Composers of Indian Carnatic Music after the Trinity

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A detailed article on music composers of Carnatic music after the period of the Trinity with bio information, major compositions and styles of different schools that emerged [parampara] are given. A brief intro to the trinity--Thyagaraja, Muthuswamy Dikshitar and Syama Sastrigal are given. Several set of students, their contributions,certain anecdotes ,down to 20th century are written. Note that several nuances and types of singing are mentioned and specific lineage of certain teachers are mentioned. The enormous influence of modern teachers like veena Dhanammal,T Brinda, Tiger Varadachariar and others are included

TRANSCRIPT

  • GreatComposersofCarnaticMusic--the

    TrinityandAfter

    VasanSri

    TheTrinityofCarnaticMusic--Thyagaraja,Muthuswami

    DikshitarandShyamaSastrigal--broughtabouta

    renaissanceofmusicinSouthIndiawiththeirsoulful

    musicdevotedtoHindudeities.Thetraditionswere

    furtherstrengthenedanddevelopedbygreatcomposers

    inthe18th,19thand20thcenturies.Their

    contributionsarebrieflydiscussedinthisarticle.

    Theircompositionsareregularlysungintoday's

    concerts,butrarelyafewdetailsaregivenabout

    theirlivesandstyleofcompositionsorthe'baani'

    theypropagated.Someinformationregardingtheir

    'parampara'orlineagemaybeofgreatinterestas

    well.Severaldistinct'schoolsofmusic'developed

    whichtookdeeprootsinthe'sampradayas'[traditions]

    wefindtoday.

  • Animportantfactorinthisnarrativeisthe

    disseminationanddiffusionofkritisfromcomposersto

    musicians.Thefamilytraditionsplayedamajorrolein

    thisprocess,particularlyforthecompositionsofthe

    Trinity.Somefamiliestreatedthecompositionsof

    theirforefathersasheirloomsortheirprivate

    propertyandwouldnotpartwiththemforothersto

    renderthem.

    Therewasanotherfactorinconsideringtheworkof

    thesemasters.Theragasusedbythecomposersmaybe

    changedduringthecourseofhandingdowntothenext

    generation.

    Mostmusicianshadonemainguruwhoshapedtheir

    styleofsinging,butwouldhavebenefitedfromseveral

    'upagurus'inearlystagesorforspecifictypeof

    musictraining,suchaspallavisorpadamsorjavalis.

    Thiswouldclarifymanydoubtsaboutthelineageof

    manysingerswewilldiscussinthisarticle.

    [Asamatterofrecord,"AllIndiaRadio"[AIR}played

  • aprominentroleinpreservingthemusictraditions.]

    TheTrinity--abriefintroduction

    Letusbeginwithsomeinformationaboutthe

    Trinity.Allthethreegreatcomposerswereborn

    inthesametown-THIRUVARUR-famousforthe

    templeof'Thyagaraja'Deityandequallyfamous

    forthefestivalwithalargetemplecar.[

    Thiruvarurisadifferenttownfromthevillage

    Thiruvaiyaru,nearKumbakonam,whereSaint

    Thygarajalived.]

    ThyagarajacomposedsongsmostlyinTelugu,

    andafewsongsinSanskrit.DikshitarandSyama

    SastrigalbothsangmoresongsinSanskritanda

    fewinTelugu.

    Thyagarajacomposednearly20000songs;but

    only700arewrittendown,mostlyduetothe

  • effortsofRangaRamanujaIyengar.[Seehis

    books"KrithiManiMalai'.]DikshitarandSastry

    composedabout500songseach.Dikshitar's

    kritiswereeasilyavailablethroughAmbi

    DikshitarandlatercompiledbySundaramIyer

    andDrVRaghavan.ArecentpublicationbyTK

    GovindaRaoin1997isavaluablebook.

    SaintThygaraja[1767-1847]wasinspiredby

    PurandaraDasa,theDoyenofCarnaticmusicfrom

    VijayanagaraEmpireinKarnataka.Thyagaraja

    alsocomposedtwooperasormusicals:'Prahlada

    bhaktavijayam'and'NaukaCharithram'.Hemight

    havecomposedseveralotheroperasnotavailable

    tous.

    ItisimportanttorecallthatDikshitar

    [1775-1835]traveledtoNorthIndianpilgrim

    centersandspentafewyearsinVaranasior

  • Benaras.So,hisknowledgeofSanskritand

    philosophywasdeep.Healsolearnedmuchabout

    SriChakraworshipinTantricstyleandsang

    manysongsonGoddessEaswari.Hewasalsoa

    greatdevoteeofKarthikeyaorMurugaandhis

    songscarrythesignatureormudraof

    "guruguha".Dikshitar'sfatheriscreditedwith

    thediscoveryoftheraga"hamsadhwani".His

    navavarnakritisonKamalambalorNilotpalamba,

    thedeityinThiruvarur,speakofhisdevotion

    toMotherGoddess.Histeacher,Chidambaranatha

    YogiinVaranasigavehimaveena.Dikshitar

    preservedthisveena.

    Hisendisremarkable:Hesang

    "meenakshimeemudham"inPurvikalyaniwithhis

    bandofdisciples,hadavisionofGoddess

    Meenakshiandbreathedhislastwhentheline:

  • "meenaLochanipapamochani'wassung.Legends

    saythathewaspartiallyblindatthattime.

    ShyamaSastrigal[1762-1827]wasdevotedto

    hisfamilydeity'BangaruKamakshi"atTanjore

    whichwaspreservedandworshipedbyhisfamily

    forfivegenerations.[TheidolofKamakshiis

    madeofgold(bangaru)andwasbroughtfrom

    KancheepuramKamakshitemple.]

    Hewasalsotaughtmusicbyonemonk,Sangita

    Swamibyname.Hisfatherhadreceivedland

    grantsfromtheMaharajaofTanjoreforthe

    maintenanceoftempleofKamakshi.

    SyamaSatrigal,attheinstanceofSarfoji,

    MaharajaofTanjore,facedacontestinmusic

    againstahaughtyvidwanfromBobbiliinAndhra;

    beforethecontest,Sastrigalworshipedhis

  • favoritedeityandcried"Devibrovasamaya

    midhe"[Chintamaniraga].Hewonthecontest.

    Hecomposedninesongs"navaratnamalai"for

    MaduraiMeenakshideity.Sastrigalalsocomposed

    songsfordanceteacherslikeVadivelu[and

    Sivanandam,PonnaihandChinniahPillai]

    ['Tanjorequartet"]andintroduced'swarajati'

    style.

    WeknowmoreaboutSastrigalthantheother

    twocomposers,becausehissonSubbaRaya

    Sastrigalwashimselfagreatcomposerandleft

    alineage,aswewilldiscussinsubsequent

    sections.[ArecentPhDthesisofDrY

    SaradhambalofTrichycontainsmuch

    information.]

    GreatcomposersaftertheTrinity

  • Somegeneralremarksaboutthecomposersmaybe

    madeattheoutset.Almostallofthemhailed

    fromTanjoreregionandsangsongsinTelugu,

    SanskritandsomesongsinTamil.Theyware

    directlyrelatedtheTrinityorweretheir

    disciples,exceptafew,likeNayinaPillaiof

    Kancheepuram.Therewereseveralgreatcomposers

    in18thand19thcentfromdeepsouth,thatis

    ,MaduraiandThirunelveliandRamnadregions

    too.

    Thesecomposerswouldoftenperform

    'kathakalakshepam'ormusicaldiscourseswith

    theirowncompositions[hundredsofthemina

    sequence]andalsocreated'Natakams'--operas

    ormusicaldramas--whichwereperformedby

    severaltroupesinmanyplacesintheSouth.For

    instancetheopera"NandanarCharithram',the

  • storyofNandan,adalitwhowishedtoenter

    Chidambaramtemplebutcouldnotduetocaste

    prohibitions,thisoriginalstoryofa

    'nayanmar'fromPeriaPuranamofSekkizhar,was

    writtenasanoperabyGopalaKrishnaBharati.[

    Thiswasaveryfamousoperaandevenmadeinto

    amoviewithMMDandapaniDesikarcastas

    Nandanar.]

    Duringthisperiod,manymaharajasorlocal

    princessupportedthecomposerswithgiftsand

    landgrantscalled'brahmadeyam":Maharajaof

    Mysore,MaharajaofTravancore[Trivandrum]and

    MaharajaofTanjorewereintheforefront,and

    severalsmallerrajasandzamindars

    [Ettayapuram,Ramanathapuram,Pudukottai,

    Vijayanagaram[AP],Pithapuram{AP],

    Udayarpalayamamongothers.]Someofthelater

  • composersbecameveryaffluentandleda

    comfortablelife.

    Webeginour'rollcallofhonor"with

    SubbarayaSastry.

    SubbarayaSastry[1803-1862]

    SonofShymaSatrigal,SubbarayaSatrigalhad

    therarepriviligeofstudyingwithallthe

    threecomposers,theTrinity.Thistraininghad

    tremendousinfluenceonthekritishecomposed.

    Oneofhisfamouskritis"JananiNinnuvina"in

    Reethigowlamissungbyalmostallmusicians.

    'NannuBrochutaku'inTodiisalsoawellknown

    song.

    HelatersettledinUdayarpalayamzaminasthe

    courtmusician.Hetaughtseveralgreat

    musiciansincludinghisadoptedsonAnnaswami

    SastryandthefamousTanjoreKamakshi,mother

  • ofVeenaTDhanammal.

    OOTHUKADUVENKATASUBBAIYER[1700-1765]

    HewasalsoknownasVenkataKavi.Hisperiod

    slightlyprecedesthetrinity,butIincludehim

    becausehebelongstothesameperiodasthe

    Trinityandhehadanenormousinfluenceon

    Carnaticmusic.Helivedforthemostpartin

    Tanjoreunderthepatronageofthemaharaja.He

    composedmorethan500songsandseveraloperas

    .MostofhisworksareinTamil.

    Hisfamouscomposition"ThayeYeshoda"[inTodi

    ]describingthepranksofLordKrishnaasaboy

    ineightcharanamsisjustifiablythemost

    famous.[ThereisanothersetofrepliesbyLord

    Krishawith"illai,Illai"too.]Hecomposedan

    entireoperaonKrishna'slife.Hissongson

  • Krishnaareallfullofdevotionalfervor,for

    heconsideredLordKrishnahimselfashisguru.

    Healsosang'navaavarnakritis'onDevi.Hemade

    operasonRamayanaandBhagavatamandother

    puranic[mythological]stories.

    Histwofamouscompositionsare'alaipayudhe'

    [Kaanada]and"swagathamkrishna"[mohanam],

    bothrenderednicelyinrecenttimesbyDr

    Jesudas.!

    [ArecentbookbyNRavikiran,titled'Oothukadu

    VenkataSubbaIyer--Lifeandworks"[2007]can

    beconsulted.Pub:InternationalFoundationfor

    CarnaticMusic.]

    GopalaKrishnaBharati[1811-1896]

    AgreatTamilpoetandagreatcomposer,he

    wasacontemporaryofSaintThyagaraja.Bornin

  • Narimanam,helivedmostlyinMayavaram[

    Mayiladuthurai.]HesangmanysongsonLord

    Siva.DuringhisvisittoThiruvaiyaru,

    ThygarajaaskedhimtocomposeasonginAbhogi.

    Bharaticomposedthefamoussong"Sabhapathiku

    verudeivam"onTillaiNataraja.

    Hissongalsomentionshowthecompassionate

    LordSivagave'moksha'to'puliars'ordalits.

    Thisthemeseemstorecurinhisworks.His

    opera"NandanarCharitram",asmentioned

    earlier,basedonthestruggleofNandan,adalit

    becameveryfamous,wasplayedinmanypartsof

    TamilNaduandmadeintoamovie.

    GopalaKrishnaBharatiwasinspiredtowrite

    theseoperasbytheworkofearlierTamil

    composerArunachalaKaviRayar[1711-1779]

    whowroteseveralopearas,including'Rama

  • Natakam".

    [Forsomeinformationonpre-trinitycomposers,

    readthearticleofMVRamanaintheInternet.]

    Someofhisfamoussongsare:

    --"Eppovaruvaro"inJonpuri

    --"guruvarulumthiruvarulum'inAbhogi,

    --"innamumsandhekapadalamo"inKeeravani.

    Hissongscarrythesignatureormudra"gopala

    krishna".

    HissongsbecameverypopularinTamilNadu

    especiallywithextensiverenderingofhis

    songsbyMaduraiManiIyer,amongothers.

    SadashivaBrahmendrar[17thor18thCentury]

    Sadashivawasagreatsaint,mysticand

    Advaitin.Nooneknowshisperiodforsure--When

    washeborn?Whenheattainedsamadhi?

  • Weknowthathissamadhiplaceoradhisthanam

    isatNerurwherepujasareperformed.Butthere

    aresomewhomaintainthathewasinterredat

    Manamadurai!

    Therearemanymiraclesattributedtothis

    mysticwhowanderedaroundnakedmostofthe

    time.[SomeanecdotesaregiveninParamahansa

    Yogananda'sclassicbook"Autobiographyofa

    yogi",storieshecollectedwhenhetraveledin

    TamilNadu,sometimein1935.Hisbookmentions

    thedateofSadashivaas1750.]

    Sadashivagotmarriedatayoungage,butwhen

    hiswifeattainedpuberty,hewalkedawayfrom

    homeasasannyasi.Hewastalkativeand

    argumentative;butwhenhisguruadmonishedhim

    andaskedhimtoshutup,hesaid:"Yes,from

    thismoment";heneverspokeagain.Heusedto

  • keepastoneashispillow.Butwhensomeone

    mockedathimforseekingcomfortwiththe

    stonepillow,hestoppedusingeventhatstone.

    HisschoolmatesatVedicschoolwere

    ThiruvisanallurAyyaval[1635-1720](ofBhajana

    sampradaya)andThayumanavar(1705-1742).[From

    thesedates,weinferthatSadashivacouldhave

    beenbornsometimearound1630oraround1705!.]

    HewaspatronizedbyRajaofPudukottaiandhe

    evenwroteasetofinstructionsforthekingto

    follow.

    Hecomposedmanysongsinsweetwords,all

    embodyingbhakti,advaitaandrenunciation.He

    wroteseveralbookson"Advaita".

    Hisfamouscompositionsinclude:

    --Pibareramarasam[Ahir-bhairavi]

    --Bhajaregopalam[Hindolam]

  • --ManasaSancharare[Sama]

    --Tungatarangegange[Hamsadhwani]

    --Bruhimuhundheti[Gowla]

    [IhadabookonSadashiva'scompositions

    compiledbySemmangudiSrinivasaIyer.Iam

    unabletotraceittofinditspublisher.]

    ----------------------------------------------

    PattinamSubramaniaIyer[1845-1902]

    HewasborninThruvaiyaru,butspentmanyyears

    inChennaiorChennaipattinam;hencethename

    "pattinam"wasattachedtohisname.

    HewasadiscipleofManambhuchavadiKrishna

    IyerwhowasadirectdiscipleofThyagaraja.

    ThusPatnamSubramanyaIyerisindirectlineage

    ofThyagaraja.Hewasalsocalled"Chinna

  • Thygaraja"byhisadmirers.Thisissignificant

    becausemanygreatmusiciansweretrainedby

    SubramaniaIyeraswewilllisthere.

    Hewasrecognisedeasilyasagreatcomposer

    andsingerthatmanyMaharajaspatronisedhim.

    ChamarajaWadiyarofMysoregavegiftsofgolden

    braceletstohim.Hewasalsoacourtmusician

    inTravancore[Trivandrum],Ramanathapuramand

    VizianagaraminAndhra.

    Severalofhiscompositionsareregularlysung

    today:

    --Raghuvamsasudha[kathanakudhukalam]

    --Evaribodhanna[abhogi]

    --mariverathikkuevarayyarama[shanmuga

    priya]

    --Parithanametchitepalincu[bilahari]

    --varamulosagobrochuta[keeravani]

  • --Aparathamulane[latangi]

    Hisstudents,withdistinctstyle[baani]of

    PattinamSubramanyaIyer,weremany:

    *PoochiSrinivasaIyengar[andhisstudent

    AriyakudiRamanujaIyengar]

    TigerVaradachariar[andhisstudents,MD

    Ramanathan,SRamanthan,ManiKrishnaswami]

    MysoreVasudevachariar.

    --------------------------------

    WalajapetVenkataramanaBhagavatar

    [1781-1874]

    BorninAyyampettai,Bhagavatar,a

    Sourashtrabrahmin,wasadirectdiscipleof

    Thyagarajaandwasapersonalattendantto

    Thyagarajafornearly25years.Herecorded

    thesongsofthemasteronpalmleaves.His

    son,KrishnaswamyBhagavataralsobecamea

  • discipleofThyagaraja.

    TheWalajapetschoolbythisbhagavatar

    familydevelopedadistinctstyleof

    singing.Manylatersingersandteachers

    collectedThyagaraja'skritisfromWalajapet

    school.MaduraiManiIyeronceremarkedthat

    hecollectedseveralrarekritisfromthe

    descendantsofVenkataramanaBhagavatar.

    ItislikelythatNainaPillaialso

    collectedthekritisfromtheWalajapet

    family.

    SaintThyagarajavisitedWalajapetand

    stayedwithBhagavatarfamilyfor12days.

    AtthetimeofmahasamadhiofThygaraja,the

    saintleftallritualmaterials,idols,his

    padukaandtamburawithVenkataramanawho

    preservedthemforposterity.[Theserelics

  • arekeptintheSourashtraSamajamin

    Madurai.]

    Bhagavatar'scompositionsinclude:

    --NeeveNannu(Darbar),

    --Ramaravikulasoma(Kedaragowlam).

    SwatiThirunalRamaVarma(1813-1846)

    AprincefromTravancorefamily,helearned

    musicfromSubbaRaoofTanjoreandlater

    wasinfluencedbythe'Tanjorequartet'of

    Vadivelubrothers.Helearnedtocompose

    varnams,padamsandtillana.Healsocomposed

    twooperas:KuchelaUpakyanamandAjamila

    Upakyanam.

    Heruledthestatefor17years.Duringhis

    rule,hegavegreatencouragementtomusic

    anddance,byinvitingstalwartsfrom

  • Tanjoreregion.

    Hisfamouscompositionsinclude;

    --Bhavayamiraghuramam[raga-malika]

    --KripayapalayaShaure[charukesi]

    --Devadevakalayamidhe[mayamalavagoulam]

    -------------------------------------------

    HarikesanallurMuthiahBhagavatar

    [1877-1945]

    Agreatcomposerandteacher,hecreated20

    ragasandcomposednearlyfourhundred

    songsduringhislonglife.Hisforemost

    disciplewasMADURAIMANIIYER.[MMI]

    Hewasborninanaffluentfamilyanddid

    notfacefinancialproblems.Buthechosea

    verysimplelifestyle.Inlaterlife,

    however,helivedinaregalstyle.

    Heiscreditedwithstartingthefirst

  • 'musicschool'totrainyoungsingers,

    besidesthe'gurukula'systeminwhicha

    studentlivedwiththemasterforseveral

    years.

    HisteacherwasSambasivaIyerin

    Thiruvarur,whowasadiscipleofSt

    Thyagaraja..HeintroducedmanyHindusthani

    ragaslikesohiniandsarangmalhar--sohini

    wasadoptedas'hamsanandi'.Hepublisheda

    bookin1943containing101kritisofSwati

    Tirunal,collectingfromseveralsourcesin

    Kerala.

    Hewasalsoagreatmusicologistand

    obtainedhonorarydoctor'sdegreefrom

    KeralaUniversity.Hewasalsoacourt

    musicianinMysore.

    Someofhisfamoussongsregularlysungby

  • manymusiciansare:

    --HimagiriThanayehemalathe[suddha

    danyasi]

    --Sudhamayesudhanidhe[Amritavarshini]

    --Bhuvaneswariyanemmemanasave[Mohana

    Kalyani]

    --Sarasamukhi[GowdaMalhar]

    -------------------------------------

    PoochiSrinivasaIyengar[1860-1919]

    AnillustriousstudentofPattinam

    SubramanyaIyer,hebelongedtothe

    Tyagarajatradition.Hecomposedmorethan

    100songs,withthemudra'srinivasa'.

    HisforemoststudentwasAriyakudiRamanuja

    Iyengarwhointroducedthe'kutcheri'

    [concert]formatformodernaudiences.

    AnotherstudentwasKoteeswaraIyer.

  • Poochiisbestknownforseveralvarnams

    including"ninnukori"inMohanam.Thesong

    "Sadguruswamike'composedbyhimwas

    dedicatedtoSaintThyagaraja.

    PalghatKVNarayanswamycarriedonthe

    traditionofAriyakudi.

    ---------------------------

    MysoreVasudevachariar[1865-1961]

    AnotherillustriousstudentofPattinam

    SubramaniyaIyer,Vasudevachariarwasfully

    supportedbyMaharajaofMysorewhenhe

    studiedwithSubramanyaIyer.Healso

    learnedmusicinearlyyearsfromVeena

    PadmanabhiahinMysore.Laterhebecamethe

    courtmusician[AsthanaVidwan]atMysore

    wherehestayedformostofhislife.He

    spentthelastyearsatKalakshetra,Adyar,

  • Chennai,whereTigerVaradachariarandhis

    studentMDRamanathanalsotaught.

    Withmudra'vasudeva'hecomposednearly200

    songs.Hissongswerealwaystouchedwith

    deepnuancesofdevotionandmelodious

    rhythm.Towardstheend,hewrotehisown

    autobiography[inKannada,]whichisarare

    practiceformusiccomposersandmusicians.

    Healsocompiledhissongsinabook;

    "VasudevaKirtanaManjari".

    Someofhisfamoussongsarethefollowing:

    --BrocheVarevarura[Kamaj]

    --MamavatuSriSaraswati[Hindolam]

    --Rararajeevalochana[Mohanam]

    --SriChamundeswari[Bilahari]

    Healsocomposedseveralvarnams,javalisand

    thillanas.

  • KaviYogiSuddhanandaBharati[1897-1990]

    AfreedomfighterandacloseassociateofV

    VSIyer,SSatyamurthiandBGTilak,

    SuddhanandaBharatiiscreditedwith

    thousandsofsongsincludingsongsfor72

    melakartharagas.

    HelivedclosetoNerurandusedtoprayat

    thesamadhiofSadashivaBrahmendra.

    HealsotooklotofinterestinChristian

    teachings.

    Hisepicpoem"BharataSakti"awakened

    peopleforfreedomstruggle.Helivedfor

    manyyearsatPuducherryincloseproximity

    toSriAurobindo.Hisfamouscompositions

    include:

    --EppadiPadinaroAyya[bhimpilasi]

  • --Kannaneenkanavan[kalyani]

    --ThookiyaThiruvadi[sankarabharanam].

    NeelakantaSivan[1839-1900]

    NeelakantanlivedinPadmanabhapuram,the

    oldcapitalofTravancorestate[near

    Trivandrum].Heservedasvillagemagistrate

    fornearly15years.Thenhehadavisionof

    GoddessEaswariandwrote"Thiruneelakanta

    Dasakam".Hecomposednearly2000kirtanas.

    Hecalledhimself"Neelakantadasan".Then

    hebecameawanderingminstrel--hevisited

    severalSivatemplesandsangsongsineach

    temple.Hewasevenconsideredasthe64th

    'nayanmar'bysomedevotees.

    Hisfamouscompositionsinclude:

    --Anandanatanamaduvarthillai

  • [purvikalyani]

    --OruArumughane[reetigowlam]

    --EnraikkuSivakripaivarumo[mukhari]

    HisillustriousdisciplewasPapanasam

    Sivan.

    --------------------------------------

    PapanasamSivan[1890-1973]

    Hewasalsoknownas"TamilThyagaraja"--a

    fittingtitleforhisprodigiousoutputof

    Tamilcompositions.BorninTanjore

    district,hespentsomeyearsatTrivandrum.

    LaterhesettledinMylapore,Chennaiand

    wasdevotedtoKapalaeeswarartemple.

    HisearlysongswrittenforTamildevotional

    movies,sungbyMKThyagarajaBhagavatar,D

    KPattammalandMSSubbulakshmi,were

    extremelypopular.Hewasoftenseenin

  • templeprocessionsleadingthemusical

    troupeinMylapore.

    SomeofthegreatsongsofPapanasamSivan,

    madefamousbyMaduraiManiIyer,arethe

    following:

    ---KavavaKandha[varali]

    --KanaKanKodivendum[Kambodhi]

    --Ennathavamseithanai,Yasodha[Kaapi]

    -------------------------------------

    Othercomposersandsingers

    Wemaybrieflyconsiderothercomposersand

    singersindirectlyinfluencedbytheTrinity

    andtheirdisciples.

    KancheepuramNayinaPillaihaddistinct

    styleandhewasarepositoryofhundredsof

    songscomposedbyThygaraja.Hemighthave

  • collectedthesongsfromWalajapetschool.

    Thoughhislifewasshort,hedevelopeda

    'NainaPillaischool'whichgrewwithhis

    disciplessuchasChittorSubramaniamPillai

    andhisdiscipleMaduraiSomasundaram.Naina

    PillaialsotaughtTBrinda,granddaughter

    ofVeenaiDhanammalhundredsofThygaraja's

    kritis.DKPattammallearnedmanypallavis

    fromNainaPillaiwhomsheadmiredsomuch

    andemulatedhisstyle.DKPwasoften

    called"PallaviPattammal".

    TheinfluenceofVeenaiDhanammalis

    pervasiveinCarnaticmusic.Hermother

    TanjoreKamakshilearnedfromSubbaraya

    Sastry,sonofSyamasastrigal.The

    distinctivestyle,knownas"Dhanammal

    bani",withslowrenderingwithgamakamin

  • Veena,[alsocalled"sankyamusicorrelaxed

    music,]wasreverentlyfollowedbymany

    singersandveenaplayers.TBrindaandT

    Mukta,granddaughtersofDhanammal,and

    theirsiblingsdevelopedadistinctstyle

    ,thoughfastpacedmusicwassoonbecoming

    popular.

    RamnadKrishnan(1918-1973)andTKGovinda

    Raowereothersingersinfluencedby

    DhanammalstylethroughTBrinda.Ramnad

    Krishnanearnedtheepithet-"amusician's

    musician".

    RangaRamanujaIyengarwhocompiled'Krithi

    ManiMalai'andalsowrote"Historyof

    CarnaticMusic",wasanardentdiscipleof

    Dhanammalandkeptamarblestatueofher

    inhishousewhichIusedtofrequentasa

  • boyinEgmore,Chennai.

    [RRIyengarwas,however,abittercritic

    ofthestylesfollowedbyothermusicians

    thathekepthimselfawayfrommainstream

    musicologistsandmusicians.Hespentafew

    yearsatWesleyanUniversity,Connecticut,

    USAasavisitingprofessor.]

    TKGovindaRaowasguidedbyTBrindaand

    hecompiledmanykritisofDikshitar.His

    studentswereCSarojaandCLalita.

    Onewouldenjoyasimilarslowmovementfrom

    DwaramVenkataswamiNaidu'sstyleofviolin

    performances.Dwaramspentmuchofhislife

    atVizianagaramnearVizgandChennai.

    Likewiseonecandistinguishthestyleof

    ParurSundaramIyeronviolin.Hissweet

    handlingof"manavialakincharathade"in

  • Nalinakantisetthestampofhisstyle.He

    learnednuancesofHindusthanimusicfrom

    suchmastersasPtVishnuDigambarPaluskar

    andPtOmkarnathThakur.HisnephewMS

    GopalaKrishnanwastoextendthisstyle.

    -------------------------------------------

    GNBalasubramanian[1910-1965],popularly

    knownasGNB,cametomusicaftercollege

    studies;helearnedsomeformalinstruction

    atAnnamalaiandMadrasuniversities,

    partlyfromTigerVaradachariar.Hetook

    Ariyakudiashis'manasikaguru'.Hewould

    develophisownstylewithswaraprasthara

    andlaterintroduced'sruthibedam'inabig

    way.Hehad250compositionstohiscredit.

    HisforemostdisciplewasMLVasantakumari.

    Hisstyleorbaniisbeingcarriedon

  • byhisearnestdisciplessuchasThrisur

    RamachandranandMLV'sdisciple,Sudha

    Raghunathan,amongothers.

    SomeofthewellknowncompositionsofGNB

    arethefollowing:

    --bhuvanatraya--[mohanam]

    --gathivaravarama[bhairavi]

    --kavalaiellam[saraswati]

    --needhayaradha[andolika]

    -------------------------------------

    MMDandapaniDesikar(1908-1972)

    HewasborninNannilamandwasa

    discipleofManickaDesikarandlaterKumbakonam

    RajamanickamPillai,anotedviolinistwho

    accompaniedalmostallstalwartslikeAriyakudi,

    MMIandGNB.Desikarcomposedseveralkritisin

    TamilandusedtosingwithfervorinTamilIsai

  • VizhainChennaieveryyear.Hehadsungafew

    songsofPapanasamSivanformovies.[Alisting

    ofhiscompositions,compiledbyLakshman

    Regde,isavailableintheInternet.]

    PeriasamyThooran[1908-1987]

    composednearly700songs.Hewasbornin

    Erodeandwasactiveinfreedomstruggle.He

    wasaclosefriendofPalghat(KV)

    NarayanaswamyandTVSankaranarayanan,

    nephewofMMI.

    Hisfamouscompositionsinclude:

    --Kaliyugavaradan[Brindavanasaranga]

    ---Punniyamorukoti[Keeravani]

    --Samaganapriye[AnandaBhairavi]

    --Muruga,Muruga{Saveri]

    --Engunaanselvenayya[Kedaram]

  • MDRamanathan[1923-1984]

    ThisillustriousstudentofTiger

    Varadachariar,ateacherinKalakshetra

    wherehestudiedearlier,wasagreat

    musicianandalsoagiftedcomposer.He

    composedmorethan200songs.Severalofhis

    compositionsaresunginthepasttwo

    decades.Somewererecordedinhisownbass

    voice:

    --Saagarasayenavibho[Bageshri]

    --Dandapani[Ramapriya]

    --Dharmavati[Dharmavati]

    --Ennakutramseytheyno[Huseni]

    --------------------------------------------

    MahakaviSubramaniaBharatiar(1882-1921)

    ThislistingwillbeincompleteifIdonot

    mentionSubramaniaBharatiar.Besides

  • patrioticsongs,hehadcomposedseveral

    devotionalsongs.HissongonGoddess

    Saraswati,popularisedbyMaduraiManiIyer,

    "Vellaithamaraipooviliruppal"[bimpilasi]

    hadbeenafavouriteofmanysingers.His

    songsdevotedtoShaktiarefieryin

    diction.DKPattammalsetthetunesfor

    manyofBharatiar'ssongs.

    Prologue

    Iamawareoftheseriouslimitationsof

    thisarticlewhichdoesnotincludeseveral

    othercomposersandmusicianswithgreat

    styleor'bani'oftheirown.Ihavenot

    mentionedthegreateffortsofviolinists

    ,veenaandfluteplayersorthetalavidwans

    andnadaswaravidwans.

  • Manyofthedatesandevenyearofbirth

    ofsomecomposersarenotknownwith

    certainty.Muchresearchwithhistorical

    primarydocumentsisrequired.

    Therearemanysaintswhosecompositions

    areregularlysung[forinstance,Andal's

    'Thiruppavai'songs,otherAlwars,thoseof

    Vallalar[RamalingaAdigal]andthoseof

    Arunagirinatharandnayanmars]whichIhave

    notdiscussedhere.Inmostcases,some

    informationcanbegleanedfromreligious

    literature.

    Therearecertainstyleslikethatderived

    fromdancemasters,nadaswarammasterslike

    TNRajarathinamPillaiandKarukurichi

    Arunachalam,andfolksongstraditions

  • [example:siddharpadalgal]andkuravanji

    formats;theseformadifferentclassof

    compositionsanddeserveaseparate

    article.]

    Thereisaneedforreprintingorcompiling

    ofseveralbookspublishedpreviouslyby

    smallpublishersorselfpublishedbysome

    authors.Manybooksaredifficulttogather

    sinceseveralpublishershadclosedtheir

    offices.

    Ifthisarticlehelpsinsomewaystudents

    andloversofCarnaticmusicanywhereinthe

    world,Iwouldfeelamplyrewardedformy

    efforts.

    Note:Constructivecommentsonthisarticle

    aremostwelcome.Contact:

    nenmelisrinivasan@gmail.com

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