My introduction to the 10th melakartha, Natakapriya, was through the composition Geeta vadya (composed by Tanjavur Sankara Iyer). This was a popular hit with artistes like DK Jayaraman and TV Sankaranarayanan during the eighties. I was a huge fan of both these artistes and really wanted to learn and sing this sing this at that time. It was however another Natakapriya composition that got my attention in the early nineties – Idi samayamu by Mysore Vasudevachar. I came across this in a recording of TM Thiagarajan and was immediately hooked. Identifying ragams was always a challenge and there several thumb rules to be followed. If you had good swara gnanam (knowledge of the notes) you can map out the scale in your mind, so that you are familiar with the notes. This narrowed down the options. This was the most taught method to music students. Listeners and rasikas also went with similarities to compositions, similarities to other ragams etc to get the answer when they were flummoxed. Natakapriya for me always meant Karaharapriya with the smaller Rishabham, or Todi with the bigger dhaivatam. Musicians also gave hints on how to identify ragams with quips like when Semmangudi referred to Bhavapriya as “Mela saibu keezha Naidu!” TMT once remarked to a few music students in the audience “ithu Natakpariya – keezha Todi, mela Karaharapriya!”

 


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.