The book starts out with the history of the nattuvanar and the syllables. Then there’s a brief introduction to tala. Then I talk about the nattuvangam for the jatis in varnams as a compositional form, explaining how they’re traditionally structured and what the rules are for composing them. I interviewed a lot of nattuvanars from a lot of different traditions and they all, of course, disagreed about the rules so I’ve included everyone’s rules. The appendix has old compositions from the past that I transliterated into English text.
Source: personal message by author 17 January 2013 (disciple of T. Balasaraswati, T. Ranganathan and T. Viswanathan) – homepage >>
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Bharata Natyam is the classical dance of south India. It is accompanied, along with vocal and instrumental music, by compositions of recited syllables and percussive hand cymbals performed by a person known as the nattuvanar. The Nattuvanar’s Art analyzes and discusses this unique musical form and the distinctive characteristics of these compositions. Included are the history of the nattuvanar and the syllables, and a general introduction to tala. The appendix to The Nattuvanar’s Art includes transliteration of compositions from the past from Natanadi Vadya Ranjanam, a Tamil text; Sabdam alias Tala Solkattu, a Tamil transliteration of Telugu texts; and Bharatarnavam, a Sanskrit text.