LEARNING CARNATIC MUSIC
Stages in Abhyasaganam
Information provided by T.N.Chitra
Alankaram
This is a set of exercies in 7 talams. Here, the student is exposed to variety in laya pattern. This is an important exercise from the laya point of view. The seven talams in alankaram are :
1. Dhruva Tamlam
It has one laghu,1drtham and two laghus. The Dhruva talam practised in alankarams is called Chatusrajathi dhruva talam because the laghu has 4 aksharas.
1 4 0 2 1 4 1 4
2. Matya Talam
It has one laghu,one drtham and one laghu. The Matya talam practised in alankarams is also Chatusrajathi.
1 4 0 2 1 4
3. Rupaka Talam
It has a drtham and a laghu. The rupaka talam practised in the alankarams is also chatusra jathi.
0 2 1 4
4. Jampa Talam
This has one laghu,one anuhdrtham and a dhrtham. In the alankarams the Jampa talam is practised in the misra jathi Jampa talam.The laghu has 7 aksharas.
5. Triputa Talam
This has a laghu and two drthams. The triputa talam is practised in the tisra jathi in the alankarams.
1 3 0 2 0 2
6. Ata Talam
This tala has two laghus and two drthams. The ata talam is practised in the kanda jathi in the alankarams.
1 5 1 5 0 2 0 2
7.Eka Talam
This has a laghu only. The Eka talam is practised in the chatusra jathi in the alankarams.
1 4
All the above exercises are practised in three speeds in Mayamalavagowlai raga. But today, to avoid monotony and to introduce new ragas, teachers teach these preliminary exercises in other ragas as well - Mohanam, Hamsadhwani, Thodi, etc.

Gitams & Swarajathis
The next step introduces the students to small songs in different ragas and talas through Gitams & Swarajathis. These gitams are simple in tune and talam and the students have a feel of the concept of tune in Carnatic music.

Varnams
The Varnams are the most important lessons in Carnatic music. The varnams are included in concerts also. An authentic and vast repertoire of varnam ensures sound grounding in Carnatic music. The varnams have wide variety of ragas and talas also. A minimum of 20 varnams need to be learnt. Ecah varnam in a particular raga helps the student to understand the scope and grammar of the raga and helps the students to gain good knowledge of ragam 7 laya. The varnams will have to be practised in atleast two speeds. It is traditional to begin a concert with a varnam.

Learning Carnatic Music
Introduction
Stages in Abhyasaganam - Swaravali, Jantai Varisai, Dhatu Varisai, Melsthayi Varisai
Tala
Tala - Structure
Tala - Angams & Jaathis
Tala - Maarga Thalams
Gamakas

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