Nadasurabhi Cultural Association located in Koramangala, Bangalore is in the forefront of promoting Classical Carnatic Music. Nadasurabhi conducts the highest quality music concerts every month and a week-long Annual Festival in November, free of charge to all rasikas. Our other events include a youth festival, Thyagaraja and Purandaradasa Aradhana, and music competitions for children.

Ragamalikas

Written by Suguna Purushottaman

Carnatic music has a rich variety of compositions. It starts with the easier geethams. We have then the lakshana geethams, the lyrics of which explain the ragam in which they are set in.  We have a progression of forms one more complex that the previous.  Jathiswaras, Swarajathis, Tana varnams were set by Mudduswami dikshitar.
Mudduswami Dikshitar has composed several beautiful ragamalikas. Several of them are thematic. Notable among them are the dasavathara, kamalambika and chaturdasa ragamalikas. Dasavathara ragamalika, Rupakam - Madhavo mamavathu is set in ten ragas with chittai swaras. The ragas are Nata, Gaula, Sri, Arabhi, Varali, Kedaram, Vasantha, Surati, Saurashtram, Madhyamavati. Shath ragamalika, Rupakam - Kamalambike is set in Purnachandrika, Narayani, Saraswathi Manohari, Suddhavasantha, Hamsadhwani, Nagadhwani.

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Kshetra Darshan of Muthuswamy Dixithar

Written by Vidushi Neela Ramgopal

Sri Muthuswamy Dixithar has visited many kshethras in South India as well as north India and has composed many songs on the presiding deities of that particular place. Those kritis  are composed with Raga, Bhava, of various Ragams and Sahithyas that suit mutually and aptly. That is how, we, the artists of today are able to explore many kritis in various Ragas and Thalas by the esteemed Trinities. Muddhuswamy Dixithar has composed many krithis on many South Indian ‘sthalas’ like Vaitheeswaran Koil, SriRangam, Chidambaram, Kumbakonam, Mayavaram and so on. The knowledge one gets in learning these krithis of any particular place gives us a good picture of that Kshethra’s location, importance, the presiding deity and other Gods’ prominence and the other festivals of the Sthalas.

Read more: Kshetra Darshan of Muthuswamy Dixithar

 

Music in stones

Written by Jaya Guruswamy

Music has been part of human lives for a long long time. The ancient kings encouraged this art by supporting and encouraging the musicians . They even built temples with the skills of artisans and encouraged them to select granite stone  pillars in the temples which produced  muscical notes when struck or played with sticks. 
Such musical pillars are found in some of the temples of South India which are marvels of architectural and musical skill. They are of ferrous granite and support the roof like the ordinary pillars. The cluster of pillars chiseled out of a huge block of resonant stone was played upon with two sticks. The performers stand on opposite sides and play on the pillars.


Solo music as well as rhythmic accompaniment is provided on them and the tone of the notes emanating from the pillars resembles the tone of Jalatharangam.

It is found that the pillars are of various artistic shapes: cylindrical, square, octagonal,  Fluted and twisted. They clearly show how art could be combined with the requirement of music. When a pillar is struck one can feel the sympathetic vibration from the opposite pillar, graduated to the same pitch.

The Pampapatti, Chowdeswari and Vittala shrines at Hampi and the temples at Lepakshi, Tadpatri, Madurai, Azhagarkoil, Azhwartirunagari, Tirunelveli, Kalakkad, Suchindrum and Thiruvananthapuram contain splendid specimens of musical stone pillars. The height of these Musical pillars ranges from 4 feet to 7 feet. The notes  given by the pillars correspond to one of the following scales: Sankarabharanam, Harikambhoji, Kharaharapriya.

There are three musical stone pillars at the corners of the mantapam in from of the Deity SoundaraValli Thayar in Tadikombu, near Dindigal  produce the correct notes of the Vedic chants: Udatta, Anudatta Svarita. It is said that the Vedic hymns were recited to the accompaniment of the music notes from the pillars.

In the temple of Darasuram, near Kumbakonam, the stone steps of the Balipitam produce musical notes and the reasons for which they were made is not known, In the temple at Simhachalam near Vishakapatnam in Andhra musical notes are heard from the stone foliage work on top of the pillars.

The architectural marvels of musical notes producing pillars in various temples show the greatness of our people in ancient times who made and appreciated them.

(Ref: various sources including internet)

 

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