Varṇam-s in Saṅgīta-saṁpradāya-pradarśini – With Special Reference to Varṇam-s Composed Prior to Music Trinity
School of Fine & Performing Arts
University of Madras, Chepauk
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India - 600 005
Varṇam, as a musical form in Karnāṭaka Music, is seen in several South Indian music publications. The Saṅgīta-saṁpradāya-pradarśini (SSP), 1904, authored by Subbarāma Dīkṣita is one such publication, in which notations to many musical forms, including varṇam-s, are seen. The varṇam-s in SSP are composed in different rāga-s (melodic entity), set to different tāla-s (temporal framework) and are composed in different time periods. It is observed that features like sāhitya (lyrics), jati (syllables), rāga phrases, eḍuppu (commencement of melody in a tāla) etc. in different varṇam-s could be different in different time periods.
This paper is a study of varṇam-s in the SSP, by composers prior to the Musical Trinity1. The composers of varṇam-s in SSP are grouped into Musical trinity composers, those before the Musical Trinity (pre- trinity) and those after the Musical Trinity (post – trinity) for the purpose of study. There are 15 pre – trinity varṇam-s studied in this paper. In addition, two varṇam-s composed by pracīna-s (ancient composers) and pūrvaka-s (ancestral composers) are also studied with an aim of estimating the period in which they were composed. Rāga analysis does not fall in the scope of this study.