education!

Nick H
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#21

Post by Nick H »

Balaji-sir, you are my guruji's classmate, and hearing about Korvais from you like this is like sitting in his house again --- one of the few things that I miss about London :)

vasanthakokilam
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#22

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Balaji, thanks and looking forward to your uploads and further commentary.

cmlover
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#23

Post by cmlover »

Thank you Balaji! You have here a number of willing students. With your lucid explanations and promised audio clips we will all be able to get the basics on Laya. This is what we have been waiting for years!

vasanthakokilam
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#24

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Would the translation of "Uruttai Chorkal" be Rolling Strokes (or Rolling Rhythmic Syllables)?

mridhangam
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#25

Post by mridhangam »

Nick H : that may be classified as Gopuchayati only and dont really have poorva madya and uttaraangas.
Ignoramus : It is Palghat Mani Iyer only i think.
Last edited by mridhangam on 23 Mar 2007, 10:13, edited 1 time in total.

mridhangam
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#26

Post by mridhangam »

The korvai listed above by me can be improvised further as follows :

Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka tharikita
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom ,

Thadikitathom
thadikitathom
thadikitathom , , ,

Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom

Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka tharikita
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom ,

Thade , kitathom
thade , kitathom
thade , kitathom , , ,

Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom

Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka tharikita
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom ,

Tha, de , kitathom
tha, de , kitathom
tha, de , kitathom , , ,

Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom ||Tha

sbala
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#27

Post by sbala »

Hello JB,
If possible, could you upload a demonstration of the above korvai? I think we would be able to correlate the sollus better if we hear the audio.

gn.sn42
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#28

Post by gn.sn42 »

Moderators, could you make this thread sticky?

meena
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#29

Post by meena »

gn.sn42

Done

mridhangam
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#30

Post by mridhangam »

yes i will surely upload all the above korvais .. i hv made one more improvement to that korvai .. alongwith that i shall do in a day or two .. very busy with professional commitments. sorry dear friends

gn.sn42
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#31

Post by gn.sn42 »

Thank you, meena.

msakella
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#32

Post by msakella »

Hello! Brother-members dear, Our brother-member mridhangam has come forward to enlighten you in mridangam play. I feel extreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeemely happy.
I shall give you a small bit of kanakku hereunder. Please try.
(‘t’ for tha, ‘t’ for ta, ‘d’ for dhi, ‘g’ for gi, ‘n’ for na, ‘k’ for ki, ‘k’ for ka,
’,’ for 1-unit gap, ‘;’ for 2-units gap, gap means karvai)

1.t ; d ; g ; n ; t ; - tdgnt, - tdgnt, - tdgnt»
2.k ; t ; t ; k ; - td,gnt, - td,gnt, - td,gnt»
3.t ; k ; t ; - t,d,gnt, - t,d,gnt, - t,d,gnt»
4.t ; k ; - td,tdgnt, - td,tdgnt, -td,tdgnt»
5.t ; - t,d,tdgnt, - t,d,tdgnt, - t,d,tdgnt»
6. - t;d,tdgnt, - t;d,tdgnt, - t;d,tdgnt»

You can recite any one of the above 3 times as a muktayi or any 3 of the above consecutively as a muktayi or 1st, 3rd & 5th consecutively as a muktayi or 2nd , 4th & 6th consecutively as a muktayi.
In fact, to become a successful Violin accompanist, one must strive hard to learn all these things to play in their Svarakalpana. Before that, at the first instance, one must practice different Laya exercises furnished in my book, Sangita Svararaga Sudha. Later, he/she must practice all the hundreds of muktayis (furnished in terms of easily writable and followable symbols) in terms of Mridanga-jatis first for all the 6 popular Talas, Rupaka, Trisra-rupaka, Chapu, Adi (medium-tempo), Adi (slow-tempo) & Adi (Trisra-gati) furnished in this book. If you are used to follow these symbols you can very easily carry hundreds of muktayis in a ½ page of A4 size paper filled with symbols in your shirt-pocket. Anyone can try himself. All this I could do this only by the grace of the Almighty. amsharma.

mridhangam
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#33

Post by mridhangam »

further improvisation of the same korvai as follows :

Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka tharikita
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom ,

Thadikitathom
thadikitathom
thadikitathom , , , (3 * 5)

Tha Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha Dhim , Thadiginathom (3 * 8)

Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka tharikita
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom ,

Thade , kitathom
thade , kitathom
thade , kitathom , , , (3 *6)

Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom (3 * 9)

Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka tharikita
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom ,

Tha, de , kitathom
tha, de , kitathom
tha, de , kitathom , , , (3 * 7)

Tha , , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , , Dhim , Thadiginathom ||Tha (3 * 10)
From the above variety you can observe any combination you take and play three times. The actual logic lies in the fact that if you play 3 times 5 then the previous number 4 once 5 once and 6 once also makes the total to 15 (3 * 5). Not only this 3 + 5 + 7 and 2 + 5 + 8 and 1 + 5 + 9 also makes the total to 15. Within the 3 * 5 itself you can play any of thes combinations. we can slightly modify the above korvai in such a way that keeping the poorvanga constant we can keep on chaning the madyanga and utharanga in umpteen number of ways. (May be according to talaprastara we can arrive at the exact number of varieties for which our sbala can be of immense help). I shall give you another example of how to change the 3 * 5 and 3 * 6 and 3 * 7 alone from the above keeping the utharaanga constant that is 3 * 8 and 3 * 9 and 3 * 10.

Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka tharikita
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom ,

thakadimi
thadikitathom
thadee, kitathom , , , (4+5+6)

Tha Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha Dhim , Thadiginathom (3 * 8)

Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka tharikita
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom ,

Thadikitathom
thade , kitathom
tha, de , kitathom , , , (5+6+7)

Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom (3 * 9)

Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka tharikita
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom ,

Thade , kitathom
tha, de , kitathom
tha, de , kita, thom , , , (6+7+8))

Tha , , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , , Dhim , Thadiginathom ||Tha (3 * 10)


I am actually preparing the audio samples for these three mentioned above for the pleasure of listeners and lots of other korvais as well. Because our member NickH asked me to have the madyanga as well in the first instance i am following this line. Within a day or two i shall upload audio samples.
Thanks for your patience

Thanks Meenaji for making this topic sticky. But i would love to have Talaprastara as well by our Akella garu as his contribution to this forum and the music world is really commendable. Hence my humble request is that both these topics can be made sticky too, if possible. sorry only later i saw that Talaprastara also is sticky. Thanks anyway

J.Balaji
Last edited by mridhangam on 28 Mar 2007, 12:44, edited 1 time in total.

msakella
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#34

Post by msakella »

Brother-member, mridhangam dear, How much Vidya or fame or money or buildings or cars or medals or titles or honours we have acquired is not the critieria at all. The Almighty, being in all the beings, finds whether a person always remains in a giving away mood or taking in mood and the person who always remains in a giving away mood will always be blessed with absorbing ability and remains under his great shelter. I like the people who are always ready to serve the society. All along in my life, the Almighty
kept me in this holy-path and blessed me to the full extent in spite of many others negative attitude towards me. I am extremely happy to find you trying to enlighten our community through your educative posts in our forum. Keep it up and you will also become bless by the Almighty. Giving away the knowledge of Korvais is also more useful to our community and it is the topic as important as Talaprastara to make it ‘sticky’. Our moderators did a very nice job in making this topic also sticky. I like much to learn from your educative posts. Thanking you once again for your educative posts, amsharma.

jayaram
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#35

Post by jayaram »

I have to commend Sharma-garu and Balaji-sir for raising the level of this forum to great heights. It's not often that one gets to learn about the layam aspect of CM; you are both doing wonderful service. Thank you.

msakella
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#36

Post by msakella »

Brother-member, jayaram dear, In fact, it is but natural always to extend our helping hand to anybody and everybody and I do not think it is great to do so. But, nowadays, as it has become very difficult to find such people, you are treating us great. I always feel it is everybody’s duty to help.
Generally, people are more interested in learning music but not Laya much. Laya is instinctive and Shruti could be acquired by constant practice of it. Many of the music teachers do not know that every aspirant must be tested first in Laya and the mode of testing. I have made extensive research upon this also and found that unless the aspirant is provided with the required instinct of Laya he/she should not be taught music at all. But, even though some of the teachers are aware of it, they will not reveal it lest they will have to loose many of the students and it affects their income. To build up good standards in music the teachers must take proper care in selecting their students and in training them properly. amsharma.
Last edited by msakella on 29 Mar 2007, 02:02, edited 1 time in total.

mridhangam
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#37

Post by mridhangam »

I am uploading all the four korvais mentioned above :

All MP3 files

1 ) http://rapidshare.com/files/23217012/Ko ... _No.12.mp3

2) http://rapidshare.com/files/23217043/Ko ... _no_26.mp3

3) http://rapidshare.com/files/23217075/ko ... o_33-1.mp3

4) http://rapidshare.com/files/23217257/ko ... o_33-2.mp3

With the same korvai demonstrated above there are other possibilities. About which i shall come tomorrow.


Mannarkoil J Balaji

mridhangam
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#38

Post by mridhangam »

One more variety for the above korvai

Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka tharikita
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom ,

thadikitathom
thadikitathom
thadikitathom , , , (3 *5)

Tha , Dhim , ginathom
Tha , Dhim , ginathom
Tha , Dhim , ginathom (3 * 7)


Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka tharikita
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom ,

thade , kitathom
thade , kitathom
thade , kitathom, , , (3 *6)

Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom
Tha , Dhim , Thadiginathom (3 * 9)

Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka tharikita
Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom ,

tha, de , kitathom
tha, de , kitathom
tha, de , kitathom (3 * 7)

Tha , , Dhim , , Thadiginathom
Tha , , Dhim , , Thadiginathom
Tha , , Dhim , , Thadiginathom ||Tha (3 * 11)

Mannarkoil J balaji

sbala
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#39

Post by sbala »

Balaji Sir,
Just listened to the first file, the clarity is amazing.

mridhangam
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#40

Post by mridhangam »

Members ...
y there is a lull in this forum suddenly ? should i stop ? or do i hv to take a different course ? pls shoot your questions.

Thank you
J.B

vasanthakokilam
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#41

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Balaji: Please keep going. Your effort is much appreciated. It is quite interesting to listen to your playing while eyeballing the symbols and catching on to the patterns. BTW, it is quite a challenge ( and interesting and entertaining ) to keep the thalam given all the combinations across beats. The metronome beat is quite useful to get back in sync to the beat. I had an easier time with 33-2 than others with 26 posing quite a challenge.

I am digesting stuff slowly. I am trying to map all this to the first lesson you provided with the structure of poorvanga and uttaranga. (tha ka tha ki ta) (tha di ki na thom ) has sunk in after a few tries.. now you have lot more symbols and ',' which I am trying to map out to that original lesson. What I am trying to do is to look up in those two tables for poorvanga and uttaranga and find out which X and Y axis numbers you are using for your variations on the basic theme you started with.

I am assuming that for all the four korvais so far, there is one Poorvanga and one Uttaranga as you taught in the first lesson and each one has a corresponding beat count in their respective tables. Which then leads to reading off the kanakku number and the karvai number from the table. May be things have gotten more complicated from the first lesson. Please let me know if I am approaching it right.

mridhangam
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#42

Post by mridhangam »

Vasanthakokilam :

The korvais I have mentioned above were triggered by Nick H question to include Madyanga also. Hence I am following that thread for the present and including madyanga in this Korvai in the first instance. I know it is difficult to digest the korvais at a single shot. As playing them for me is easier due to years of training and concert experience. Writing them for the understanding of millions of readers is quite a task in itself. The Korvais so far have been only continuation of the previous ones with variations and improvisations. What i felt was to give out the combinations possible for this korvai and then go to another important topic how the korvai is structured fundamentally, apart from the basic points like mathematics and calculation aspects. There is an aspect called "Aasu" (I dont know how exactly this is pronounced and also which language this word has come from. I simply know that there are some set patterns available through years of evolution and played and used for many years by stalwarts and handed down through training and assimilation). This aasu can be taken as a basic pattern and mostly this aasu is taken as a starting point for making a korvai. A set of patterns or even a single pattern is taken as an Aasu and further development is made on that Aasu. Almost 90% of the Korvais that are played are combinations of Aasu's developed by our forefathers and the living legends. Coupled with the imagination of the Artistes the Aasu's are made to look new but generally all are already available.
J.Balaji
Last edited by mridhangam on 30 Mar 2007, 12:13, edited 1 time in total.

rajumds
Posts: 712
Joined: 03 Feb 2010, 11:16

#43

Post by rajumds »

mridhangam wrote:Members ...
y there is a lull in this forum suddenly ? should i stop ? or do i hv to take a different course ? pls shoot your questions.

Thank you
J.B
The lull is more due to our slowness in understanding. Please do keep posting. If it is not a trouble to you, can you start from the basics. An effort was made almost a year back by Param but it never took off.

http://www.rasikas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?id=352

pallavi.pr
Posts: 83
Joined: 05 Mar 2007, 17:32

#44

Post by pallavi.pr »

Hi,

mridhangam, gr8 job. thanks everyone for sharing your knowledge on a very important aspect.

Also mridhangam, pls could you throw some light on mohras? I would like to know what is the basic structure of any mohra. And I would like to hear different mohras as well. Could we discuss about that in the same thread? Or should I start a new thread on that? Let me know friends!

mridhangam
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#45

Post by mridhangam »

Pallavi.pr

Though I might be digressing from this topic a bit i would like to dwell on the structure of moharas as well here as requested by Pallavi.pr.


MOHARAS
Kindly refer above to post No: 12 for basic details. I will go on with how a mohara is structured.
Basics to be cleared :

1) The mohara comes at the end of a Tani Avartanam (Not necessarily also according to some people as I have heard Trichy Sankaran Sir himself refer to the ending part as Periya Mohara-Meaning Long Mohara and the intervening Mohara as small Moharas). The topic of Mohara itself is very elaborate. I am not going to delve deep into the origin of words and also the technicalities of it. I am restricting myself to practice and also the apporach as far as a concert platform is concerned.

2) Farans are played before the mohara.

3) After the Mohara and korvai the song is taken. (Here also there is a confusion. Take this following example: The kriti Meenakshi Memudam Dehi in Poorvikalyani/Gamakakriya. In this kriti the Pallavi starts in Samam whereas the Charanam where mostly the Niravals swaras are sung starts after one beat in 2 Kalai Adi. There will be no confusion for the mridangist if the singer asks the mridangist to play tani avartanam after the niraval swaram then he can happily play at one beat after samam. Whereas if the singer comes back to the pallavi and finishes the song and then leaves ? There are many versions to this. Some experts say that the tani avartanam should be played only for the place where the Niraval and Swara has taken place. Some others believe that the singer has done the niraval and swara part. But he has completed the song and he has come back to pallavi. So the mridangist should logically play tani avartanam at Sama Eduppu only.)

After the above I shall delve deep into how a mohara is structured:

Mohara is generally played with the following structure:
What i am giving here is the basic simplest form.

1) Take any talam
2) From the total beat per avarta deduct 4 (Constant deduction of 4 for any tala from the total counts per avarta- I will come to a point where we can even deduct other numbers. But for the beginning we shall restrict ourselves to 4. Later on we can even deduct 5 or 6 or even 8 after i explain to you how to deal with them. For the present let us have this 4 as the common deductible number.)
3) Take the Remainder
4) Divide by two
5) You have the mohara mathematics for one avarta now.
6) the next step is a little tricky. Let me try to make u understand. What we have to do here is to divide the 4 mentioned above in point number (2) by 2. That is make the 4 into two parts.
7) Next you can have the structure like this : Remainder+ 2 + Remainder + 2 will give you the total structure for one avarta. The 2 in the middle should be "Rolling Strokes or Uruttai Sorkal" and the ending 2 should be muktayi like Thalangu thom tha thom tha thom or thakajonu thomtha thom tha thom etc.
8) This is repeated for two avartas.
9) After two avartas the structure changes. The structure goes like this:
Remainder+ 2 + Remainder+ 1
Remainder + 1
Remainder + 4 count muktayi like thalangu dinna thom thalagu dinna thom thalangu dinna (thom)
10) The above rule holds good for any tala we can make. I shall give you examples of how we can structure a mohara for adi tala first and go on to other talas as well.

Adi Tala Mohara:

Total Beats per cycle = 8
Deduct 4 from the total = 8-4 = 4
Divide the Remainder by 2 = 4 / 2 = 2
The structure of Aditala is very easy and simple 2 + 2 + 2 + 2.

The structure that is used for 4 cycles has the following structure

2 +2+2+2
2+2+2+ 2
2+2+2+ 1
2 + 1
2 + 4 (Muktayi)

If you count the total it will be 32 which is to be structured in the above way to give a proper mohara.

Take for example a longer tala like Khanda Jaati Druva Tala with a total 17 Beats per cycle:

1) Deduct 4 from the total : 17 - 4 = 13
2) Divide 13 / 2 = 6 1/2
3) The structure is as follows :

6 1/2 + 2 + 6 1/2 + 2
6 1/2 + 2 + 6 1/2 + 2
6 1/2 + 2 + 6 1/2 + 1
6 1/2 + 1
6 1/2 + 4 (Muktayi)

Total will be 17 * 4 = 68.

Now comes the task of representing the above with sollus. Which i will deal after you have assimilated the basic structure of the moharas. The 1/2 akshara mentioned above will give some problems for members steeped in Talaprastara topics especially Bala and others. But what i have mentioned here is within the tala how the total can be split to give the result for odd number talas. This will be very helpful when we create moharas for Nadai based talas.

Rest later.
Mannarkoil J Balaji
Last edited by mridhangam on 02 Apr 2007, 13:04, edited 1 time in total.

vasanthakokilam
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#46

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Balaji: Excellent description and looking forward to further elaboration.

you have been doing a great job as a teacher and I can understand it is quite a pain to write all this. Thanks very much for that.

A few items on the presentation of the material for us beginners to grasp all this without getting mixed up.

1) Can you provide us a list the various sollus that you will be using: Like the 'tha', 'ka', 'ki', 'ta', 'thom' etc.

2) Are all of them one sub-unit in duration ( in the specified nadai, chathusra being the default).

3) Also, do each of them have a specific sound when played on a mridangam. If you can provide an audio of that where you speak one sollu and play that sollu three times with a gap between them, that will help us get tuned to the sounds.

4) What is the meaning of ',' when you use them with the solkattu?

5) Is it possible to leave one space between each sollu and then more than one space if you want to separate a group of them?

6) With the basic Korvai lesson that you started, can you give an audio example with just Poorvanga and Uttaranga ( without the madhyanga ). You can use the one you started with. And then provide the variations on the same structure that you have done with the three part one ( Poorvanga-madhyanga-uttaranga). That can be our lesson 1 and then we will use the three part one as the second lesson which you have already done.

Thanks very much.

mridhangam
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#47

Post by mridhangam »

vasanthakokilam wrote:1) Can you provide us a list the various sollus that you will be using: Like the 'tha', 'ka', 'ki', 'ta', 'thom' etc.
It is absolutely difficult to list all the list of various sollus. There are various combinations of sollus that we play as taught to us or assimilated.
2) Are all of them one sub-unit in duration ( in the specified nadai, chathusra being the default).
Unit duration also is a very complicated topic. sub-unit meas there are 1 sollu per beat in chatusra nadai 1st speed, 2 sollus in 2nd speed, 4 in third speed 8 in 4th speed and goes on doubling. You may observe that there are 2 subunits in second speed and 4 subunits per beat in third speed and so on and so forth. The sollus mentioned above have one sub unit duration only.

3) Also, do each of them have a specific sound when played on a mridangam. If you can provide an audio of that where you speak one sollu and play that sollu three times with a gap between them, that will help us get tuned to the sounds.
Yes. As there are saptaswaras there are 7 basic syllables in mridangam playing also. They are listed below :

Tha
Dhi (A variation gives Ri)
Thom (A variation is gumukki)
Nam
Dhin
Ta
Chaapu (Contains Full and Half Chaapus)

Of the above Tha, Dhi and Ta are non-vibrating. Ri, Thom, Dhin and Chaapu are Vibrating syllables. Nam is partially vibrating and partially non-vibrating. That is y this sollu is very difficult to teach and play at the learning stages. Takes time to get Nam sollu alone.
4) What is the meaning of ',' when you use them with the solkattu?
, means one gap in 3rd speed. (one sub unit gap should be given). Actually i am following this after NickH has given it in his korvai. Kindly see his post where he has used the comma for leaving one sub-unit of gap in 3rd speed. That is all. 2 commas means 2 sub units of gap and 3 commas means 3 sub-units of gap. That is all. After reading NickH's post i am following this method that is all. If anyone can apprise me of how we can represent for uniformity sake i shall do so from then onwards.
5) Is it possible to leave one space between each sollu and then more than one space if you want to separate a group of them?
I dont understand this question.May i know Under what context this has been posed ?
6) With the basic Korvai lesson that you started, can you give an audio example with just Poorvanga and Uttaranga ( without the madhyanga ). You can use the one you started with. And then provide the variations on the same structure that you have done with the three part one ( Poorvanga-madhyanga-uttaranga). That can be our lesson 1 and then we will use the three part one as the second lesson which you have already done.
Sure I shall do so.

J Balaji
Last edited by mridhangam on 02 Apr 2007, 07:08, edited 1 time in total.

sankirnam
Posts: 374
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#48

Post by sankirnam »

mridhangam wrote:Pallavi.pr
1) The mohara comes at the end of a Tani Avartanam (Not necessarily also according to some people as I have heard Trichy Sankaran Sir himself refer to the ending part as Periya Mohara-Meaning Long Mohara and the intervening Korvais as small Moharas).
Actually, Upendransir used to play moharas in the middle of his thanis as well as a periya mohara at the end. He would play sankirnam or kandam, for example, build it up with farens phrases, and then play the adi thala mohara in that nadai. In the end of the thani, he would play a different mohara. I think he was the only person to do this (as far as I have heard).
If necessary, I can upload an example of a thani where he does this... that might be instructive.

http://rapidshare.com/files/23826760/06 ... i.mp3.html

In this thani, Upendransir starts with tisram, then jumps to sankirnam. After some vinyasam in sankirnam involving farens, he plays the adi thalam mohara in sankirnam. The transition to kandam is really very clever. He uses 9's to go from sankirnam to kandam! (It is 9+1 karvai). Then, he plays kandam, and finishes that with a korvai in tisrakandam (5*3). Then, the final periya mohara and korvai are in tisram.
Last edited by sankirnam on 01 Apr 2007, 23:31, edited 1 time in total.

vasanthakokilam
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#49

Post by vasanthakokilam »

Balaji: Thanks very much. Your answers clarify things for me.

With reference to question 5,

for example,

Dhi , tan,gita thaka tharikitathaka thom , tha , thom , kita thaka tharikita

you have single spaces between groups of sollus, like 'thaka' and 'tharikita'. I was not sure if there is any significance.
But given your explanation of what ',' is, then I preassume that is a logical grouping and while playing you play them without any gaps. Please correct me if that understanding is not correct.

mridhangam
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#50

Post by mridhangam »

Member Vasanthakokilam

The spaces between group of sollus is only for understanding and has got no relevance to karvai aspects as such. Karvais are indicated only by , here. That comma also is for easy understanding of one karvai etc. It is very difficult to read "gitathakatharikitathakathom" or "thakatharikitathakathom" and hence i have left gaps though they are not real karvais while playing.

Member Sankirnam :

Excellent. That clarifies my statement too and also another aspect of Tani Avartanam. What i meant earlier which used to be expressed by Trichy Sankaran Sir is nothing but different Aasu with different korvais before the Periya Moharas were also referred to as Moharas by him. But what you have said is something new to me. That is playing a mohara in Khanda Nadai or Tisra Nadai before the Periya Mohara is very interesting. Could you pls upload the audio if you hve it ?

Thank You
J.Balaji

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