Poruttasvaram In Svarakalpana
School of Fine & Performing Arts
University of Madras, Chepauk
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India - 600 005
The word ‘manōdharma’ in Sanskrit means ‘order of the mind’ referring to the scope for improvisation available to every artist in his or her creations and renditions. In music, manōdharma refers to on the spot improvisation arising from a musician’s creativity, but within the confines of musical grammar defined by the rāga and tāḷa.
Svarakalpana also known as kalpanasvara is a major branch of manōdharma saṅgīta. Kalpanasvara singing is comparatively of recent origin. Antiquated names like ālāpti, akṣiptika, rāgavardhini etc. are not to be found for kalpanasvara which confirms that it is of much later origin. And there is no definite mention regarding the period in which the concept of kalpanasvara singing was introduced in music concerts.
The art of kalpanasvara singing had undergone major changes in 20th century by the application of arithmetical laya patterns as part of the intellectual approach of musicians to manōdharma saṅgīta. Great composers like Śyāma Śāstri, Pallavi Gopala Iyer had introduced beautiful rhythmic patterns also known as poruttasvaram in their compositions. In modern times, this trend was nurtured by music legends like Lalgudi G. Jayaraman, T.R. Subrahmanyam, T.N. Seshagopalan, Chitraveena Ravikaran, Abhishek Raghuram etc.
This paper intends to analyse the historical development and innovations in the field of manōdharma saṅgīta by focusing on poruttasvaram in svarakalpana.