Varnams are very important compositions in Carnatic Music that are introduced to the learner in the intermediate stage after geethams or even simple krithis. Varnams are structured compositions with various parts like pallavi, anupallavi, charnam,chittaswarams, and ettugada swarams that are designed to bring out the melodic structure of the raga with rhythmic variations. Varnams are great for practice and are rendered commonly in 2 speeds. Since varnams inherently contain a mixture of lyrics with long vowels and swaras (solfa syllables) , they are challenging to render with clarity and bhava. (aesthetic appeal)
There are two kinds of varnams, tana varnams and pada varnams. Varnams are normally performed as a warm-up piece at the beginning of a concert and also constitute a central part of a Bharatanatyam performance as well.
We have included a collection of popular varnams and some rare varnams taught by great gurus. The essential methods of practice and delivery are also emphasized in these lessons. To know more about varnams, click here.