Carnatic music is Krithi or Song based. Ie., Krithis or Songs composed by Vaggeyakaras [Composers] occupy an important position in a Carnatic Music Concert. It is hard to listen to Concert without Kritis or Songs. Technically these songs are called Kritis or Keerthanas or Viruththams. Sometimes Viruthams or Slokas are rendered prior to a Song.
Therefore it will be interesting to make a study on ‘Songs-Section’ of the Music Concert.
From the Concert point of view, whether it is a Vocal Concert or Instrument rendering, the selection of songs is generally the choice of the main artist. The organizers or Sabhas will keep away from the Song selection process for the concerts, though the Concert may be on a particular theme. The artists will chose the songs keeping the theme in mind. And of course, the Sampradhaya or tradition will be respected by the Artists while choosing the Songs.
The first Musical piece in a concert will normally be a Varnam or a krithi on Lord Ganesha. Sometimes the artist may choose to sing a slokam as invocatory Song.If the Song is on Lord Ganesha, it may be in the Ragas Nattai, Gowlai, Hamsadwani, Sriranjani, Ataana, Gambira Nattai etc. The artist chooses the first song to impart, what is called “ Melakozuppu”[Musical atmospher] in a brisk tempo. Raga Alapanai for these song will be short and crisp and sometime the artist may start the first song straight away.
The subsequent songs will be chosen by the artist based on the Theme or occasion. The initial few krithis will be for shorter duration and there will be longer pieces at the middle of the Concert. At the end of one of the longer pieces there will be“ Thani Aavarthanam” by the percussion Artists.
Main Krithis are those in Ragas providing ample scope for elaborate Aalapana, Thanam, Niraval, Swarakalpana and takes longer time to render. Artist will have opportunity to show their caliber in Manadarma in these Musical pieces which is the strength in Carnatic Music.
Thukkadas are those songs, rendered at the end of the Concert, which are lighter in nature including Folk Songs Bhajans etc.
Finally, the Concert are concluded with a Mangalam , normally in one of the Ragas Madyamavathy , Sri Ragam , Suruti,, Sowrashtram Punnagavarali etc