Saturday, 5 November 2011

Kokiladhwani - the song of the cuckoos

In my attempt to write blog on birds linking to Indian Music because of  uniqueness and exequisite nature of  these birds  which are used to symbolise virtues, expressions or feelings.  One can find fables and superstiton also get blended with history of these birds. Our writers, poets and musicians discover in nature an uncommon power that can satisfy human beings and transfer this earth into a homeland for fairies and other super natural agents as we can find from the history, literature and various art forms. The previous blogs were about Hamsa (Swan) and Mayura (Peacock).  This blog is about  Kokila - कोकिला known also as Cuckoo, कोयल, koyal (nightingale),  पिक (Pic), सारिका (sarika), कुहुकिनी (Kuhukini), वनप्रिया (Vanpriya).

This bird is described as the singing bird and its size is 39- 46 cm in length. Cuckoos are best known for their wide repertoire of calls. Calls are usually relatively simple, resembling whistles, flutes, or hiccups and used to attract mate or demonstrate ownership of its territory. It has become a metaphor for inspiring music because of the melodious call. The note  used only by the male bird,  is the intimation of love and heard, (though very rarely,) like the song of the nightingale, in the middle of the night. The tendency of the cuckoo to dupe  more than twenty birds by depositing its eggs in the nest of the other birds instead of hatching itself which are mentioned in fables are in fact true as observed and universally agreed by the naturalists. In appearance, males and females are distinct.  Females have green beak and red eyes and females are smaller than the males. Male which  is glossy black with yellowish green bill and crimson eyes have short wings and long tail.  The femal is drawk brown with profusely spotted and barred with white.

William Wordsworth's poem  "To the Cuckoo"  was about his immense pleasure from the voice of cuckoo which brought to his mind the memory of the boyhood which is the golden time for him. He addressed the cuckoo as darling of the spring.  Cuckoo is also addressed as a blessed bird as it is blessed with the quality of angel and fairy filling the world with joy and happiness.

Indian Music and the Kokila :

The ragas in Carnatic music with the name of "Kokila" are : Kokila (kOkilam) cakravAkam janya Aa: S R1 G3 M1 D2 N2 S  Av: S N2 D2 M1 G3 R1 S), Kokilabhashani  dhIra shankarAbharaNam janya
Aa: S R2 G3 M1 P D2 N3 S Av: S N3 P M1 G3 M1 R2 S)
, Kokiladhwani  harikAmbhOji janya
Aa: S R2 G3 M1 D2 N2 D2 S  Av: S N2 D2 P M1 G3 R2 S
, Kokilanandi shhanmugapriyA janya
Aa: S G2 M2 D1 N2 S Av: S N2 D1 P M2 G2 S)
, Kokila Pancham (jhAlavarALi janya
Aa: S G1 R1 G1 P D1 N3 S Av: S N3 D1 P M2 G1 R1 S
) Kokilapriya or Kokilaravam kOkilapriyA mEla
Aa: S R1 G2 M1 P D2 N3 S Av: S N3 D2 P M1 G2 R1 S)
,Kokilavarali harikAmbhOji janya Aa: S R2 M1 P D2 S
Av: S N2 D2 M1 P M1 G3 R2 G3 S).  

The popular kritis in Kokiladhwani are:  Giri Dhanvinam - HB, Koniyadedu, Toli Nenu Jesina - Thyagaraja

To listen click :
The kriti Toli Nenu has been sung in Tamil Movie "Avar Enakke Swandham".

In Tamil music, we can find kuyil isai. One can find so many songs in all languages and movies describing or with the name of Kuyil or Koel or Kokila.  Some of the Hindi film songs are:

The Odissi music has some deviations from the main stream of Carnatic music and Hindustani music. For some ragas, name is same but swaras are different or original and unique and not found in the mainstream Different raga name, but same swaras. Chalan and Bhava also varies.   For example, Raga Kokila used in Odissi music is similar to Bhoop in Hindustani and Mohanam in Carnatic.

In literature mainly in Sanskrit like hamsa and mayoora, kokila has also been used as messenger  and kokila sandesha. One can find several names associated with these birds on surfing.

Cuckoo clock with richly hand carvd decorations from various woods  is popular and its basic form is 200 years old.


Kuhu Kuhu Bole Koyaliya - Mohd Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar Raga Sohini  Film: Swarna Sundari
koyal si teri boli ku ku ku ku ku surat hai kitani bholi ku ku ku ku ku  Hindi movie Beta
Koyal Boli Duniya Doli · Sargam
The title of "Nightingale of India" was given to Sarojini Naidu  being a famous Indian poet whose main themes in her poems were  love and death, separation and longing, and the mystery of life and  poetry is lyrical and musical, using many types of meter and rhyme and filled with rich imagery. She was child prodigy and master of children's literature.  She became the first President of Indian National Congress and first Lady Governor.
The melodious and charming voice of  the female playback singer Lata Mangeshkar who has sung large number of songs (50000 or so) brought her also the title of Nightingale of India

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