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Vocal Training and Practice Methods: A Glimpse on the South Indian Carnatic Music

Authors: Raghavi Janaswamy, Saraswathi K. Vasudev

Abstract:

Music is one of the supreme arts of expressions, next to the speech itself. Its evolution over centuries has paved the way with a variety of training protocols and performing methods. Indian classical music is one of the most elaborate and refined systems with immense emphasis on the voice culture related to range, breath control, quality of the tone, flexibility and diction. Several exercises namely saraliswaram, jantaswaram, dhatuswaram, upper stayi swaram, alamkaras and varnams lay the required foundation to gain the voice culture and deeper understanding on the voice development and further on to the intricacies of the raga system. This article narrates a few of the Carnatic music training methods with an emphasis on the advanced practice methods for articulating the vocal skills, continuity in the voice, ability to produce gamakams, command in the multiple speeds of rendering with reasonable volume. The creativity on these exercises and their impact on the voice production are discussed. The articulation of the outlined conscious practice methods and vocal exercises bestow the optimum use of the natural human vocal system to not only enhance the signing quality but also to gain health benefits.

Keywords: Carnatic music, Saraliswaram, Varnam, Vocal training.

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