LEARNING CARNATIC MUSIC
Stages in Abhyasaganam
Information provided by T.N.Chitra
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.
2. Matya Talam
It has one laghu,one drtham and
one laghu. The Matya talam practised in alankarams is also Chatusrajathi.
3. Rupaka Talam
It has a drtham and a laghu. The
rupaka talam practised in the alankarams is also chatusra jathi.
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.
6. Ata Talam
This tala has two laghus and two
drthams. The ata talam is practised in the kanda jathi in the alankarams.
This has a laghu only. The Eka talam
is practised in the chatusra jathi in the alankarams.
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 and Swarajathis
The next step introduces the students
to small songs in different ragas and talas through Gitams and Swarajathis.
These gitams are simple in tune and talam and the students have a feel
of the concept of tune in Carnatic music.
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.