South India in the 18th century was a place where music blos somed and flourished into a mighty tree from the deep roots of past knowledge. In the course of the next two centuries we saw the emancipation of music in the form of trimurtis, Saint Tyagaraja, Syama Sastri and Muthuswami Dikshitar.
Kerala is often referred to as the land of culture. The cultural consciousness of the people of Kerala is very high and this great land has made substantial contribution to the cultural wealth of India. Great artists were encouraged respected and rewarded in Kerala. It is an inexplicable paradox that in such a great land a genius of art had remained in virtual oblivion for quite a long time.
Maharaja Swathi Tirunal the greatest composer of classical music was a patron of many arts, prolific composer a man of learning and erudition. He become a bright star on the firmament musical scholarship, swathi Tirunal in his songs powerfully showed us the unity that was in india where the worship of God took many forms. He not only brought us vibrant music but also taught us that worship through any language or any community, where King and commoner unites in fervent expression of Bhakthi and where the boundaries of understanding are eternal, that is where God dwells, in the contributed to all musical forms and they have been considered as gems of compositions.
The present volume has been an outcome of my reverence for Swathi Tirunal Compositions. The great literary heritage brought through these compositions have been applauded from every quarters let it be form Sanskrit scholars or musical giants. Through his contributions have evoked much controversy about their ownership the scholarship and content could come only from the penmanship of Swathi Tirunal have gained importance and popularity and I hope this small contribution will enhance the popularity and rendering them more easy for the musician as well the new learner. I also earnestly hope that the present volume will make its usefulness felt among the learners.
I have included a short biography of Maharaja Swathi Tirunal and I believe that a good knowledge of his life time help us to understand and appreciate his compositions better. A glimpse into the intricacies of Kritis have been added to make the volume more useful.
I am thankful to Dr. P.Balashanker, my colleague for designing the cover of this book. I am deeply indebted to Sri M. Easwaran Editor, CBH Publications for putting forth suggestions and sitting through the editing of the notated version of the songs. I am thankful to Smt.M.Girija, Proprietor, CBH publications for undertaking the publication of the book.
I crave for the indulgence of the learners and musicians to bring forth to my knowledge any mistakes that may have inadvertently crept into the notation of the book.
I submit this humble volume to the revered memory of Maharaja Swathi Tirunal.
In the present volume I have tried to present a small treasury of golden compositions of Swathi Tirunal. I have felt the necessity of notated versions of his songs for a long time. To make it more people oriented
Krithis are musical forms that belong to the sphere of sabhage nam. The term Krithis means a musical form or musical composition. This form is believed to have originated form Keertana a devotional musical form. Krithis or Keertanas emerged during the era of Talapakkam composers. Ashtapadi, Taranga Prabandha can be considered to be its precursors. However the form Krithis was refined and reached the present form during the period of ‘Trini ty’ during the 18th/19th century.
Keertana as the suggests is purely prakeertana or praise of the Lord. Keertanas are used for both abhyasa and sabhagana. In Kirtanas Sahitya is given importance. The music is simple and is used to bring out the Sahitya. The structure simple with angas, Pallavi and Charana. Charanas have the same dhathu with simple svara sanchara and structure. They are classified as Ekadhathu, and dvidhathu. In Ekadhathu Pallavi Anupallavi and Charanas have the same dhathu whereas in Dvidhathu, Pallavi and Charana will be having different dhathu or svara sancharas. Con sidering the tala aspect the Pallavi and Anupallavi have either two or four avarthas and Charana with its double avarta. In Keertanas we come across literary beauties like prasa, yati, yamaka, etc. Namavails, Utsava sampradaya Krithis, Utsava praband has, Dasara padas, etc can be treated as example of Keertanas. The sahithya is also highly devotional. The Bhakthi theme is found paramount in all Keertanas.
Unlike Keertanas Krithis are highly musical and melodic. There are many distinctive features of musical and literary aspect. Musically importance angas like chittaswaram, sangatis, svara sahitya, cholkettus etc form a part of Krithis at times.
Like Keertanas Kriti has also angas like Pallavi, Anupallavi and Charana. In some Krithis of Dikshithar, Anupallavi and Charana is combined and subtitled samashti, Krithis are composed in Ekatala and dvitala duration i.e., vilam bita and Madhya kala duration. In Krithis with samashticharanam there is madhyakala sahitya of two avartas. Like keertana Krithis will also have different dhathu characteristics for Charanas with different musical structure.
The theme of most of the Krithis are devotional musical, philo sophical and descriptive. Krithis are musically distinctive with full of raga bhava and gana rasa. Sangatis and gamakas are given prominence. There will be three Charanas having the same dhathu. But usually in concerts only Charana with the vaggeyakara mudra is sung.
The commencement Krithis will be varied. There are same, anaga ta and athitha eduppu for Krithis. In same eduppu the music as well as tala commence together. Foreg., kamalambam in Kalyani in angatha eduppu tala begins a little while after the music. This is of three types 1/4, ½, ¾, eduppa. In eduppa tala begins after one or two akshara kala. In ½ eduppu after 2 or 4 akshara kala and ¾ eduppu after 3 or 6 aksharakala.
Most of the Krithis offer full scope for decorative angas like Niraval, and kalpanasvara prasthara. The decorative angas figuring in Krithis are both musical and literary. The introduction of these angas enhance the melodic beauty and charm of the composition, just like the studded jewels in ornaments. The musically important decorative angas used in Krithis are sangatis, gamaka, chittaswaram, svara sahitya, cholkettus svara, makutam, madhyakala svara sahityam, vilomasvara sahityam, etc. the literary decorative angas are svaraksharas, yathi, prasa, yamaka etc.
The most important indispensable feature of Krithis are sangatis. The improvisation of sahithya with appropriate svara sancharas can be termed as sangatis. Sangatis are introduced step by step and improvised gradually. They are introduced either from the beginning to the end or in reverse order. They are introduced in such a way that the raga bhava is not affected. In most of the Krithis we come across 3 or 5 sangatis. But there are Krithis having 8,9, 10, or upto 18 sangatis, for eg., in chakkaniraja in Kharaharapriya 18 sangatis are introduced. Tyagaraja and mutthus wami Dikshitar were adept in introducing sangatis. Syama sastri and Swathi Tirunal and others have introduced brisk and beautiful sangatis. Sangatis shine more in chowka kala keertanas. There are sangatis in chowka, Madhya and druta kala. Most of the sangatis are introduced by the composers themselves. In rare instance the disciple of the composer have introduced sangatis as a part of modification to them.
Another distance feature found in Krithis is gamaka. Gamakas are embellishment or graces added for the sake of beauty. Gamakas are introduced for enhancing the melodic beauty of Krithis. Gama kas are two types comprising pancha dasa (15) gamakas and other dasavidha (10) gamakas. (A detailed account of these gamakas is out of scope in this essay and hence the reader is referred to the reference books Alapana or rendering without gamakas will be like the sky without moon or stars, river without water and lady without ornaments. Gamakas form part and parcel of Krithis.
Among the other decorative angas introduced in Krithis are chit tasvara. They are significant and are svara passages of 2 or 4 avartas introduced in the Krithis. They will be sung after the Anupallavi and Charana. It is set in the tala if the kriti,. After Anupallavi, chittaswaram will be sung in vilambitakala and after charanam in druta kala, for eg, Govardhana girisam in Hindola, Raghuvamsa in Kadanakuthuhaklam and Paritana meechithe in Bilahari are examples of Krithis having beautiful chittasvaram.
Svara sahitya chittaswaras are chittaswaras with proper sahithya, syama sastri has composed svara sahithya in many Kritis, palimsu kamakshi in Madhyamavathi, Mariverei in Anandabhairavi are examples. Subbaraya sastri in his kriti svara portion is sung after Anupallavi and sahithya part after charanam. In certain cases both svara and sahitya are sung in vilambita after Anupallavi and in druta kala after charanam/
Cholkettu svara are chittasvaras interspersed with beautiful rhythmic jathis. Both svaras and jathi are turned or coined to gether excellently. Dikshitar and swathi Thirunal have introduced Cholkettu svara in their kritis. Visalakshim in panmamva in Todi, Jananai Mamava in Bhairavi are kritis containing excellent cholkettusvaras. They are sung after Anupallavi in vilambita and after charana in drutakala.
Madhyamakala sahitya is another decorative anga of two or three avartas set in a speedy manner. The figure at the conclusion of Anupallavi charana or samashticharana. Dikshithar was an expert in composting kritis with Madhyamakala sahitya. Vathapi ganapathim in Himsadhvani, vallabha nayakasya in begada, Mamava meenakshi in Varali, sarouhasana in Pantuvarali, Devi pavane in Saveri, anjaneya in saveri, Kamalambam bhajare, bhajare rechitha in Kalyani, Sri Krishnam bhajre rechitha in Kalyani, sri Krishnam bhajre in Todi are examples.
Makutam is another decorative anga, having chittaswaras. The chittaswara will be concluded with svara passages in Makuta pattern or crown like ending. In Govardhana girisam the chittas waram ends as mgsn,s,n,dm,m,gsn
Svaraksharam is the beautiful anga in which svara and sahitya syllable will be identical. This itself is of two types, suddha svarakshara in which svara and sahithya syllable will be identical and similar. Durusuka in saveri is an example.
Literary angas also figure in the kritis. Yati is one such wherein the same latter will be repeated on the beat of the tala. Vasanathrayavi varjitha, varamuni bhavithe, in Sri Saraswathi in Arabhi is an example they are of different types like Samayathi, goupuccha yathi and srotovahayati. In Sama yathi the same latter is repeated. In Gopuccha yathi the words decrease gradually in a descending order like the tail of a cow. An example is Tyagara jayoga in anandabhairvi. The srothavahayathi is like the flow of water where the words increase in order ie., in ascending nature as in Ramanaseemana Kharaharapriya.
Prasa means rhyme and in krithis the same latter figures as the beginning letter and concluding letter. In same yathi same letter is repeated. In Gopuccha yathi the words decrease gradually in a descending order like the tail of a cow. An example is Tyagara jayoga in Anandabhairavi. The srothavahayathi is like the flow of water where the words increase in order ie., in ascending nature as in Ramanaseemana in Kharaharapriya.
Prasa means rhyme and in krithis the same letter figures as the beginning letter and concluding letter. In same cases the second letter will be the same. They are known as adi prasa, dvitiyak shara prasa and antya prasas,
Yamaka is the literary anga in which the same pada or term is used in different meanings. Eg. Kamalambam bhajare the term kamala is used indifferent meaning Kamalavani, kamalapura, kamala vadana etc.
Thus kriti composed with all above significant features will remain as everlasting gems. In Swathi Tirunal kritis we come across in numerous occasions various literary angas have been done excellently the beauty of the compositions. The masterly handling of these angas have done excellently in Swathi Tirunal compositions as a whole and place him as a composer par excellence
Your email address will not be published *
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend