Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Carnatic composers (other than performing vidwans)
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keerthi
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#301

Post by keerthi » 13 Aug 2009, 20:58

srinivasrgvn wrote: can you be a bit more specific as to why 'akhilAndEshwari' is a spuriously attributed composition? I just need details about this one kriti.
all my speculations are exactly that, and are all debatable, I'm sure.. i am terribly embarrassed by having to discuss the pedigree of songs.. i feel kind of guilty when I indulge in heresies such as this - 'spurious krti witch-hunt'.. as if I were questioning the honesty of our ancient/recent musicians and teachers..

These are the reasons why I would say that akhilAndEshwari is a misattribution..



1. the use of the word 'sArade' - nowhere in his other krti-s(AFAIK) has MD used the word sArada to allude to pArvati/dEvi.. When he has used it, it has been to refer to sarasvati alone..


2. most of MD's songs, if referring to a specific ksEtra deity, and not a generic ViSNu or muruga or gaNEsa, will have atleast a few other references to the ksEtra.. If this song is on akhilANDEswari, the goddess in the tiru-Anai-kAval kSEtra, near trichy, where also there is jambukEswara, it is strange that there is no other reference to the temple/river/tank/festivals/consort/local legends etc, as is MD's wont..

3.In this song you have words like jambhAri, lambOdara, lambalaka, the rhythm pattern of which easily allow for the inclusion of jambUpati/jambukEsha which is the name of akhilAnDEswari's consort.. {Even shama shAstri mentions this in shankari sham kuru}


nikhilalOkanityAtmike is a questionable construct, and doesn't make very coherent sense..

ditto lambAlakOdbhAvite/bhAsitE hasite ..
girish_a wrote: Feeling sad that Akhilandesari is not an MD kriti. Was listening to it just this morning.
How will the possibility of it not being a MD song reduce/detract the pleasure you get by listening to it..
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Sangeet Rasik
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#302

Post by Sangeet Rasik » 07 Sep 2009, 02:34

Dear Rasiks,

Efforts to distinguish "spurious" kritis usually are based on premises/assumptions that:

1) the composer *must* have applied a "consistent" style of a certain "quality" and "type" (oddly enough, these "rules" are usually imposed by post-composition commentators than by the composer himself who may have had different ideas)

2) compositions were "set in stone" the first time and thereafter waere never returned to, improved, altered or polished.

Unfortunately human behavior is too complex to satisfy these simplistic assumptions. Only the reception of the Rgveda was "as is". What we have of it today is most likely to be "as received". Everything else after that from then to now is subject to the vagaries of human behavior. Music is no different.

Those who identify certain kritis of MD as "spurious" on grounds of "quality" don't seem to have any problem with his setting the "white man's military tunes" to some simple sahityas. Persons engaging in this type of activities are traditionally defined as "madhyama/adhama vaggeyakara". So if MD was capable of engaging in such activities, the basic assumptions above regarding "style" and "quality" appear to be rather shaky.

It is however helpful to identify the root causes of the present uncertainties -

1) lack of authentic historical record and critique
2) lack of "down-to-earth" biographical details pertaining to the compositional habits of the individual (not the strong suit of "bhakti"-based cultural environments)
3) tendency to elevate composers like MD and T to "saintly" status thereby overlooking realities of human behavior, and at the same time to dispute contributions of more "earthly" folks (e.g., the controversy over "authenticity" of ST compositions).

It may very well be that some kritis are "spurious", but this can only be gleaned from a factual record of reliable quality. If that does not exist, it's time to move on and let these matters of the past RIP. Let us therefore make sure the work of contemporary/future composers is correctly attributed and recorded.

Best Wishes,
SR

PS: Keerthi - in case there is any doubt: this post is not directed negatively at your posts. There are numerous suggestions of "spurious" compositions of past composers based on similar methods of deduction. After looking at these in some detail, I believe they cannot provide useful information.
Last edited by Sangeet Rasik on 07 Sep 2009, 02:48, edited 1 time in total.
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keerthi
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#303

Post by keerthi » 07 Sep 2009, 09:23

SR-ji,

I find your post extremely fair-minded and reasonable; and agree with many of your observations..

You have enumerated the causes for the uncertainties admirably..
However, I respectfully disagree with your final comment that they cannot provide useful information.. Such researches and analyses are necessary to sustain a certain intellectual honesty.. this is a matter in which I am more convinced, than I am articulate, and will need to spend time to prepare an argument for my stance..

However, there is the alternate issue of quality control.. Leave aside the matter of 'genuine' and 'spurious'.. Even if we assume that all the songs with one signature, are by the same composer; is it not possible to judge the compositions vis-a-vis their literary, musical and other aesthetic components.. ?
It is not strictly necessary that all of a vAggEyakAra-s pieces were his/her best.. could we not consider the appraisal activity, for its role in a well-rounded critical evaluation of the compositions..?
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raviraj
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#304

Post by raviraj » 07 Sep 2009, 13:42

srinivasrgvn wrote: can you be a bit more specific as to why 'akhilAndEshwari' is a spuriously attributed composition?
Just on the limited question of Akhilandeshvari in Dvijavanthi :

Let me advance another argument why Akhilandeshvari may not be("is not"?) MD's composition. Justice T L Venkatrama Iyer in his book on MD published by National Book Trust, without mincing words says pointedly that Ceta Sri is Dikshitar's "solitary" composition in that raga. Mark the word "solitary" as used more so as it comes from a honorable/renowned member of the Bar/ the tribe who always tellingly use words , especially so in writing :-)

Apart from the lyrical aspect, the melodic setting of the composition in contra distinction to Ceta Sri, seems to be more contemporary, making us wonder if indeed the composition or atleast its setting was the handiwork of u-know-who ;-)

Raj
Last edited by raviraj on 07 Sep 2009, 13:45, edited 1 time in total.
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srinivasrgvn
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#305

Post by srinivasrgvn » 07 Sep 2009, 14:13

-
Last edited by srinivasrgvn on 28 Dec 2009, 08:25, edited 1 time in total.
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s_hari
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#306

Post by s_hari » 07 Sep 2009, 14:58

SSI's rendition is one of the best i have heard

http://sangeethamshare.org/kumar/Vocal/ ... etasri.mp3

-hari
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Sangeet Rasik
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#307

Post by Sangeet Rasik » 10 Sep 2009, 10:27

Keerthi,
keerthi wrote:However, I respectfully disagree with your final comment that they cannot provide useful information..
Yes, I think you are right. "No useful information" is probably too strong a statement. I meant to say that I don't think it would lead to resolution of the "spuriousness" issues. I do agree, they will find a number of interesting bylanes even if they don't find the highway.
Such researches and analyses are necessary to sustain a certain intellectual honesty..
I am in full agreement. At one time I was very interested in this subject. But as I mentioned, intellectual honesty led me to question the basic assumptions of this mode of analysis (as I have mentioned above). I think the best solution is to find factual evidence, e.g. a manuscript of the disputed composition clearly attributing it to a different composer. All is not lost on this front. For example, other composers in the Travancore court used the "padmanabha" mudra - such as Ravivarman Tampi and Paramesvara Bhagavatar. Previously there was confusion in some quarters regarding authorship of some compositions, but I believe relevant manuscripts were available and dispelled this confusion. BMK and Semmangudi were given several compositions from ST manuscripts and have "tuned" several of them.
is it not possible to judge the compositions vis-a-vis their literary, musical and other aesthetic components.. ? It is not strictly necessary that all of a vAggEyakAra-s pieces were his/her best.. could we not consider the appraisal activity, for its role in a well-rounded critical evaluation of the compositions..?
Certainly. Several folks - including myself and Shrikaanth - have mentioned this point regarding "variability" in compositions - or quality control as you call it. Also there was a discussion on "appraisal" or "accreditation" of composers. I think a key aspect is to perhaps refresh/redefine/reinforce the measures of "quality" - both timeless measures as well as genre-/era-specific measures.

There are, of course, ways to keep a tight leash on quality control. But then again composition is an art so I will reserve comments on these aspects. Shravana-manana-nididhyasana will reveal these things to persons who take the time.

SR
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bhavarasa
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#308

Post by bhavarasa » 13 Nov 2009, 03:25

There is a school of thought that says that if the kriti is not there in SSP, then it's not authentic.

While I personally don't think there are 450 kritis that MD composed, I also think that there are a handful (20 or so) that are not in SSP but have the correct grammatical construct (vibhakti) as well as complex prAsam in order to be attributed to Shri MD himself.

In general, I'd beware of songs that have "xyz God/Goddess rakshatu / rakshamAm, namastE, bhajeham" type songs, especially if they are not in SSP. AkhilAndeshwari, gajAmbA nAyakO and some others fall into this category. This could be the work of some of Dikshitar's kallidaikurucchi sishyAs (Anantakrishna Iyer and Vedanta bhAgavathar) and their disciples.

That is not a hard and fast rule though - for e.g., shrI subrahmanyO mAm rakshatu in tOdi has all the splendor, complex beauty and structure to be an MD original.

When it comes to Shri MD, one has to go by TLV and DKP's words. They have learnt directly from Ambi Dikshitar.
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balusatya
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#309

Post by balusatya » 13 Nov 2009, 22:51

bhavarasa wrote:
When it comes to Shri MD, one has to go by TLV and DKP's words. They have learnt directly from Ambi Dikshitar.
I understand SKA S.Rajam has also learnt from Ambi Dikshidar.
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cacm
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#310

Post by cacm » 13 Nov 2009, 23:42

YES! Sri.S.Rajam learnt ALL the VARA KRITIS OF MD commonly called NAVAGRAHA KRITIS directly from AMBI DHIKSHITHAR (apart from other kritis); Actually because of his expertise as well as Padantharam almost all the vidwans of the Golden Era learnt them from him. In the book"Mythologies, Mysteries, Modern Facts of the Nine Planets" I co-authored with him the highlights are his paintings of the planets & a SPECIAL CD of his recordings of the Navagraha Kritis (without accompaniments) to bring out the music, poetry, lyrical beauty as well as the creativity of MD. VKV
Last edited by cacm on 13 Nov 2009, 23:44, edited 1 time in total.
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bhavarasa
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#311

Post by bhavarasa » 14 Nov 2009, 03:54

@balusatya, Yes, you are correct. Interestingly, the other Rajam Iyer, Shri B. Rajam Iyer learnt his MD kritis from TLV.

The article below is quite illuminating on this topic:

http://www.carnatica.net/special/dikshitarsishyas.htm

archives.chennaionline.com/music/carnaticmusic/2004/319th.asp

http://archives.chennaionline.com/music ... /324th.asp
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narayan
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#312

Post by narayan » 06 Dec 2009, 22:57

Some specific queries on spurious Dikshitar songs that are floating around, and some of which are sung by quite respectable folks. So if it is possible classify them and then move on in life, I'd like to do so. If this is already common knowledge, I would appreciate a pointer or two. Dumbed down answers welcome!

Some of the songs that I have in mind are
Rangapuravihara - Brindavanasaranga
Akhilandeswari - Dwijavanti - for which an analysis appears earlier
Sri Krishnam bhaja manasa - Todi - also analyzed earlier here
Abhayamba - Sahana and others
Annapurne visalakshi - Sama
and quite a few more which do not appear in the SSP.

Paradevata in Dhanyasi and other such seem quite grand and I could be persuaded that Dikshitar composed it. But the rule pointed out by Dr Shrikaanth says that the lengths of the first syllable vowel should match. So Paradevata (pallavi) and Shaarada rama (anupallavi) go against this. I have heard some arguments based on the quality of the lyrics (Akhilandeswari and others) and also the physical history of Dikshitar's wanderings (e.g. did he visit Guruvayoor). Here I admit that I am not a Sanskrit student, and have little or no knowledge of kshetras and other pointers to the content. I'm mostly interested in the ragas to the extent that I can follow them. So in these songs, I would like to get the words right and know the composer.

In this context, Sri Muladhara in Sri ragam (at least the way I've been taught it) does not follow the second consonant rule (Srimuladhara - Mula agyaana etc) - this is how it appears in the SSP transcription on
http://www.ibiblio.org/guruguha/ssp_cakram1-4.pdf
Any clarifications on this?

My general questions are:

a) Is there any song NOT in the SSP that is accepted by the pundits as Dikshitar's? The sources of Dikshitar songs that I have seen at some point are the 15 vol set of Sundaram Iyer, the 3rd vol of the KMM (which I don't seem to see these days) and the compilation by T.K.Govinda Rao. Do any of these discuss this controversy at all?

b) Who composed all these other songs, in approx Dikshitar format, (but glaringly substandard to the experts)? I'm quite OK once the composer is identified, as I believe is the case with Needu charanamule and Nata jana paripala in Simhendramadhyamam.

This issue was in mind for a long time, but things came to a head on reading the blogpost on People for Ethical Treatment of Dikshitar kritis, which appears in http://themememe.blogspot.com/2009/10/p ... ation.html
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bhavarasa
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#313

Post by bhavarasa » 08 Dec 2009, 04:36

narayan wrote: My general questions are:

a) Is there any song NOT in the SSP that is accepted by the pundits as Dikshitar's? The sources of Dikshitar songs that I have seen at some point are the 15 vol set of Sundaram Iyer, the 3rd vol of the KMM (which I don't seem to see these days) and the compilation by T.K.Govinda Rao. Do any of these discuss this controversy at all?

b) Who composed all these other songs, in approx Dikshitar format, (but glaringly substandard to the experts)? I'm quite OK once the composer is identified, as I believe is the case with Needu charanamule and Nata jana paripala in Simhendramadhyamam.

This issue was in mind for a long time, but things came to a head on reading the blogpost on People for Ethical Treatment of Dikshitar kritis, which appears in http://themememe.blogspot.com/2009/10/p ... ation.html
Answer to a) Shri SubrahmanyO mAm rakshatu is one such song that does not appear under janatOdi in SSP but is generally accepted as a MD kriti.

Answer to b) My understanding is that a lot of the clones came from the Kallidaikurucchi disciples of MD and SD. Shri VedAnta BhAgavatar and Shri Anantakrishna Iyer. Now, they could be doing this simply out of reverence to their guru/grand-guru and not out of any personal agenda. But nevertheless, as you rightly pointed out, they are substandard compared to the original.
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narayan
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#314

Post by narayan » 25 Dec 2009, 10:37

Thanks, bhavarasa. Just to correct the impression that I think the lyrics of any of the other songs are substandard. I do not know enough (or any?) Sanskrit to come to such a judgement, but others who are knowledgeable have said so. Happy to know that Sri Subrahmanyo mam rakshatu is legit!
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rajeshnat
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#315 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by rajeshnat » 19 Mar 2010, 12:03

I may go this weekend to tiruvarur. I do know there is a memorial for MD there at tiruvarur.Can some one guide me how to go to that place in tiruvArur, any landmarks etc will help.
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rajeshnat
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#316 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by rajeshnat » 23 Mar 2010, 13:38

...
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harimau
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#317 Re:

Post by harimau » 08 Jun 2010, 17:56

bhaktha wrote:I am told that there's kriti of Shri Dikshitar's in which there is a mention about a tsunami that affected a particular town....which kriti is it?
-bhaktha
In case nobody has answered this question:

The kriti in question is "Soundara rajam asraye" in Brindavani.

It contains the words "ambudhi garva nigraham" meaning, "He quelled the pride of the sea". Perhaps this is a reference to a tsunami in earlier times which might have damaged Nagappattinam but did not damage the Soundararaja Perumal temple.
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rshankar
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#318 Re: Re:

Post by rshankar » 08 Jun 2010, 19:04

harimau wrote: "ambudhi garva nigraham" meaning, "He quelled the pride of the sea".
I always assumed that this is a reference to the episode in the rAmAyaNam where Sri rAma waits for 3 days asking the ocean's help to cross over to lankA, and in the end when his patience exhausted he takes up his bow and an gets ready to shoot an arrow into the ocean to dry it up the King of the Ocean comes to his senses and begs forgiveness, and offers up the unique talents of nala and nIla to make the bridge of floating stones across the strait...
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harimau
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#319 Re: Re:

Post by harimau » 09 Jun 2010, 10:20

rshankar wrote: "ambudhi garva nigraham" meaning, "He quelled the pride of the sea".

I always assumed that this is a reference to the episode in the rAmAyaNam where Sri rAma waits for 3 days asking the ocean's help to cross over to lankA, and in the end when his patience exhausted he takes up his bow and an gets ready to shoot an arrow into the ocean to dry it up the King of the Ocean comes to his senses and begs forgiveness, and offers up the unique talents of nala and nIla to make the bridge of floating stones across the strait...
Sri Muthuswami Deekshithar was quite particular in getting the details of the sthala puranam relating to the temple correct in the krithis he composed about places of pilgrimage.

In tracing the route of Lord Rama through South India, there is no history of Him having visited Nagappattinam.

However, the village of Thiruppullani near Rameswaram has a temple to Darbha Sayana Rama. Legend has it that Lord Rama lay on a bed of darbha grass here waiting for the lord of the seas to grant him an easy path to build the Sethu to Lanka.

The Narayanagowlai krithi "Sri Ramam Raghukulabdhi Somam" references this where the words "kuvalaya nayanam su-darbha sayanam" occur in the charanam.

Based on this, one may assume that the krithi "Soundara Rajam" possibly references an occurrence of a tsunami in the distant past.
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ksrimech
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#320 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by ksrimech » 09 Jun 2010, 23:31

Both nAgapaTTinam and tiruppullANi are AzhvAr pADal peRRa divya kSEtrams.
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keerthi
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#321 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by keerthi » 10 Jun 2010, 07:09

In tyagarAja's song on the the nAgapattinam deity nIlAyatAkSI, 'karmamE balavantamAya talli kAyArOhaNa-jAyA'; he refers to how she subdued the arrogance of the ocean, who 'wished' to enter into the land at nagapaTTinaM.

It may be a series of legends associated with this coastal town, that various local deities, protect the townsfolk from the rage of the ocean.


nAgapaTTinam nIlAyatAkSI and Kanci varada are two musical celebrities, as the tiruvArUr triumvirate have sung all three.
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ksrimech
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#322 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by ksrimech » 11 Jun 2010, 00:13

Keerti and others, any known recording of sAmini rammana rAvE, Anandabhairavi varNam of SyAmASAStri on tirukacchi varadan? Thank you. :grin:
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keerthi
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#323 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by keerthi » 11 Jun 2010, 11:45

One of my long time efforts has been to trace the Anandabhairavi varNaM of shyAma shAstri. i have asked every vidwAn and scholar i meet, about this one. The information, (fairly futile) that i have gathered about it is here -

1. it is available in print, in Vidya Shankar's collection of Shyama shAstry's songs, and in the appendix of the SSP [with mild variations.]

subsequent publications have a copy of one of these two versions.

2. I heard, and confirmed from Sri cienu that SMt. MSS had learnt this one from Semmangudi; and have performed it; but no recording is traceable.

3. R.K.Sriramkumar told me that PaTTamAL had sung it from VijayawaDa radio for a special SS commemorative concert. Needless to say, no recording exists.

4.Smt. Saraswathi Vidyarthi, music lecturer at vijaywada, presented a paper, and wrote an article, about the varnam in the Dec 2008 Music academy sessions/ journal.

5. more recently, R.N.Srilatha, a senior respected musician from Mysore, sister of the Rudrapatnam brothers, conducted a workshop in Mumbai, where she taught this, and other uncommon krti-s of ShyAma shAstri.

Hope springs eternal, and some day we will lay our hands on a pAThAntaraM.

I learnt it off the notation; and can tell you that it is an amazing composition, which has enough material for a doctoral thesis in itself.
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rajeshnat
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#324 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by rajeshnat » 08 Oct 2010, 11:34

Nice writeup on kamalAmbanavaavarna
http://www.hindu.com/fr/2010/10/08/stor ... 130400.htm
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srikant1987
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#325 Re: Mutthuswamy Dikshithar (Krithis)

Post by srikant1987 » 08 Oct 2010, 17:24

5. more recently, R.N.Srilatha, a senior respected musician from Mysore, sister of the Rudrapatnam brothers, conducted a workshop in Mumbai, where she taught this, and other uncommon krti-s of ShyAma shAstri.
Then you can go to her ... or maybe RKS or Rudrapatnam bros know that too. ;)
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