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Riyaz

Beginner to Intermediate in Carnatic Music: How to progress?

What next after the varases? This is one question that pops into the mind of every beginner. Once a student is through with the basic lessons i.e. sarale varase, janti varase, taggusthaayi varase, taarasthaayi varase, dhaatu varase and alankaara, before proceeding to learn the pillarigeethe and sanchari geethe, one litmus test to see if he/she is ready to learn different types of geethe is to sing the basic lessons in three speeds continuously. If possible, the three speeds can be…

Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar: The Trailblazer

“I was greatly influenced by Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar. I do not want another life. But if there is one, I want to be able to sing like Ramanuja Iyengar” exclaimed the doyen of Carnatic Music, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar popularly known as Ariyakudi, was born in  Ariyakudi, a town in Karaikudi district near Tamil Nadu, in 1890, to Tiruvenkatacharya, who was a famous astrologer and veda exponent. Music Initiation Ariyakudi started learning under Pudukoti Malayappa Iyer at the…

Music beyond boundaries: The story of Jon B. Higgins

“It was a grey chilly morning on December 7th, 1984. Jon Higgins rushed to my house carrying his cassette recorder and folders containing sheets of swara-notated music and his electronic shruti box. We sat together cross-legged on the rug preparing to begin our music lesson, but first turned to a discussion of our forthcoming trip to South Africa and to the political problems there that warranted some concern. Jon expressed his feelings as to why he thought we should take…

Importance of practising basic lessons in Carnatic music

This article introduces you to the fundamentals of Carnatic music. It also tells you the relevance and importance of practising the beginner lessons such as sarali varase/varisai as part of your everyday practice. An introduction to swaras Swara is the most fundamental concept in Carnatic music. It plays a similar role to that of a ‘note’ in western music, but has a distinct character. There are seven swaras in Carnatic music: S for Shadja (sung as Sa), R for Rishabha (sung as…

Five ways you can benefit from Vocal Monitor!

Today let’s talk about one of the recent additions in our Riyaz app, the Vocal Monitor. This feature is requested by many Riyazers like you. So how does it help you improve singing?  I’ll tell you a few usage scenarios and leave the rest to your creativity and imagination! Scenario 1: Sing and visualise what you prefer As you know, there are many exercises in Riyaz which you should practice everyday to sing better. But, a lot of you asked us to…

Purandara Dasa: The father we lest forget

I was introduced to Carnatic music tradition at the age of six. In the class, my Guru would write the lessons for all the students. The customary Shri, OM , Shri Saraswatiye Namaha and Dasacharana samarpitham were the first page salutations in the music book. To my curiosity, I asked my teacher what the last word, Dasacharana samarpitham, meant. She narrated the story of Shri Purandara Dasa. He is the legendary composer honoured by the community as the Karnataka Sangeetha Pitamaha,…

How to take care of your voice?

I remember the time when I went through major vocal problems during an important time of my life when I had to record back to back episodes of a T.V reality show. Let me share my experience and learning, on the basis of which I can give you some tips about taking care of your voice. It all started during a phone conversation with my best friend, I laughed my throat out; although now I don’t remember the joke she…

Welcome, fellow singing aspirants!

Hello, and a warm welcome to this community of singers and singing aspirants! Do you still remember the first time you pedalled a bicycle? Relive that thin moment before we finally sailed away relishing the hard learnt ability to balance ourselves on its two wheels. We all craved for that gentle, loving nudge. An elder sibling, or perhaps a close friend, or one of our parents/grandparents – somebody has been with us as we struggled to get ourselves up there and rein it into our…

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