With the completion of one year since the launch of Raga Surabhi, it is time to reflect and introspect on our journey so far. The sole idea of setting up Raga Surabhi was to create more awareness about carnatic music in relatively new beginners and enhance concert listening experience by making the raga identification process simple. Our experience from our interactions with rasikas show that several new learners are able to consistently perform well in the raga quizzes which is a testimony to the fact that the concept of raga identification through signature patterns certainly works!
I would like to mention here that the 100 ragas covered so far is a fairly good mix of all types of ragas. We have handled ghana ragas like thodi, shankarabaranam, bhairavi, kambodhi, important melakarthas like kalyani, mayamalava gowlai, karaharapriya, keeravani, important janya ragas like mohanam, hindolam, suddha dhanyasi, vasantha, ragas with special emotive appeal like saramati, sahana, kalyanavasantham, kanada and ragas sung mainly in the thukkada section like darbari kanada, desh, behag and maand. The idea of choosing ragas from various genres is to provide a good collection of ragas that normally feature in any concert. I can safely add that by being thorough with these 100 ragas, it should be possible for rasikas to identify 80 - 90% of ragas in any carnatic music concert.
The concept of signature is made possible by the unique sancharas which are characteristic and specific to a particular raga. In the case of ragas with similar swaras, signature alone would not be sufficient and hence comparison episodes were provided to make the understanding complete. There are still a good number of comparisons to be taken up and this will be done in the coming weeks. I think it would not be a good idea to provide signatures for ragas which seem to have only one or two kritis in them or for those which do not give scope for deriving typical signature patterns. Going forward, the plan is to concentrate more on the complete understanding of the hundred ragas covered so far and take up only those remaining few new ragas which give scope for rendering signatures.
Personally for me, Raga Surabhi has been a great learning experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed my interaction with rasikas for the past one year. I thank all the rasikas for encouraging me through their feedback mails and requests for special renditions.