Sunday, September 10, 2006

Evvaribodhana - A Magnificient Gem Among TAna Varnams

Hi, folks,

It’s been a very long time since I’ve put my thoughts on this blog. Of course, I can always give excuses, but I suppose it was mainly just sheer indolence! J Anyway, I’ve finally gotten down to the task once more, this time, to share with you an experience fabulous and so humbling, something that touched my very soul.

I’ve been a student of Carnatic music for a lot more than 2 decades. Also been teaching since the past 6 years or so. Our Indian music is so vast and so complex, it’s taken so many years of hard work just to start to appreciate the Art.

The other day, I had been teaching one of my students the Adi Tala Varnam, Evaribodhana (Abhogi Raga) and was explaining the nuances, when the true beauty of the varnam enfolded right in front of my eyes. It is such a master-piece, so perfect and so pure – no wonder this and the other older varnams have stood the test of time and established themselves as some of the greatest of all time.

The TAna Varnam (as these are referred to), follow the TAna format, much as their name suggests. A TAna is embellished by rendition in various jAthis (or counts) – tishra (3), chaturshra (4), khanda (5) and so on and so forth. Rendering the TAna, making patterns of these jAthis is what makes the tAna worth listening to.

Now, coming back to Evaribodhana, if one studies the varnam in depth, one realizes that this tAna format has been strictly adhered to, throughout this piece. The splitting of both the swara and the sAhitya is such, that if learnt properly and practiced in the tOm-tat-Anamta- anamta format, the basics of the tAnam would automatically be taken care of!

Each and every one of the varnams in our regular varnam book has a function to perform – a purpose for its presence in the book. While SankarAbharanam teaches gamakas and finer nuances of the rAga, mOhanam trains the voice to try and produce melodious notes. KAmbhOji too stresses on the beauty and gamaka aspects, along with its melody, and so forth. Evidently, the Great Masters had had a good reason for compiling a book with those very varnams and putting them in that order!

Having realized this truth has made all the difference in my approach to music. It’s an unending world out there and the quest for knowledge continues as always…………..

EndarO mahAnubhAvulu andariki vandanamu…………


Blogger Srikanth said...


I happened to read this blog on Evari bodhana. It is interesting to see how you have interpreted the varnam and that practising this in "taanam-anantham-" format will unfold taanam singing. I will certainly give it a try.

Bookmarking your blog...

10/05/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger SP said...

Thanks Srikanth. Any tAna varnam's function is to educate a student about the various aspects of manodharma, specially the tAnam, as its name itself suggests. I just picked up the Abhogi varnam as I felt it was really praise-worthy for its format. Hope you are able to benefit from it as I did.

10/05/2006 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger Padma said...

Amazing priya....just keep writing more, i think many wud be benefitted....

10/17/2006 01:11:00 AM  

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