Saturday, December 27, 2014


[ Illustration by Sri Surajit Dash - My FB friend ]

There were mainly five distinct styles of music in Olden India 
1) Avanti
2) Panchali
3) Udramagadhi ***
4) Hindustani
5) Carnatic
We are well aware of Hindustani and Carnatic styles now a days.
Udramagadhi exists in the form of Odissi music.

Krushnadas Badajena Mohapatra (1559 - 1578) was an Oriya singer in Akbar's court. Odishi music sufferred after Mukunda Dev (16th Century) during the Maratha Rule and also it did not fluorish during the British Raj.. it was restricted to some temples and Mahari dances only.
The typical characteristic of Odishi music is - "Na ati druta - na ati mandra"... it progresses at a leisurely tempo unlike Hindustani and Carnatic styles that start with slow "Alaap" and end with high speed "Taan" and "Tarana")

It is lyrical in its movement with wave-like ornamentation. The pace of singing in Odissi is not very fast nor too slow, and it maintains a proportional tempo which is very soothing.

Some literary evidences suggest that Odishi music is older than Hindustani and Carnatic. Hindustani music during the time of Swami Haridas who taught Tansen consisted of only "Drupad" style (very few artistes known now for this style - e.g. the DAGAR Brothers). The "Khayal" style thats prevalent these days - was introduced during the muslim rule - by "Amir Khusro". I don't have idea on Carnatic style.

Now, coming to the different styles that you are curious about - 


ଗଦ୍ୟ ପଦ୍ୟମୟଂ କାବ୍ୟଂ ଚମ୍ପୁ
ଇତି ଅଭିଧୀୟତେ - 

ଅର୍ଥାତ୍, ଗଦ୍ୟ ଓ ପଦ୍ୟ ସମନ୍ବିତ କାବ୍ୟ କୁ “ଚମ୍ପୁ” କୁହାଯାଏ

‘Kavya’ with mixture of both prose and poem.
"Kishora Chandrananda Champu" - of KabiSurjya Baladev Ratha - was first composed in Sanskrit, adhering to the classical definition of "Champu" - but later the poet composed 34 "Champu"s sequantially arranged per the Odia alphabet starting from 
"କ" till "କ୍ଷ"

In a Champu composition, every stanza starts with the same character. (I will give some examples later). Champu is sung on a Raga (use of specific combination of notes only - no mismatching notes) and Taala (Rhythm) of the Odishi style. There is no "Taan" in this style of singing.


The main characteristic of these verses is the stress on rhythm. Every ‘Pada’ of a Chhanda is sung in the same swara (You'd have read some stanzas in "Sahitya" book in school - where its written - "xxx ଚ୍ବୃତ୍ତେ - like (ଚକ୍ରକେଳି ଚ୍ବୃତ୍ତେ)). There is no Alaap or Taan in this style.

Singers sing from the Odia language epics of Ramayana, Mahabharata and from the Indian Puranas.

"Chhanda Ratnakara" is a collection of Chhanda's and "Kabi Samrat" - Upendra Bhanja is famous for his compositions in this style.

A style of composition that follows a rule - each stanza starts with a letter of the odia alphabet - chronologically - using "Chau-Tirish" (34) letters "କ" till "କ୍ଷ" - hence, "Chautisha".

There are different varieties of "Chautisha" but not all are prevalent or known..

(Example - Manabodha Chautisha - ଭକ୍ତଚରଣ ଦାସ)

"Chautisha" (34) is not the same as "Chaupadi" (4)


This is the classical core of Udramagadhi style of music - Follows lucid movement of swaras.. starts with a short Alaap, The the "Prabandha" (subject of the song - stanzas). While Hindustani Ragas use "Bandish" with one "Sthayee" and one "Antara" - Odishi uses One "Sthayee" that is repeated and several other secondary (Antaraa" stanzas. Then it ends with Bol-Taan (singing the "pada" is different styles) and the "Taan".

Odishi songs are used during Odishi Dance. Banamali Das, Gopalakrushna Pattnaik are famous for their songs that are often sung as "Odishi".

some examples - 

- ବାଜୁଛି ସହି ବାଜା ରେ, ତୋ ଲାଗି ବ୍ରଜ ବଜାରେ
- ତୋ ଲାଗି ଗୋପ ଦାଣ୍ଡ ମନା ରେ କାଳିଆ ସୁନା
- ମନ ଆନ ରେ, ନ ରସି ହୁଅ ତୁ ସାବଧାନ ରେ
- ନ କର ରେ ରାମା ମାନ, କହୁଛି ବିନୟ ଘେନ .. etc.

Watch a piece of  Odissi Dance Performance by Sujata Mohapatra - Part

1 comment:

Bijaylaxmi said...

It's a very informative post on Odishi music.. Thank you for the same.