Music Appreciation Notes - Vachaspati Raga

Varga: Sampoorna-Sampoorna

Arohana: Sa ri gu mi pa dhi ni sa

Avarohana: Sa ni dhi pa mi gu ri sa

Chhaya swara-s: Ga, pa, dha, ni

Nyasa swara-s: ri, ma, dha

Prayoga-s: Pa dha ni; dha ma ga ri; dha ni sa ri ga ri; ni dha ni

Vachaspati is the 64th melakarta raga and is thepratimadhyama counterpart of Harikambhoji raga (see Sruti 12). Being a melakarta raga, it has all the seven swara-s in both ascent and descent. The swara-s are: shadja, chatusruti rishabha (ri), antara gandhara (gu), pratimadhyama (mi), panchama, chatusruti dhaivata (dhi) and kaisiki nishadha (ni). Like Latangi, Vachaspati is also a sarvaswara gamaka raga, i.e, all its swara-.≪ except sa and pa lend themselves to the gamaka effect.

In the Dikshitar sampradaya, this raga is called Bhooshavati and has the same arohana and avarohana without any irregular arrangement of the swara-s. Tyagaraja's famous composition Kantajoodumi is sung mostly in Vachaspati. There are some other well-known compositions as well. Papanasam Si van's Paratpara, recorded long years ago by D. K. Pattammal on a 78 RPM disc, has been quite popular.

Madurai Mani Iyer's favourite in this raga was Sahasrakara mandite, a composition of Muthiah Bhagavatar. Swati Tirunal's Pahi jagadjanani, Vanamamalai Jeer's Janevina andRamaswamy Sivan's Vent tunai are almost equally well-known.Smooth and melodic that it is Vachaspati is gaining somepopularity in Hindustani music also.

The important ones among the raga-s derived from Vachaspati are Saraswati, Bhooshavali and Nadabrahmam. Saraswati is the best known, with many compositions in it, like Tyagaraja's Anuragamule, Muthiah Bhagavatar's Vageeswari, Papanasam Sivan's Saraswati dayanidhi and N. S. Ramachandran's Saraswati namostutey. In Nadabrahmam, the song starting with the name of the raga, composed by Meesu Krishna Iyer is heard now and then. Better known is Gopanandana, Swati Tirunal's composition in Bhooshavali.

SELECTED SONGS IN VACHASPAT

Balamuralikrishna - Nooti-moodu

Koteeswara Iyer — Ihaparasukhadayaka

Muthiah Bhagavatar - Sahasrakara mandite

Muthuswami Dikshitar - Bhooshapatim, Bhoosha

vatim, Parvateeswarena

Papanasam Sivan — Paratpara

Patnam Subrahmania Iyer — Ennadu nee

D. Pattammal - Pachai nayaki

Tanjavur Ponniah — Sarasudu (Pada varnam)

Ramaswamy Sivan — Vent tunai

Swati Tirunal - Pahi jagadjanani

Tyagaraja — Kanta judumi

Vanamamalai Jeer — Janevina

FILM SONGS IN VACHASPATI

SUaye nee ennidam in 'Mahamaya'

Tandiyil ezhuvadu nadam in 'Udayanan'

Source: Madurai G. S. Mani

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