Pancharatna Kritis of Saint Tyagaraja - Songs, Notation & Meaning - English | Music Book
The Pancharatna kritis were written in praise of the Hindu deity Rama by Saint Tyagaraja. They are set to Adi Tala, and each raga represents the mood of the song and the meaning of its lyrics. All the kritis are composed in the style of a Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi (RTP) with the charanams (stanzas) substituting for the kalpana swaras (improvisatory passages) in the pallavi section of the RTP. The melodic forms of these compositions (Naatai, Goula, Arabhi, Varali, Sri) are the five Ghana ragas of Carnatic music, also called the "ghanapanchaka" These 5 ragas lend themselves to elaborate improvisations. They are so called because they are suitable for playing tanam on the veena. Naatai and Varali are two of the most ancient of the Carnatic ragas and date back to over a thousand years ago. A particularly difficult musical challenge has been taken up successfully by Tyagaraja in three of these compositions. The ragam Naatai has a particularly distinctive use of the dhaivatam note or swaram (A in the C scale of Western classical notes). Tyagaraja has avoided the dhaivatam completely in the first Pancharatna Kriti without losing the swarupa or character of the ragam. Similarly gandharam is an accidental note of some beauty in Goula (E in the C scale). Tyagaraja avoids this too except in one instance without losing the character of the ragam. Finally he avoids the accidental dhaivatam in Sri ragam; again a note that is present in some very characteristic sancharas (phrases) of this ragam. This book contains clear, bold notations of the famous Pancharatna kritis that are easy to follow. The book is handy and can be carried anywhere.