Author Topic: Views of A Carnatic Classical Singer + Researcher in Chemistry on Learning Songs  (Read 1531 times)

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Akila Gopalakrishnan, University of Alberta, Edmonton -

Personally, during my
>> > years of learning carnatic, I find that knowing the historical and musical
>> > background of every song comes in very handy in applying the knowledge to
>> > a
>> > context we best relate to. Specifically:
>> >
>> > 1) Knowing the true intended meaning of a song. It's a challenging thing
>> > to
>> > do, since most devotional songs are composed in praise of a God. Secondly,
>> > they are historically older - so the true meaning might be debatable. But
>> > we often overlook that beyond the mere praise of a God, there exist many
>> > many stories, epics and religious values, which also mainly reflects the
>> > spiritual outlook on music in yesteryears.
>> >
>> > So, if we can perhaps share meanings of some songs, people may be able to
>> > better appreciate a song written in a different language (and learn new
>> > stories)
>> >
>> > 2) knowing the poet and composer: it usually says a lot about the depth of
>> > the song, some composers like thyagaraja who has travelled across India
>> > has
>> > a lot of hindustani influence in his compositions - only because he
>> > travelled. So, it also gives us a background on that song. Once we start
>> > remembering names, at least minimally, of composers and poets, we can
>> > slowly look for more devotional songs in other regional languages. I
>> > particularly did this when I was looking for Abhangs.
>> >
>> > So, basically - if we can make a conscious note to composers and poets, we
>> > can slowly start collecting devotional songs from different States in
>> > India. I feel it might help capture the attention and might draw the
>> > interest of different age groups. My generation folks have access to
>> > internet, while folks from my mother's generation have access to their own
>> > childhood songs - which is invaluable.
>> >
>> > 3) One main suggestion I have, and have been personally interested in
>> > doing
>> > it myself is to collect and share Folk songs. More often than not, folk
>> > songs greatly reflect the spiritual spirit and communal spirit of that
>> > region - and is great for generation like us where we have no prior
>> > learning or access to it.
>> >
>> > So, I feel that in addition to devotional songs, if we can get people to
>> > share the folk songs they know from their parents/grand parents etc, it
>> > will be a fresh outlook on the way we perceive carnatic music.
>> >
>> > 4) Correlate ragas of devotional songs to movie songs. This has been done
>> > for decades now, and there are lots of websites that do that already. But
>> > personally, the more I learn about a ragam and how a movie song has used
>> > it, the better I remember the ragam and the song itself. This is
>> > definitely
>> > a big boost to how we relate to carnatic (and hindustani).
>> >
>> > 5) What might help is a may be a discussion section on your webpage and
>> > interested folks can hold discussions, share lyrics, meaning and even
>> > comments and song requests.
>> >

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Akila Gopalakrishnan - following song is attached

Here is my recording of a small devotional song on Rama.
SObhAnE SObhAnE - ragam: madhyarAmakriyA - talam : rUpaka - TyAgarAja composition

1. vadana dyuti jita sOma vasudhA mAnasa kAma
mada mAnava gaNa bhIma mAṃ pAhi SrI rAma (SO)

2. janaka sutA hRd-ramaNA jamadagnija mada haraṆa
praṇatAghAnala varuṆa pAhi mAṃ muni SaraNa (SO)

3. vigaLita mOha pASa vidhu kOṭi saṃkASa
bhagavan sakalAdhISa pAhi pApa vinASa (SO)

4. vara tyAgarAja nuta vArija saMbhava tAta
parama kalyANa yuta pAhi mAṃ Subha carita (SO)