Sunday, June 17, 2007

Thodi...Refreshing..Rejuvenating Morning Raga


Thaye Yasodha..undhan ayar kulathuditha..mayan..gopalakrishnan
seyyum jaalathai...keladi..
You must have got drowned in the depths of this divine Raag at least two dozen times in the last. Such a lyric composed in Raag Thodi has withstood time. Yes, I still remember my grandma singing in 1940s, followed by my mom. Virtually every mom sings this song.
Raag Thodi possibly has adrenaline in abundance. Yes. The moment you hear it
your heart begins to throb rapidly.
You learn that it is one among the many morning Raagas. Experts reveal that it derives its name from the word “thodagam” which meant in ancient parlance ‘ a small beginning”. It is not surprising therefore that this raga is mainly sung during mornings along with other ragas like Naattai, Hamsadhwani, Sowrashtram and Kedharam. This raag is mostly handled in natyam, and folk music.

Thodi belongs to the 8th Melakartha Raag of Hanumath Thodi which is a janya Raag. However, thodi differs from Hanumath Thodi as well as Suddha Thodi.

Now let us consider the Swaras of Thodi:

Arohanam (Ascendent) sa Re1 ga1 ma1 pa dha1 nee1 sa
Avarohanam (Decendent) sa nee dha pa ma pa ma ga re sa.

Hanumath Thodi swaras are different:
Arohanam: sa Re1 ga1 ma1 pa dha1 nee1 sa
Avarohanam sa nee dha pa ma ga re sa

While the Arohana swaras are similar in both Thodi and Hanumath Thodi, they differ in Avarohanam. In Thodi it is : sa nee dha pa ma pa ma ga re sa.
There is a vakram (a retrograde move) that is after madhyamam, panchamam again props up.

Suddha Thodi is a raag devoid of panchamam.
Arohanam: : sa re1 ga 1 ma 1 dha 1 nee 1 sa
Sa nee dha ma ga ree sa.

To begin with we are going to listen to a masterpiece in THODI by
Lalgudi Jayaraman (vocal) accompanied by his daughter. This video is possibly taken a couple of decades ago, at Lalgudi, a suburb of Tiruchy District, in Tamil Nadu, possibly at the Shiva Temple (Saptharishi Temple). Incidentally, Lalgudi (angarai village) is the place of birth of author of this blog.

Let us ALSO listen to AN ALAPANA IN THODI in violin by Ms.Aishu Venkataraman.
click at the title of this posting
BUT, PLEASE DO IT AFTER FINISHING THE PAGE (purely for technical reasons.)

Now another performance which is
Vocal..Alaapana in Thodi
Kumari. K Dharini performed @ Carnataka Sangeetha Sabha on 14th April 2006. For more infomation, please visit

Now listen to the same raag THODI sung recently at New Jersey Thamil Sangam fusing the raag with Western acoustic drums.

Ms.Anitha sings the Thodi based song at New Jersey Tamil Sangam. Jersey Rhythms orchestra: Acoustic drums: Arul Yaganppan, Keyboard:Venky Krishnaswamy,Lead guitar:RajKanth:Bass Guitar:John Holowach,Percussion:Shivakumar Muthuswamy and Raj Manian, Supporting Vocals: Anitha Arya, CHenthil Gurunathan, Durga Venkatraman and Swarna Venkatraman, Sound: Strides

Enjoy classical Music...
Coming to Film Music, a good many songs are immediately available.
K.B.Sundarambal's ever-lasting song " thanithirundhu Vazhunnai Thavamaniye.." shall live longer than humanity perhaps.
The other song that comes to my mind is " Unnaipol Pennallavo" in the film VANANGAMUDI

You may go to to listen to both songs.

Singing just Swimming silently as a swan.
Enjoy it. We may not able to describe in words how we feel.

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