Pancharathna Krithis

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Publisher: Giri
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The Pancharatna kritis are written in praise of the Hindu deity  Rama They are set to Adi Tala and each raga  represents the mood of the song and the meaning of its lyrics All the kritis are composed in the style of a Ragam Tanam Pallavi(RTP) with the charanams (stanzas) substituting for the kalpana swaras (improvisatory passages) in the pallavi section of the RTP The melodic forms of these compositions (Nata Goula Arabhi Varali Sri) are the five Ghana ragas of Carnatic music also called the ghanapanchaka These 5 ragas lend themselves to elaborate improvisations [2] They are so called because they are suited to playing tanam on the veena Nata and Varali are the most ancient of the Carnatic ragas and date back to over a thousand years ago A particularly difficult musical challenge has been taken up successfully by Tyagaraja in three of these compositions The raga Naata has a particularly distinctive use of the dhaivatam note or swara(A in the C scale of Western classical notes) Tyagaraja has avoided the dhaivatam completely in the first Pancharatna Kriti without losing the swarupa or character of the ragam Similarly gandharam is an accidental note of some beauty in Goula (E in the C scale) Tyagaraja avoids this too except in one instance without losing the character of the ragam Finally he avoids the accidental dhaivatam in Sri ragam again a note that is present in some very characteristic sancharas (phrases) of this ragam

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