Motivation and Purpose Behind The Carnatic Music Archive Web Pages: Krithis , Varnams/Geethams , Manodharma: Alapana, Swarakalpana, Neraval, Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi (RTP), Viruttam

This web page is dedicated to all the great composers of carnatic music, inspired practioners, my wonderful gurus, my loving parents and wife who have made this work possible. I hope that this work will motivate more knowledgeable practioners and rasikas to share their knowledge on the web. A lot more needs to be done! This archive has a mere 200+ songs, whereas there are at least 2000-5000 songs "well-known" and over 30-40,000 songs lesser known! Only then we will have a true archive.

The Indian Classical Carnatic Music Krithi , Varnams/Geethams and Manodharma: Alapana/Swarakalpana/Neraval archive web pages represent a simple experiment in distance education: by an amateur and hobbyist musician for fellow amateurs, music enthusiasts and any one with an interest in south indian classical music (i.e. carnatic music). This site is especially for those who would like to learn carnatic music, but do not have convenient access to music teachers (i.e. self-learners) or would like to complement their experience with a guru with an online resource. This site is also for music enthusiasts who would like to get more information about songs, explore its meanings and aesthetics as seen by a fellow amateur. Note the dangers of listening to an amateur's version: I reserve the right to make mistakes and may lack the perspective of seasoned practitioners. I also have made some of my own recommendations on musical pedagogy etc which are derived from self-learning of vocal music. I have judged that this is a risk worth taking because the value of the archive far outweighs this risk. At the same time I acknowledge that all errors are mine, and as soon as I learn about errors (please alert me!), I will edit the files, and may add errata to the audio classes (lessons) also. My email is: shivkuma AT gmail DOT com

Over time, if you listen to a song in a concert and would like to explore it further or learn it, I hope that this web page would be a helpful resource. If you would like to listen to the "class" (or lesson) versions to pick up the songs or to appreciate it better, please also download the notation/sahitya in Word/HTML so that you can follow along. Please note that this resource is a mere reference intended as a complement and not a replacement for the rich attention, interactions and blessings of a real guru.

My focus has been to put some key aspects of the compositions together in one place accessible online:

Why is this useful? Say you want to learn a song, but do not have notations or a reference version. Books like that of T.K. Govinda Rao or Ranga Ramanuja Iyengar provide excellent reference to sahitya, notations and summary meanings. But it is very hard to learn from notations, and those notations may not match up to a version by Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer (for example) whom you may hear on a concert tape. The audio music classes (lessons), notations of these great artistes' versions and word-by-word meanings are a key step in filling this void. I would STRONGLY recommend that you do listen to the originals of these artistes as well! The manodharma web page is the initial start of an attempt to extend this concept to manodharma aspects like alapana, swarakalpana, neraval and tanam/pallavi.

Quick History: I began working on this web page because I myself was forgetful and could not remember sahityas, particular sangatis, meanings etc. Then putting up songs became a good motivation for me to learn songs from the versions of great masters. It then has become a valuable reference for my music class students because I was traveling and could not conduct regular classes. I have also used it to coordinate the Tyagaraaja Aradhana celebrations (pancharatna group) by cutting CDs with classes and notations of the Pancharatnas. I was then pleasantly surprised that it is useful to a wider audience around the world. Thanks to their (YOUR!) valuable feedback , I have added several enhancements to the site: audio files in MP3 (downloadable & playable on portable MP3-CD players ), online music classes (lessons). Please inform/email your friends and music enthusiasts about this online educational resource for carnatic music (and kindly ask them to do the same!) . You can tell them that Google/Yahoo/MSN keywords to get to this website are "carnatic music class" or "carnatic music audio class".

Most of the songs on this page are sung by me, Shivkumar Kalyanaraman, conforming to the versions of the gurus and artistes whose names I have referenced. Some song audio versions are contributed by my good friend Ram Kaushik . The inspiration for this work is due to my parents, Smt. Geetha and Shri. K. Kalyanaraman. I learnt music through the generous attention of my gurus Peri Sriramamurthy (primary guru), T. Rukmini , M.N. Subramanyam and Shri. B.R.C. Iyengar. I have also learnt several songs from tapes of great vidwans: Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, , MS Subbalakshmi , DK Pattammal , DK Jayaraman , Hyderabad Brothers , KV Narayanaswamy , Neyveli Santhanagopalan, Ravi Kiran, and my good friends who are tremendous vocalists: Ram Kaushik and CV Shankar . I trust that you will find it faithful to the originals as referenced. Special thanks to my close friends ( Ram Kaushik, CV Shankar ), and Satish Rao, visiting artistes Chitravina Ravikiran , Violin M. Chandrasekaran ) from whom I learnt better music appreciation and for their valuable feedback on the site. I obtained notations of some songs from Shri Lakshman Ragde (lragde@sympatico.ca) from whom you can purchase a book or CD-ROM of notations of non-trinity songs and from Rani who runs www.karnatik.com . Special thanks also to my wife Sharanya and music class students Anant Indrakanti, Chalam Kashyap, Sthanu, Rohini, Poornima and Kirthivasan for helping me write the notations. Thanks to Jayasri Akella and Ramesh Panchagnula for word-by-word meanings for many songs, and for Satish Rao for some of the vidwans' portraits. I welcome contributions, corrections, feedback and ideas to help make this site more useful to a larger class of music lovers.

If you have some good/solid/clear/rare versions of weighty krithis of any composer, have a recording and would like to see them here, please contact me at shivkuma AT gmail DOT com .


Why So Many File Formats?

I have used a variety of file formats so that this web page may be useful to users with different download capabilities/web connections etc:


Who Am I ? A Quick Biography.

[Shivkumar's Photo] [Shivkumar's Photo]

My name is Shivkumar Kalyanaraman, and I am the author and singer in most of the songs and classes (lessons) on this carnatic music archive web page. I am actually a violinist by training. I began violin training in 1983 at the Secunderabad Music College under the guidance of Sri Peri Sreeramamurthy (my primary guru), a top violinist in Hyderabad proficient in all the major styles of violin playing. I completed a certificate course in music and continued my music training with Smt T. Rukmini , a famous violinist in Madras during my studies at IIT Madras('89-'93 CS batch). I have also been mentored by vocalists (late) Shri M N Subramanium of the Semmangudi school and Shri BRC Iyengaar of the Ariyakudi school. I continue my association and training from my teachers during visits to India. I have performed several concerts in USA, primarily as a violin accompanist. I have accompanied visiting artistes like Chitraveena Ravikiran, Prof. T.V. Gopalakrishnan, Prof. T. R. Subramanium, P.N. Krishnamurthy and Ashok Ramani. More recently I have given a couple of vocal performances.

Professionally, I completed my B.Tech in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras ('89-'93: 1993 graduating batch, Alakananda hostel). I had an All India Rank (AIR) #3 in IIT-JEE in 1989. I have an M.S/Ph.D. in Computer Science from Ohio State University (Columbus, OH). I am currently employed as a Senior Manager, IBM Research - India, Bangalore. Previously I was a full professor in the Electrical, Computer and Systems Engg department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Email feedback: shivkuma AT gmail DOT com


Frequent Users: A Request!


I am hope you are finding the music archives web page useful! I have received a number of emails offering to help. This is wonderful. Our shared goal is to help spread the knowledge and appreciation of carnatic music! You can indeed help me in-kind or otherwise:


Web Search Keywords to Access the Carnatic Music Archive

This site can be easily accessed from any major search engine. A number of search keywords can get you to the site. This site will be one of the top few in the search results (not necessarily the first one). Some more common ones are: "carnatic music class" , "carnatic music audio class" , "carnatic music archive" , "carnatic music audio" , "south indian music audio" , "indian classical music audio" . My homepage can be reached through the keywords: "shivkumar rpi" .

Please do inform/email your friends and music enthusiasts about this online educational resource for carnatic music (and kindly ask them to do the same!) . They could remember this website using these keywords. Also if you have a public web site, kindly add a hyperlink to the webpage: ./index.html


Copyright note: Please note that copyright for this work is owned by me, Shivkumar Kalyanaraman. However, I grant full permission to copy these works and distribute them in an unrestricted manner , provided you do not use it for commercial gain, and acknowledge original authorship.