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Discernment. Online













'That Rajkumar's voice has greater vivacity than P B Srinivas's is very debatable'



Alisha is actually her second eponymous album. The first one was called Aah Alisha

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Raj better than PBS?  

Is it right to say that Rajkumar was better than professional playback singers like P B Srinivas?

I was very pleased to learn from your article that Rajkumar's 'Legends' is now available. Wonder why it was not released on CD?

The reason for writing to you is that I didn't quite agree with your comment about Raj's voice. I felt you went overboard with the praise. That Rajkumar's voice has greater vivacity than P B Srinivas's is very debatable. In my opinion Rajkumar's voice could never match the tonal quality of PBS's.

PBS matched Rajkumar in the rendition of Bhujabalada parakrama from Babruvahana. And who can forget PBS in songs like Deena naa bandiruve (Sandhyaraaga) and Baagilanu teredu (Bhakta Kanakadaasa). How about Naavaaduva nudiye Kannada nudi (Gandhada Gudi)? Rajkumar's rendition of the same song in a sequel (Gandhada Gudi Part II) of the movie was pathetic.

Undoubtedly, Rajkumar was (he seldom acts now, I guess) one of the best singing stars of Indian cinema. But to say he was better than the professional playback singers is taking it too far!

Vijay Kadaba

I was only trying to point out how Rajkumar differs from P B Srinivas. PBS is a master of the pensive melody whereas Rajkumar scores better in the more dramatic numbers. I don't think PBS could have sung Yaare koogadali, Naaniruvude nimagaagi or Baanigondu elle ellide like Rajkumar has. Deena naa bandiruve and Baagilanu teredu are both examples of PBS's superiority in the pensive style. But in songs like Nagunaguta nali nali and Olavina priyalate, perhaps meant as cheerful numbers, PBS introduces an inescapable, and to me intensely fascinating, undercurrent of melancholy. PBS is undoubtedly a great talent, and I agree with you that his Gandhada Gudi song is superior to the later version. -- Ram

Give Shabbir a chance

I request music directors of films to give chances to Shabbir Kumar. He is more than 50 years old. Sonu Nigam is no older than 31 or 32 years and has a lot of time for singing.

Mohd Anwar

Looking for a teacher

Do you know where I can find a veena teacher in Southern New Jersey?

Anusha Sriram

Can any reader help Anusha find a teacher? -- Ed

Quiz answers

I am a 20-year-old engineering student and have been learning violin for the past 12 years.

I was recently thinking about the very topic in your questions.

Prakruthi swara:

I think these are the ones which are consanant with the sadjamam (sa).

Pa is the principal consanant note because it is 3/2 (frequency of sa). It is the most consanant of all swaras with sa, hence considered so.

Other prakruthi swaras - m1 , g3

Vikruthi swara: those that are dissonant with sa. Eg: r1, n3, m2

r3 , d3 question:

Based on the principle of 12 notes between sa and higher sa (as in Western music) there are 11 tones between lower and higher sa.

Hence the ratio between succesive swaras should be (12th root of two) = 1.0594

Based on this the ratios are (Western scale):

s 1.00
r1 1.05964
r2 1.1224
g1 1.1892
g2 1.26

As we see from the above table, there is a possibility of a note of consanance (1.25 = 5/4) between g1 and g2 and hence r3 of frequency (1.25 of sa)

Similarly for the case of d3.

These are reasons enough to believe the ancients knew about the physics of sound.

Please let me know the right answers if mine are wrong. (I am not confident of r3, d3 answer since 1.25 is very close to 1.26).

I too have composed songs in the ragas Reetigowlai and Nasikabushani. Please do hear them under instrumental at

Any info in this regard would be of much help.


Alisha's lost inner voice

Hi Divya,

I enjoyed reading your detailed review of Alisha. A couple of points you might already know:

1) Alisha released another album called The Inner Voice (Antaratma) in 1998. The album which was fairly decent and conceptual in nature (a rarity in Indipop) but could not achieve commercial success. It had music by multiple MDs (Biddu was not one of them). The B side of the album which was titled 'The soul side' actually had some great ghazal-style slow numbers. In my opinion the audience was not mature enough to handle the contrast especially immediately after the frivolous but successful 'Made in India'.

Alisha in her interviews was disappointed with the failure of The Inner Voice and the rejection of her new 'image'. The latest album comes after a sojourn and casts her back in the mould that everybody is more comfortable with.

2) 'Alisha' is actually her second eponymous album. The first one was called Aah.. Alisha

Prasad Varma 

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