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8:30 AM Posted by Vijayasri

Swaraksharam is another dimension of Carnatic Music. If you closely observe the word "Swaraksharam", it is a combination of 2 words namely Swaram and Aksharam.

A swaraaksharam occurs when the Swaram (Note) and the Aksharam (Syllable in the lyrics) become one and the same.

Every one of us are aware that the Sapthasawaras Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni are the basic notes for any raga. Aksharam is nothing but the meaning words of a compostion. If the composer is able to coin the Aksharam with the help of Swaras, it is nothing but Swaraksharam. This is a delightful jugglery of words.

Thirvarur Ramasami Pillai composed the poular song "Jagadheeswari, Kribai puri..." in Mohana raga. The composer has played with the Dhaivahdam (Dha) in several aksharms of the following lines.

"THArukkuthavi seyyum aduTHAarukuthavi seyyum THAi unaivida verulaTHA?
THAmadhaminri vedhapuri THAsanukkurundhan enbathariTHA? PeriTHA? varam THA?"

GNB has also used Swaraksharam in "SADHAPAlaya". Another example for Swaraksharam would be in the phrase "PADHASAroja" of the Navaragamaliga Varnam. "SAMAGAna Lola" in Hindholam and another "SAMAGAna" in Anandha Bhairavi are further examples of Swaraksharam.

Dr.Balamurali Krishna has this unique quality of the Swaraksharam which he has used in his composition of 'Saraguna' Varnam in thodi raaga and many other songs.

Here, Prince Rama Varma, a disciple of Dr.Balamurali Krishna gives a clear explanation of Swaraksharam by quoting examples from his guru's compositions. Don't miss it.


  1. Itzmethe-Violinist said...

    Fantastic post vijayshri!!

    Very educative as well



  2. Vijayasri said...

    Thanks Sunder.

    Wanted to post it as soon as I came across this video. The Prince has given a very neat explanation of the concept of Swaraksharam.

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