Will modern trends in music affect the purity of carnatic music ?

Article by Ms. Revathi S.

    Ms. Revathi S.To start with, when I think about propagating carnatic music, modern trends have been a boon. From the age-old guru-sishya gurukula teaching, Carnatic music has really adapted itself to modern technology. Today we have e-mail, Internet, audio and video cassettes, CDs and many more bridging the gap between the tutor and the one getting taught.

    But again, when I think about the pattern of these days Katcheris, I see that there is a lack of proper balance.Earlier days katcheris had a beautiful definitive pattern wherein , the concert would start with a "varnam" and the main krithi(main piece) of the concert would be in the same ragam as that of the varnam. This would set the performer in a confined shell and he could be thoughtfully bound to his selections(preparation).The selection of the kritis would be very
    intelligent, a prathi madyamam ragam followed by a shudda madyamam. Involving varieties of thalams. Such intelligent selection would make the concert a success. I wouldn't call this an implication of modern trend, but its surely a case of not following traditional trend.

    Balancing the main kritis and thukudas is also an art.But in these days concerts, there is a greater emphasis on thukudas.This is an easier trend to win audience. Select a very famous thukda and the crowd would start tapping with the stage; say people choose "kurai ondrum illa" when in TN, "Bhagyadha lakshmi baramma" in Karnataka and something like "Hariharathmajam" in Kerala.These thukudas would please the audience for the moment, but imagine the effect of an expansive RTP and the impact it would leave on the crowd. I would say we are customizing and commercializing music for popularity sake. This would definitely dilute the purity in carnatic music.

    But I would say, the love for music, the analysis of music science.....Exploring music beyond music.......have been deeply imprinted in the young minds. People have developed more awareness for Music. Its just that we need to selectively adopt our trends, but analyse the traditional trends and follow them, for traditional methods would always be based on some reasoning. By our carelessness to traditional trends, we would be digging in a deeper hole and create a greater delta between our future music families and the traditional stalwarts.

    Revathi S.

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