Musical variety in the nottusvara sahityas

   
 
Although all songs in the nottusvara sahitya genre of Dikshitar are in the major scale, sans gamaka and other Indian melodic ornamentation, there is quite a bit of variety in the collection.

There are some jigs and reels in the repertoire of 39 songs. The best illustration of a reel is Jagadisa guruguha, whose original is known as Lord Mcdonald’s reel.

Mucukunda varada and guruguhapada amongst others easily fit the contour of a jig.

There are marches such as the one that is the basis of santatam pahimam, i.e. God Save the King - the national Anthem of the British, which morphed into ‘My country tis of thee’ in the United States.

There are a whole range of waltzes from somaskandam to santatam govindarajam with its scale changes and the like.

There are the high energy folk dance tunes such as kamalasana vandita.

Syamale Minakshi is based on the tune of the well known melody 'Twinkle Twinkle little star' which had come into being in the 1700s.

There are also the lilting lullabies such as paradevate etc.

There is plurality in the deities addressed. There is plurality in the number of temple towns addressed (as in Tiruvarur, Kanchi, Chidambaram, Madurai etc.). There is variation in rhythmic construct. We thus see  that there is a lot of variety in the nottusvara sahityas although they are all based on the major scale.

Follow this link to listen to the nottusvara sahityas featured in Vismaya.  

Vismaya - An Indo Celtic Musical Journey Copyright © 2008 K. Kannikeswaran

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