RARE RAGA SERIES: SURYA (SALLAPAM, SALLABHAM) – JANYA OF MELA (14) RAGAM VAKULABHARANAM

Ragam SURYA or Sallapam is a janya of mela ragam (14) Vakulabharanam; by losing the Rishabham and Panchamam – so that the notes will be:

Aroh: SG3M1D1N2S; Avaroh: SN2D1M1G3S

Ragapravaham by D.Pattammal also gives the same specification under mela (14)

It can be seen that when the Sadharana Gandharam (G2) of Hindolam is changed to Anthara Gandharam (G3), it results in Surya; this raga is called "Sallapam" in Carnatic Music. Abhangs and Kirtans are sung in this raga in all the present day Bhajan programmes by popular artists like Sri Udayaloor Kalyanaraman, Thanjavoor Thyagarajan, Erode Rajamani, OS Sundar and Sri. Ramanujam Bhagavatar. The popular Abhang "Maje Manoratha Poornakari Deva" is mostly sung in Surya Rag by the above named Bhajan artists. This raga is said to have been created by Asha Ramesh.

The composer Sri. K.Ramaraj differs in the above, says “Scale wise, despite Ragam Sallabham and Surya may appear to be one and the same, Sallabham has a different identity with a subtle variation in so far as the prayogam of Anthara Gandharam with a tinge of oscillation, since it is a janya of Vakulabharanam (14th meLam), whereas Surya (as adopted by me ) is a Janya of Charukesi (26th MeLam), where the same Anthara gandharam is performed as a plain note”. But most of the musicians favour both Surya and Sallapam to be same.

compositions available: Karya karana svarupane - Lalita Shivakumar Narahari vesha narayanane narasimhamai - Rukmini Ramani Punitane nimalane hanumane - K.Ramaraj Surya kula murtim namamyaham - Ashok R.Madhav Tam tam tam takadhimi (thillana) - Rukmini Ramani Tillana - Asha Ramesh Sundara vadana - Kishore Palle Surya prkasha natesha - M.Chandrasekharan (In addition, Sri. T.V.Sankara Narayanan has sung an RTP, “sUryA sudhAkara lOChanA, sundara rAmA”)

‘Punidane’ – composer - Sri. K.Ramaraj Pallavi: punidanE! nimalanE! hanumanE! anudinam unaittozhum manadil nilaittavanE

anupallavi: ninadagattuRai inakulamaNi dhyAnamE anaittu nalangaLai aNi sErttiDumE

charanam: paridiyinai oru keLikkaip poruLena karudiyadum undan sAhasamE! viri kadiravanai guruvenavE koNDu sUriya kula sArva bhowmanin mahimai kaNDa

Here is an excellent rendition of the above composition by Vidushi. Raji Gopalakrishnan.


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