About the Book
'Our law and politics, our arts and sciences, our manners and morals are derived from our fundamental faith, which makes for the spiritual unity of any community' ... There is a moral law which governs the rise and fall of Nations. Adherence to the moral law of Dharma, elevates a nation: non-adherence to it, degrades it. If we are to progress we must adopt the path of virtue ... we have had in our country from time to time of the RgVeda down to our own days, a long line of torch bearers who stress the primacy of spiritual values ... From time to time this fabric of spiritual unity is reinforced by the presence and infuence of poets, philosophers and saint singers whose contributions have upheld this faith. Among the composers of South Indian Classical music, the great names Purandaradasa, Annamacarya, Bhadracala Ramadasa,Tyagaraja, Muddusvami Dikshita, SyamaSastri and Maharaja Swati Tirunal are supreme over all composers at all times. This is because they were not only the great masters of the art of music but also great Bhakta-s.
The purpose of this book: To present the authentic version of Some of the TANAVARNA-s in Adi, Khanda-Ata and other Talas, Pada & Cauka Vamas, Ragamalika and Daru Varna-s numbering 415 of various composers of post and pre-Trinity period in national, inter- national and regional scripts Viz.Devanagari, Diacritiical Roman, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamizh and Telugu scripts, to reach maximum number of people all over the world. Varna-s of contemporary composers like Tiger Varadacari, Gomatisankarayyar, Lalgudi Jayaraman, T.M. Tyagarajan, Tanjavur Sankarayyar,Dr.M. Balamuralikrshna, T.R. Subrahmanyam, R. Venugopal and also some of the youngsters like Citravina Ravikiran, Carumati Ramacandran are also included in this book.
The uniqueness of this book: i. A collection of 415 Varna-s in one volume is compiled and published for the first time with text in Regional scripts such as Tamizh,Telugu, Kannada, Malayala, Devanagari and Roman diacriti- cal scripts followed by SRGM notations in Roman scripts.
ii. All the Varna-s are presented in a format revealing the Raga, Arohana, Avarohana, Mela, Tala etc. It has been indexed at the end of the book in alphabetical order in Devanagari and diacritical Roman scripts to enable quick spotting of the Varna-s sought.
iii. About the Notation: Notation in our South Indian classical music, however it seems to be perfect, one cannot understand the Ragabhava-the balance between the Ragabhava and its given Sahityabhava as expressed in the composition. Infact the singer's imagination while singing counts a lot in the final and finer presentation.
The earlier experiments of using the Dasavidha Gamaka-syrnbols have not been found satisfactory for the reason mainly due to the lack of understanding of the gamaka system itself properly.
My Guru used to say that only those who posses sufficient knowledge of Raga, Svarasthanas and the Sahityabhava-s could under- stand the gamaka-symbols Viz: the underlines, the double underlines etc. For those who do not have that knowledge, this symbols may fail to make any sense and, ironically, for those who have sufficient jnana, do not require any symbols at all. However the symbols have their own dignity, but also have' their own limitations. Hence, in my books I have introduced a simple method of self-explanatory symbols which can be understood without any special knowledge of the Dasavidha Gamaka-s etc.
We have utilised the symbols like subscripts, superscripts and slashes to denot the movement of the notes in the context of the Raga.
Sangita Kalanidhi T. K. Govinda Rao, who hails from a family of musicians is a leading vocalist of Indian Classical Karnatak Music. In 1949 he joined the then Central College of Karnatak Music at Madras, where under the care of great musicians like Tiruppumpuram N. Svaminatha Pillai and Smt. T. Brndamme, he completed the course of "SANGITA VIDVAN".
TKG was fortunate to have as his Guru, the founder-Principal, Sangita Vibhushan,Isaipperarinar, Sangita Kalanidhi Sri Musiri Subrahmanya Iyer, the doyen of Karnatak music.
A rigorous GURU KULAVASA - training spread over fifteen years followed by many years of close association with his Guru, marks him as a faithful representative of the Musiri style of Bhava-ladden rendering.
A career that spanned over about six decades brought him assignments such as Lecturer, Govt. of Tamizh Nadu Music College, Chennai; Producer-Music, All India Radio, Chennai and finally Chief Producer-Music in The Directorate-General, All India Radio, New Delhi.
In addition, he has been associated with The Music Academy-Chennai as a member of the Advisory Committee, Central Sangita Natak Akademi and ICCR also with Universities of Banaras, Delhi, Madras, Annamalai, Bangalore and Telugu University in various capacities. All these assignments, however, did not deter him from his prime vocation as a vocalist and teacher that took him, over the years, allover India and abroad – Sri-Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, UK, USA, Canada, Muscat and various chapters of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan where he has conducted workshops and taught hundreds of students.
Titles like Sangita Kalanidhi, Sangita Cudamani, SangitaSastraRatnakara, Sastra Ratnakara (Cleveland-USA), Ganakala Tilaka (Bangalore), Nadakkanal, Swara Samrat (Brahma Swarupini Trust-Kl), Sangita Samrat (Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Coimbatore), Sangita Samrat (Mangalore Sangita Sabha), Sangita Acarya, (Bhuvanes vari Pitham), Gayaka Sikhamani besides the National Academy Award from the Central Sangit Natak Akademy - The National Academy of Music and Drama, and Asthana Vidvan of Sri Kanci Kamakoti Pitham, Hanumath Gana Siromani, Mudra Award of Excellence, Vivekananda National Award of Excellence and Swaramurti V.N. Rao Memorial Award have been conferred on him for his contributions to the field of Karnatak Music.
"T.K.G. is a veteran of the old school who has played a prominent role in the preservation of all that is precious in the truly classical rendition of Karnatak music. " SrI P.N. Krishnamurthy, the renowned senior music critic and the Head of the Department of Music of Sri" Shanmukhananda Sangita Sabha, Mumbai, quoted in the well known music Magazine 'SRUTI'. To promote, preserve and propagate the time-tested oral traditions of Classical Karnatak Music, he founded a body named 'GANAMANDIR TRUST (Regd)'with the project of publishing works on music, producing Audio/Video MP3, DVD, CDs in his 'GANAMANDIR STUDIOS’; organising seminars and workshops on music in India and elsewhere.
With these publications, TKG has completed the second phase of his project by compiling and editing all the available, authentic compositions of TRINITY of Karnatak Music: TYAGARAJA, MUDDUSVAMI DIKSHITAR, SYAMASATRI and SWATI TIRUNAL.
This unique book ‘VARNASAGARAM’- an ocean of VARNAMs presented in diacritical Roman & Devanagari and other regional scripts with SRGM notations in Roman scripts. These comprehensive volumes, in the common scripts help to bridge, not only the language barriers but also the generation gap. In this endeavour he has preserved the essence and identity of the original that remain characteristically and traditionally Indian.
A VARNA is an adhoc composition in Karnataka Sangita the South Indian classical form, where the sahitya defines and ensures that the full ragabhava with its constituent notes, domain and dimentions is brought out in its entirety so much so that it is acknowledged as a traditional, essential and fundamental base for learning Karnatak Music. Great masters used to practise in three speeds (Trikala) in Caturasra gati and in three paces in Tisra gati for promoting voice culture, without losing the attendant ease or soukhya, and for inculcating the knowledge of beats, Layajnana, in depth. In VARNAs, Raga bhava is entwined with Sahitya bhava. VARNAs are composed strictly based on the Ragabhava.
TANA V ARNAs consist the TANA phrases of the Raga and are sung in Madhyamakala- the middle speed.
CAUKA VARNAS are sung in Cauka kala-the slow speed.
PADA VARNAs have PADAs or the Sahitya for Muktayi or CittaSvara and the Svaras after the Carana or Ettukkadai Pallavi are mandatory and singers should give priority to the emotional contents of the Sahitya.
The other type is DARU VARNAs which have SVARA, SAHITYA and JATIs.
Besides my collection inherited from my revered GURU PADMA VIBHUSHAN, ISAIP PERARINAR, SANGITA KALANIDHI MUSIRI SRi SUBRAHMANYA IYER, we have also sourced from available old editions to enable a larg variety of VARNA forms.
This book is a collection of 415 VARNAs in Sanskrit,Telugu,Tamizh, Kannada, Manipravala languages with Sahityas in Devanagari, diacritical Roman and other reagional scripts followed by SRGM notations in Roman script in a simple manner understandable by the students of music all over the world.
VARNAs have two sections: First part-Purvanga includes Pallavi- Anupallavi and Citta svara or Muktayi Svara and the second part- Uttaranga consists of a Carana or Upa Pallavi followed generally by three to five svaras or more, known as Ettukkadai Svaras. The first svara is in slow speed and the rest of the svaras are in samakala of the Varna and rarely some fast movements occur. Eventhough the expressions of the sahitya is in the Nayaka-Nayika bhava, there are also VARNAs praising a particular deity or Ruler.
A list of composers of Varnas is given seperately on page 12& 13.
The book VARNASAGARAM will facilitate the correct pronunciation of Sahitya and Svara-s and provide a good source of reference to reasearch students on Varnas and its chronological developement from post TRINITY period to the present day.
The VARNAs are categorised under four groups such as Tanavarnas in Adi,Ata and others Talas followed by Pada,Cauka, and Daru. The index in diacritical Roman page 420 onwards & Devanagari scripts page 433 onwards in alphabatical order of the title of the Varnas has to be used for locating the page number of the Varnas of the concerned categories besides the Mela order in the notatins.
The exposure I have had on the 72 Mela Ragamalika of Maha VaidyanatahaSivan by which one is clear on the way of dealing with the Raga-s having Vivadi Svara-s, I have composed some Varnas in the Raga-s having the Vivadi svara-s such as the first and second cakra-s and the 72nd Mela Raga Rasikapriya.
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