What does niraval
R Vedavalli, the highly regarded
classical vocalist, demonstrates the principles of improvisation
on this useful
Niraval - R
HMV (Rs 50)
What is the origin of the word
'niraval'? Which ragas are suitable for singing niraval? And which
talas? How should percussionists perform while the main artiste is
singing or playing 'niraval'?
The answers to these and
many more questions on this aspect of Karnatak music are found
in this cassette, which contains a lecture demonstration by R
Vedavalli is a senior
vocalist known for her profound scholarship and her ability to
translate her knowledge into practice and
This album is part of Vedavalli's Manodharma Sangeetham
(improvisation music) series. The series also includes Kalpana
Swaram, Raga Alapana and Vruttam, Tanam and Pallavi.
Niraval is a word of
Tamil origin, and means "to fill". It was not part of old music.
Ghana ragas and rakthi ragas are ideal for singing niraval while
vakra sanchara ragas like Kathanakuthuhalam and Nalinakanthi
are more difficult to handle. Rupaka tala in two kalams and
Mischrachapu tala are best suited for niraval singing. As for
the percussion, it should be mellow and restrained for slow niraval
and brisk and lively for fast niraval.
album answers the question whether Karnatak music can be
learnt through cassettes. Some of it can, if the lessons are
handled by someone who is able to explain complex issues with
absolute clarity. The second challenge comes in matching the text to
the music samples. Great care has been taken in this regard, with
the English commentary being followed by apt illustrative examples
from the music of well known artistes.
And like a lesson for a
student sitting before a teacher, the commentary gets shorter as the
cassette progresses and the examples get longer!
comes to an auspicious end with a longish "niraval" by Vedavalli
herself on the line "Mangalakara Mandahasa Vadana" from her
favourite Chintayama in raga Bhairavi.
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