The violin may have been introduced to India in and around 1790. Baluswami Dikshitar, brother of renowned Carnatic Composer Muthuswami Dikshitar, learned and adapted the instrument to suit Carnatic Music. Over the course of time, the violin has become an integral part in any classical kutcheri (Carnatic classical concert). The very reason for choosing violin as the “pakka vādya” (accompanying instrument) is for its tonal characteristics which closely mimics a human voice.
A violinist should develop “listening” and “being accurate” skills. These are by far the two most important qualities very much needed for being a good violinist ”. The reason is very simple since the music is performed without any written sheet music/notation or any rehearsals prior to a performance. So understanding and identifying what the vocalist is singing requires a great deal of sharp listening skills and agility to reproduce the same in a very short period of time.
A solo violinist will require a great deal of both rhythmic (usually mrudangam lessons) and musical knowledge since we need to understand how a “Mukthāya”, “Swaraprasthāra” , “Neraval” and “Tani Āvarthanam” works since they are purely based on “Mahodharma” (improvisation) of the artist. A solo violinist can be thought of as a vocalist but without the “Sāhitya” or the lyrics. The main intention would be on depicting or playing the lyrics through the instrument without harming the melody with which it was composed. This is achieved by controlling the bowing. This requires complete mastery over the instrument, bowing and the lyrics itself. The best example for this quality would be none other than the stalwarts, Lalgudi G Jayaram and MS Gopalakrishnan, two of the greatest violinists who are known for their melodic intricacies and rhythmic bowing techniques respectively.
To achieve mastery of Violin whether playing as an accompanying artist or a solo violin performer, a combination of high quality technique and consistent practice over several years is required
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We are a very open learning environment. Please stop by to talk to one of our faculty about Carnatic and Hindustani Music, the History, the Instruments and the Teaching Methods we use to inspire our students to continue this rich musical and cultural tradition. Come by for our OPEN HOUSE on August 19th th from 1-3:30 pm at the school or schedule a trial class. Please feel free to call us at +1.408.833.6124 or email us at raagaSchool@gmail.com