Nagumomuganaleni is an immortal kriti by Tyagaraja which has become synonymous with the raga of the kriti, Abheri.
Tyagaraja expresses his longing, pain of separation in explicit sahityam or lyrics. The heartfelt plea of Tyagaraja in this soulful Abheri composition invigorates our soul and spontaenalusly connects us to the divine!
Also read: Kaddanuvariki……
The lyrical meaning can be broadly translated as
“O Rama, I feel distressed if I do not get to see your smiling face….please grant me a boon of your divine vision and alleviate my suffering…..
To whom should I pour out my anguish O Lord who rules the world….”
The combination of the lyrical beauty and the pathos of the abheri swaras in the kriti is enthralling and leaves the listener spellbound.
Also read: Tulasidalamulache……
Amazing Abheri raga is the janya of 22 Melakarta Kharaharapriya. It is also known as Karnataka Devagandhari. In Hindustani Classical music, Bhimpalasi is the closest raga to Abheri.
Arohaṇa : S G2 M1 P N2 S
Avarohaṇa : S N2 D2 P M1 G2 R2 S
It is an audavaSampoorna raga, with five swaras in the ascent and seven swaras in the descent. The swaras are Chathusruthi Rishabham, Sadharana Gandharam, Suddha Madhyamam, Chathusruthi Dhaivatham and Kaisiki Nishadham.
Also read: Samaja Varagamana
The ascending scale is same as that of Udayaravichandrika raga (also known as ShuddhaDhanyasi), while the descending scale is that of Kharaharapriya raga.
Abheri is an ancient raga, was in prevalence before the period of the musical trinity (Tyagaraja, Deekshitar and SyamaSastri ). With a few modifications over the years, it has established as one of the most appealing ragas in Indian Classical music.
Abheri raga induces emotions of bhakti and karuna. The raga creates a serene and soothing ambience when rendered with absolute involvement. In our recent times, among several stalwarts, Dr Balamurali Krishna was known for his dexterity in presenting the raga. Especially his flawless rendition of Nagumomu is absolutely divine!
Also read: Vatapi Ganapatim Bhaje…..
Another noteworthy fact with regard to Abheri raga
A music album named Raga Abheri by eminent violinist L Shankar (1995) was nominated for the prestigious Grammy award in the “best world music album” category. The album includes an impressive and extensive ragam-thanam-pallavi (elaboration of a raga) in Abheri in 4 speeds, composed by L Shankar and accompanied by Pt Zakir Hussain on tabla and VikkuVinayakaram on ghatam. It’s a musical treat to Classical music lovers.
Also read: Pakkala Nilabadi…..
Mysore vasudevachar’s Bhajana Seyarada is another popular composition in Abheri. Deekshitar composed ‘Veenabheri”, PanchashatPeetarupini,
Other popular compositions in Abheri include
OothukaduVenkatasubbaiyer – Nanda Gopala
Annamacharya – Palukutenelatalli
SudhanandaBharathi – EppadiPadinaro
Film music composers have used Abheri extensively in our films.
AkasaVeedhilo is an enchanting song from the movie Malleswari
NeeliMeghalalogalikeratalalo is another mesmerising song from Bavamaradallu
Nee leelaPadedaDeva is a classic song from the movie Muripinche Muvvalu. Nada swaram by the legendary musician Karukurichi Arunchalam in the song made it immemorable
Other popular songs include
Challani Raja O chandamama – Ilavelupu
Ragamayi rave – Jayabheri
Telavarademoswamy – SrutiLayalu
Ye Jindagiusikihain – Anarkali
Khilte Hain Gul Yahan – Sharmilee
Khoya Khoya Chand – Kalabazar
Also read: Jagadananda Karaka…
Good writing Ms Avadhanam. Time is precious and so thanks for taking the time to write about the underpinnings of Carnatic/Telugu-old-film music. One day hopefully the specific sequence of sound frequencies can be tied to how our brain processes the same as melody/cacophony