Mridanga Ratnakaram (Telugu)

Mridanga Ratnakara Late Sri Dharmala Venkateswara Rao has done elaborate research on Mridangam for several decades and, coupled with his teaching and concert experience, he authored the book Mridanga Ratnakaram. This book takes a reader on a smooth and exciting ride, starting from elementary lessons to the most advanced lessons that are designed for students at various levels as well as for many performing artists.

This book was released by Padma Bhushan Sri Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna garu in a public function at Ravindra Bharathi that was also attended by Mridangam Maestro Sri Yella Venkateswara Rao.See the photo of this releasing function.


In the Theory section, Sri Rao delves deeply into the construction of Mridangam with the help of pictures and explains the tuning process, Thaala Dasa Praanas, Thaala Angaas, Saptha(7) Thaalas and the derivation of 35 Thaalas along with tables and other pictorial forms.

The Practical section includes pictures of several hand positions on the mridangam and a vivid explanation of the notation used in the book. This section also elaborates fundamental building block phrases( starting from two letter phrases and upwards), Phrases easily playable at higher speeds, various Nadais and Pharans for Adi, Roopaka, Khanda Chaapu and Misra Chaapu Thaalas along with clear notation. Also, Sri Rao has explained lucidly several lessons, Moharas and Mukthayees in all 35 Thaalas which will be immensely useful for students and performers on Mridangam. Adi, Roopaka,Khanda Chaapu and Misra Chaapu Thaalas are treated in great detail in this book for samam and jaaga(eduppu) along with several Moharas and Mukthayees.

The Practical section also contains an exclusive Mukthayee section that explains various Mukthayee patterns illustrated with examples which, imparts the necessary knowledge to formulate Mukthayees for various Thaalas. Sri Rao has also explained the methods of playing for Pallavis along with examples. He has also explained in detailed manner gathi bhedam and gathi tri-kaalam, which is an advanced concept.

Sri Rao has written this book with the aim to easily impart the intricate knowledge and “secrets” associated in this art that was only possible earlier by serving a capable guru for many years.

Price : $35 (excluding $5 for shipping within USA)
The book is printed on high quality paper and is available in India and in USA. Further information can be obtained through e-mail at
vrdharmala@yahoo.com