D.K.Pattammal’s Centenary Year

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#1 D.K.Pattammal’s Centenary Year

Post by RasikasModerator1 » 08 Apr 2019, 08:48

This is D.K.Pattammal’s Centenary Year. We will keep this thread for mainly posting reviews about her when she was a young vidhushi. We can merge this thread with the DKP thread later depending on how this thread evolves.
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#2 Re: D.K.Pattammal’s Centenary Year

Post by arasi » 08 Apr 2019, 09:31

KALKI's Reviews on A Young Singer Called D.K.Pattammal
We loved her music, we loved her. How did the little girl from Kanchipuram grow into a megastar in CM, with dignity and majesty as her assets?
The distinguished tamizh author Kalki also wrote super music reviews, first in the weekly Anandavikatan which he edited, and then in the magazine Kalki of which he was the editor. Thanks to Pasupathy, he has unearthed reviews from the 1930-s which he had published in his blog and has brought to the Nostalgia thread in our Languages forum. Here is the translation, for those who cannot read tamizh...
Pasupathy says: of all the reviews about Pattammal, those which are refreshing and unforgettable are the ones written by Kalki. She was also the one who first sang Kalki's compositions in concerts and on records.

Here's what Kalki wrote about her concert in 1936 in Anandavikatan:

Young artistes sang both at the Academy and at the Congress Exhibition this year. The one who stood out among them was D.K. Pattammal. I heard her for the first time in Jagannatha Bhaktha Sabha last month. She sang surprisingly well. In the manner of some of the front liners in the business, she sings grand Dikshitar kritis in chauka kAla--all with azhuttam and depth to boot! Along with vidvat, she has a sweet voice. She sings with a smile and with ease which shows no strain. I expect that in the future, she would become famous.
(from Chunda's book on Kalki; Ponniyin Pudalvan)

Then, on 4-1-1936, Kalki/KarnATakam (the pen name he used for his reviews) wrote a long piece in Anandavikatan, praising her once more :


The new star on the music firmament this year is D.K.PattammaL. She is singing in one sabha or the other in Chennai these days. Her concert at Mylapore Sangeetha Sabha and Gokhale Hall reinforced the hope I had about her singing earlier this year.
Rasikatva is alive and well in south India. Anyone with vidvat is bound to succeed now. Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer is a prime example of this. Three years ago, he wasn't able to sing at both the festivals in town. Now they are vying to see who can book him first! It indicates that rasikas have a big say in it. If Semmangudi is an example for it. Pattammal in a small way proves the point as well.
We are familiar with the fact that congress leader S. Satyamurthy is crazy about carnatic music. In the legislature, seeing a fellow member reclining in his seat next to him, he started singing, 'En paLLi koNDIr aiyyA?'. Satyamurthy has certain fixed opinions about music and has no qualms about airing them. Last year at the Congress music festival, he said: only women should give concerts. Men better not. They can teach music though! He cited a sanskrit verse to substantiate his point. It meant that only the female voice has sweetness!
Some agree with him. But others might reject this."Siva, sivA! Do you call that music, these women carrying on in a 'vazha vazhA, kuzha kuzhA (pointless ) fashion? tALam is vEtALam (bEtAl, also means demon in tamizh). Can music exist without tALa?" they agonize.
I think that both these factions are bound to feel happy when they hear Pattammal's music. Even those who believe that women can only sing at nalangu and Unjal in weddings will change their minds on hearing her.
Fine singing activates the pleasure of hearing, stimulates the mind and adds rich feelings to the heart. Well-founded beginnings of it all these qualities are found in Pattammal's music. Sweetness and majesty are mingled in her voice. It is rare indeed for a woman to have such a voice.
I have already said that opinions differ about what qualifies as a pleasing voice.High pitched voices seem so to some. Not to others. They prefer deep voices which produce two shades of sounds. Yet, others disregard such voices as nasal (mUkkAle pADugiRadu)!
Only a handful of singers are gifted with voices which appeal to all.Rare too, when it comes to women singers. Srimati Jayamma, mother of Srimati Balasaraswathi possesses such a voice. Pattammal as well. Her voice is not high-pitched, but has such a pleasing bhAva to it. It is suitable both for fast brigAs in durita kAla and also for lingering on in chauka kAla passages. Her voice has majesty, and it can be heard even in big halls to the very last rows.


Pattamma's Sruti and laya are faultless. In the way she handles svarAs, in her art of tAla, we see some rare details. When she sings a svarajati, her handling of vakra svarAs are dealt with sweetly, just as in Sri. Rajarathinam's playing of the nAdasvaram. A four kaLai pallavi, she starts at the third akshara and sings it in all three kAlas. From chatuSra naDai to tiSra naDai she shifts. This is some talent, indeed! The very thing which brought the late Nayana pillai lasting fame. As far as tAla goes, she seems to follow him.
We also see another quality in her. She has the capacity to imbibe the talents of some high ranking vidvAns. The songs I have relished listening to sung by srimAns Nayana Pillai, Ariyakudi, Musiri and Semmangudi are captured by a camera as it were by her, and then are sung by her in an inspired way. Anyone who doesn't possess her talent would sound merely imitative which would make us chuckle. With her talent, she employs the rich expressions of the masters in her singing and makes them her own. These 'photo' songs are proof enough of her ardor and effort in making their music a part of her own singing. They all have different pANis which are at odds at times of course, but she trains hard and succeeds in her efforts which is a wonderful thing, indeed!

BhAva of the Heart

What you do not see, even in famed vidvAns (the exceptions are just a few) is bhAva of the heart in their music. Such bhAva cannot be expected in a young artiste. We have hopes in her, even in this aspect. She pays special attention to sAhitya and pronounces the aksharAs meticulously, fully understanding the content of the sAhitya. We hear her blending words with music well which makes us realize that all the very features which we expect in topnotch singing is contained in her singing.
There are hurdles in the music business for those who become popular at a young age. They get many chances to sing, get praised endlessly by those around them. It sometimes can result in their not having the impetus to listen to fine senior vidvAns. They may, after reaching a certain level, stagnate in their learning. Our hope and plea is that such a thing does not happen in the case of Pattammal. So far, I don't see any signs at all for that to happen. In the past year, we have observed the way in which she has soared.
Munnu rAvaNa, SivE pAhimAm, mAnasa guruguha, akshaya linga vibhO are gaining more polish now in her singing. Her AlApanAs in kalyANi, jaganmOhini, malayamArutam and more are gaining finesse. In the above-mentioned two concerts,
kOtiswara Iyer's vAraNa mukha in hamsadhwani and aiyyanE enai ATkoL meyyanE in khAmboji just sparkled. If she carries on like this, there is no doubt that Pattammal will gain a special place in the music world.
(From Sarigama padani Dec 2000 Issue)


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#3 Re: D.K.Pattammal’s Centenary Year

Post by rshankar » 08 Apr 2019, 20:09

Thank you Arasi, for that sparkling translation, especially for those that do not or cannot read SrI Pasupathy’s posts.!
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#4 Re: D.K.Pattammal’s Centenary Year

Post by RSR » 09 Apr 2019, 20:12

The best period of DKP in my opinion, ( I am a 'plate' rasika and not a concert rasika) was from 1940 ( she was 21 then) to 1950. My first exposure to her music was through her patriotic songs ( of Subramanya Barathy). Best combination of noble theme, great poetry, wonderful ragam, orchestartion and rendering,. from 1945.to 1950 All the songs are in tamizh.
1) entahiyum thaayum எந்தையும் தாயும்
(2) thondru nikazhnthu anaitthum uNarnthidu-தொன்று நிகழ்ந்தது அனைத்தும்
( 3) thaayin maNikkodi paareer -தாயின் மணிக்கொடி பாரீர்
4) aaduvome paaduvome ஆடுவோமே
(5) vetri ettu thikkum etta kottu murase வெற்றி எட்டுத் திக்கும் எட்ட
( 6) baaratha samudhaayam vaazhkave ....பாரத சமுதாயம் வாழ்கவே
and a few more gems from Barathy like
'(7) chinnanchiru kiLiye சின்னஞ்சிறு கிளியே கண்ணம்மா
(8) theertha viLaiyaattu piLLai . .தீராத விளையாட்டுப் பிள்ளை
. Most popular pure classical songs in those years were
(1) eppadip paadinaro எப்படிப் பாடினாரோ
(2) maanasa guru guha (sanskri) மானஸ குரு குஹ
(3) thookkiya thiruvadi தூக்கிய திருவடி துணை
(4) thaNikai vaLar saravanabavaa தணிகை வளர்
(5)maamava pattaabhi raama மாமவ பட்டாபி ராமா
(6) maamava maadhava devaa krushba மாமவ மாதவ தேவ கிருஷ்ணா
(7) saanthi nilava vendum (on Gandhiji) .சாந்தி நிலவ வேண்டும்
Many have been posted to youtuee.
-----vintage songs..mostly out of circulation now.
enakkunniru padham Ninaikka varam aruLvay from film Ramarajyam I am afraid is lost for ever. Tragic! ..sites.google.com/site/dkpattammalsongs
Last edited by RSR on 09 Apr 2019, 20:31, edited 1 time in total.
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#5 Re: D.K.Pattammal’s Centenary Year

Post by RSR » 09 Apr 2019, 20:22

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#6 Re: D.K.Pattammal’s Centenary Year

Post by RSR » 23 Apr 2019, 15:12

A wonderful varNam in kedaragowla ragam ( lyrics by papanasam sivan)
swamikku sari evare , chandravadhanan sri krishna swamikku sari evare
just now uploaded. .....hoping that it is right and works.
https://sites.google.com/site/dkpattamm ... ari-evarae
lyrics given in tamil. Will try to transliterare soon.
சுவாமிக்கு சரி எவரே
ஸ்ரீ க்ருஷ்ண ஸ்வாமிக்கு சரி எவரே
சந்திரவதனன் ஸ்ரீ க்ருஷ்ண ஸ்வாமிக்கு சரி எவரே
ஷ்யாம சுந்தர ஜகன்மோஹன லாவண்யன் .
கோமள சரணன் கோபிகா ரமணன்
குளிர்நகை தளிர் நடை பால க்ருஷ்ண ஸ்வாமிக்கு சரி எவரே
பாற்கடல் அதனில் பள்ளி கொண்டவன்
பாரில் நந்த கோபாலனாய் பிறந்து
பால் தயிர் வெண்ணெய் திருடி உண்டவன்
பாதம் பணியும் அன்பர்
பவநோயர வந்தருளும்
என் சரஸ கோபால
சுவாமிக்கு சரி எவரே சந்திரவதனன்
ஸ்ரீ க்ருஷ்ண ஸ்வாமிக்கு சரி எவரே
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