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varnam

varnam

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one of the most important pieces, often the last in the early training period of music. Varnam is the link of abhyaasa and sabhaa gaanam. It gives the important sancaarams of the raaga and is good for practice. It is a composition with given swaras set up in the following form: pallavi, anupallavi, muktaayi swaram, caraNam (upapallavi, ettukaaDi pallavi, or cittaipallavi), and successive citta swaras (caraNa swarams or ettukaaDi swaras) that are sung before returning to the caraNam. The pallavi, anupallavi, and caraNam are sung usually without the swaras and with only the brief saahitya in concerts. Varnams are often the first piece in the concert because they are fast and grab the audience’s attention. They are useful for practice and are sung in multiple speeds, from slower to faster. There are 4 types of varnams: taana varnams, pada varnams, padajati varnams, and raagamaalika varnams.

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