musings on music and life

April 22, 2013

Lecdem 4-21-2013

Filed under: Carnatic Music — Tags: — sankirnam @ 9:55 am

I gave a lec-dem yesterday on thalam aspects in Carnatic music at the invitation of some families in Irvine. It was very heartening to see the huge turnout and interest in our community in this subject – even though some people may say that laya aspects are very esoteric and difficult to grasp, there is still enormous interest in our community in rectifying the situation. This bodes very well for the future of Carnatic Music.

A lot of what I covered yesterday has already been mentioned in some detail in this blog. Starting with the fundamental nature of rhythm, derived from the periodicity and repetition of natural phenomena, I moved to an introduction of various thalams (rhythm cycles), and introduced the concept of jaathi and nadai. The crowd present was very mixed, with some people having substantially more knowledge than others, so it was a challenge to cater to everybody. The concept of different eduppus was also introduced. Just for fun, I also demonstrated a few tricks with the Bhairavi varnam Viriboni (including singing it in Adi thalam with chatusram and tisram). That very thing was what won Bharat Sundar the Carnatic Idol a few years ago – where’s my prize? I kid…

In the time allotted, that was all that could be covered. But, there were people in the audience who were interested in having more such lec-dems in order to cover more topics in greater depth.



  1. The lec-demo was really good, Arjun!

    Comment by Indira R. — April 23, 2013 @ 10:16 am

  2. Arjun,

    This is a wonderful initiative. Though I have been listening to carnatic music for a long time, the finer aspects of thalam are still a mystery to me. From merely recognizing the presence of the percussionists, I am now able to appreciate many nuances in the way they play. But the technical details remain a closed book to me. I hope you can do this for us in San Diego some time.

    Comment by PK Neelakantan — May 8, 2013 @ 2:36 pm

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