Ragamalika

  • Ragamalika, as it’s name implies is a garland of ragas. The choice of ragas as well as their sequence are based on aesthetic considerations.
  • In Medieval period Sarngadev has written “Raga Kadambam” following this Kallinadu has mentioned 4 types of chendoreethis & named “Raga Kadambam”.
  • Later in 1550 B.C. , Ramamatya has written “Swaramela Kalanidhi”. He has composed a prabandham by the name “Raga Kadambam”.
  • Venkatamakhi has mentioned about “Raga Kadambam” in his compositions.
  • Ragamalika is a special musical composition. It having all lakshanas is called as “Bahuvamsa Ragamalika”. Eg.:- 2nd part of Tacchuri Singachari’s “Gayaka Sidhanjanam” is a Bahuvamsa Ragamalika.

Lakshanas of Ragamalika:

  • In a ragamalika, raga keeps changing while talam remains constant. It consists of a pallavi, anupallavi, & many charanams.
  • Four will be the minimum number of ragas for a ragamalika composition.
  • Some may not have anupallavi, while some may have chitta swarams.
  • Sahitya of ragamalika is usually devotional or of love theme.

Some composers of main ragamalikas are:

1.       Muthuswamy Dikshitar 2.       Syama Sastry 3.       Tyagaraja Swamy
4.       Ramaswamy Dikshitar 5.       Maha Vaidyanatha Ayyar 6.       Subbarama Dikshitar
7.       Krishna Kavi 8.       Swati Tirunal 9.       Sitaramayya
10.   Tiruvottiyur Tyagayyar 11.    Patnam Subramanyam 12.   Ponniah Pillai

 

Some popular ragamalikas with examples are:

  1. 72 Mela ragamalika by Sri Maha Vaidyanatha Ayyar
  2. 72 Raganga ragamalika by Subbarama Dikshitar for Dhatu and Krishna Kavi for Matu.
  3. Chaturdasa ragamalika : Composition in 14 ragas. Ex: Sri Viswanadham Bhajeham by Muthu Swamy Dikshitar.
  4. Shodasa ragamalika: Composition in 16 ragas. Ex: composed by Tiruvattiyur Tyagayyar.
  5. Ragatalamalika: Each section is not only in a different raga & tala but raga mudra & tala mudra are present in sahitya of each section.

Ex: Ramaswamy Dikshitar’s 108 ragas & talas composition “Natakadi Vidyala”

  1. Pakshamalika: “Sudati Sri Mohananguni” is a composition in 15 ragas. It contains Prabandha mudra.
  2. Nitya Kalyani Ragamalika, a typical composition in 8 ragas by Sitaramayya.
  3. Amba ninnu Nera nammithi – 9 ragas composition by Chinnikrishna Dasa and not by Syama Sastry.
  4. Punnagendra Sayana – 8 ragas composition “Ee Kanakambari” by Subbarama Dikshitar
  5. Navaratnamalika – Composition in 9 ragas. “Garavamu ganna” is by Subbarama Dikshitar.
  6. Navavidha bhakti by Sri Swati Tirunal

Also “Ne Sarilerani korina” by Sri Subbarama Dikshitar

  1. Tyagaraja swamy’s 100 kritis in 100 ragas is known as “ Sataraga ragamalika.
  2. Ragamalikas are within Varnas, Kritis, Swarajathis, Jathi Swarams etc.

Ex. 1. Navaragamalika by Patnam Subramanyam ayyar.

Ex.2. Ragamalika Swarajathi & Jathi swaram by Swamy Tirunl, Ponniah Pillai

  1. Annamacharya’s RagaTala malika, Suladi.

Ragamudras:

  1. Ragamudra is present in matu section in Sahitya. To mark the end of charanam, in the last ragam, raga mudras will be present.
  2. Prabandha mudra: Present in the beginning of Prabandham
  3. Nayaka mudra: Sahitya contains Nayaka, Nayaki. Every part has Nayaka mudra.

Salient points:

  • Most of the ragamalikas are in Adi, Rupaka talas.
  • “Ashtothara Sataragamalika” is composed by Ramaswamy Dikshitar. It has 108 ragatalamalika. Every secion has 108 ragatalamalika. In each and every section, sahityam contains ragam & talam name.
  • Ragamalikas have been written in Ghana, Naya, Rakti ragas.
  • Mostly composed in Madhyama kalam.
  • Talamalika: Only talam changes but not ragams.
  • Ragamalikas are sung in Manodharma Sangeetham also.
  • Ragas which succeed one another from an aesthetic point of view are called Mitra ragas.
  • Ex: Darbar, Nayaki, Bhairavi, Manji, Ahiri, Sahana etc.
  • Swara passage in pallavi raga is called as “Makuta Swara” to experience bhava & rasa of the raga.

Thus Ragamalikas are beautiful musical compositions.

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