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(Verbal Communication)

a. Ragas-Musical modes

            Kutiyottam employs twenty four Ragas also called Svaras. Ragas are not rendered according to rhythm as in songs but are sung as verses. Each Rasa has a specific Raga associated with it. Given below are examples.

Indalam   :  for noble characters

Cetipancamam  : for lower characters

Virapancamam  :  for extremely heroic occasions

Bhinnapancamam   :    for highly elated occasions

Muralindalam    :   for Sri Rama’s love

Antari   :   the Raga used by the storyteller

                and not used by the character.

Swalpantari   :     for Varunan

Veladhuli  :  for fear, anxiety andcalling from a distance.

Sri Kamaram :  for a sudden spurt of emotion

Artan   :     for arngara and rati

Paurali   :  for  Srirama’s love-lorn state

Mudden  :  Rakshasa’a love

Kaisiki :    for Hasya and Bibhatsa

Tarkan   :   for Krodha and Raudra

Viratarkan  :  for Vira rasa

Duhkhagandhari   :   for Soka and Karuna

Charrantari     :   for Bharatavzakya and for conveying

                                    the death of a cruel character

Danam  :    Adbhuta (wonder), Bhayanaka (fearsome)

Tondu    :  Bhakthi (devotion), Santa

Puraniru    :    for description of rain, morning….

Srikanti    :   used at the end of a drama

The Ragas and their styles or redition have no classical backing. Ragas are not sung. Tambura and harmonium that keep up the sruti  are not employed. The ragas may be rendered differently by the different actors. Kutiyottam places a low premium for the learning of classical music in its training routines.

When one considers these facts there might emerge the conclusion that traditions of classical music have no significance in Kutiyattam. Was the situation similar in the older days? The names of certain Ragas give rise to this suspicion. Indala and Puraniru are two ragas that have been mentioned which were used in Kathakali earlier in the form of songs. Did Kutiyattam also use it similarly? The name of certain ragas has been mentioned that stress on some of the scaled in the heptatonic scale. For example, Cetipancamam, Virapancamam, Bhinnapancamem etc. We are not sure whether these ragas have any relation with the Pancamasvara.

It has to be investigated whether Kutiyattam has any realations with classical music traditions. There is an opinion that the recital of the slokas (verses) resembles the chanting of Vedas, this opinion again being doubted by many scholars, since the chanting of Vedas does not involve adherence to specific Ragas. Whatever be the conclusions drawn, it can be said that the Ragas in Kutiyattam place an emphasis on the emotive effect rather thatn the mode of recital.

b. Talas (Time Measurers)


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