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Carnatic Glossary V - listed here are terms beginning with V. If you find a Carnatic term that isn't listed, just send a note.


vaaDi - same as nonvivaaDi, these the original 12 swarastaanas and not the 4 vivaaDi swaras

vaaDi mela - the 32 perfect melakartas, which are made only from the original 12 swarastaanas and do not include the 4 vivaaDi swaras. The melas that are in this category have the numbers 8-11,14-17,20-23,26-29,44-47,50-53,56-59, and 62-65

vaasu - the 8th cakra, with melakartas containing M2, R1, and G2, comprising numbers 43-48

vaggeyakaara - a composer of music or lyricist

vaidika gaanam - a sacred (devotional) musical form, having some aspect of bhakti (devotion), including kritis, tEvaram, divya prabhandam, tiruppugazh, tiruaruTpa, and kaavaDi cindu

vainika - an artist who plays the veena instrument (see Instruments

vajra - a raaga in which one or more of the 7 swaras is missing in either the ascending or descending scale. The missing swara is a vajra swara. For example, in SRGPDS, ma and ni are vajra

vakra - a raaga in which the order of one or more of the 7 swaras is out of place (not in regular ascending or descending order by its frequency). The swara that is out of place is called a vakra swara. For example, in SGRGMPDPS, ga and da are vakra

valivu - another term for taara staayi

valivu mandila varisai - another term for hecu staayi varisai, which practices singing up to the taara staayi pa

varisai - a type of abhyaasa gaanam, a regular set up of swaras in a line or order (also swaraavaLi)

varnam - one of the most important pieces, often the last in the early training period of music. Varnam is the link of abhyaasa and sabhaa gaanam. It gives the important sancaarams of the raaga and is good for practice. It is a composition with given swaras set up in the following form: pallavi, anupallavi, muktaayi swaram, caraNam (upapallavi, ettukaaDi pallavi, or cittaipallavi), and successive citta swaras (caraNa swarams or ettukaaDi swaras) that are sung before returning to the caraNam. The pallavi, anupallavi, and caraNam are sung usually without the swaras and with only the brief saahitya in concerts. Varnams are often the first piece in the concert because they are fast and grab the audience's attention. They are useful for practice and are sung in multiple speeds, from slower to faster. There are 4 types of varnams: taana varnams, pada varnams, padajati varnams, and raagamaalika varnams.

varnanai Daru - a Daruvu that is a song that describes an event, some natural scenery, or a person's character. In Arunaacala Kavi's RaamanaaTakam, a Daru beginning with "kalyaaNa bherigai aDitaar" in mOhanam vividly describes the marriage of Seeta

vartika maargam - a taaLa path that uses 16 swaras or 4 maattirais

vEda - the 4th cakra, with melakartas containing M1, R2, and G2, comprising numbers 19-24

veera - a rasa, or feeling, or braveness or courage portrayed in a song or by a raaga. Raagas such as bilahari, dEvagaandhaari, hamsadwani, and bEgaDa portray courage

vertical line - a vertical line usually divides sections of a phrase by parts of a taaLa, by separating the angas or sections. A double vertical line indicates the end of the phrase and of the aavartanam (taaLa cycle)

vilambita kaala - a slower kaala (speed), compared to madhyama kaala, which is 1/2 kaala. In a taaLa taken slower than madhyama kaala by half, this speed uses 8 swaras where previously only 4 could fit. When the taaLa is constant, however, vilambita kaala can only accomodate 1 swara per beat when madhyama kaala uses 2

vilambita laya - a slow speed or tempo

vilari - ancient Tamil term from Silappadigaaram for dhaivatam

vilOma - a caapu taaLa which is like mishra caapu in having 7 beats but which has reversed order of 4 + 3. It is not often used

vilOma citta swara - citta swara in the raagamaalika which is reversed

vinyaasam - one of the 13 lakshaNas of a raaga

viramam - another anga, which allows combining of 2 angas, for example U and 0 are written with U above O as below:

This gives another 10 angas, for a total of 16 (the shOdasangams, from anudrutam to kaakapaadam)

virutam - a type of musical form that praises a god or goddess, usually sung before a song or separately. It is very devotional and is sung without taaLam

visarjitam - a wave of the hand (as in the second part of the drutam)

vishama graham - the eDuppu that is NOT sama eDuppu, but can be either before or after the taaLa begins (atita or anaagata)

vishama yati - a yati in which the angas can be without definite order, ex: |(4) U |(4) 0 U I(4) 0

vivaaDi - meaning inimical, this refers to the unpleasantness of the swaras because two types of the same swara come close together. VivaaDi swaras are the 4 swaras other than the original 12 swarastaanas that make a total of 16 swarastaanas. These are shatsruti rishabam (R3), shuddha gaandhaaram (G1), shatsruti dhaivatam (D3), and shuddha nishaadam (N1). These swaras have the property of sometimes taking over the place of another swara. Thus sometimes R3 takes over G2, G1 takes over R2, D2 takes over N2, and N1 takes over D2. For this reason, these pairs are not found in the same melakarta, but even though they are unusually close to other swaras, they are found in 40 melakartas

vivaaDi melas - the 40 non-vaaDi melakartas, which use at least one of the 4 vivaaDi swaras. These have the numbers 1-7,12,13,18,19,24,25,30-43,48,49,54,55,60,61,66-72. There are 8 more vivaaDi melas than vaaDi melas. These raagas must be handled with vakra prayOgas and gamakas to avoid their vivaaDi character

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updated on 03/20/2009