Promising notes


When an internationally respected musicologist and dance scholar like Pappu Venugopala Rao authors yet another book, expectations are naturally high.

Bunch of javalis, Pappu Venugopala Rao,  Rs 800He also has the rare distinction of simultaneously holding positions of honour like secretary of Madras Music Academy, member of Academic Council, Kalakshetra, member of Sangeet Natak Akademi, etc.

 His book, Bunch of Javalis, which also comes with an audio CD, lives up to all hopes. It features 51 javalis, a compositional type in Carnatic music known for its melody, emotional content and erotic nature. Javalis are also part of Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi repertories, where they feature various nayikas and nayakas. These Telugu javalis are provided with translation, transliteration and notation.

The richly informative book tells us of the different javali composers; and also discusses the etymology of the word, history of the form, language, and debates over whether javalis are shringara compositions or allegories for bhakthi bhaava, etc.

In a big value-add for classical dancers, Dr Pappu has provided sanchari bhavas for words of five select javalis, which act as a model for the rest. The accompanying audio CD has 10 javalis mellifluously rendered by well-known musicians like Sangeeta Kalanidhi R Vedavalli, S Sowmya and T M Krishna.

Bunch of Javalis will be a valuable acquisition for performers and teachers of south Indian classical music and dance. It is also a perfect candidate for inclusion as a textbook in the syllabi of Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam and Andhra Natyam courses in universities.

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