Friday, June 4, 2010

Curious about carnatic music

Ladies in my in-laws' family are experts-of-sorts in carnatic music. Actually they are experienced academicians too, but so are gents in that family. So that doesn't count! :) To the contrary, I am almost a zero. I say "almost" because, my sister had trained as carnatic singer for a few months and I learnt one song from her! So that counts!

Anyway, their presence has brought me in proximity to a lot of carnatic music as they watch all the music concerts in TV and start discussing its nuances and technical details. That has made me notice a few things that I would otherwise never notice and ask questions that I otherwise wouldn't have asked. I surprise myself with my power to observe and surprise them with my power to question. It gives me a "second to none" feeling. Here is a sample of a few such questions.
  • "Why don't percussion artists ever sit in the middle and lead the concert?"
  • "How do they select those people sitting behind everyone with the tambura? Do they actually know carnatic music or do they pick anyone from the studio at the last moment?"
  • "Do the string instrument players bleed through their fingers?"
  • "I have never seen a "naked" mruthangam.Why is the mruthangam always wrapped in a cloth?
  • "When the Veena artists wear the metal thing on their fingers, do they miss to vibrate the string because they don't get to feel it with their fingers?"
  • "Why do the artists always appear in traditional sarees and dhotis for the concerts? Why don't they even wear a salwar or a kurtha?"
Off late, I find that my wife tries to stop me from asking questions to my mother-in-law. I think she is getting jealous of me getting closer to her expertise in carnatic music. Something reminds me of the famous Sidhuism. "Wickets are like wives, you never know which way they will turn"


Maayaa said...

hmm....good for you.. later after you get the patience to listen to aalapana (not aalampana..he he), then your mind will relax to understand nuances..

btw, I am learning carnatic music in US..he sis stopped and another sis started :)

Maya said...

Or probably she is just tryin to stop you from acting stupid in front of in-laws ;)

Badhri said...

Naa. My in-laws know how smart I am :D

Badhri said...

Naa. My in-laws know how smart I am :D

Sreeram said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sreeram said...

I hope you get your tiffins and dinners properly. wish you all the best. also try to avoid going to kitchen often ;-). lot of instrument are available to play around. they might show you why the instrument placement are like that.

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Nice article! I like carnatic music very much. Thanks for the information.
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