Question from Student:
I am performing Carnatic music from past 10 years . My home pitch is c. With conscious efforts, I have pushed it up to c sharp. My intention is to dock my home pitch to D. So I would like to hear it from you if there is a risk-free process because I personally find it hard to increase pitch and sing absent strain. Would be of great help if you could throw some light
Answered by Shri Chitravina N Ravikiran
If I can hear your voice sample, maybe if you can send a sample individually, I might be able to help you. But more than that is, there is no compelling reason to increase pitch from what is one’s natural range or ideal pitch. Madurai Mani Iyer once made this point beautifully in one of his interviews that your ideal pitch has to be determined by a good guru, but typically fine if you are able to sing the High ‘Sa’, with a modicum of effort ( like not too much effort and not too little effort either). So you have to feel a little bit of tightness. So if you are able to do it well, most of the other notes around it will be able to handle itself properly.
Another way to determine pitch is Low ‘Pa’ to high ‘Pa’ whichever suits you minimally that can be your ideal pitch. So there can be no compelling need to increase pitch in Carnatic music. Ideal pitch for Carnatic female voice is G or G# and for male C to D.- whatever is their natural thing. Hindustani artists will have to sing in a slightly higher pitch because by definition, the system itself starts with a lot of slow movements. So singing that in low pitch may make it duller. So the average pitch of Hindustani will be slightly higher than average pitch of Carnatic, both in male and female and also in instrumental actually.