Wednesday, November 18, 2009


In ancient Hindu sculpture, painting, and mythology, the mridangam is often depicted as the instrument of choice for a number of deities including Ganesha (the remover of obstacles) and Nandi, who is the vehicle and companion of Lord Shiva. Nandi is said to have played the mridangam during Shiva's arcane Tandava dance, causing a divine rhythm to resound across the heavens. The miruthangam is thus also known as "Deva Vaadyam," or "Instrument of the Gods."

The word "mridangam" is derived from the two Sanskrit words "Mrid" (clay or earth) and "Ang" (body). Early mridangams were indeed made of hardened clay. Over the years, the mridangam evolved to be made of different kinds of wood due to its increased durability, and today, its body is constructed from wood of the jackfruit tree. It is widely believed that the tabla, the mridangam's North Indian musical counterpart, was first constructed by splitting a mridangam in half. With the development of the mridangam came the evolution of the tala (rhythmic) system. The system of talas (or taalams) in South Indian Carnatic music may be the most complex percussive rhythm system of any form of classical music.

To download Mridangam songs, Click here..

Monday, November 16, 2009

Deiviga Isai Tendral - Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan

Vaidyanathan has been deeply involved in presenting devotional music as well. He has given more than 100 records of devotional songs which enhance the beauty of Carnatic music. His lilting music in the song Tiruparam Kundrattil nee sirittaal which he composed, was a hit. He subsequently composed music for Devar's 'Deivam', 'Tiruvarul', etc. These efforts brought him the title of Deiviga Isai Tendral.

Kanchi Maha Periyavar Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathy Maha Swamigal appointed as asthana vidwan of the Sree Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. As the son of Ramaswami Sastrigal, a pious, religious and learned person, he imbibed his father's values. These inspired him to bring out the essence of the Vedas in his violin-play. He can effortlessly play Rudram, Chamakam and Ghanam on the violin. He can literally bring in front of us Lord Sarveswara and Goddess Sakti. His audio cassette Sakti Chakram enhanced his popularity considerably.

To download is devotional songs click here

Friday, November 13, 2009

Satyanarayana Swamy Pooja Song

You can download Sri Satyanarayana Vratham song in

What is Sri Satyanarayana Vratha?
Sri Satyanarayana Vratham is performed allover world by devotees for wealth, education, prosperity, and offspring, relief from troubles and sickness and success in business. When it came to be known that Lord Satyanarayana had manifested himself on the Ratnagiri hills at Annavaram with unique form combining the Trimurthis Viz., Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Ekadasi is considered to be very auspicious for the Vratham, it is performed even on other convenient days by the individual devotees. The great popularity behind the Vratham springs form the experiences narrated in stories and legends and also the faith gained by observances in daily life.

The important legend connected with this Vratham was that once Sage Naradha was very much distressed at the misery of marthyas (men in this world) and prayed Lord Vishnu to be informed of a way out for them. The Lord then told him that Satyanarayana Vratham would relieve men of their troubles and would ensure worldly prosperity and salvation after deth. He also narrated that a pious Brahmin of Banaras performed the Vratham first. It was also described how King Ulkamukha of Bhadrasilanagaram, Emperor Tungadhwaja and a community of Gollas in his kingdom, a Vaisya business man named Sadhuvu, and a poor woodcutter of Banaras had performed this vratham and were blessed by Lord Satyanarayana Swamy (Vishnu himself) with all they desired. The vratham has caught the fascination of millions owing to these stories within the understanding of scholars as well as layman. All classes of people took to its performance and it is popular for its efficacy.

Friday, October 30, 2009

First Indian to Compose a Symphony

Illayaraja is the first Indian to compose a symphony. Illayaraja composed a full-length western classical symphony in July 1993. The hour long symphony was composed by him in one month. Illayaraja is the first Asian whose symphony was performed by John Scott of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra which is patronized by Queen Elizabeth and whose president is Lord Yehudi Menuhin.

Illayaraja is also a famous film composer, singer, and lyricist. He has composed over 4,000 songs and provided background music for more than 800 Indian films in various languages. He has thrice won the National Film Award for Best Music Director.


Monday, October 26, 2009


Ragas are the melodic modes used in Indian classical music. "Raag" is the modern Hindi pronunciation used by Hindustani musicians; "Raagam" is the South Indian form used by Carnatic music musicians.


A raga functions both as description and prescription. It describes a generalized form of melodic practice; it prescribes a set of rules for how to build a melody. It specifies rules for movements up (aarohanam) and down (avarohanam) the scale, which notes should figure more and which notes should be used more sparingly, which notes may be sung with gamaka, phrases to be used, phrases to be avoided, and so on.The result is a framework that can be used to compose or improvise melodies, allowing for endless variation within the set of notes.

Although notes are an important part of raga practice, it by no means exhausts what a raga is. A raga is more than a scale. Many ragas share the same scale.

The underlying scale may have five, six or seven tones made up of swaras. This provides one method of classifying ragas. Ragas that have five swaras are called audava ragas; those with six, shaadava; and with seven, sampoorna (Sanskrit for 'complete'). Those ragas that do not follow the strict ascending or descending order of swaras are called vakra ('crooked') ragas. (To see the order of notes, check the article on swara.)

The basic mode of reference is that which is equivalent to the Western Ionian mode (this is called Bilawal thaat in Hindustani music and shankarabharanam in Carnaitc music). All relationships between pitches follow from this basic arrangement of intervals. In any given seven-tone mode, the second, third, sixth, and seventh notes can be natural (shuddha, lit. 'pure') or flat (komal, 'soft') but never sharped, and the fourth note can be natural or sharp (tivra) but never flatted, making up the twelve notes in the Western equal tempered chromatic scale (but without Western pitch equivalencies like, for example, A# and Bb). A Western-style C scale could therefore theoretically have the notes C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, F#, G, Ab, A, Bb, B. Ragas can also specify microtonal changes to this scale: a flatter second, a sharper seventh, and so forth. Treatises from the first millennium report that the octave used to be divided theoretically into 22 microtones ("shrutis"), but by the 16th century, this practice seems to have died out. Furthermore, individual performers treat pitches quite differently, and the precise intonation of a given note depends on melodic context. There is no absolute pitch; instead, each performance simply picks a ground note, which also serves as the drone, and the other scale degrees follow relative to the ground note.

Some Hindustani (North Indian) ragas are prescribed a time of day or a season. During the rains, for example, many of the Malhar group of ragas--associated with the monsoon--are performed. Some musicians take these prescriptions very seriously. However, since the majority of concert hall performances take place in the evening and night, musicians often have to make concessions for the sake of public performance.

The two streams of Indian classical music, Carnatic music and Hindustani music, have independent sets of ragas. There is some overlap, but more "false friendship" (where raga names overlap, but raga form does not). In north India, the ragas have recently been categorised into ten thaats or parent scales (by Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande, 1860-1936); South India uses a somewhat older, more systematic classification scheme called the melakarta classification, with 72 parent (melakarta) ragas. Overall there is a greater identification of raga with scale in the south than in the north, where such an identification is impossible.

Note that the term "parent scale" is a metaphor, and is potentially misleading. It might seem to imply that scales came before ragas, or that ragas are made from scales. In fact, it's the other way round--parent scales (both melas and thats) were induced from raga practice. Again we stress that ragas are not scales.

As ragas were transmitted orally from teacher to student, some ragas can vary greatly across regions, traditions and styles. There have been efforts to codify and standardize raga performance in theory from their first mention in Matanga's Brhaddesi (~10th c.) Some people approach raga performance from the Vedic philosophy of sound; others from a Sufi perspective; still others approach raga primarily as an aesthetic entity; others approach it as a kind of combinatorics.

Indian classical music is always set in raga, but all raga music is not necessarily classical. Songs range from being clearly in one raga or another to being in a sort of generalized scale. Many popular Indian film songs resemble ragas closely. Again, it is important to stress that just even if song shares a scale with a raga, it isn't necessarily "in" the raga.