carnatic, film music, music, raga series / Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

After Nattakurinji, for a fitting finale, I could not have chosen anything better than Mohanam. One will have the feeling of having lived life King size after listening to this raga; it is that grand and fulfilling.

Mohanam belongs to the family of Harikamboji with 5 swaras in scale – S R2 G3 P D2 S / S D2 P G3 R2 S

Mohanam is the oldest ragam known to mankind, according to Dr. S. Ramanathan’s doctoral dissertation. It can be sung in any phase of the concert, proving to be the all-time raga that it is. Also called as Bhoop / Bhoopali in hindustani, this raga is used to denote bravery; it is used in Chinese, Japanese and Swedish music it seems.

A favourite of trinity and contemporary composers alike, mohanam holds a lot of kritis to its credit:

  • Thyagaraja’s Bhavanuta, Dhayaranee, Mohana Rama, Nannupalimpa, Evarura Ninnuvina …
  • Dikshitar’s Rajagopalam, Narasimha Aagacha, Gopika Manoharam (by Ambi Dikshitar) …
  • Papanasam Sivan’s Kapali …
  • Annamayya’s Cheri Yashodhaku …
  • Arunachala Kavi’s Yen Palli Kondeerayya …
  • Oothukkadu’s Swagatham Krishna …
  • GNB’s Sada Palaya (Sa Da Pa are the same notes) …
  • Maanikka Veenai Endhum from unknown composer …

For a complete understanding and enjoyment of Mohanam, please listen to this blend of instruments by Lalgudi Jayaraman, Ramani and Venkatraman – playing violin, flute and veena respectively. (performed in 1967)

Below is a rendition of a Thillana in Mohanam raga, a composition of Harikesanallur Muthiah Bagavathar.

Some very interesting compositions from the myriad of movie songs I had to choose from are:

  • Aaha Inba Nilavinile from Maaya Bazaar
  • Pazhaga Theriya Venum from Missiyamma (writing this suppressing the feminist in me!)
  • Giridhara Gopala from Meera
  • Paadumbodhu Naan Thendral Kaatru from Netru Indru Naalai
  • Ninnukori Varnam from Agni Natchathiram
  • Kanmaniye Kaadhal Enbadhu from 6 ilirundhu 60 varai
  • Vaan Pole Vannam from Salangai Oli
  • Porale Ponnuthayi from Karuthamma (influence)
  • Pakkadhe Pakkadhe from Gentleman
  • The Chinese song in 7am Arivu …

In the striking voice of Ghantasala and P. Leela, Aaha Inba Nilavinile…

A special thanks to dad (for equipping me with most of the knowledge that I have said and teaching and singing along in all the recordings), (main reference) and to everyone else for your encouragement.

Until next,

Vid πŸ™‚

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5 Replies to “Mohanam”

  1. Paadum bothu naan thendral kaatru is from Netru Indru naalai not Sumathi en Sundari. Watched the movie yesterday and am sure no song starts like that

  2. Perfect finish πŸ™‚ Waiting for the next series.. Your posts have enlightened us for sure. My guesses failed for M πŸ™ But its a wonderful learning experience πŸ™‚ Think and make the next series soon… waiting for it.

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