Aug 19, 2002


To elaborate my previous post further, gamakam - the oscillations and nuances are the lifeline of carnatic music, they can make or break a raga rendition. But if I go pick up a book of krithis (there aren't that many) and try to render it going by the notation, it will sound very flat. I should have heard the krithi or atleast the raga before. For example, the notation will say sa-sa, ri-ri; but in reality it may have to be rendered sa-ni-sa, ri-sa-ri. So the notation fails to do justice to the piece.

I am not talking about the meaning of existence or some divine truth. This is simply musical notation. Take the western classical music, even the baroque period. They have oscillations like trills and mordents which are quite comparable to our gamakams. And lo and behold, they have notation schemes to represent it. Not in carnatic music, simply because, they didn't see a need for it. They taught orally.

This gives a control on who is taught and more importantly what is taught. A composition wouldn't reach the masses without the teachers' blessings. Ergo, the conclusion.

August 19, 2002