Carnatic Music - Basics

This is an introductory course in Carnatic music or the South Indian classical music which  can be traced back to the age of  the Vedas. The word "Carnatic" means traditional or ancient. Carnatic music is based on a 22 scale note (swaras) in contrast to the 12 note scale that is used in western classical music. A unique combination of these notes or swaras as they are said, evolve into separate  ragas. Thus in Carnatic music, the raga connotes a mood or a route in which the music is supposed to travel. Different combinations of the notes give rise to different ragas. As this course deals with fundamental aspects of Carnatic music, any beginner can take it up and build their understanding in a thorough manner.

Instructor: Sowmya S

Start Course
Enrolled Students

49

Suggested Time

4 weeks

Pricing

 600

Language

English

Rating

4

Unit 1: Intro

Introduction to Carnatic Music 9 min

Bharata's Natya Sastra , from around the 5th century A.D. and Saranga Deva's Sangita Ratnakara , from the early13th century A.D. , are considered the to be the earliest recorded documents available on the theory and performance of Indian classical music. The history of Carnatic music is incomplete without stating about the contributions made by the saints Sri Purandharadasaru ( 15th century A.D.) , Sri Thyagarajar , Sri Shyama Sastri ( all of 18th century A.D.) and left an enduring legacy of compositions.
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Tuning 7 min

Shruti or the pitch varies from person to person and can vary from F to A on the musical scale which is helped by an instrument such as a tambura or a drone.
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Sitting Posture & Voice Culture 7 min

Posture is essential for singing as it frees the air passages for a more wholesome sound helping you extract the maximum out of your singing capability. Voice production is another aspect that one has to develop through proper facial movement as well as certain exercises.
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Unit 2: Fundamentals

Basic Lesson 3 min

Simple exercises such as the Sa Pa Sa to help be in tune with the Shruti. Sustaining each note for as long as possible helps develop.
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Sarale Varesai 25 min

A series of phrases that begin with the low swaras and move upwards, allowing students in the early phases of learning to match their swarastaanas and learn music. These are phrases such as, sr sr sr gm sr gm pd ns. Also known as a swaraavali.
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Janta Varesai 20 min

A series of musical phrases for early musical practice, in which swaras are sung in pairs, ex: ss rr gg mm pp dd nn SS. Also called iraTTai kOvai varisai.
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Unit 3: Deeper Understanding

Range exercises 16 min

Range for a singer is generally up to 2 octaves but can go as high as 2.5 octaves. Exercises vary depending upon the octaves but the general pattern is to move from lower to higher as your vocal chords get accustomed.  
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Concert Pattern 8 min

A small composition in the concert format with a violin and mridangam player to showcase the learnings so far.
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Dattu Varisai 14 min

A series of phrases for singing and playing for early music practice, which uses daaTu (taaTu) gamaka style swara combinations, in a jumping or non regular fashion. It is also called taanDu varisai
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Unit 4: Talams & Geethams

Alankaras - Exercises based on the seven talams 35 min

Alankara means ornaments or adornments. In the context of Indian classical music, the application of an alankar is essentially to embellish or enhance the inherent beauty of the genre. This system of talams is the rythmic basis for Carnatic music. It is based on 7 core talas whcih use only 3 of the 6 possible components of an Indian talam - Anudrutam, Drutam, Laghu, Guru, Plutam, and Kakapadam. The Seven Talams are Dhruva, Matya, Rupaka, Jhampa, Triputa, Ata, and Eka Talams.  Using these sapta talas all of the 150 Carnatic talams can be derived.
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Geetham 16 min

An abhyaasa musical form or "song" considered the simplest musical form, created by Purandara Daasa in order to introduce taalas in combination with lyrics. Geetams have no absolutely defined divisions of pallavi, anupallavi or caraNam though these may be observed in many cases. Geetams last 10-12 aavartnams from beginning to end with no break. They often have no sangatis, with each swara taking one syllable. Some geetams have sancaarams in mandrastaayi poorvaangam and taara staayi uttaraangam. Topics are usually on God. There are 3 types of geetams: sancaari or samanya, lakshana, and suladi.
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