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HomeCarnatic VocalsA Beginner's Guide to Varnams

A Beginner's Guide to Varnams

by Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath

5/5 | 7 Reviews

Students undertaking this course will experience a beautiful selection of varnams throughout a range of different ragas. This will help the student to gain a greater understanding of some of the main ragas, as varnams play a very significant role in Carnatic Music. Varnams are usually performed by Carnatic musicians to open concerts as a warm-up or a center main piece within the concert. It is also used as a vocal warm-up by vocalists to help develop voice culture and maintain both pitch and rhythm effectively.

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    Educator Profile

    Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath

    15 Years Experience

    From: India

    • Teacher Skill Keywords:

      Carnatic Vocals, Carnatic Music
    • Education

      B.Tech, Biotechnology from P.E.S.I.T

    Course Details

    Believed to have been composed in the 18th century by composer Melattur Veerabhadrayya, varnams are a significantly important part of Carnatic music and are a beautiful introduction to raga. Learning how to effectively and correctly harness the two types of varnams is an essential skill for vocalists. Varnams are known to be necessary for the process of developing the correct voice culture as well as maintaining both the pitch and rhythm. Of the two types of varnams, the Tana Varnam, is of particular importance in creating and aiding voice culture.

    Typically, varnams are made up of pallavi, anupallavi and a charanam which is then followed by Swaras, which are built into the composition by the composer. Learning this skill helps a vocalist to approach the notes of a raga, as well as the specific emphasis placed on these notes, due to the demonstration and practice of each element within the varnam. Varnams are especially effective when sung in three different speeds and a very useful exercise in laya.

    Learning varnams are an essential part of the path toward a student's further learning of kritis and keertanams.

    About Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath: Aishwarya Vidhya Raghunath is an emerging proponent of the Veena Dhanammal Bani of Carnatic classical music. Her family introduced her to the world of music at the young age of three and she performed on stage for the first time just 10 years later. Since then, she has been awarded the Government of India Scholarship (Ministry of Culture, 2008-2010) and has been rated an A-graded artist of the All India Radio and Doordarshan. Aishwarya has performed at countless venues nationally and internationally for a multitude of functions and assemblies. Not only a musician, Aishwarya is also a biotech engineer having served as an executive at Biocon before committing to a full-time musical career. Today, she is as an instructor on ipassio, passing on the tradition of Carnatic music through passionately constructed lessons provided to students across the globe.


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