Swara Pallavi

  • A Swara Pallavi (also known as Jathi Swaram) is a kind of composition which has only the Dhatu part (swara) with no sahitya.
  • They are learnt after learning geethas and before varnams.
  • These are scholarly compositions and their Dhatu has the Raga bhavam.
  • Usually Swara Pallavis are set to Madyama kalam (medium tempo) and set to Adi and Chapu talas.
  • Swara Pallavis can have 2 or 3 parts in the following manner:
    1. Pallavi – AnuPallavi – Charanams
    2. Pallavi – Charanams
  • In some charanams, mrudanga Jathis can be heard, hence the name Jathi swarams.
  • Swara Pallavis usually have 4 to 8 charanams.
  • Compositional structure of a Swara Pallavi is same as that of a Swara Jathi. The only difference is Swara Jathihas the Mathu (sahityam) part too, whereas Swara Pallavi lacks the sahitya part.
  • The piece in Bilahari raga SrGPDSND is a splendid example of this type of composition.
  • The sahitya ‘Rara Venu gopabala’ is a sahitya tacked later on to the piece.
  • Swarajatis and Jatiswaras may be composed in Chauka kala (slow tempo) or in Madhyama kala (medium tempo).
  • Jati swara compositions are moulded on the patterns of jati passages / patterns.
  • In some Jati swaras, the mukthayi swaras consist of half-avarta jatis.
  • Ragamalika jatiswaras also exist.
  • Jatiswaram is a derivative name since phrases of jatis are strung into musical sequence.
  • The jati swaram is of interest from the rhythmical point of view.
  • Prominent composers of Jati swarams are:
    1. Swati Tirunal,
    2. Ponnayya,
    3. Sivanandam,
    4. Vadivelu and
    5. Veena Krishnamachari
  • Ganakrama (Order of Singing):
    • First, the Pallavi is sung, then the Charanams are sung and at the end of each Charanam, the Pallavi is sung. They are sung thus:
      • Pallavi
      • Charanam 1 – Pallavi
      • Charanam 2 – Pallavi etc.