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Raaga Rasika is a series of weekly podcasts and interviews exploring the world of Carnatic Music!

 

Carnatic music is one of the two main styles of Indian Classical music most prevalent in the southern part of India, comprising of the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.

 

Are you a novice just getting exposed to Carnatic Music? Wish you could listen a concert with a deeper understanding? Are you a connoisseur who wants to discuss and explore intricate nuances? Join us on this musical journey! We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Your comments, thoughts, suggestions, ideas, and critiques are welcome!

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~~~ Listen to Our Podcasts ~~~

Episode 80: Featured Composition -- Sankari Sankuru -- Part IV
In this concluding episode of the sub-series on the composition "Shankari Samkuru" by Shyama Shastri we continue our discussion on how Shyama Shastri has masterfully employed the concept of dual tala. Using examples from various parts of the song, Vidya goes into greater detail and lays out how the tala construct and specific syllables in the lyric connect up in the two talas - Rupaka tala and Adi tala in tisra gati.
Play Episode 80

Episode 79: Featured Composition -- Sankari Sankuru -- Part III
In this episode we continue our discussions on "Shankari Shankuru", a composition by Shyama Shastri. Vidya introduces the audience to the core tala construct used in this composition. Shyama Shastri has masterfully composed this song such that the rhythm can be kept in either of two talas, the Rupaka tala or the Adi tala in tisra gati. Vidya sings snippets from the Pallavi to demonstrate this interesting aspect of the composition.
Play Episode 79 

Episode 78: Featured Composition -- Sankari Sankuru -- Part II
Tuesday, August 30 2011
We continue our analysis of the Shyama Shastri composition: Sankari Sankuru in the raaga Saveri. Using several phrases and snippets from the Anupallavi and Charanam portions of this composition, Vidya illustrates how the composer has skillfully weaved in some of the subtle nuances of this wonderful raaga.    
Play Episode 78

Episode 77: Featured Composition -- Sankari Sankuru -- Part I
Sunday, August 8 2011
In this episode we feature a Shyama Shastri composition: Sankari Sankuru, in the raaga Saveri set to Adi tala in Tisra gati. Vidya covers the high-level meaning of the song as well as showcases some of the salient Saveri phrases that Shyama Shastri has skillfully used in the Pallavi of this song.
Play Episode 77

Episode 76: Featured Composer -- Shyama Shastri
Monday, April 18 2011
In this episode we feature the renowned composer: Shyama Shastri. Shyama Shastri is the oldest of the relatively contemporary trinity of Carnatic music (the other two being Tyagaraja and Muthuswami Dikshitar). Vidya discusses his compositional format, style, and contributions to the field of Carnatic music. We conclude the episode with a snippet from a rendering of a Shyama Shastri composition by the stalwart musician, Sri. Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer.    
Play Episode 76

Episode 75: Featured Raaga -- Punnagavarali
Sunday, February 27 2011
In this episode we feature the raaga Punnagavarali. Vidya shares with us the probable origins of this traditional raaga in the music of snake charmers as well as its scale and structure. We discuss how this raaga offers limited improvisational scope, and yet has been used by all three of the trinity composers. Vidya also elaborates on the concept of Madhayama Sruti, which involves a shifting up the fundamental note to the original Ma (4th note from the fundamental).   
Play Episode 75

Episode 74: Featured Composition -- Kanakashaila Viharini
Tuesday, February 15 2011
In this concluding episode of our sub-series featuring compositions on the temple town of Kanchipuram, we feature a Shyama Shastri composition: Kanakashaila Viharini in the raaga Punnagavarali. Vidya shares with us the meaning of this song, and uses the three segments of this composition, i.e. Pallavi, Anupallavi and Charanam to show us a glimpse of the form and flow of this raaga.    
Play Episode 74

Episode 73: Featured Raaga -- Bilahari
Wednesday, January 19 2011
Continuing our discussion from Episode 72, we take a minor detour from our series on compositions dedicated to Kanchipuram and feature the raaga Bilahari. Vidya shares with us the basic contours of this raaga, and discusses why it is typically considered a lively one to perform on the concert platform. We also list some well known compositions in this raaga and finish with an short alapana that features the key Bilahari phrases we heard in the Pallavi of the composition Kamakshi Varalakshmi.   
Play Episode 73

Episode 72: Featured Composition -- Kamakshi Varalakshmi
Tuesday, January 11 2011
Raaga Rasika wishes you all a happy new year! In this episode we feature a composition by Muthuswami Dikshitar: Kamakshi Varalakshmi in the raaga Bilahari. This is a continuation of our discussion featuring compositions by each of the Carnatic music trinity on the temple town of Kanchipuram. Vidya sings snippets from this composition and explains the meaning across the pallavi, anupallavi, and charanam of this song.   
Play Episode 72

Episode 71: Featured Composition -- Vinayakuni
Tuesday, November 23 2010
We continue our discussion on the temple town of Kanchipuram by featuring compositions by each of the Carnatic music trinity on this location. In this episode, we highlight the Tyagaraja composition "Vinayakuni", in the raaga Madhyamavathi. Vidya sings snippets from this composition and explains the meaning, the salient aspects of the raaga Madhyamavathi and provides some illustrations on how Trinity compositions often provide the foundation for creative aspects in Carnatic music.   
Play Episode 71

Episode 70: Featured Place -- Kanchipuram
Tuesday, October 19 2010
We turn our attention to yet another noteworthy temple town in South India which has tremendous significance to the world of Carnatic music: Kanchipuram. In this episode, we talk about this town and its amazing temples. We also discuss the influence this town has had on the art form as well as prominent composers who have composed on this location. Vidya shares several snippets of popular compositions that are based on the various temple deities in this town.   
Play Episode 70

Episode 69: Analysis of an "RTP" by Sri. GNB
Saturday, September 18 2010
In this concluding episode on Sri. GNB, we analyze a Raagam-Thanam-Pallavi (RTP) rendered by him in the intricate and rich raaga: Bhairavi. We showcase Sri GNB�s incredible talent as he brings out various details of this raaga in a step-by-step fashion with tremendous creative energy. Vidya takes up snippets from each of the three segments of the RTP and discusses them in some detail.    
Play Episode 69

Episode 68: Featured Person: Sri. G. N. Balasubramaniam - Part II
Tuesday, August 31 2010
We continue our conversation on Sri. GNB and discuss his talent, music and style. Vidya talks about the GNB Baani (or the GNB school) as well as the incredible improvisational and creative talent he brought to bear - including his contributions to techniques such as graha bedham and neraval. We conclude this episode with a snippet from a GNB composition �Samagama Lole�, rendered by one of his prime students - Dr. M.L. Vasanthakumari.    
Play Episode 68

Episode 67: Featured Person: Sri. G. N. Balasubramaniam - Part I
Monday, August 23 11:39 PM
In this episode, we feature the legendary musician, Sri. G. N. Balasubramaniam (1910-1965). We discuss how Carnatic music shaped and influenced his early childhood days and his debut performance in the city of Madras (now called Chennai). We finish with a snippet from a concert recording to give a glimpse of the experience enjoyed by audiences during his time.   
Play Episode 67

Episode 66: Analysis of a Kalpanaswaram Rendition by Sri G N Balasubramaniam
Monday, July 26 3:36 PM
We continue our discussions on kalpanaswarams from the last episode. Using a few snippets of Sri. GN Balasubramaniam, we showcase the spontaneity and variety in this form of improvisation in Carnatic music. Finally, Vidya concludes the episode by listing some of the common techniques used by Carnatic musicians when they perform kalpanaswarams.   
Play Episode 66

Episode 65: Carnatic Terms Defined -- Kalpanaswarams
Tuesday, July 13 11:24 PM
In this episode, we introduce the listeners to some of the elements of kalpanaswarams and compare kalpanaswarams with another key form of improvisation, the alapana. Vidya gives illustrations of kalpanaswaram rendition and explains certain conventions such as performance of kalpanaswarams in multiple speeds and progressing from short to long cycles of kalpanaswarams.    
Play Episode 65

Episode 64: Raaga Rasika Quiz III -- Answers!
Friday, April 30, 12:00 AM
Thanks to all those of you who participated in our quiz. In this episode, we discuss the answers to the three quiz questions that we asked in Episode 63. Listen to the episode to see if you got them right! Special congratulations to those of you who answered correctly!   
Play Episode 64

Episode 63: Raaga Rasika Quiz III
Monday, April 19, 11:27 PM
In this episode, we conduct a quiz largely based on material and information we have covered in previous Raaga Rasika episodes. This segment includes three sets of questions for which the answers will be shared in the next episode. We look forward to your enthusiastic response and participation.  
Play Episode 63

Episode 62: Featured Raaga Alapana -- Atana -- Part II
Tuesday, March 27, 2:34 PM
In this episode, we conclude the analysis of the Atana raaga alapana by Sri. G. N. Balasubramanian. We discuss how Sri. GNB uses specific techniques such as "jaarus" or glides in his alapana, and highlight his mesmerizing, fast passages towards the conclusion of this highly spontaneous exercise. 
Play Episode 62

Episode 61: Featured Raaga Alapana -- Atana -- Part I
Tuesday, March 16, 10:53 PM
In this episode, we feature an alapana of raaga Atana, rendered by the legendary musician Sri. G. N. Balasubramaniam. Vidya translates portions of this alapana, a highly spontaneous and improvisational aspect of Carnatic music into swaras (notes). She highlights the salient phrases that capture the quintessential beauty of this bright raga and the development of the alapana in distinct segments.
Play Episode 61

Episode 60: Featured Raaga -- Atana
Friday, March 5, 10:07 PM
In this segment, we discuss the aaga Atana. Using a Papanasam Sivam composition, Vidya shares with us this raaga's high emotive appeal. She also illustrates key phrases in this raaga and describes its form and scope. We conclude the episode by covering some well known Atana compositions one can expect to hear at concerts.
Play Episode 60

Episode 59: Special Rasikas' Voice With Listener Renditions -- Part X
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We conclude our series showcasing listener submissions with a snippet from Smt. K. S. Vasanthalakshmi from New Delhi, India. Her submission is the Muthuswami Dikshitar Navagraha kriti "Brihaspate Tarapate", in the raaga Atana. Vidya elaborates on the meaning of this song and shares a high-level overview on the group of songs commonly referred to as the Navagraha kritis. We would like to thank each of our listener contributors for their enthusiastic participation in this sub-series.
Play Episode 59

Episode 58: Special Rasikas' Voice With Listener Renditions -- Part IX
Monday, January 25, 3:45 PM
Continuing our series featuring listener submissions, we showcase a rendition on the veena by Sri. Srinivas Raghavan, from Chennai, India. His submission is a tillana composed by Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna, in the raaga Brindavani. Vidya highlights some of the salient aspects of this raaga and also shares with us another tillana in the same raaga, composed by her guru Sri. Lalgudi Jayaraman.
Play Episode 58

Episode 57: Special Rasikas' Voice With Listener Renditions -- Part VIII
Wednesday, January 20, 11:20 AM
Continuing our series on listener submissions, we feature a snippet from Smt. Uma Sankar from Massachusetts, USA. Her submission is a Muthuswami Diskhitar composition, "Sri Rama Saraswati Sevitham" in raaga Nasamani. The second featured submission is from 7 year old Ananya Rajesh of Wisconsin, USA -- "Maakelera Vicharamu", a Tyagaraja composition with a profound philosophical meaning in raaga Ravichandrika. We conclude this segment by playing a short snippet from a similarly themed composition by Annamacharya: "Nanati Baduku", rendered by the legendary singer Smt. M.S. Subbalakshmi.
Play Episode 57

Episode 56: Special Rasikas' Voice With Listener Renditions -- Part VII
Wednesday, January 13, 1:21 PM
In this segment, we feature a submission from 3rd grader Kum. Srinidhi Ananth of New Jersey, USA. Her submission is a Tyagaraja composition "Entha Nerchina" in the raaga Suddha Dhanyasi, also known as Udayaravichandrika. Vidya uses this submission to elaborate on Suddha Dhanyasi raaga, and shares snippets from several popular songs by other composers. We finish this episode by discussing the naming convention of this raaga in the Dikshithar and the Thyagaraja schools of music.
Play Episode 56

Episode 55: Special Rasikas' Voice With Listener Renditions -- Part VI

Tuesday, December 22, 9:33 PM

In this segment, we feature a submission on the violin from nine year old Sri. Hari Santhanam of Pennsylvania, USA. His submission is a varnam "Ninnu Kori" in the raaga Mohanam. Vidya uses this submission to elaborate on how varnams are used by students of Carnatic music to obtain rhythmic and melodic mastery. Vidya illustrates how varnams can be used for advanced rhythmic techniques by singing a segment of the Mohanam varnam in Tisra gati wherein each beat is divided into three sub-units as compared to the original of four sub-units. We finish the segment with a tanam on veena by Smt. Vasumathi Narayanan of Arizona in the same raaga, Mohanam.
Play Episode 55

Episode 54: Special Rasikas' Voice With Listener Renditions -- Part V

Monday, November 23, 3:09 PM
Continuing on with the listener submitted renditions, we feature two submissions: the first one is by Smt. Seethalakshmi Parameshwaran from Ohio, USA who submitted a bhajan (devotional piece) on Lord Ganesha in the raaga Tilang; the second submission is a Vasantha raaga alapana by 10 year old Kum. Shreya Ashok from Texas, USA. Vidya provides additional information on each of these raagas and also sings snippets from other popular compositions these raagas.
Play Episode 54

Episode 53: Special Rasikas' Voice With Listener Renditions -- Part IV

Wednesday, November 11, 12:30 PM
In this episode, we feature Smt. Gayathri Satya from San Francisco Bay Area, California. Smt. Gayathri has sung a Thyagaraja composition "Vinayakuni" in the raaga Madhyamavathy and set to Adi tala. Unlike most Thyagaraja compositions which are in praise of Lord Rama, this composition is fairly unique in that it is a Devi (Goddess) kriti. Vidya provides examples of other compositions by the Trinity in this majestic raga.
Play Episode 53 

Episode 52: Special Rasikas' Voice With Listener Renditions -- Part III
Tuesday, November 03, 12:51 AM
In this episode, we feature a submission by our listener Sri. Aren Skalman, from San Diego, California. Aren submitted a swarajati: Raara Venu in raaga Bilahari and Adi tala. Vidya elaborates on swarajatis. She also shares with us an example from a complex and involved Swarajati by Sri. Shyama Shastri in the raaga Yadukulakambhoji. We wrap up the episode with a rendition of Thyagaraja's Raaka Sashivadana in raaga Takka and Adi tala by Smt. Padma Govardhan, from Auckland, New Zealand.
Play Episode 52 

Episode 51: Special Rasikas' Voice With Listener Renditions -- Part II
Friday, October 23, 4:13 PM
Continuing on with the listener submitted renditions, we feature a submission by Sri. Shashank Shridar, a 3rd grader from Pennsylvania, USA. Shashank submitted a Papanasam Sivan composition: Maaramanan Umaramanan, in Hindolam raaga and Roopaka tala. Vidya sings snippets from other popular compositions in raaga Hindolam. We wrap up the episode with a discussion on the mood created by the notes in this raaga.
Play Episode 51

Episode 50: Special Rasikas' Voice With Listener Renditions -- Part I
Friday, October 16, 10:55 AM
Happy Deepavali! We have received an excellent response to our call for listener submissions. We really appreciate your involvement and enjoyed listening to each submission. Given the response, we will be spreading the submissions as well as our discussion on each selected entry across the next few episodes. In Part I, we feature submissions by: Kum. Ashraya Ananthanarayan who sent in a Tyagaraja composition in Bangala raaga, Adi tala and Smt. Durga Krishnan who submitted a thanam on veena in two raagas -- Hamsanandi and Kalyani.
Play Episode 50

Episode 49: Relevance of Arohanam and Avarohanam in Defining a Raaga's Structure
Friday, September 30, 10:03 PM
We wrap up our introductory series on Arohanam and Avarohanam with a discussion on whether or not raagas are entirely and solely defined by their corresponding ascending and descending scales. Using examples of raagas such as Reetigowlai, Madhyamavati, and Hamsaroopini, Vidya highlights the varying degrees in which textbook definitions of Arohanam and Avarohanam may (or may not) help understand the form of individual raagas.
Play Episode 49

Episode 48: Carnatic Music Terms Defined: Types of Raagas -- Audava, Shadava, Sampoorna, Krama, Vakra, Varja, Melakarta, Bhashanga
Friday, September 18, 10:04 AM
We continue our discussion regarding arohanam and avarohanam, and define several terms commonly used in Carnatic music to describe raagas. With several examples and illustrations, Vidya elaborates on terms such as Audava, Shadava, Sampoorna, Krama, Vakra, Varja, Melakarta and Bhashanga, and describes how a raaga can frequently represent a combination of these attributes.
Play Episode 48

Episode 47: Carnatic Terms Defined: Arohanam and Avarohanam
Wednesday, September 09, 7:51 PM
In this episode, we discuss two very familiar terms in Carnatic music: Arohanam refers to the ascending scale and avarohanam refers to the descending scale. Vidya shares some examples of raagas to discuss kinds of arohanam and avarohanam in terms of number of swarams and the impact of this on the phrases that are permitted. Finally, we discuss how the importance of the arohanam and avarohanam varies from one raaga to another as raagas continue to evolve over time.
Play Episode 47

Episode 46: Introduction to Chapu Tala
Tuesday, August 25, 11:35 PM
We conclude our introductory series on talas, with a discussion on two types of Chapu tala: Misra chapu and Kanda chapu. Vidya illustrates these talas using snippets from concert recordings of master musicians Smt. Brinda and Smt. Mukta; and Smt. D. K. Pattammal.
Play Episode 46

Episode 45: Introduction to Adi tala and Rupaka tala
Saturday, August 15, 12:09 PM
We continue our discussions of talas from the previous episode and name the seven basic talas in Carnatic music. Vidya highlights two very common talas: Rupaka tala and the Adi tala. She then explains the angas that make up these talas, and illustrates these with snippets from concert recordings of master musicians Sri G. N. Balasubramaniam and Smt. M. S. Subbulakshmi.
Play Episode 45

Episode 44: Carnatic Music Terms Defined -- Laya, Kala, and Tala
Wednesday, August 05, 2009, 12:07 AM
In this episode, we introduce the fundamentals of rhythm. Vidya explains how rhythm manifests itself in Carnatic music and discusses terms such as laya, kala, and tala. We finish this episode by defining the basic constituents of tala, called "angas".
Play Episode 44

Episode 43: Featured Composition -- Maamava Meenakshi Part II
Sunday, July 26, 2009, 12:53 PM
In this segment, we look at the some more of the highlights of this short yet marvelous composition. Vidya uses this composition to showcase some of the salient phrases of this raaga and also illustrates the concept of improvisation known as 'Neraval' in Carnatic music.
Play Episode 43

Episode 42: Featured Place: Madurai & Featured Composition -- Maamava Meenakshi Part I
Wednesday, July 16, 2009, 1:26 AM
In this episode, we feature a popular composition "Maamava Meenakshi", by Sri. Muthusamy Dikshithar in the Raaga Varali. We begin this episode by talking about the history of the temple town of Madurai in South India -- known for the Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple. Vidya walks us through the structure and meaning of this brilliant piece.
Play Episode 42

Episode 41: Analysis of a Ghana Ragamalika Thanam -- Part V -- Varali Ragam
Sunday, June 28, 2009, 4:12 PM
We finish our analysis of Smt. Veena Dhanammal's Raagamalika thanam, by covering the remaining ghana raaga, Varali. Vidya explains how Smt. Dhanammal uses the two common notes between Sri (the previous raaga in the thanam) and Varali to transition from one to the other. Vidya also sings an improvisational segment to illustrate such a transition in sharp detail. Finally, Vidya highlights some of the salient aspects of Varali including the unique gandharam.
Play Episode 41

Episode 40: Analysis of a Ghana Ragamalika Thanam -- Part IV -- Sri Ragam
Thursday, June 18, 2009, 3:09 AM
We continue our analysis of Smt. Veena Dhanammal's Raagamalika thanam. We discuss Sri raagam in this episode and Vidya points out some of the salient aspects of this raaga. Specifically, Vidya elaborates on the unique relationship between the rishabham and gandharam notes in Sri Ragam. She also highlights the key difference between the Thyagaraja and Dikshitar schools in handling this raaga.
Play Episode 40

Episode 39: Analysis of a Ghana Ragamalika Thanam -- Part III -- Arabhi
Monday, June 8, 2009, 2:51 PM
We continue our analysis of Smt. Veena Dhanammal's Raagamalika thanam. The third and fourth raaga she plays are Arabhi and Sri, respectively. Vidya points out the specific phrases Smt. Veena Dhanammal uses to highlight Arabhi raagam. Vidya also touches upon a couple of key differences between Arabhi and its closely allied raaga, Sama. Finally, we finish this segment by reviewing the transition from Arabhi to Sri.
Play Episode 39

Episode 38: Analysis of a Ghana Ragamalika Thanam -- Part II -- Gowlai
Monday, May 24, 2009, 11:59 AM
In this episode, we continue our exploration of the Raagamalika thanam rendition by Smt. Veena Dhanammal. The second and third raaga she plays are Gowlai and Arabhi, respectively. Vidya points out the specific phrases Smt. Veena Dhanammal uses to transition from Nattai to Gowlai, and also elaborates on several important Gowlai phrases that Smt. Veena Dhanammal uses. Finally, we finish this segment by reviewing the transition from Gowlai to Arabhi.
Play Episode 38

Episode 37: Analysis of a Ghana Ragamalika Thanam -- Part I -- Nattai
Monday, May 11, 2009, 12:50 AM
In this episode, we delve deeper into the Raagamalika thanam rendition by Smt. Veena Dhanammal. The first raaga she plays is the Raaga Nattai. Vidya elaborates on several important phrases and detailed nuances that Smt. Veena Dhanammal masterfully packed into a one minute snippet.
Play Episode 37

Episode 36: Featured Person: Smt. Veena Dhanammal
Monday, April 27, 2009, 3:36 PM
In the last segment, we heard a veena rendition by Smt. Veena Dhanammal. In this episode, we discuss her life, times, and contributions to the world of Carnatic music. Vidya shares with us additional details regarding the snippet we heard in the last episode - a raagamalika thanam in the five ghana raagas. We also discuss the term 'ghana raagas'.
Play Episode 36

Episode 35: Featured Instrument -- Veena Part II
Tuesday, April 14, 2009, 9:00 PM
We conclude our two-part series on the Veena in this segment. We discuss the physical structure of the veena, how and where it is made, as well as how it is played. Finally, we share with you a snippet of a thaanam rendition by a very renowned vainika (veena player), Smt. Veena Dhanammal.
Play Episode 35

Episode 34: Featured Instrument -- Veena Part I
Thursday, April 02, 2009, 2:20:41 PM
In this segment, we feature the Veena, a plucked string instrument unique to Carnatic music. We discuss the revered status given to this instrument in the Hindu tradition. The veena is mentioned in several Carnatic music compositions. Vidya renders a few snippets of compositions that have references to the veena.
Play Episode 34

Episode 33: Rasikas' Voice -- Your Letters and Questions
Wednesday, March 25, 2009, 10:43:11 PM
In this episode, we would like to share some of the feedback we have been getting so far and answer some of your questions. We also give the answer to the Raaga Quiz: Mukhari vs. Bhairavi featured in Episode 28 and recognize listeners who submitted correct entries. Thanks a lot for all your and enthusiastic support. We really appreciate it!
Play Episode 33

Episode 32: Featured Composition: Alaavadennaalo Part II
Monday, March 16, 2009, 11:11:50 PM
In this episode, we shift the focus to the multiple final segments (Charanams) of the composition. By singing several snippets of this composition, Vidya illustrates its distinct aspects in a detailed fashion. We discuss the rhythmic and melodic structure of this gem. We also define the rhythmic term, �eduppu� and describe the different kinds of 'eduppu'.
Play Episode 32

Episode 31: Featured Composition: Alaavadennaalo Part I
Saturday, March 07, 2009, 12:32:20 PM
In this episode we feature a composition by Sri. Oothukaadu Venkatakavi. The composition 'Alaavadennaalo', in Raaga Paras, is one of his Saptaratna kritis. We introduce the ragam Paras and mention some well known compositions in this ragam. This is a masterful piece that brings together a deep sense of devotion and humility, superb lyrics, and incredible compositional structure. We discuss in detail the first two segments of this composition (i.e., the Pallavi and the Anupallavi).
Play Episode 31

Episode 30: Sri. Oothukadu Ventakakavi's Compositional Style
Monday, February 23, 2009, 6:50:34 PM
We continue our conversation from the last episode, and discuss Sri. Oothukadu's musical mastery, highlighting his rhythmic prowess as well as poetic genius. Vidya illustrates salient aspects of his compositional style using examples drawn from his compositions, including the universally popular Alaipayudhe Kanna.
Play Episode 30

Episode 29: Featured Composer: Sri. Oothukadu Venkatakavi
Friday, February 13, 2009, 1:05:12 PM
We begin the episode with an introduction to the three composers known as the Trinity of carnatic music � Sri Thyagaraja, Sri Muthuswami Dikshitar and Sri Shyama Shastry. We continue our exploration by featuring a prolific pre-trinity composer: Sri. Oothukadu Venkatasubbier, also known as Oothukadu Venkatakavi. In this episode, Vidya shares with us some his popular compositions and discussed his exemplary contributions to Carnatic music.
Play Episode 29

Episode 28: Raaga Quiz: Mukhari vs. Bhairavi
Tuesday, February 03, 2009, 1:51:37 PM
We finish the discussion on Mukhari and its allied raaga Bhairavi with a quiz. Vidya sings two alapanas, one in Raaga Mukhari and the other in Raaga Bhairavi. Can you figure out which is which? If you know the answer, write to us! We will answer the quiz the next time we publish our Rasika's Voice segment. We will recognize winners as well!
Play Episode 28

Episode 27: A Discussion on Allied Raagas: Mukhari and Bhairavi
Wednesday, January 28, 2009, 3:49:36 PM
In the last couple of episodes we featured the Raaga Mukhari. There are a number of raagas in Carnatic music that are closely allied to Mukhari, the most prominent of them being Bhairavi. In this episode, we discuss the similarities and differences between Mukhari and Bhairavi.
Play Episode 27

Episode 26: Featured Composition: Enthani Ne
Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 2:20:52 PM
In this episode, we feature a Tyagaraja composition: Enthani Ne in Mukhari raaga. In this composition, Tyagaraja describes Shabhari's (a character in the Hindu epic Ramayana) good fortune because she was able to meet and serve Lord Rama. We highlight the wonderful way in which the composer employs various aspects of Raaga Mukhari to effectively bring out the high emotions connected to this story.
Play Episode 26

Episode 25: Featured Raaga: Mukhari
Friday, January 09, 2009, 3:03:26 PM
In this segment, we feature a raaga well known for its emotive appeal: Mukhari. As we discuss this raaga, we also cover a wide range of topics and define several terms in Carnatic music, such as: janya, shadava raaga, sampoorna raaga, and so on. We conclude the episode by talking about the fairly common misperception of Mukhari being a raaga associated with sadness and melancholy.
Play Episode 25

Episode 24: Featured Compositions of Sri. Annamacharya
Friday, December 26, 2008, 12:52:46 PM
We continue our discussion from the previous episode and talk about Annamacharya's compositions. Specifically, we feature two of his compositions. The first is Oka Pari in raaga Kharakarapriya, rendered by Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr. Nedunuri Krishnamurthy. The second is the very popular Brahma Kadigina Padamu, in the raaga Mukhari.
Play Episode 24

Episode 23: Featured Composer: Sri. Tallapaka Annamacharya
Friday, December 19, 2008, 11:25:55 AM
In this episode, we feature a prolific composer who was born 600 years ago: Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya. He is one of the earliest and most prolific composers in South India who composed several thousand songs in the praise of Lord Venkateshwara. We discuss his composition format and style, and also the ongoing efforts to re-popularize his compositions. We conclude the episode with a snippet from a rendering of an Annamacharya composition by Ms. Srirangam Gopalaratnam.
Play Episode 23

Episode 22: Graha Bhedam Illustration
Thursday, December 04, 2008, 12:49:30 PM
We finish the discussion on Graha Bhedam with an illustration. Vidya discusses a graha bhedam performed by her guru Shri. Lalgudi Jayaraman in a Nattaikurinji raaga alapana to bring out the flavor of Neelambari raaga.
Play Episode 22

Episode 21: Carnatic Music Terms Defined: Shruti Bhedam or Graha Bhedam
Thursday, November 27, 2008, 10:54:20 PM
Continuing on the topic of 'Shruti', in this episode we present the concept of Shruti Bhedam. Shruti Bhedam or Graha Bhedam is a form of improvisation in Carnatic Music where artistes transpose the raaga they are rendering to a new raaga by using a perception of a shift of their fundamental note or shadjam. Vidya illustrates this concept using the raaga Mohanam to bring out the raaga Madhyamavathy by a tonic shift.
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Episode 20: Rasikas' Voice -- Your Letters and Questions
Thursday, November 13, 2008, 3:08:55 PM
In this episode, we would like to share some of the feedback we have been getting so far. Thanks a lot for all your and enthusiastic support. We really appreciate it!
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Episode 19: Featured Instruments: Shruti Box and Tambura
Wednesday, November 05, 2008, 3:40:32 PM
In this segment, we showcase three related instruments: shruti box, electronic tambura, and a traditional tambura. We also discuss the main differences between each of them. Finally, we talk about the role of the traditional tambura artiste in the Carnatic music platform.
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Episode 18: Carnatic Music Terms: Shruti
Monday, October 27, 2008, 11:26:52 AM
We discuss another important term: Shruti or pitch. We also explain the relative nature of this concept in Carnatic music- and how a singer identifies the pitch that is best suited to his or her voice. Finally, we showcase a couple of snippets by Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna who is well known, among numerous other things, for his exemplary capacity to easily sing across several octaves.
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Episode 17: Carnatic Music Terms: Naada
Monday, October 20, 2008, 8:39:23 AM
Starting with this episode, we would like to dedicate a few segments to explaining some common terms used in Carnatic music. The first among these terms is Naada. We also showcase a couple of very popular Thygaraja compositions where he describes Naada and mentions the divine origin of the Saptaswaras or the 7 basic musical notes.
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Episode 16 � Featured Compositions in Sivaranjani
Monday, October 13, 2008, 6:41:05 PM
In this episode, we feature a couple of immensely popular tillanas. The first is composed by Maharajapuram Sri Santhanam and the second tillana is a composition by Lalgudi Sri Jayaraman. We discuss the additional inclusion of the Antara Gandharam to make the Misrasivaranjani variant of the raaga and also describe tillanas in general.
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Episode 15: Featured Raaga: Sivaranjani
Monday, September 29, 2008, 8:31:31 PM
In the previous episode, we heard a snippet sung by Smt. M.L. Vasanthakumari in the audava (pentatonic) raaga: Sivaranjani. In this episode, we discuss this distinctive raaga known for its melancholic character. We then compare and contrast it to a relatively upbeat audava raaga: Mohanam.
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Episode 14: Purandara Dasa Compositions
Sunday, September 21, 2008, 9:57:13 PM
We continue our discussion from the previous episode and talk about Purandara Dasa's compositions. We talk about Purandara Dasa's influence on later composers, especially Thyagaraja, and also mention some musicians who have popularized his compositions on the concert platform.
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Episode 13: Featured Person: Purandara Dasa
Monday, September 15, 2008, 1:53:59 PM
We feature one of the most prominent Carnatic musicians during the time of the Vijayanagara kings: Purandara Dasa. Purandara Dasa is known as the Sangeeta Pitamaha or the Father of Carnatic music. We discuss some of his extraordinary contributions to Carnatic music and how his framework for music instruction is still followed today.
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Episode 12: Featured Plac: Hampi
Sunday, September 07, 2008, 10:59:19 AM
A few episodes ago, we talked about Chennai and its relevance to Carnatic music. In this episode, we trace the history of Carnatic music and take you back 600 years to discuss the Vijayanagara kingdom. We feature its capital: Vijayanagara, which is near modern day Hampi in Karnataka, India.
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Episode 11: Rasikas' Voice -- Your Letters and Questions
Sunday, August 31, 2008, 5:27:30 PM
In this episode, we share some of the emails we have received from you so far and answer some of the questions we got from you. Thank you for joining us at Raaga Rasika and listening to our podcasts. Please continue writing to us -- we value your feedback!
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Episode 10: A Discussion on Gamakams
Sunday, August 24, 2008, 3:08:37 PM
We continue our discussion from the last episode on Kalyani and Mohanakalyani, and discuss the role gamakams play when raagas are rendered.
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Episode 9: Featured Raagas: Kalyani and Mohanakalyani
Sunday, August 17, 2008, 12:17:42 PM
In this week's episode, Vidya provides the answer to last week's quiz. The odd-man out song is in Mohanakalyani. Vidya highlights some of the key differences between Kalyani and Mohanakalyani and illustrates the role of gamakams in bringing out differences between allied ragas using the three songs in the quiz.
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Episode 8: Raaga Quiz: Kalyani
Sunday, August 10, 2008, 11:36:16 AM
A good approach to enjoying Carnatic music is to begin training your ear to discern raagas and raaga patterns. In this episode, Vidya sings three different snippets - two of them in Kalyani raaga and one in a different raaga. Can you find the odd one out? We will answer the quiz in the next episode. If you know the answer, write to us! There will be special credit for people who not only provide the answer but also explain why and how the raagas are different. We will recognize noteworthy entries in a subsequent episode.
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Episode 7: Featured Composition: Navarasa Navaraga Varnam
Sunday, August 03, 2008, 12:19:59 PM
We continue last episode's focus on Padmabhushan Lalgudi Jayaraman and turn our attention to his compositions. We feature his set of compositions included in Jaya Jaya Devi, a dance drama on Mother Goddess (Devi). Specifically, we focus on the Navarasa Varnam, a raagamalika that showcases the nine emotions (navarasas), and also discuss raagamalikas in general.
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Episode 6: Featured Person: Padmabhushan Lalgudi G. Jayaraman
Sunday, July 27, 2008, 11:13:59 AM
Just as in any other performing art, Carnatic Music -- especially if you want to perform -- takes several years of learning and practice. And in Carnatic Music, the guru has a very special and almost sacred place in your life. In this episode, we talk about Vidya's guru: Lalgudi Jayaraman. We also discuss his unique style, the Lalgudi Bani.
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Episode 5: Featured Place: Chennai
Sunday, July 20, 2008, 10:39:00 AM
As we explore the world of Carnatic Music, every now and then, we plan to highlight key cities, towns, and villages that play an important role in this art form. In the last segment, we discussed the art of listening. We talked about how attending concerts is one way to expose yourself and learn by listening. When it comes to Carnatic music concerts, Chennai has a lot to offer. So, in this segment, we shine the spotlight on Chennai.
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Episode 4: The Art of Listening
Sunday, July 13, 2008, 9:36:34 AM
We start of this episode by learning a bit more about Vidya. Then, we discuss how you can begin your journey to understand and appreciate Carnatic Music better. Vidya's tip is pretty straightforward yet profound: keep listening to a lot of Carnatic Music and start looking for patterns.
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Episode 3: Raaga Discussion: Naattai
Sunday, July 06, 2008, 8:52:31 AM
We continue the discussion from the last episode. We discuss the raaga Naattai, the raaga in which Maha Ganapathim is composed.
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Episode 2: Featured Song: Maha Ganapathim
Saturday, June 28, 2008, 8:58:48 PM
One of the best ways to appreciate Carnatic Music better is to listen to songs. In that spirit, we will be regularly featuring certain songs and talk about them. This week, our featured song is Maha Ganapatim.
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Episode 1: Welcome to Raaga Rasika
Sunday, June 22, 2008, 10:16:07 PM
Here�s the first podcast in the series. In this episode, we discuss what Raaga Rasika is, what you should expect from this program, and why we are doing this. This is going to be an exciting journey and we hope you join us!
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