i would like to konw how can one identify the raga

greenspun.com : LUSENET : carnatic.com : One Thread

raga identification

-- shanthi.r (soorajiyer@yahoo.com), December 08, 2000


i want to know about raga identification

-- s.jayalakshmi (sjaya@hotmail.com), December 15, 2000.

Hee hee. Good question. The way I look at it, some people have it easy, and can directly see the patterns and recognized a raga. Some others learn by going to a guru, but for a casual listener, it might take some practice and some intuitive thinking. I am of the first category, but I started quite differently, as I have had no formal education.

I dont know if you listen to much film music at all. If you do, then there is a really fun, good and easy way to try and learn ragas. Listen to a song and get someone to identify the raga initially for you. Learn this raga, by listening to the song and try humming along with it. Then turn off the song, and try humming along the same tune, but with variations. Let me name some songs for you.

Let us take for instance, the song "Thoongadha Vizhigal Rendu" from the movie "Agni Natchathiram"(Tamil). If you are not familiar with this song then look at my second example. This song is in the raga Amrutavarshini. Now you know the name of the raga. Play this song. IT is COMPLETELY in Amrutavarshini, except for a small interlude before the second paragraph. Play it a couple of times, continously, and then turn your record player off. Sing the song, but use your imagination to sing it. And then slowly hum and let it loose. If you are finding trouble nailing the notes, get someone who knows Carnatic to help you out with it.

Let us take for instance, the song "Sochenge Tumhe Pyar" from the movie "Damini"(Hindi). This song is in the raga Kalyani(also known as MechaKalyani). Now you know the name of the raga. Play this song. IT is COMPLETELY in Kalyani. Play it a couple of times, continously, and then turn your record player off. Sing the song, but use your imagination to sing it. And then slowly hum and let it loose. If you are finding trouble nailing the notes, get someone who knows Carnatic to help you out with it.

Once you've done this for a few songs, you will have some of it down. If you want to get theoretical however, and already have a decent ear, then learn the notes. It really really helps if you can play an instrument. something visual. Flute is not a good choice to learn theory on. Veena is perfect, I learnt on piano, so the possibility is obviously endless. Get yourself a keyboard and write back to me if you want, and I can explain it to you in greater detail. If you know theory and are just finding it hard identifying the ragas, then just stick with it and practice. You should try and improve your memory and memory association skills. Watch patterns, solve pattern puzzles, they all help.

Anyway, for more information, feel free to contact me at memyselfandmyalterego@yahoo.com


-- Jayanth (memyselfandmyalterego@yahoo.com), August 07, 2001.

This can only come with knowledge and listening to a lot of carnatic music. There are certain clues to look for, heres a sorta suggestion in a concert on how to identify:

1. First listen to how the raga alapana starts off or the song, it must always begin with the raga identification, its not like u can just sit there forever singing without telling the audience what the ragam is. If it starts off at G , then most of the time its a janyam of a sampoorana ragam, like kalyani.

2. Listen closer to each notes sang. listen very carefully, and note down which notes are higher and lower, then slowly approximate the scale. if the song they're singing is amurtha varshini, then thats the ragam because thats the only song in that ragam. If another song sounds similar, then u can assume that its tilang because just the M is a sudda madhyamam. (lower note).

3. As the singer goes up and down the scale of the rgaam, listen to how closely he matches each of the notes with the song. Then just guess....most of the artists will sing mainstream ragams. And if you know how most of carnatic concerts, u' can mostly guess that the varnam is going to be either abogi, hamsadhwani or sri (i havent heard too many others attempt diferent onces, maybe thodi). The Ganesha song is always either hamsadhwani, nattai, or Gowlai...its rarity to find a Ganesha song in kalyani or natabharavai as those arent ragas sang in the beginning. So now u alternate, if the singer's already sang a suddhamadyamam ragam, u know its a preti madhyama song next ....the 3rd and 4th song is really diverse, i've heard anywhere from panthuvarali to karaharapriya. The main piece, well its discretion of singer, but its almost commonly sung in Kalyani or Hamsadhwani ....some thodi, some abheri, etc. Towards the end of the concert, Madhyamavati, surrutti or sowrashtram. The final song is 90% ALWAYS Pavamana or Thirupuggarzh which is madhyamavati or sowrastram and the final alapana is in Madhyamavati.

I hope this helps a little....its just a guessing game, sometimes its obvious, sometimes the artist themselves will tell you if theyr'e singing a vakra (rare) raga, like jyoti swaroopini or gamanashrama .

-- abogi (prush15@hotmail.com), March 09, 2002.

There is nothing meaning finding ragas through current film songs. Out of 100% only 10% songs are composing through carnatic base rest of all are not. There is no system or rule that the songs are composed in carnatic raga. Before 1990's when Music director Ilayaraja was completely on industry, 90% of the songs are composed in carnatic ragas. Simply, to find out raga from a song, you should learn some of "Melakartha ragas " like Kalyani,sankarabaranam,thodi,panthuvarali etc etc out of 72 melakartha ragas.. And also should learn janya ragas like mohanam,abogi,revathi,hamswadhwani,hamsanandhi,hindolam,etc etc.. After getting wellversed with this, you should be able to tell the swaras of the ragas which u know. Make it thorough first. And hear a song for ex if u are listening a song u just try to sing along with the song. Slowly try to get what are the swaras inside that song.. Ok u just think that u got the swaras. It is like this,

shadjam chathusruthi rishabam,anthara gandharam,prathimadhyamam,chadusruthi daivadham,kakilinishadham,shadjam.----------in arohanam,

and the same swaras in avarohanam, it is clear that it is "kalyani"

it is very easy if u have a harmoniam or keyboard with u in the initial stage to find out raga. slowly u can do it with out that instrument.

You should also try to learn all ragas one by one ....

in between this also lean ony by one bashanga raga,and vakra raga.

it is very difficult to find raga from a song if it is bashanga raga or vakra raga.

-- vijaykumar (vijaychambath@rediffmail.com), August 15, 2002.

Identifying ragams in carnatic music gets developed by constant listening to master- pieces rendered by Vidwans and repeating the process quite often.Some of the yester year composers like Dikshithar,Koteeswara Iyer and many others have had raga mudhras in their compositions which fecilitated rasikas to recognise the name of the raga easily.To mention one of the few contemporary composers (living)who have profusely used raga mudhras in their compositions,is Mr.K Ramaraj(vageyakara@yahoo.com) ref:review published in Samudhra -monthly magazine-April 2003 issue.

-- ramachandra moudhgalya (parashar54@yahoo.com), August 09, 2003.

I have gone into the details of compositions of Mr.Kramaraj (vide ) his rercently published Innisai paamalaiIn which he has come out with kritis inraagas Viz Kaatyani, sumanesaranjini, Soorya. Ghambheeravani, rathipathipriya to mention a few All the above carry the raaga mudhra

-- charukesipriya (charukesi_29@hotmail.com), January 10, 2005.

Thank u Charukasipriya.I got in touch with Mr.Ramaraj thru'one of my friends.It ia really fantastic experience to go further into details of some of the ragas (Viz}Rajeswari, Lavanki,manisijapriya,VasanthaManohari,gurunaadhaPriyaa,gurupriya etc to mention a few.In all the keitis the raga Mudhras fall in its natural place and give lilt to the Bhava of the compositions. It was all the way an enthralling experience indeed. Parashar

-- ramachandra moudhgalya (parashar54@yahoo.com), January 21, 2005.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ