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Riyaz

Srimad Walajapet Venkataramana Bhagavatar

An illustrious and devoted disciple of a saint poet Thyagaraja, a prolific composer, a hatha yogi, – these should best describe Srimad Walajapet Venkataramana Bhagavatar.                                                               Venkataramana Bhagavatar was born on February 18, 1781 in Ayyampettai of Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu to Nannuswamy. He was born as an answer to…

Key Improvements to Riyaz in the Current Release

Dear fellow singing aspirants and music connoisseurs! We just released a major update to Riyaz that brings in desired improvements to this already well-received application (thank you for that!!). This release also brings in few new aspects that will further help you in nurturing yourself to be a singer or a well educated connoisseur. Here is what changed and what’s new in this version. 1. You can now pause and resume while practising in Riyaz There are many long practise…

Mandolin U Srinivas – Mozart of Indian Classical Music

“Music is a divine gift. Whatever you play, it should touch the soul. How does it come? If you enjoy what you play, then you can make others enjoy”. Career in the classical arts is not often remembered for courage. Too many other elements tend to intrude into the discussion, and to be prized heavily by purists: a stickler to tradition, for example, or the flourishes of genius, or capacious knowledge. But it is courage that most plainly marks out…

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…

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