Carnatic Music - Basics II

We move gradually from the basic tenets of Carnatic vocals towards learning alankaras and geethams to build a solid foundation for more elaborate exercises later.

Instructor: Sowmya S

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Suggested Time

4 weeks







Unit 1: 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 2: 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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