Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Miscellaneous topics on Carnatic music
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MaheshS
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#1 Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by MaheshS » 23 Feb 2018, 01:11

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RSR
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#2 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by RSR » 23 Feb 2018, 10:31

The entire discussion is outdated and irrelevant.. There have been great many changes in the social, economic and political , cultural landscape of Tamilnadu , since 1967. It is five decades now. ..roughly two generations. There is a generation gap even within the same community. so much maligned. ( be it brahmins or non-brahmins). The changes are evident in rural-urban divide, local-diaspora divide, chennai- rural but traditional temple towns in Tamilnadu, above all else, economic disparity. and great changes in family environment. Nuclear families instead of joint families. Large scale migration of brahmins from ancestral villages in Tirunelveli, Madurai, Puthukkottai, Tanjore, Kanchipuram and Salem-Erode-Karur districts first to Mumbai and Delhi and now to Western Countries. The most powerful medium of mass communication, the Cenema and TV has very little presence of brahmins unlike the 1940's .
The 'hate-campaign' must stop. and let us stop speaking ill of Smt.MS. and others of the golden era, which will never come back. Forget everything except the music.
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shankarank
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#3 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by shankarank » 23 Feb 2018, 11:58

Well I don't see why Sanskritization is bad by itself. Sanskritization was done with Sanskrit due to the circumstances and history and the people spearheading it. But we have to view Sanskritization and Sanskrit - the actual language - as two different things!

To gain currency as a fine art ( O.K the word classical is elitist) or a distinct one from pop-art, even in this era - actually especially in this era, any culture has to do a version of Sanskritization - i.e. tamizhization is a form of Sanskritization!
RSR wrote:
23 Feb 2018, 10:31
The entire discussion is outdated and irrelevant
And then about Male Chauvinism shaping artists and their expression - Males are here until children can be created ( selectively females now) from a single parent DNA or two female DNA(s). So females have to deal with them OK!! The technology is very close though - so all of this will be outdated!
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sureshvv
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#4 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by sureshvv » 23 Feb 2018, 14:43

By the way the Carnatic musicians should hang their head in shame for the pathetic state of Thyagaraja’s temple and the pedestrian museum they’ve put up. Oh wait, that was all the munificence of a devadasi. Anyway, I wish they paid a visit to Bach museum at Leipzig and learned how to celebrate a genius.
Clueless! Thyagaraja does not need a shiny museum. Every concert is a tribute to him.
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arasi
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#5 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by arasi » 23 Feb 2018, 15:33

Why musicians alone? How about citizens at large??
True, Sureshvv. Keeping the songs alive and inspirational is a better way than aching over a museum. Living art is better in remembering the source and keeping it alive than a magnificent edifice to honor the great composer.Would please Tyagaraja too, is my guess!
The crown of mahals, we love to visit, a monument to a beloved, agreed. How our amazing moments there inspires us in our own lives in acknowledging the power of love in our living is more vital, I think...
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#6 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by sankark » 23 Feb 2018, 17:32

Yes, skin color matters to a Brahmin
Very bad characteristic/fixation indeed. But then, it is not just Brahmins. Even if all non-fair Brahmins buy skin whitening products, it will remain a niche product. Not a multi-crore business.
The housewife singing bhajans to Krishna or the Bhajanavali customs were specific to Brahmins
A myth rather than real imagined brahmin household, I say. This could have been the custom in about 2-5% of brahmin households, even in the 40s/50s/60s?
Krishna is correct in saying that as the dominant community it behoves
What dominant community? Really.. In what ways is this community dominant community? Numbers, :lol:? Power - please don't make me ROTFL.
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sureshvv
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#7 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by sureshvv » 23 Feb 2018, 18:24

By the way the Carnatic musicians should hang their head in shame for the pathetic state of Thyagaraja’s temple and the pedestrian museum they’ve put up. Oh wait, that was all the munificence of a devadasi. Anyway, I wish they paid a visit to Bach museum at Leipzig and learned how to celebrate a genius.
It is this writer who should hang his head in shame who doesn't have the decency to name the donor who built the temple (NOT a museum) but refers to her back handedly using her caste/profession. Here is hoping he continues to rot in Leipzig.

Feel a bit sorry for TMK. He seems to attract all these malcontents & misfits who flock to his writing, ostensibly to support it, like flies to faeces.
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RSR
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#8 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by RSR » 23 Feb 2018, 20:40

sureshvv wrote
Feel a bit sorry for TMK. He seems to attract all these malcontents & misfits who flock to his writing, ostensibly to support it, like flies to faece
. Apt imagery.
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sureshvv
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#9 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by sureshvv » 23 Feb 2018, 22:44

Aah RSR... Congratulations on the milestone of successfully mastering the quote functionality of rasikas!

Much better than the usual #7 -> :D
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sureshvv
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#10 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by sureshvv » 23 Feb 2018, 22:50

Note how insidiously he places 2 photographs - like a before and after, to demonstrate a metamorphosis.

The 2nd photograph is however, I believe, a photo shot for an ad - may be for imported textile. So really very Brahmanical :D
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RSR
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#11 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by RSR » 23 Feb 2018, 23:29

@9-> a) I am yet to master the technique..b) generally, I avoid quoting, as I feared that it might be rude call to attention. No other intention.
@10-> I read in some web periodical, that the photo of Balasaraswathi and MS was a 'prankish posing' just for fun
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
May be Smt.MS was not very articulate about her political leanings. but right from 1940, ( her marriage with Sri.TS,)
she did not merely 'talk'. The couple had gone to Sabarmathi Ashram in 1940 on way to Calcutta for filming of Savithri . and had taken part in the prayer meeting. She had sung hymns in Bangalore meeting of Gandhiji. . and given many concerts in the cause of Independence movement. .In the case of Smt.D.K.Pattammal , her participation in public meetings of the Congress ( before 1947!) was well known and there was even talk of an arrest warrant being considered for her.! She used to sing , like K.B.SUNDARAMBAL, patrotic songs in the commencement of political meetings. ....Generally, all CM vocalists avoid too much mannerisms on stage. Ladies, more so. , unlike HM artists, The article is a stinking dung heap. ... Best ignored.
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shankarank
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#12 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by shankarank » 24 Feb 2018, 11:40

While the Author makes some customary gestures of fairness towards everybody, the person brings out from within himself and some of the truths he brings out about people , how all of them were positioned epistemically into a framework completely of the outsider.
Added to this are off handed but habitual references to how music was part of their growing up since they’re used to chanting mantras
Why is this only about Brahmins? Isn't this true of everybody who was a musician then? That they were growing up with it? Even those artistes where their family predecessors were not practicing musicians, have grown up with it somehow!
the efforts of some ‘evangelists’ within the Carnatic music fraternity to take music ‘to the masses’
All my writing here has shown how much of music - of the masses - is yet to be recognized by the citadel as music. You see , there was a off hand remark - by a person of again a prominent musician family - about how he would any day go to svAti tirunAL celebration than an Annamacharya one - where the latter has not been well concertified at least into popular practice - may be selected pieces by famous musicians will hold court in their voices - he said he would have figured this out as a 3 year old!

And it was a 7 year old U. Srinivas that was coordinating 4 or 5 percussions! How is a child an elite? Isn't a child the most sub-altern - most downtrodden? Well now don't compare a musician child with a Dalit child. Even the former won't get it unless the elders are regular disciplined practitioners and devoted people! Whoever they may be - dEvadAsis, Brahmins, vELLalars!

If this music of the masses is labelled as Entertainment - then what meaning is left in whatever they want to now, take to the masses?
The promotion of Thyagaraja, significantly, assigned primacy for melody (raga) over tala, the latter labeled as primitive by Subba Rao.
What they thought was one thing - what happened was entirely different - and it went into some non-sensical (primitive shall I say?) modes in terms of sAhitya handling just to have a false sense of rhythmic flow! This failed on two fronts. It first differed from the cited Rhythmic intricacies under the guise of ranjaka flow, but then stuck to it in some non-sensical way affecting even rAgA expression. The way the words are split arbitrarily are justified using svara structure - whether they mean this aids rAga or some rhythmic flow near and dear to their heart is anybody's guess.

This is all again making "notation" as the king. The word sampradaya was turned on it's head.

But it only remained for Diskshitar's kritis to show up before one realized how Thyagaraja was rhythmically heavy!
canonization of Thyagaraja was gaining momentum
M.S. as a dutiful house wife when she’s not on stage and when she’s on stage as one who’s in communication with the divine, is intrinsic to how a listener relates to her music
Americans would ask nowadays - do you work outside the home - yeah?

Sounds like a Church in the making : Canonization! Communication!
Whereas men’s appearances on the Karnatic concert stage vary—pants, veshtis, silk jibbahs, Western-style button-down shirts, hairstyles from topknots to short haircuts—women’s appearances have changed little over the years.
What to do? Men had to deal with the new deal first? They became Christians too fast. Women will follow suit!
Banagalore Nagarathnamma who spent her own money to create a shrine for Thyagaraja and worked to assiduously cultivate the deification of the composer had to not only fight to get a place in the annual festivities for women
That Thyagaraja in Thiruvarur has to take permission from them before getting out. This Women cannot get in?? The Brahmins were forgetting their own traditions. Travails of the times.
Also, to the Brahmin, locating something in the spiritual and beyond rationality works precisely to their advantage since, in popular conception thanks to millennia of traditions, they hold a preeminent place in the area of tradition and spirituality. This is also why, to a Brahmin, it is offensive to delink overt religiosity from Carnatic music and such suggestions are met with indignant rebuttals.
Brahmins took to what inspired them! If other communities had other inspirations and stuck with the traditions may be this will not be said. Other communities had other means, to do other kind of work and earn a living. Brahmins were ill-equipped to do them mostly!
it behoves them to open the doors to all and make the environment a welcoming one. Creating a welcoming environment involves lot of effort and a willingness to recognize blindness. From the stage decor to the canteen and the linguistic nuances changes could be made.
The diverse populations run Cine-theaters and we all go and chew our pop-corn there - Common!!
Many Brahmins work in mega-corporations in US where diversity and inclusiveness are the new mantras.
Hello!. Many of us changed our accent and act like the hosts. Early days many listened to "Voice of America" broadcasting from Sri Lanka, with the Short-wave tuner to pass Toefl! You don't know how priceless American dream is?!! The current diversity - inclusion is just a mantra - that's it. It is good business.

Oh! My Goodness, Carnatic Music is that important to be comparable to American life!?! Wow!!
It’d not be a bad idea to learn how to secularize music, even music that’s devotional in content. Keep your devotion in your temples and keep music secular on the stage.
You are already converting our temples into Church - so you can separate it! Already music has been subverted with devotion - a Christian enhancement of a different idea of Bhakti!
By the way the Carnatic musicians should hang their head in shame for the pathetic state of Thyagaraja’s temple and the pedestrian museum they’ve put up.
From Church to museum is not that far off. A section of Dravidian Politicians want to make a Church out of Temples - and then another section will make a Museum out of it!
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shankarank
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#13 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by shankarank » 25 Feb 2018, 12:15

Recently Sanjay Subrahmanyan was interviewed in ‘The Hindu’ on what the interviewer, his uncle consider a historic occasion, the singer’s 50th birthday. The uncle asks the nephew about the efforts of some ‘evangelists’ within the Carnatic music fraternity to take music ‘to the masses’. The nephew indulges his uncle and offers as answer a question, “Did the masses request it, want it, demand it?”.
If somebody goes to a forum without knowing the mindset / framework of people in the forum (pURva paksh!), they cannot respond to it. Even their degrees and English are of no use. They forget for a moment that the musical system which they represent is a complete one epistemically and ecologically. They are tricked into these questions. All they can otherwise flatter everybody is on Cricket.

"The Hindu " represented by the interviewer - does it have mass reach - do all the masses read it. If so this interview will be read by the masses and hence everybody will know about the musician. Then music will follow won't it?

Who is the "mass" leader according to "The Hindu" , Amma, kalignar? Both of them run/ran TV channels that have mass reach - so the musician singing there will reach the masses. Won't it.

In their mass meetings / conclaves - all they have to do is to call the musician and have a small program - music will reach the masses!!

This kind of question comes from a "social science" junk - all from the books of Marx - the mythical common man - who is deprived of everything! How will music reach them?

TMK , teary eyed in IIMB talked about a pre-concert care taker to organize him into the venue, not in the mind to enter the concert space. But never acknowledges that the service provided by the care taker might give the latter enough satisfaction - complete in itself. Well that guy has to listen to the music to get something bigger.

A Thanjavur Betel mealy mouthed folksy guy will get this interviewer and play him like a football. These educated guys who are incomplete in their mind allow some Journalist from "social science" junk space run circles around them!
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sureshvv
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#14 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by sureshvv » 25 Feb 2018, 13:43

Frankly I don't understand what the controversy is. Carnatic Music does not and has never had mass appeal. The writer tries to twist this statement by attributing casteist connotations to the word "mass". His machinations are transparent and fall flat.
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#15 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by RSR » 25 Feb 2018, 14:54

Happy news here. The Hindi version of Meera of MS ( 1947) has not been available in youtube or any other media so far .Just now stumbled upon a very recent upload of the film in three parts. ( I will add this post to MSS section also). The parts here contain some wonderful songs like
1) maain hari charan ki dasi ( what is the ragam of this lovely song?)
2) hindi version of 'aranga un makimaiyai '
3) more tho giridhra gopaala
4) daras bina (desh,bagesree and paraj) ( corresponding to udal urga ( poorvikalyani, sahana, and naadhanaamakriya in tamil film)
5) yaadh aave ( sindhubairavi) with a special refrain &reach
6) Kunjana vana chadi

and the climax song. .
.ORIGINAL -PART-2 https://youtu.be/3YbafdoYfz8
PART-3 https://youtu.be/puL8a5i9V4w
and with that Smt.MS bid farewell to film world , her mission accomplished.
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#16 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by RSR » 25 Feb 2018, 21:19

"In Tamil film music, one of the earliest instances of Sriranjani on the silver screen was in the film Seva Sadhanam. M.S. Subbulakshmi sang ‘Enna Seiven’ in the exact tune of ‘Marubalka’ kriti! In those days, that was a way of attracting the public’s attention to a film song — tuning it in the exact melody of an already popular song. What strikes one is that, back then Thyagaraja kritis were as popular as other film songs... times change, don’t they? A plethora of sangatis in ‘Naan Edhum Ariyen’ add colour to this piece. The unmistakable beginning in the madhyama bears the Sriranjani stamp. ( from charulatha mani's article)
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shankarank
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#17 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by shankarank » 25 Feb 2018, 23:47

sureshvv wrote:
25 Feb 2018, 13:43
Carnatic Music does not and has never had mass appeal.
If the below is a response to the above...
RSR wrote:
25 Feb 2018, 21:19
What strikes one is that, back then Thyagaraja kritis were as popular as other film songs...
Well all statements are contextual isn't it? Suresh's definition of "mass" is something else..
RSR wrote:
25 Feb 2018, 14:54
and with that Smt.MS bid farewell to film world , her mission accomplished.
In a sense at that time anybody .. all they way to the downtrodden in some remote Village in TN.. somehow over a period of conversation .. will come to have a sense ... that musicians like M.S are their musicians!!! They fed M.S. M.S's music was reared in their land!! In not so many words of the sophisticate.. they will in effect say that M.S is their civilizational icon! They may not have known her though.. but if presented they will agree!!

I did not know or heard Ravishankar (only in passing, like elevator music if at all!) - nor cared to or any rAgA in HM in spite of varsha posting here prolifically - until the recently revived discussion on ThaaT. But I will not resent or resist the fact that it is my music nevertheless.

Today is that possible??

In the interview a Journalist who has as much social responsibility working in an organization "The Hindu" who have as much social responsibility , are posing a question to an artiste - who disowns the same - in another interview (The Hindu Lit Festival) says "I am a private individual - not an organization". Before we get to him, lets ask the Interviewer and the "The Hindu":

If this music is reared in this land , to which all the masses have put in effort , why does not "The Hindu" place a sociological challenge in it's editorial pages, questioning the population as to why they are ignoring their own "Music"?

Truth is they have decided in their mind , in their socio-illogy , that this music is alien to the land. And that is why they are aiding and abetting the effort to first create a "classical" music out of it ( Western had classical / folk divisions by then due to it's engagement with the so called sub-altern in the land of Americas) and when the term "classical" has been challenged, they are aiding and abetting the creation of "art" music again in the Western enlightenment sense. Yes India has no philosophy, and what India has is not considered philosophy.

This TMK has the temerity to say: " We use philosophy as an escape route" to all of us!! What escape route all of his are using now?

And is Enlightenment reared in the West - hell NO - our artisans, weavers , kingdoms funded it!! We funded their war and - and we sent millions.

If you want one sample here it is:

https://ipfs.io/ipfs/QmXoypizjW3WknFiJn ... lways.html
With the arrival of World War I, the railways were used to meet the needs of the British outside India. With the end of the war, the railways were in a state of disrepair and collapse. Large scale corruption by British officials involved in the running of these railways companies was rampant. Profits were never reinvested in the development of British colonial India.
And this is only stating the official truth. Unofficial (may be official - I don't have references) truth is between 1907 and 1947 , 7000 ships went out, and each ship can carry X tonnes, loaded with Y wagons from Z trains. A local Chinmaya mission official swears by it and says he knows the station master!

All of that is our knowledge produced elsewhere and before that is used to tear apart knowledge reared in this land, lets take ownership and tear that apart - shall we?
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shankarank
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#18 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by shankarank » 26 Feb 2018, 00:17

RSR wrote:
25 Feb 2018, 14:54
Happy news here. The Hindi version of Meera of MS ( 1947)
You are posting here... in general discussions .. will you post it in "rAgA forum", "tALA forum" , "Innovations forum" . Well in "Vidushi forum" - yes - it is MS's music - isn't it or is it?

May be here :

Light Classical
Music that is not orthodox Carnatic or Hindustani.

That forum sounds like Truth - I have not gone there! May be I should go there and start reading!! Because I don't know , I have not experienced it!!

When Dr BMK was presented with "Sangita Ratnakara" @ Cleveland, one of the things he mentioned in his speech. "Sangita Ratnakara is a book. I have NOT read it, I will go read it now!!!" Well that is my response to TMK in his tribute column post the former's passing away, where he says, it is apparent that Dr BMK had read all the musical works widely and done much research. Whatever may be the truth, it is important to understand the spirit of Dr BMK's statement!

That remark by Dr BMK , will not go unnoticed by the great conversationalist my dear friend - The Tanjore Marathi Grundig tape collector, so much that , post that event he would quip ( to me : நான் ஒருமையில் சொல்லக்கூடாது , இருந்தாலும் சொல்கிறேன் , அதன் ஆழம் புரிவதற்கு! - I am stating in third person singular just to convey the full sense):

திமுரு அந்த பயலுக்கு!! - What nerve ( or temerity!) that guy has!

Now talking about Dr BMK, ( a somewhat reduced concentric circle when compared to MSS) , will The Hindu interviewer have the temerity to pose such a question ( CM reaching masses) to the former? He knows what he will get back!!

Even further reducing the concentric circle - to Sri TNS. A TV interview : hamsanandi was under discussion. TNS points out to the interviewer - how both Dr HMB as well as Ilayaraja, began hamsanandi from niShAdam to prove that it's shade is clear only then - and asks how does it matter who does it? What a broad perspective!
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#19 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by sureshvv » 26 Feb 2018, 01:48

RSR wrote:
25 Feb 2018, 21:19
In those days, that was a way of attracting the public’s attention to a film song — tuning it in the exact melody of an already popular song[/color]. What strikes one is that, back then Thyagaraja kritis were as popular as other film songs... times change, don’t they?
This is not correct and it flies in the face of common sense. The reason a borrowed tune becomes successful is because the original was relatively unknown to the target audience. R.D.Burman & songs from the movie Shankarabharanam are also good illustrations.
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#20 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by RSR » 26 Feb 2018, 11:41

@19(suresh)...-> The opinion is that of Mrs. Charulatha Mani. May not be entirely wrong. In the period 1935 to 1950, tamil films were mostly musicals and most of the songs were in classical ragams. It was also the period of SGKittappa and his dramas. All the people all over the land had exposure to those films and dramas. and added to that there were numerous nagaswaram concerts in temple processions in all the temple towns of our land. Personally, I can vouchsafe that many 'common and poor people ,seventy years back when I was a mere schoolboy, had great ear for carnatic ragas and will take pleasure in identifying the ragams. And classically trained musicians also were a few among such fans. I think, the advent of gramaphone records added to that phenomenon. From film songs of their 'singing' hero to CM original was the route and vice versa. . 'raga sudha rasa' may be an example. Nagumomu another. Maharajapuram, Musiri, KBS, Dandapani Desikar , GNB had immensely contributed to spreading this taste for CM among common people. Anarkali song by Lata 'yeh zindagi' came before its tamil version in Kaveri 'en chinthai noum'.. Banumathis songs also were based on hindi tunes. ..Mani Iyer's kandan karunai puriyumvadivel is as is well known based on Saraswathi Rane's song in Ramarajya.,,,
Last edited by RSR on 26 Feb 2018, 13:26, edited 2 times in total.
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#21 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by RSR » 26 Feb 2018, 11:57

@18-> The importance of the availability of Hindi Meera of MS in tube now,is that literally lakhs of music lovers from other regions of India are hungering for that. ( literally begging for that...can be seen from the comments section of songs from Meera ). Not so much for the songs..which have been made available free recently by saregama in tube. Great enough as the songs are, greater is the experience of seeing Smt.MS in that role. That is in a way a rebuttal of all the mischievous photo added in the article under discussion. Smt.MS and Smt.NCV did not begin the trend of singing lovely classical songs in screen. It had begun much earlier. With music directors like Papanasam Sivan, Thuraiyoor Rajagopala Sarma and of course S.V.VENKATARAMAN, and no-less talented composers like G Ramanathan, Sudharsanam and even KamalDasGuptha , the songs could not but be classical. Even for my parents' generation ( 1915-1950), 'bruhi mukundhethi by Smt.MS in Savithri was ever a divine experience. .. The post is made in general discussion besides under MS THREAD, to highlight the fact.
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#22 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by sureshvv » 26 Feb 2018, 22:50

RSR... Let me put it this way and see if you agree.

Film music has always been much more popular than Art music. In the 30s and 40s, film music was largely Carnatic Music. Starting with the 50s, the two have diverged significantly.

I find it hard to believe that gnanam/rasanai of music was at a higher level in the past and somehow it has dwindled.
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#23 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by RSR » 26 Feb 2018, 23:15

@22 -> sureshvv wrote
RSR... Let me put it this way and see if you agree.
Film music has always been much more popular than Art music. In the 30s and 40s, film music was largely Carnatic Music. Starting with the 50s, the two have diverged significantly.
I find it hard to believe that gnanam/rasanai of music was at a higher level in the past and somehow it has dwindled.
-- I certainly wish that we could agree... but even Films were not there before 1930. There of course were drama troupes. To the best of my knowledge, there were no sangeetha sabhas. There were harikatha performances, Smt.MS reminiscenses about Saraswathi Bai at Madurai. Must be sometime in 1925 or slightly earlier. And as we know harikatha exponents largely dealt with devotional theme and gave songs in wonderful ragams much common to Marathi tradition. ( Maratha rule in Tanjore.. the period in which the trinity lived), There were many zamins all over the Southern Tamilnad as well, great patrons of classical music. and scholars. The main vehicle was the concerts in temples. all of which was free. How could have common people listened to the performances of early masters like Madurai Pushpavanam? That was in the opening decades of the last century. No films No sabhas. Wealthy patrons used to arrange for such concerts in rural areas and though the artistes were paid handsomely, all the feast was free for the common people. Taste in classical music grows with hearing good music ( instrumental ,included), and exposure.
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sankark
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#24 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by sankark » 27 Feb 2018, 08:42

RSR wrote:
26 Feb 2018, 23:15
@22 -> sureshvv wrote
RSR... Let me put it this way and see if you agree.
Film music has always been much more popular than Art music. In the 30s and 40s, film music was largely Carnatic Music. Starting with the 50s, the two have diverged significantly.
I find it hard to believe that gnanam/rasanai of music was at a higher level in the past and somehow it has dwindled.
-- I certainly wish that we could agree... but even Films were not there before 1930. There of course were drama troupes. To the best of my knowledge, there were no sangeetha sabhas. There were harikatha performances, Smt.MS reminiscenses about Saraswathi Bai at Madurai. Must be sometime in 1925 or slightly earlier. And as we know harikatha exponents largely dealt with devotional theme and gave songs in wonderful ragams much common to Marathi tradition. ( Maratha rule in Tanjore.. the period in which the trinity lived), There were many zamins all over the Southern Tamilnad as well, great patrons of classical music. and scholars. The main vehicle was the concerts in temples. all of which was free. How could have common people listened to the performances of early masters like Madurai Pushpavanam? That was in the opening decades of the last century. No films No sabhas. Wealthy patrons used to arrange for such concerts in rural areas and though the artistes were paid handsomely, all the feast was free for the common people. Taste in classical music grows with hearing good music ( instrumental ,included), and exposure.
Before the advent of microphone and amplification, what could have been the audience size? The zamin arranged concerts would have been essentially chamber music affairs, wouldn't they? Especially in temple concerts that were open air affairs, unless there was a multitude of acoustically amplifying aayirangAl mandapams, voice and other instruments wouldn't have fared better either?

Drama troupes - they have to be considered separate. How many were there & how many had the kind of actor singers with the power and reach of voice to reach the masses (anything in multiples of hundreds I mean).

Take the fabled Madurai Pushpavanam & SGK and put them in a theater the size of NGS. Would they have been audible beyond the first 10 - 20 rows?

I would be happy to be proven wrong.

Relatedly, would the gamakam richness that we observe in CM today could be the result of artificial amplification - where the gamakam richness was sacrificed in the altar of power & reach?
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sureshvv
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#25 Re: Carnatic Music and Bharata Natyam: Sanskritizing the Arts

Post by sureshvv » 27 Feb 2018, 09:14

RSR... Many good points in #23.

So until about the 30s, CM was pervasive in all modes of entertainment (drama, harikatha, sathir etc.).
CM still ruled between the 30s and the 50s, when films supplanted those other modes but still stuck on to CM for the music. After the 50s, film music diverged from CM which has now ended up as a niche art form, catered to and kept alive by a small section of society. All the raga knowledge that even the common man once had has now atrophied and people have been turned into dunces or indifferent consumers of beat music.

It is the last sentence that I have problems with.
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