The Basics of Indian Carnatic Music

Carnatic music, is one of the two forms of Indian classical music. It is believed that the origin of carnatic music is divine. The goddess Saraswati who performs the veena bless us with the talent to perform carnatic music. It is an ancient form of music and is from the 15-16 century. Men formed the different swaras and ragas by observing the sound that is produced by animals and waves of the sea. Carnatic music is completely melodic and is sung with a lot of improvisation from the performer. Like every other form of music carnatic music requires proper training and dedication.

Carnatic music has two main elements : Raga (Ragam) and Tala (Thalam). Raga is the mode and Tala is the rhythmic cycles. There are a numerous ragas and talas and with their combination you can sing different and wonderful songs. The major ragas are Sankarabharanam, Mohanam, Aarabhi, Hindolam, Kamas etc. The major talas are Aadi, rupakam, dhruva, triputa, jhampa, matya. With these ragas and talas together we can create wonders.

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All the Ragas are based on Swaras. There are seven basic swaras in Indian Classical music. They are Sa(Do), Ri(Re), Ga(Mi), Ma(Fa), Pa(So), Da(La), Ni(Ti). With different combination of these swaras we can create different ragas. There are two basic elements for a raga; the Aarohanam (the ascending notes of raga on scale) and the Avarohanam (the descending notes of raga on scale).

Sruti plays a vital role in the music. It is just like the 'key' in western music. Sruti is like the soul of carnatic music. The first form of carnatic music is the Saralivarisai. This is an exercise which makes us familiar with the swaras and the sruti. It also helps in learning the different combination of the swaras that are possible. Then comes the Jandavarisai which is the next level of saralivarisai. In this exercise you will be trained intensely on how to sing with sruti and handle the swaras correctly. Then comes the Swarajathi. This is a combination of swaras and song. This is the basic exercise that we need to practice in order to get the raga correctly. Then comes the Varnam, which is a special item that emphasizes the importance of different ragas. Also trains us on how to stress and approach a certain note. Often Varam is sung first in any concert as it attracts the attention of audience.

Then comes the Kirthana (Krithi). This is basically a song which is composed with the help of swaras and ragas. It consists of Pallavi, Anupallavi and charanam which are sung in the given same order. Pallavi and Anupallavi are generally two lines whereas charanam has more lines and stresses on the purpose of the song i. e. the raga and the tala.

All the above mentioned forms of carnatic music are sung at different speed levels in order to increase the strength and control of the voice. During practice the students are usually asked to sing them with just replacing 'Aa' in the place of all the swaras which helps them attain perfection in the raga. In ancient times, to attain good voice and control of the raga, the students are told to practice standing in the pond or lake with the water level up till their throat. Also to have an excellent voice it is said that the students will have pebble in their mouth while they practice.

The Basics of Indian Carnatic Music

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Facts About Pop Art Paintings History

Pop art is an art form first introduced in Great Britain, towards the end of the 1950s. It was brought about by artists who wanted to take the stuffiness out of 'abstract expressionism', and bridge the gap between art and the public. This they did by including everyday objects like flags and soup cans in their paintings.

The birth of pop art was to ridicule the monotony that a section of artists associated with abstract expressionism. At the point of time, both the American as well as the British society was recuperating after the World War II, and these artists took potshots at the materialism all around and included objects like Coke cans and comic strips in the paintings. Artist Jasper Johns used the American flag to a large extent, Roy Lichtenstein gave prominence to comic strips, and Andy Warhol made soup cans famous, while stuffed animals were Robert Rauschenberg's choice of object. These artists included everyday objects in their paintings to make them more appealing to the common man. Art before that was largely confined to the high echelons of society, and the abstract art form was not understood by the layman. Pop artists changed all that by replacing the monotony of art with humor and relevance to daily life.

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Pop art did receive its fair share of criticism, as art critics though it was a cheap effort to popularize everyday objects as symbols of art. American society, on the other hand, welcomed pop art with open arms, making it what it is today.

Facts About Pop Art Paintings History

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Search Criminal Offender Records and Find a Person's Criminal History

By reviewing police or criminal court records, the criminal history of any person can be uncovered. State laws vary in the case when a child is legally considered as adult. Criminal records of children are sealed so that no one can access these juvenile records. You cannot access the expunged records as they have been deleted or sealed by court orders.

But if you like to know how to find a person's criminal history then there are some ways through which you can easily access criminal history records of someone. If you know the location or county in which the crime or police arrest report was filed and committed, then you can go to the website of the court of that county or state like Here you can search the criminal history of almost any person in Indiana by just putting the last name of the person in a search box. If the surname of the person is very common then you can add more information to narrow down your search. You will usually still have to pay a fee to access copies of criminal records.

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There are many companies that offer online criminal background record check services by sending the results of your request. Here you have to pay some fee for it. There are many such sites like, and where you can buy bulk account at discounted rates and do the multiple searches. You can also purchase the account according to your need.

Search Criminal Offender Records and Find a Person's Criminal History

Search Criminal Records
Find Someones Criminal Records - Easily locate and lookup criminal history of people online with a click of a mouse. You can now easily access criminal history of anyone you want right now!

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Color Mixing With Acrylic Paints - Make Great Grays

Grays, or neutrals, are terrific tools in the artist's toolbox. Gray can be used in a variety of ways:

  • to tone down colors that are too bright or intense
  • to create shadow areas instead of adding black
  • as a color choice in and of themselves
Not all grays are created equal, however. You could think of gray as being just a mixture of black and white. As soon as you've added any amount of white to black, you begin a gray scale. However, the simple black-plus- white gray gives you a rather bland, unexciting neutral. Try mixing various colors together and use them in place of the black-plus-white gray and something exciting begins to happen in a painting.

Grays, or neutrals, mixed from colors can be created by either of these ways:

  • mixing the three primary colors together, Red plus Blue plus Yellow - this is called "primary gray"
  • mixing a primary with its complement to make a "complementary gray" [a complement is the color opposite on the color wheel.  Red and Green, Yellow and Purple, Blue and Orange...or another way to explain it: it is a primary color mixed with a secondary color. An example would be Red plus Green. Red is the primary color and Green, the secondary color which is a mixture of the primary colors Blue and Yellow.]

Primary Grays or Neutrals

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Not a "gray" in the traditional way of thinking, a primary gray nevertheless is a great neutral to use instead of a black-plus-white mixture. Because a primary gray contains within it each of the three primary colors, it will enhance and enliven any color it is either added to or painted next to.

  • An example would be painting the foliage of a tree. Greens are most often the color of choice for tree foliage. Mix up a primary gray and use it in the shading areas. The Blue and Yellow in the primary gray mix will intensify the Green of the foliage because the color Green is made from a mixture of Blue and Yellow. The Red in the primary gray will add interest because the Green used for the foliage is the complement of the color Red.
Making a primary gray is as simple as mixing, in equal parts, Red plus Blue plus Yellow. Where it gets really interesting is in choosing which Red, Blue and Yellow to use. Each paint formulation will give you a completely different result. For example:
  • Cadmium Red Hue plus French Ultramarine plus Cadmium Yellow Hue will give you one result;
  • Naphthol Crimson mixed with Brilliant Blue mixed with Lemon Yellow will give you a result totally different.
Try a few of these primary combinations. Mix them in equal ratio: one part each. Make a chart that shows what color formulations you chose and after you've mixed them, apply a bit next to the mixture notations so you can see what the result is. This makes a good reference chart for future painting purposes.
  • Prussian Blue plus Vermillion Hue plus Cadmium Yellow Deep Hue
  • Cobalt Blue plus Venetian Red plus Gamboge
  • Cerulean Blue plus Permanent Rose plus Cadmium Yellow Light

Here's a color mixing hint: sometimes when mixing hues, colors, together, they can seem too dark to tell exactly what you've got. An idea: take one part, say the size of a pea, of the color you've just made, and mix it with the same size of white...this will give you a tint of the color you mixed. It is a unique and quick way to translate your mixture for you. For example, you could mix the primary colors blue, red and yellow to make a primary gray, but the mixture is rather dark. Take a pea-size amount of that and mix it with a pea-size amount of white. Using a palette knife spread some of that on a scratch piece of canvas. What you'll see is the lighter version of your primary gray. You'll get a much better clue as to which of the primary colors is dominate...once tinted it may pull more towards blue/purple or more towards red/purple or even red/orange. 

When making a reference chart, it's a good idea to put this tint down next to the mixed example so you can have that translation reminder.

Complementary Grays or Neutrals

It gets very interesting when mixing grays made from complements. The possible combinations are many. Remember that a Complementary Gray is made from mixing, in equal parts, a primary color and its complement like Blue plus Orange. The possible combinations of just this Blue-plus-Orange gray are many. First start with the possible combinations of making Orange, mixing an equal part of each:

  • Cadmium Red Medium plus Cadmium Yellow Medium
  • Naphthol Crimson plus Cadmium Yellow Light
  • Vermillion Hue plus Cadmium Yellow Deep
  •  Primary Magenta plus Lemon Yellow
This gives you four separate "oranges;" now take just Cerulean Blue and mix with each and you have four distinct Blue/Orange complementary grays. Then take Winsor Blue and mix with each of these oranges and you have yet four more different grays or neutrals. You can see how you can have a field day just coming up with combinations for mixing the color orange; and then have another day mixing those oranges with all the various Blue formulations. *You can also mix your blues with an orange "from the tube" such as Cadmium Orange or Vivid Red Orange. However, you greatly expand your rainbow of possibilities by mixing your secondary colors yourself.

A Red and Green Complementary Gray example works the same. For this example choose Cadmium Red Medium as the Red. Now make a variety of Greens, again using an equal one-to-one ratio:

  • Winsor Blue plus Primary Yellow
  • Primary Cyan plus Cadmium Yellow Medium
  • Phthalo Blue plus Lemon Yellow
  • Azurite Hue plus Gamboge
After mixing the Greens, using the Cadmium Red Medium, add equal mixtures Red and Green to create four interesting neutrals. Now use a different Red with these same Greens; again, more choices for you as an artist.

And finally a Yellow and Purple Complementary Gray works the same way. As example choose the Cadmium Yellow Medium as the primary Yellow and make a selection of purples:

  • Winsor Blue plus Cadmium Red Light
  • Cerulean Blue plus Permanent Rose
  • Prussian Blue plus Cadmium Red Deep
  • Indanthrene Blue plus Primary Magenta
Using an equal ratio, mix your Cadmium Yellow Medium with each purple and you have four distinct neutrals. Choose a different Yellow with these same purples and you have four more. 

Creativity in painting is not limited to the painting itself, it is also in the choices of colors used. And it can even be in the mixing of the colors that sit on the painter's palette.

Color Mixing With Acrylic Paints - Make Great Grays

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Board Feet? How to Calculate

I want to give you a simple formula that you'll never forget.

Thickness (in inches) x Width (in inches) x Length (in feet) divided by 12.

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Got it? Good! So what is a board foot anyways? Well, it's the standard unit of measure in the North American lumber industry. A board foot is the equivalent of a piece of wood 1 inch thick, 12 inches wide, and 1 foot long. In other words, a board foot is 1 square foot of lumber, 1 inch thick. Any lumber item can be calculated in terms of board feet by using the formula above.

So lets plug in a 2x4 that is 8 feet long okay? 2x4x8/12 = 5.333333 board feet (bf)

Now that you understand how to calculate one piece of wood, let's take it to the next level, because most people who need to calculate have a large volume of wood. So how do you calculate that? Now let's work using "fbm" which is "feet, board measure" and this is used for calculating a volume of wood measured in board feet.

Due to the large volume of lumber traded in a typical transaction, the most common unit of measure is a "thousand board feet". Does this look familiar... a seller faxes you information that says "I have 23 packages of 2x4x12' for sale at 5/M." So how do you calculate this?

The missing ingredient is the amount of pieces in the packages. Here's a tip for you to remember... in North America, the standard sizes of packages (for 2x4) is 294 pieces. So we now need to add two more variables to our equation.

The formula now looks like this. 2x4x12x23x294/12=54,096 fbm.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

Board Feet? How to Calculate

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The Wacky 70s - The Classic Songs & Genres That Defined an Era

The 70s were another memorable decade of classic songs from many legendary singers and bands with most of them following up with the innovations made in the 60s. As a result, new genres were invented in this decade, all of which are featured in the following article.

At the beginning of the 70s, progressive rock was certainly the order of the day as it followed on from the psychedelic rock movement from the mid to late 60s. Artists such as Pink Floyd and Genesis dominated this genre during this period with the most famous song being "Another Brick In The Wall" by Pink Floyd. Progressive rock was also sometimes referred to as art rock and one of its major exponents was the British band 10CC whose song "I'm Not In Love" is a must-listen timeless classic.

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The punk movement also has its origins in the middle of the 70s with major bands such as The Sex Pistols and The Clash becoming idols for an entire generation. Punk music continues today and it's largely due to these pioneers who continue to be held in high esteem by modern punk artists.

The 70s also saw many Southern and country rock bands have tremendous commercial success. The Eagles were the dominant band of this genre conjuring up 5 number 1 hit singles in the US during this period. Their signature song "Hotel California" remains one of the all time classic rock songs. Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" also symbolizes the 70s for a whole generation while other bands such as America enthralled audiences with their simple yet catchy songs.

Hard rock and heavy metal truly arrived in its more well-known form in the 70s led by bands such as AC/DC, Queen and Led Zepellin. Songs such as "Highway To Hell" and "We Will Rock You" became anthems of hard rock fans the world over. Other rock bands chose a slightly different direction with their music. For example, Electric Light Orchestra mixed conventional rock with classical music with amazing results. Songs such as "Sweet Talkin' Woman" and "Livin' Thing" are also emblematic of the rock genre of this era.

Disco is probably the genre which dominated the 70s and which best defines the decade. It seems as if the word 'disco' is intrinsically and eternally tied to the 70s. It was so dominant that at the height of its popularity in the late 70s, the only way that artists could have a hit was to sing a disco tune, which many of them did with varying levels of success. At the height of the disco movement, the Bee Gees and ABBA dominated the charts and worldwide sales. However, the most famous song from this era was probably "Y.M.C.A" by the Village People which has since become one of the most popular anthems for the gay community. The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack from the Bee Gees is essentially what symbolizes all things disco in the 70s.

There's absolutely no doubt that the 70s will be remembered for its wide range of genres and classic songs that defined a generation.

The Wacky 70s - The Classic Songs & Genres That Defined an Era

Martin Sejas is the chief columnist of, a website showcasing some of the greatest 70s classic songs and songs from other eras in music history.

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