Chapter 5

9. Yathi: Music is formed with the help of Swaras (Sa Ri Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni) and in South Indian Percussion Music especially in mridangam, it is formed by specific syllables 'Tha', 'Thi', 'Thom', 'Nam'. These are basic Jathis ("a" in this word is pronounced shorter. This is not "Jaathi"). This forms the basis of all mridangam lessons. Apart from this, there are other syllables which are unique to the mridangam. They are Ta, Ri, Dhin, Thaam, Ka, Ki, Gu etc... The way the Tha, Thi Thom and Nam are used and pronounced in a lesson collectively to form a "word" depends on the style or "Paani" like Tanjore Style, Pudukkottai Style etc..., though the resultant music is almost same. For example "KitaThaka" and "Tharikita" are played in the same manner in many styles. So, some pronounce it as 'KitaThaka' and some pronounce it as 'ThariKita'.
Yathi is nothing but arranging different groups of syllables into a beautiful combination that gives particular shape to music is called "Yathi"(alternate spelling is Yati). Yathi is of six kinds. They are, Samayathi, Vishama Yathi, Mridanga Yathi, Veda Madhyama Yathi, Gopucha Yathi, Srothovaka Yathi.
1. Sama Yathi: When all the syllables are equal in number for each Akshara as its ghathi, then it is called Sama Yathi. For Example, in Chatusra Jaathi Triputai Tala (Adi tala) with Chatusra Ghathi, 8 Aksharas are there and for each Akshara sub units 4 Matharas (Tha Ka Thi Mi) are equally implemented, it is Sama Yathi. In case of Thisra Ghathi, 3 Matharas (Tha Ki Ta) are equally implemented for each Akshara and so on with all the ghatis.
2. Vishama Yathi: The syllables are arranged in a jumbled way with ones imagination and the outcome can be in any shape is called Vishama Yathi. But this should be within the tala Sub units. For Example, in Adi tala with Chatusra ghathi, the total Sub units (matharas) are 32. So, the combination may be 5+4+7+9+3+4 or in any other combination but note that Chatusra ghathi is once more repeated to form 32 matharas.
3. Mridanga Yathi: The Syllable are arranged in such a way that it takes the shape of Mridangam. This is called Mridanga Yathi. The combination will have to be 4, 5, 7, 7, 5, 4.
4. Veda Madhyama Yathi: The syllables are arranged in such a manner that it is broad at both sides and tapers at the center like "Udukkai" or Damaru is called Veda Madhyama Yathi.
The syllables are 7, 5, 4, 4, 5, 7.
5. Gopucha Yathi (alternate spelling Gopucchayati): The syllables are arranged similar to Cows Tail, which is broad at the beginning (from top) and gradually tapering to the bottom. This is called Gopucha Yathi.
6. Srothovaka Yathi (alternate spelling Srotovahayati): The syllables are arranged in such a manner that it resembles the flow of river (river origin and its broad course). So it is short at the begining and gradually becomes broad (Opposite to Gopucha yathi) at the end. This is called Srothovaka Yathi.
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