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Carnatic Music Theory Notes.

Discussion in 'Carnatic and Hindustani tutorials' started by Pracalpa, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. Pracalpa

    Pracalpa Member

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    is an Indian term for Music. A group of musical sounds, which are
    called swaras that give melody and pleasant feelings to the ears, is called
    Sangeetham. Ancient writers hold the view that vocal music, instrumental
    music and dance together constituted sangeetham. Later, dance was
    separated from the first two.

    is an audible sound which can be heard distinctly. It is a musical sound
    which a well trained human ear is capable of distinguishing. It is the Key note
    or Adhara Shadjam, based on which all other Swaras are derived.

    is a musical note which is pleasing to the ears. There are seven basic
    swaras, known as Saptha Swaras. They are -

    1. Shadjam (shortly - Sa)
    2. Rishabham (Ri)
    3. Ghandaram (Ga)
    4. Madhyamam (Ma)
    5. Panchamam (Pa)
    6. Dhaivatham (Dha)
    7. Nishadham (Ni)

    Dwadasa Swarasthanas

    Out of the seven swaras, Shadjam (Sa) and Panchamam (Pa) are constant. They
    are called Achala Swaras. The remaining five swaras admit varieties and they
    are called Chala Swaras. In combination, both Achala and Chala swaras yield 12
    different musical notes and they are called Dwadhasa Swarasthanas.
    The Dwadasa Swarasthanas are -
    1. Shadjam ...................................... Sa
    2. Suddha Rishabam ....................... Su Ri
    3. Chatusruthi Rishabam ................. Cha Ri
    4. Sadharana Gandharam ............... Sa Ga
    5. Anthara Ghandaram ................... An Ga
    6. Suddha Madhyamam .................. Su Ma
    7. Prathi Madhyamam ..................... Pra Ma
    8. Panchamam ................................ Pa
    9. Suddha Dhaivatham ................... Su Dha
    10. Chatusruthi Dhaivatham ............. Cha Dha
    11. Kaisiki Nishadham ...................... Kai Ni
    12. Kakali Nishadham ....................... Ka Ni2

    Arohana – Series of Swaras in the ascending order of pitch.

    Avarohana – Series of swaras in the descending order of pitch.

    Moorchana – Arohana and Avarohana together, is called Moorchana.

    Sthayi – A series of swaras, beginning with Sa and ending with Ni, is called
    Sthayi. There are Five Sthayis.

    1. Anumandra Sthayi
    2. Mandra Sthayi
    3. Madhya Sthayi
    4. Tara Sthayi
    5. Ati-Tara Sthayi

    The Sthayi in which we normally sing is the madhya sthayi. The swaras
    following the upper Shadjam of madhya shtayi are in Tara Sthayi, and the
    swaras following upper shadjam of tara sthayi are in Ati-Tara Stayi. The Sthayi
    preceding Madhya stayi is the Madhra sthayi, and the swaras preceding the
    Mandhra Stayi Shadjam are in Anumandra stayi.

    Purvanga – The group of first four swaras of the Saptha Swaras – Sa, Ri, Ga,Ma – is known as the Purvanga.

    Uttharanga – The group of last three notes – Pa Dha Ni – is known as Uttharanga.

    Dhathu – The swara part of the musical composition is known as Dhathu.

    Mathu – The sahitya part of a musical composition is known as Mathu.

    Akshara Kala – Unit time in music is called Akshara Kala.

    Thrikaala – Kala is refers to the speed of the musical piece. There are Three Kalas,

    1. Prathama Kala – First degree of speed. One note is sung in one Akshara Kala.
    2. Dwitiya Kala – Second degree of speed, twice faster than Prathama kala. Two notes are sung in one Akshara Kala.
    3. Tritiya Kala – Third degree of speed, twice faster than Dwitiya Kala. Four notes are sung in one Akshara Kala.

    Thourya Trikam - Vocal Music, Instrumental Music and Dance, all the three
    combined together is referred to as Thouryathrikam.

    Tala – Musical time or measure.

    Avartha – It is the completion of a tala angas or time measure.

    Angas, Shadangas – In order to facilitate easy and accurate method of
    reckoning musical time, six angas have been devised. They are known as
    Shadangas or six angas. They are
    1. Laghu
    2. Drutham
    3. Anudrutam
    4. Guru
    5. Plutam
    6. Kakapadam

    Of the Thalangas, only 3 are widely in use. They are called Principle Thalangas. Here is the list of Principle Thalangas along with their way of counting
    1. Anudrutam (U) – One Beat of the Palm on the lap
    2.Drutam (O) – One beat + One wave (usi/visarjitam)
    3. Laghu (I) – One beat + Count of the fingers

    Jaati – Of the Shadangas, only laghu has variations in number of kriyas. It is called Laghu Jaati bedha. There are 5 Jaatis.
    1. Trisra Jaati - 3 Kriyas
    2. Chaturasra Jaati - 4 Kriyas
    3. Kanda Jaati - 5 Kriyas
    4. Misra Jaati - 7 Kriyas
    5. Sankeerna Jaati - 9 Kriyas

    Sapta Talas – There are seven principle Talas, they are called Sapta Talas.
    They are -
    1. Dhruva Tala
    2. Matya Tala
    3. Rupaka Tala
    4. Jampa Tala
    5. Triputa Tala
    6. Ata Tala
    7. Eka Tala.
    #1 Pracalpa, Feb 18, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
    Jimsweb likes this.
  2. Jimsweb

    Jimsweb Super Moderator

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