JSS Annual Music Conference: Talk on ‘Analysis of gamakas and alankaras’
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JSS Annual Music Conference: Talk on ‘Analysis of gamakas and alankaras’

January 1, 2018

By Dr. Padmavathi Narasimhan

December 5th found three edifying papers in the morning session. The first was a remarkable lecture by K.T. Udaykiran on ‘Analysis of gamakas and alankaras in different kinds of music.’ The musician’s insight into music is amazing. He discussed on linking swaras in ragas like Dwijavanti, usage of ‘g’ in Aarabhi and Devagandhari, usage of glides in western music which are equivalent to gamaka, usage of three swaras at a time (chord) in western music, voice modulation, purity in gamakas, how more number of shuddha swara-based ragas are found more in Hindustani and western music, how music gives one a balanced personality, why some ragas need to be sung aloud like jhanjuti and some like Pahadi have to be sung in a lighter tone — all these things were explained with apt illustrations. The lecture was enjoyable with Uday’s high sense of humour.

K.T. Udaykiran

The second lecture was about ‘Aesthetic study of manodharma’ by Tanmayee Krisnamurty. She explained how a kind of relationship is formed between music and human soul, what does music do apart from stimulating emotions, ontological way of studying music, how each raga is identified with its colour, its mode, the beauty inherent in every raga, how there is much more to navarasas than what Bharata has mentioned in his Natyashastra, how the meaning of rasa is expanded to the experience that brings people under one roof and finally how detached joy is achieved in music were described. Tanmayee could have done more homework on her abstract subject.

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The third demonstration during the morning session was a treat to all assembled in the auditorium. The three young percussionists Sai Shiv, Somashekhar Jois and Sunad Anoor called it ‘Magic of Mishra.’


It was a combined effort of the three and each one of them gave the explanation one after the other alternately.

Sai Shiv explained that Mishra meaning seven, all multiples of seven come under the category. The name Mishra is also used in names of ragas — Mishra Behag, Mishra Tillang, etc.

Importance and occurrence of seven in many facets like 7 days of the week, 7 colours in a rainbow, 7 rivers, 7 hills at Tirupati, 7 worlds, 7 islands, 7 oceans, 7 puris (pilgrimages), Saptapadi (7 steps) in a Hindu wedding, etc. were mentioned.

It was also stated that in Yoga, Mishra is practiced to control the mind. 2+3+4+5 used exclusively in Bharatanatyam was demonstrated. The latter part of the presentation was very interesting and lively wherein the three took various possibilities of mishra such as Trishra Triputa containing 7 aksharas, Chaturashra Triputa containing 14, Mishra Eka containing 7 and Khanda roopaka with 7 again were beautifully illustrated. That compositions including Geete- Kereya Neeranu, all Atta Tala varnas kritis in mishra Chapu tala, Bhava geetes like ‘Yava mohana murali kareyitu,’ Hindi film songs like ‘Teri Bindiya Re’  and ‘Aap Ki Nazaron Ne Samjha’ come under this category was observed.

Shlokas in mishra like Chandrashekharashtakam and Guru Brahma Gururvishnuh were recited breath takingly by Somashekhar Jois. The three presented an intricate taniyavartanam in mishra with Somashekhar Jois on Konnakkol which was absolutely enchanting.


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