Monday, September 08, 2008

Fractions To Fractures

All of us are interested in some sport or the other. Some are addicted to Cricket. Many have a fascination for Soccer or Football as was evident from the recently held world cup soccer in Germany. We also hear about the fierce combats of boxing, wrestling and the violent rugby shows. If we keenly observe, apart from being a sport all these have one thing in common, which is a set of rules and regulations. They have a ground or a ring within which they compete following the rules and regulations. They do not try to go beyond the boundary and explore extra-ordinaries. Their actions are closely watched and misconduct against rules and regulations is reacted upon appropriately.

If you draw a parallel of this to our music, we have exhaustively worked out possibilities based on which rules and regulations are built. For centuries great scholars, beyond our portrayal have contributed to these rules and regulations. Respecting their conclusions, some of the points which are of only theoretical interest are deliberately left unexplored by our predecessors. For an instance in Layam, tempos are broadly classified in to five. When from Chaturasram (4 matras per beat) we go to tiram (3), Kandam (5), misram (7) and sankeernam (9) there is natural change of pace with definte matras conforming to each beat. We can have permutations, combinations multiplication, sequencing and so on within this larger boundary. The unexplored possibilities within this strong disciplined fence remain still infinite.

If such is the case, where is the necessity to attempt unusual pace changes like tisram of kandam, kandam of misram, misram of sankeernam etc? In all these attempts fractional values are assigned per beat which make them musically and rhythmically deficient. Even if one tries to substantiate it as his aptitude or gift, aesthetics are mislaid. While we have a dress code for occasions, rules for rituals, behavioral disciplines in every walk of life, why not avoid that which is disregarded by our precursors? Why attempt on the fractions in layam? Beware! Fractions can lead to Fractures!

1 comment:

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