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CHAPTER II

GENERAL SURVEY OF TYAGARAJA’S COMPOSITIONS

Tyagaraja has composed innumerable songs in one and the same raga.

But the musical setting of none resembles another.

His kritis are veritable

crystals in the respective ragas. Some compositions may have an enlarged and

elaborate setting, while some may be medium sized and some with chosen

limits of exposition.

It was really a difficult task to find out that what motivated him to

compose songs, whether it was his love for music or his devotional inspiration.

On a close analysis of his kritis, we can find out that his devotion towards Lord

Rama was the most important inspiring factor. His kritis were full of devotional

fragrances. He never disclosed his disciples, the ragas of kritis which he taught

to them. Subbarama Deekshitar claims that the names of the rare ragas of

Tyagaraja were given by Singaracharyalu brothers.4

Prior to Tyagaraja, the number of ragas used for songs was, very

limited. Jayadeva

used

in

his

Geetha govindam

(12 th Century)

only

11

ragas like,1) Malava, 2)Gurjari, 3)Vasantha, 4)Ramakari, 5) Mayamalavagoula,

6)Karnata, 7)Desakya, 8)Desivaradi, 9)Gawdakari, 10)Bhairavi, 11)Vibhasha.” 5

The ragas used in Ramanatakama work that just preceded Tyagaraja‟s kritis

4 K.T.Raveendranath, Karnataka sangeethacharithram, Trivandrum, The State Institute of Languages Kerala, -695003,1995, p.223

5 MS Ramaswami Iyyer , Tyagaraja A great musician saint (1759-1847), New Delhi, J. Jetley. Asian Educational services, p.130

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were

Todi,

Varadi,

Bhairavi,

Kalyani,

Saveri,

Asaveri,

Madhyamavathi,

Sankarabharanam, Anandabhairavi, Neelambari, Surutti, Huseni, Kamboji and

others.6

Different opinions are there regarding the total number of kritis and

ragas

handled by

Tyagaraja. Sri K.T.Raveendranath says Tyagaraja has

handled more than 3600 compositions.7

According to tradition, Tyagaraja is said to have composed several thousands of songs but this is, as usual an exaggeration. What we have is less than a thousand; but actually about six hundred and seventy five (675) are known with text and tune” 8 . According to M.S. Ramaswami Iyyer in his book „Tyagaraja‟, Tyagaraja used

47 Melakartha ragas. Tyagaraja followed Venkitamaki‟s 72 mela system.

He distributed his melas amongst his 505 kritis.

95

are in Harikamboji, 85 in Kharaharapriya, 80 in Sankarabharanam,

53

in Hanumathodi, 40 in Mayamalavagoula, 36 in Natabhairavi, 24 in

Mechakalyani, 9 in Subhapanthuvarali, 8 in Jhalavarali, 7 in Chakravaka, 4 in Suryakantham, Kiravani and Sarasangi, 3 in Gayakapriya, Jhankaradwani, Pavani, Gamanasrama, Vachaspathi, 2 in each of Vanaspathi, Manavathi, Dhenuka, Kokilapriya, Vakulabharanam, Gowrimanohari, Soolini, Vagadheeswari, Chalanatta, Ramapriya, Neethimathi and Kanthamani and only one in each of Ratnangi, Rupavathi, Varunapriya, Mararanjani, Charukesi, Naganandini, Gangeyabhushani, Navanitham, Bhavapriya,

6 Ibid.,p.131

7 K.T.Raveendranath, Op.cit.,p.109

8 Dr. V. Raghavan, Tyagaraja, Composers- cultural leaders of India, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broad casting, Government of India, p.36

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Shadvidhamargini, Divyamani, Namanarayani, Kamavardhini, Viswambhari, Shanmukhapriya, Simhendramadhyamam and Rishabha priya9 Generally, Venkitamaki‟s 72 melas divided into group A of 32

ordinary ragas and group B of 40 special ragas.

The ragas of Group A are

based on the well known 12 svarasthanas used in Indian Music. The ragas of

Group B are based on the use of the 4 another svaras of the Carnatic system,

like Sudha gandhara, Shadsruti rishabha, Sudha nishada, and Shadsruti

dhaivata.

It is known as Vivadi melas.

Table II.1

GROUP A - Ordinary 32 ragas

   

No. in

   

No in

Venkita

Venkitam

Sl.

No.

Purva melas

maki‟s

mela

Sl.

No.

Utharamelas

aki‟s

mela

system-

system

1

Thodi

8

17

Bhavapriya

44

2

Dhenuka

9

18

Subhapanthuvarali

45

3

Natakapriya

10

19

Shadvidhamargini

46

4

Kokilapriya

11

20

Suvarnangi

47

5

Vakulabharanam

14

20

Namanarayani

50

6

Mayamalavagoula

15

22

Kamavardhini

51

7

Chakravakam

16

23

Ramapriya

52

8

Suryakantham

17

24

Gamanasrama

53

9

Natabhairavi

20

25

Shanmukhapriya

56

10

Keeravani

21

26

Simhendramadhyamam

57

11

Kharaharapriya

22

27

Hemavathi

58

12

Gowrimanohari

23

28

Dharmavathi

59

13

Charukesi

26

29

Rishabhapriya

62

9 MS Ramaswami Iyyer ,Op.cit, p.132

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14

Sarasangi

 

30

27 Lathangi

63

15

Harikamboji

 

31

28 Vachaspathi

64

16

Sankarabharanam

 

32

29 Mechakalyani

65

 

Table II.2

 

GROUP B Vivadi ragas

 
   

No. in

   

No in

Venkita

Venkitam

Sl.

No.

Purva melas

maki‟s

mela

Sl No

Utharamelas

aki‟s

mela

system-

system

1

Kanakangi

1

21

Salagam

37

2

Rathnangi

2

22

Jalarnavam

38

3

Ganamurthi

3

23

Jhalavarali

39

4

Vanaspathi

4

24

Navanitam

40

5

Manavathi

5

25

Pavani

41

6

Tanarupi

6

26

Raghupriya

42

7

Senavathi

7

27

Gavambodhi

43

8

Rupavathi

12

28

Divyamani

48

9

Gayakapiya

13

29

Dhavalambari

49

10

Hatakambari

18

30

Viswambhari

54

11

Jhankaradwani

19

31

Syamalangi

55

12

Varunapriya

24

32

Nitimati

60

13

Mararanjani

25

33

Kanthamani

61

14

Naganandini

30

34

Chitrambari

66

15

Yagapriya

31

35

Sucharithra

67

16

Ragavardhani

32

36

Jyotiswaroopini

68

17

Gangeyabhooshani

33

37

Dhatuvardhani

69

18

Vagadheeswari

34

38

Nasikabhooshani

70

19

Soolini

35

39

Kosalam

71

20

Chalanatta

36

40

Rasikapriya

72

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Out of 47 melas, Tyagaraja selected 31 melas from group A, while only

Out of his 505 songs, so many as 485 were placed in

group A; while only 20 were relegated Group B.10

16 from group B.

He had strong liking for Sudha madhyama ragas.

He has composed 439

kritis in Sudha madhyama melas, while only 66 in Prati madhyama melas.

On

the whole, Tyagaraja has handled in his kritis about 200 ragas.

In the book Ragasudha’ of BRC Iyyengar, we can see that, the kritis of

Tyagaraja classified under the following manner.

Table II.3

Raga and kriti analysis 11 .

Group

 

Total

 

Classification

Mela

Janya

Ragas

Total kritis

1

kritis in melakarthas and janyas

26

+

137

163

588

2

kritis in melakarthas only

13

+

0

13

16

3

kritis in janyas and none in its melakarthas

(13)

33

33

83

 

Summary

39

170

209

687

10

Ibid.,p.138

11 BRC Iyyengar, Ragasudha - Understanding Carnatic music, Secenderabad, 54 Ishaq Colony, 56001, 2003, p.103 107

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He composed 687 kritis in 39 melakarthas and 170 janya ragas

of 52 melakarthas. This excludes churnika. The 20 melakarthas and its janya

ragas that are not used are, 6, 7, 10, 18, 31, 32, 37, 38, 42, 43, 47, 49, 50, 54,

55, 67, 68, 69, 71, 72.

Table II.4

GROUP 1

 

Break up of 163 ragas and 588 kritis

No. of kritis

A

6

melakartha ragas exclusively account for

103

B

 

108

janya

ragas

of

the

above

6

melakarthas

414

contribute

to

C

20

other melakarthas make up for

 

21

D

29

janya ragas of the above 20 melakarthas

 

50

 

163

ragas are used to compose kritis totaling

588

 

Table II.5

 
 

GROUP 1 A, 1B

 
 

Break up of 6 melakarthas and janyas

 
   

Melakartha raga

 

No. of kritis in melakartha

Janya

No. of kritis in janyas

1

Kharaharapriya (22)

   

11

35

114

2

Harikamboji (28)

   

10

33

109

3

Sankarabharanam (29)

   

30

15

92

4

Thodi

(8)

   

29

8

45

5

Mayamalavagoula (15)

   

4

14

40

6

Kalyani

(65)

 

19

3

14

 

Total

   

103

108

414

20

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Table II.6 GROUP 1C, 1D

 

Distribution of 20 melakarthas and its 29 janyas

 

Melakartha raga (N)

No. of kritis

Janyas

No. of kritis

1

Chakravakam (16)

2

4

5

2

Suryakantham (17)

1

3

20

3

Sarasangi (27)

1

3

3

4

Keeravani (21)

1

2

4

5

Manavathi (5)

1

2

2

6

Vakulabharanam(14)

1

1

1

7

Dhenuka (9),

1

1

1

8

Divyamani (48)

1

1

1

9

Hemavathi (58),

1

1

1

10

Jhankaradwani (19)

1

1

1

13

Mararanjani (25)

1

1

1

14

Naganandini (30)

1

1

1

15

Ramapriya (52)

1

1

1

16

Ratnangi (2)

1

1

1

17

Sulini(35)

1

1

1

18

Vanaspathi (4)

1

1

1

19

Vagadheeswari (34)

1

1

1

20

Navaneetham(40)

1

1

1

 

Total

21

29

50

21

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Table II.7

GROUP 2

 

Distribution of 16 kritis only in melakartha and none its janya

 

Melakartha raga

No. of kritis

1

Bhavapriya (44)

1

2

Charukesi (26)

1

3

Ganamurthi (3)

1

4

Gangeyabhushani (33)

1

5

Kanakangi (1)

1

6

Nasikabhushani (70)

1

7

Rishabhapriya (62)

1

8

Rupavathi (12)

1

9

Shanmukhapriya (56)

1

10

Subhapanthuvarali (45)

1

11

Gaurimanohari (23)

2

12

Lathangi (63)

2

13

Simhendramadhyamam (57)

2

Table II.8

GROUP 3

Distribution of kritis only in janya and none in its melakartha Melakartha Janya Kriti in
Distribution of kritis only in janya and none in its melakartha
Melakartha
Janya
Kriti in janyas
1 Chithrambari
2 Dharmavathi (59)
4 (1 each)
4 (1 each)
3 Shadvidha margini (45)
4 Varuna priya (24)
5 Chalanatta (36)
1
2
6 Gamanasrama (53)
1
3
7 Jhala varali (39)
1
14

22

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8

Neethimati (60),

8 Neethimati (60), 4 (2 each)  

4 (2 each)

8 Neethimati (60), 4 (2 each)  
 

9

Vachaspathi (64)

2 (1 each)

10

Pavani (41)

 

2

 

3

11

Gayaka priya (13)

 

3

 

3

12

Kamavardhini (51)

 

3

 

15

13

Natabhairavi (20)

 

14

 

35

 

Total

 

33

 

83

Table II.9

GROUP 3

Distribution of 15 kritis in 3 janyas of 12 th raga Kamavardhini (51) of group 3

1

Panthuvarali (51)

13

2

Deepakam (51).

1

3

Mandari(51)

1

Table II.10

GROUP 3

Distribution of 35 kritis in 14 janyas of 13 th raga Natabhairavi (20) of group
Distribution of 35 kritis in 14 janyas of 13 th raga Natabhairavi (20) of group 3
1.
Bhairavi
18
2.
Anandabhairavi
3
3.
Hindolam
4 (2 each)
4
Sudhadesi
5
Hindolavasantha
6
Jayanthasri
7
Amruthavahini
8
Jingla
9
Kokilavarali
10 ( 1 each)
10
Margahindolam
11
Nagagandhari
12
Saramati
13
Udayaravichandrika
14
Vasanthavarali

23

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Table II.11

GROUP 3

All the 14 kritis are in raga Varali a janya of 7 th raga Jhala varali of group 3

Table II.12 Classification of ragas and kritis in Sudha madhyama and Pratimadhyama ragas.

Group

Raga

Sudha madhyama

 

Prati madhyama

Mela

Janya

Me

Kri

Jan

Kri

Me

Kri

Jan

Kri

1

26

137

20

100

129

445

6

24

8

19

2

13

0

6

7

0

0

7

9

0

0

3

(13)

33

(4)

0

19

41

(9)

0

14

42

Total 209 ragas

593 kritis in 174 ragas

94 kritis in 35 ragas.

Table II.13 Classification of other group kritis

Divyanama keerthanas

84

Thiruvottriyoor

5

Prahlada bhakthi vijayam

44

Kovur

5

Utsavasampradaya keerthanas

26

Sreerangam

5

Nowka charithram

21

Kanchipuram

3

Thiruvaiyyar

12

Thirupati

2

Lalgudi, Tapastipuram

5

Nagapattanam

2

24

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Table II.14 Descending order of number of kritis in each raga and ragas used

   

Raga (Melakartha No. )

 

Kriti

1

Sankarabharanam (29)

 

30

2

Thodi (8)

 

29

3

Kalyani(65), Saveri (15)

 

19

4

Bhairavi (20), Sourashtra (17)

 

18

5

Madhyamavathi (22)

 

15

6

Arabhi (29), Atana (29), Varali (39)

 

14

7

Kapi (22), Kedaragoula (28), Panthuvarali (51)

 

13

8

Devagandhari (29)

 

12

9

Kharaharapriya (22), Mohana (28),Punnagavarali (8)

 

11

10

Begada (29), Bilahari (29), Darbar (22), Harikamboji (28), Mukhari (22), Ritigoula (22), Sahana (28), Yadukula Kamboji (28)

10

11

Asaveri (8), Surutti (28)

 

9

12

Balahamsa (28), Dhanyasi (8), Ghanta (8)

 

8

13

Huseni (22),Kamboji,(28), Saranga(65)

 

7

14

Neelambari(29)

 

6

15

Goulipanthu

(15),

Sriranjani

(22),

Sudhasaveri

(29),

5

Yamunakalyani

(65)

16

Ahiri

(8),

Kannada

(29),

Mayamalavagoula

(15),

4

Narayanagoula (28)

 

17

Anandabhairavi (20), Bangala (29), Desya todi (8), Devamanohari (22), Jayamanohari (29), Janaranjani (29), Kedaram (29), Kunthalavarali (28), Nayaki (22), Purvikalyani (53), Purnachandrika (29), Sudha bangala (22), Sri (22)

3

18

There are 35 other ragas with 2 kritis in each of them

2 (70)

19

There are 119 other ragas with one kriti in each of them

1 (119)

25

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In

major

ragas

like

Todi

and

Sankarabharanam,

Tyagaraja

has

composed as many as 30 kritis depicting the different facets of the raga without

repeating the music. Even in ragas like Saveri, Sourashtram and Kalyani there

are more than 18 song, Bhairavi and Madhyamavathi up to 15.

Around

hundred kritis are in uncommon and unfamiliar ragas. And there is only one

kriti each in 119 ragas.

Talas

In his kritis, Tyagaraja handled different tala varieties.

Tyagaraja

is the first composer to compose kritis in Desadi and Madhyadi talas and show

its potentials.

In Desadi talas, music commences after the lapse of ¾

aksharakalas, but in Madhyadi, music commences after the lapse of ½

aksharakala.

Sitapate‟ in Kamas, „Banturitiin Hamsanadam are examples of

Deasdi tala. Meru samanain Mayamalavagoula is an example of Madhyadi

tala. All most half of his kritis are

set to Adi tala only.

There are nearly a

hundred each belonging to Rupaka and Chapu talas.

Tala analysis

Distribution of tala in his kritis in the following manner.

With the

exception of few, all kritis fall in to 5 tala groups.

26

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Table II.15

Tala analysis

 

Tala groups

Kritis

Percentage

1

Adi (1 kala + 2 kala)

344

50.07

2

Rupaka

113

16.45

3

Misra Chapu

108

15.72

4

Desadi

90

13.10

5

Khanda Chapu

28

04.08

6

Eka, Misra, Jampa, Tisra, Triputa etc

4

00.58