Hanumathodi, more popularly known as thodi is the 8th melakartha in the 72 Melakartha scheme. Thodi is a soothing melody, profound and delightful. It is the second raga in the second chakra – Netra. Just like all melakartha ragas, Thodi is also a sampoorna raga.
Arohana : S R1 G2 M1 P D1 N2 S
Avarohana : S N2 D1 P M1 G2 R1 S
Thodi is generally used to convey Karuna and Bhakthi. This is a Raga which brings out supreme melody. Majestic vibrations, and the meandering of the gamakams, laden with full bhavam characterize the melodic identity of thodi. The notes G2 and D1 constitute the nuclei of the melodic network of thodi. As a Raga with tremendous scope for elaboration, the raga enjoys the pride of a place in every concert and lends itself to all types of songs and compositions.
Thodi Sitaramayya, a gifted musician in the court of King Saraboji, is said to have sung this raga continuously for eight days, which earned him the title thodi Sitaramayya. He developed the Alapana progressively in the prescribed manner, culminating in a grand pallavi rendition. A marvelous feat indeed. Sometimes he used to pledge the thodi raga (his property) for borrowing money, promising not to sing thodi until the money is completely repaid.
Thodi claims to have a large number of janya ragas. Walter Kaufman’s, “Ragas of South India” describes 43 janyas of thodi whereas Lakshman Ragde’s, “Ultimate Index” lists more than 100. Some of the famous ones are, Asaveri, Bhupalam, Dhanyasi and Punnagavarali which will all be discussed in detail in the coming blog posts.
Every composer has enriched thodi raga with his or her contribution to the flood of compositions. Among the trinity, Thyagaraja has composed a staggering number of 32 krithis, Dikshitar has 8, and Shyama Sastri has 4. Besides the trinity, Svati tirunal has 14, and Papanasham shivan has composed 19 songs in thodi.
I will not be able to list out all the compositions in this powerful raga, but here are the links to some of my favorites :)
Thodi Varnam – Era Napai by Nityashree http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw7pt9z3wY0&feature=related
Thodi alapana byUnnikrishnan - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xx3qk1WnfpI
Kamalambike – Muthuswami Dikshithar krithi by Vansundra Rajagopal - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKJzuDGxAVg
Sri Gati Neevani – Thyagaraja krithi by Lalgudi Jayaraman (3rd Song) – http://www.musicindiaonline.com/list_albums/i/11-Classical_Carnatic_Instrumental/543-Thodi/#/album/11-Classical_Carnatic_Instrumental/4190-Collectors_Choice_-_Live_Concert_1967_Vol_1/
Thaye Yashoda by Sudha Ragunathan (2nd Song) - http://www.musicindiaonline.com/list_albums/i/10-Classical_Carnatic_Vocal/543-Thodi/#/album/10-Classical_Carnatic_Vocal/12697-Alaipaayuthe_Kannaa/
Thaye Yashoda from film Morning Raga (fusion) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0NIWMFE0EQ
Gangai Karai Mananadi – Film song from Varusham 16 (Tamil Film) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWbufNGA3Jg
These compositions might have given you the hang of this divine yet commanding raga. I will discuss the janya ragas in the following posts !
Fun Fact - Thodi in Carnatic music, is different from Thodi (Thaat) of Hindustani music. The equivalent of the Hindustani raga Thodi in Carnatic music is Shubapantuvarali (which is the 45th Melakarta Raga). The equivalent of Carnatic Thodi in Hindustani is the Bhairavi thaat.