Contributions of Music Academy

Miscellaneous topics on Carnatic music
TheListener
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#51 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by TheListener »

Ranganayaki wrote:Hold on, i take some of it back.

"RaviSri": protege of Ariyakkudi who, unfortunately and according to common consensus, a very mediocre singer.

I am sorry, but this looks like nitpicking now. If something is inline with commonly known/available information (which seems to be case here for those who lived in those times), the burden of proof is on the one providing the opinion to the contrary. Yes, there can be many shades of opinions and different sides to a story. But not one person has come out providing any opinion to the contrary of what RaviSri had written about (the other) Dhanammal here and several have spoken supporting his assertion, some based on personal experience. Given all this, your continued persistence does come across as more personal and trivial than as a genuine quest for truth.

Also, this is way off the original topic and I kindly request this be taken offline. In the interest of keeping this thread on track and not create a war of words, this will be my first and last post related to this sub-issue. Let the orignal topic not get side tracked because of this.

Nick H
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#52 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by Nick H »

Please let us not mind all this. We rely on elders for their impressions and tales of the past, but it is not a court of law. Where there is disagreement, let those who disagree put their point of view, and there can be discussion, or at least another point of view can be aired. Otherwise, let us take the stories in the spirit in which they are offered: there is no obligation to rely upon them as absolute statements of history (anyway, what is absolute about history ever?), or even to accept them, but if they are picked to pieces, or the right to make certain assertions is queried, then why should those who take the trouble to post here even bother? Then the forum will be poorer place.
Also, this is way off the original topic and I kindly request this be taken offline. In the interest of keeping this thread on track and not create a war of words, this will be my first and last post related to this sub-issue. Let the original topic not get side tracked because of this.
Absolutely. Forums are about discussion. They are stifled by discussion-about-discussion.

RaviSri
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#53 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by RaviSri »

Ranganayaki, I have edited my post, removed the 'and' and 'unfortunately'. Now it reads:
This Dhanammal is not to be confused with Veena Dhanammal. This Dhanammal was a disciple and protege of Ariyakkudi who, according to common consensus, was a mediocre singer. But Ariyakkudi used to insist to all sabhas that Dhanammal should be given concert opportunities if they wanted him to sing. Some complied, others ignored his appeal. In 1960, Ariyakkudi stipulated this condition but the Academy did not agree. Ariyakkudi began his boycott again and he never was to sing at the Academy again till his death.
Please don't apologise. I inadvertently, with the use of the words 'and' and 'unfortunately' probably conveyed to you that it was my opinion. How can I have an opinion on Dhanammal when I had not even seen her? I realise that you are being fair with me. Thanks for that.

Here's something else about Dhanammal. T.Sankaran, grandson of Veena Dhanammal and cousin of Brinda-Muktha told me this. Sankaran was a Deputy Director of All India Radio when this happened. ARi was pushing for 'A' grade for Dhanammal. She had given another audition for that purpose. The results cam e a few days later. Whereas a few others were promoted from 'B' grade to 'A' grade, Dhanammal failed the test. Palghat Mani Iyer had come to the radio station for a recording, to play for Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer. After the concert Sankaran requested Mani Iyer to drop him home, since both of them were living near each other. In the car, Sankaran broke the news of Dhanammal's failed test and requested Mani Iyer to convey the news to Ariyakkudi. Mani Iyer exclaimed to Sankaran, "Ayyo SankaraNNA, en talaila kalla tUkki pOTTuTTELEy" I think this is untranslatable into English. The essence is, "You have placed me in an unenvible position of breaking the news to ARI.

annamalai
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#54 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by annamalai »

As Yogi would say , it is déjà vu all over again ...
Ranganayaki wrote:protege of Ariyakkudi who, unfortunately and according to common consensus, a very mediocre singer.
On what basis does he validate the common consensus? But I want to let it go.
I think I've expressed my discomfort and reasoning fully,
First, I do not see anything wrong to say dhanammal was a mediocre / average singer. I really do not understand the fuss is made and asking - show me the proof .
It is possible to dismiss this view, as just one view. KVN interview is a good data point.

Are we using the same yardstick, when there are lot more insinuations or sledgehammering that goes on in the concert reviews of present day performing artists. I do not see these same folks taking up the cudgels.

Gossipy tone - I look at the contents discussed in this forum not as authoritative last word on music, but the discussion is more akin to a "Tanjavur village tinnai" where folks would sit after dinner, with beetle leaves and talk ... " yesterday, I had gone to Kuttalam to listen to Maharajapuram Viswantha Iyer kutcheri. He sang dayarani, dayarani dasarathi rama in mohanam ; mohanaastram .... " Just enjoy the discussion ... and add your points view ...

Ranganayaki
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#55 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by Ranganayaki »

RaviSri wrote:Ranganayaki, I have edited my post
I realise that you are being fair with me. Thanks for that.
Ravi Sri, Thank you. If I didn't think you would understand, I wouldn't have spoken. Thanks.

arasi
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#56 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by arasi »

Annamalai,
Well put! At times, what the modern day performer is dealt out from the hands of rasikAs as criticism is scathing, indeed. Just imagine how the jAmbavAns (the giants) of the past would have reacted to the instant availability of their 'not that well sung' (amaiyavillai) concerts!

A well-known vocalist, when I was introduced to him as 'my cousin' by one of my cousins replied: onga cousin-A? ThiNNaip pEchu pEsuvAnnu thAn theriyum!" Your cousin? Know that she indulges in ThiNNaip pEchu--meaning, I am a Rasikas.org member ;)

Nick,
Right you are. If the censor red light goes on too often during these discussions (recollections), the flow of discussions (conversations) will be stemmed. We may end up with being a facts-only forum and not an exchange place of ideas, past history. Well, you are spot on there. What's history? Something which throws light on that period of time? How finicky can you get with it?
Shakespearean scholars still aching over not knowing the exact date of the bard's birth is one such thing. Is it so crucial that we should know the day and hour?

Some of us (of course, oldies) will remember a grandmother or great aunt taking us to the riverside in the village and with a semi-circle of children in front of them, will deal out balls of rice and curd in turn, telling a story or engaging them in family stories (histories?). I don't think they were interrupted on every line with something like "kuppu thAthA' was born on dIpAvali day? Which year? When did dIPavali come around that year?"
The curd rice came with a pinch of salt. The stories too, perhaps, somewhat colored by the perception of the story teller or the way the story teller's teller related it.

This does not mean that I'm saying accept everything! Questioning things is a good trait, and that sets us apart from the lesser creatures in the animal kingdom. Yet, to make a habit of it is another thing ;)

The canteen time is over perhaps, and back into the Music Academy auditorium for more on the topic of its 'history'?

sivakami
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#57 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by sivakami »

I keep wondering while reading the posts in this thread, as well as the earlier one that is locked, as to
“ kiNaru veTTa bhoodham purapaTTadhaa, illai pudhaiyal kidaithadhaa…?
Also, how our forumite ‘Jodha’, who initiated the earlier discussion, will feel now…

Nick H
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#58 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by Nick H »

It's ok: Jodha will know how this family goes on. Is it so different to any other? :D

arasi
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#59 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by arasi »

Nick,
For your benefit and for those who know little tamizh, here's what Sivakami is wondering. "Did a ghost come out when one went about digging a well or was it a treasure which surfaced?"

Could have been a genii which came up with the treasure ;)
Okay, it's a genial set of folks who bring stuff like this to the rasikAs family!

Nick H
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#60 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by Nick H »

Oh, what a nice saying! Thanks sivakami, and arasi.

rajumds
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#61 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by rajumds »

Unfortunately what is coming out is obnoxious gas. We at rasikas.org are here to discuss the music and not musician's personal life. It is very sad that thread which is supposed to highlight the contribution MA has degenerated to this level.

Nick H
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#62 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by Nick H »

But... It's ok to discuss "personal" life when someone wants to say how great an individual was, how they dressed, drove, treated their students, other musicians, and all that? Because that often happens, and I don't see anybody complaining.

Life is not one dimension. History certainly is not. No, I wouldn't welcome a thread just about the bad bits: that would merit complaints. So would stuff where people have an axe to grind and lay into another individual.

Otherwise, if we are to talk history, lets talk history, not mythology. If that is not to be the case, we can just have one piece of writing, with blanks. List of nice things, fill in the name as applicable. But people don't just smell of perfume: there are other gases which actually don't smell so good.

RaviSri
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#63 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by RaviSri »

The KVK Years

In 1935 U.Rama Rao relinquished the post of Academy President due to his other commitments. In that year's elections K.V.Krishnaswami Iyer became President. He was a legal luminary and quite influential. He set about forming a team that would steer the Academy forward to a great future. Thus 'The Hindu''s Kasturi Srinivasan became the Vice-President, C.K.Venkatanarasimhan (friend of GNB and MLV), K.Soundararajan, T.V.Rajagopalan, all became secretaries. Dr.V.Raghavan also became secretary.

KVK decided to move the annual conferences southwards. Thus two venues, one near Midland theatre and the other, the sprawling Old Woodlands garden were venues in the 1930s. Then the conference moved further south to Mylapore, Sndareswarar Hall and Lady Sivaswami Girls School were the venues for many years. Later the P.S..High School grounds.

The above team set about augmenting the finances of the Academy. Ticket prices and member fees were jacked up, rich patrons were drafted to sponsor certain specific concerts (This was the beginning of sponsorship of concerts which is now the norm). But all these were not enough to realise their dream of constructing an auditorium. After more than a quarter of a century of its inception, the Academy seriously began the work of construction. They acquired a property called 'Sweet Home' on Mowbray's Road-Cathedral Road junction (now TTK Road-Radhakrishnan Road), shifted their office and Teacher College of Music there. Then began in right earnest the construction process. It started with Nehru laying the foundation stone and MS's concert, the first of a series, dedicated to garnering funds for the project.

RaviSri
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#64 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by RaviSri »

http://i48.tinypic.com/k0rnnb.jpg
http://i50.tinypic.com/r0xlp2.jpg

The first photo (of very poor quality) shows Nehru speaking after laying the foundation stone. MS and Party are seated to his left. The second photo shows (from right) TTK, KVK, Rajaji, Nehru and Kamaraj listening to MS.

Pasupathy
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#65 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by Pasupathy »

Fantastic reports, Ravi Sri.

arasi
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#66 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by arasi »

Thanks RaviSri for the pictures.
In the second one, on extreme left is Sri Prakasa, the governor. Is the turbaned gentleman Prof. Sambamurthy?

In the second row, you find S.S.Vasan (Gemini, Ananda Vikatan), industrialist T.S.Krishna, T.L.Venkatrama Iyer, if I'm not mistaken. Quite a picture in that it shows us how forces from various fields made the Academy a reality.

thanjavooran
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#67 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by thanjavooran »

Excellent! Thanx for sharing the precious photographs.
Thanjavooran
21 03 2013

rajumds
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#68 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by rajumds »

Nick H wrote: Life is not one dimension. History certainly is not. No, I wouldn't welcome a thread just about the bad bits: that would merit complaints. So would stuff where people have an axe to grind and lay into another individual.

Otherwise, if we are to talk history, lets talk history, not mythology. If that is not to be the case, we can just have one piece of writing, with blanks. List of nice things, fill in the name as applicable. But people don't just smell of perfume: there are other gases which actually don't smell so good.
NIck

This thread was about the contribution of MA. There is absolutely no need to bring in the personal life of the masters of yester years. For eg the contribution of MA in restoring the glory of bharatanatyam could have been done with out mentioning Dr.Muthulakshmi. History of MA doesn't need any mention about Dhanammal or her relationship with ARI.

The path the earlier thread on MA took and the path this thread is taking makes me wonder about the objectivity of the OP.

cmlover
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#69 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by cmlover »

Arasi
I think the Turbaned one is KVK.
I don't see Sambamurthy or Raghavan there.
The third row right most is Bhaktavatsalam, I guess.

Thanks RaviSri
Continue in your style. What is History without personalities?
But the language is important! Nick's comments are pertinent..
Nice to have those pictures.
The rich patrons included Royalty, Travancore/Mysore/...
Didn't they make significant contributions?
Were women ever included in the executive committee of MA?

cienu
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#70 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by cienu »

RaviSri wrote:http://i48.tinypic.com/k0rnnb.jpg
http://i50.tinypic.com/r0xlp2.jpg

The first photo (of very poor quality) shows Nehru speaking after laying the foundation stone. MS and Party are seated to his left.
Brilliant pictures RaviSri. Thank you for sharing.
The first picture shows a young Radha Sadasivam accompanying her mother. :)
On violin,mridangam and Ghatam are S/S : R K Venkatarama Shastry, T K Murthy & Umayalpuram Kothandarama Iyer.

cmlover
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#71 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by cmlover »

Yes! noticed them.
So it was Radha Sadasivam then..

arasi
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#72 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by arasi »

Cienu,
Knowing how avidly your mother collected autographs and photographs, isn't there one in her collection of the event?

mahavishnu
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#73 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by mahavishnu »

RaviSri: thanks for those pictures. Smt MSS has pretty much been at the very center of every good deed that happened in CM in the last century!
Cienu, Are you sure it is Murthy-sir in that picture? It is too grainy to make out, but my guess is Mavelikkara Krishnan. Perhaps your mother could confirm...As Arasi says, perhaps a higher-res picture from her collection would be great to see.

Do we know what year that was?

sureshvv
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#74 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by sureshvv »

arasi wrote:Nick,
For your benefit and for those who know little tamizh, here's what Sivakami is wondering. "Did a ghost come out when one went about digging a well or was it a treasure which surfaced?"
Thanks for clearing that up. I used to think that it meant "the ghost started to dig a well..." and it hardly made any sense :lol:

arasi
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#75 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by arasi »

Suresh,
Wait, you are not that far off from another version of the well and the ghost!
The sense changes very much there from the one Sivakami used here:

kiNaRu veTTa bUdam kiLambiadu pOl=like a ghost surfacing when one starts
digging a well (of unexpected, shocking results of an endeavor).

We are all both proud and flummoxed when it comes to the richness of our languages!

vasanthakokilam
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#76 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by vasanthakokilam »

rajumds wrote:About the discomfort with bringing in other personalities
On a strictly lighter note and without creating any impression of exact analogies, this issue is sort of similar to how one can explain Rama's exile from Ayodhya without bringing in kaikEyi ;)

cmlover
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#77 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by cmlover »

Arasi
you forgot the punctuation
kiNaRu veTTa, bUdam kiLambiadu pOl
like the famous prisoner who got released by inserting the comma in the sentence:
Hang not, to be released..

arasi
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#78 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by arasi »

CML,
I think you got the idea after reading Suresh's post of how he understood it. That's it!

VK,
In a lighter vein again (which is better than going to the academy for an afternoon concert with the sole intention of making every minute of it siesta time ):

sItaikku rAman chittappAvA? kind of (nodding off in a kAlakshEpam kind of people) won't know the difference if rAmAyaNa had no kaikEyi!
Last edited by arasi on 22 Mar 2013, 07:44, edited 1 time in total.

cmlover
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#79 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by cmlover »

Arasi
You are missing VK's point.
(unless you want intentionally to divert attention :D

arasi
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#80 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by arasi »

All I'm trying is to keep my focus on the MA ;)

RaviSri
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#81 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by RaviSri »

The turbaned gentleman is K.V.Krishnaswami Iyer, President of the Academy. As arasi says, it is Govenor Sri Prakasa next to Kamaraj. cienu must be right. I have heard it was TKM who accompanied MS that day.

RaviSri
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#82 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by RaviSri »

As I had posted earlier, Nehru took immense interest and pride in the Academy auditorium. He would urge his ministers, industrialists, foreign diplomats to 'go see the construction of the Academy auditorium'. One personality who was immersed in the building activity was Sri Easwaran, yes, DKP's husband. He literally lived on the premises during the construction. He was an engineer and the Academy asked him to oversee the construction. Easwaran looked after the finer details. He must be remembered for his contributions to the building of the auditorium.

The idea was to build an auditorium which did not need to have artificial amplification. Experts were consulted and the building was designed in such a way that would help natural acoustics and obviate the need for mikes, speakers etc. But that did not fructify properly and the plan was abandoned.

cienu
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#83 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by cienu »

arasi wrote:Cienu,
Knowing how avidly your mother collected autographs and photographs, isn't there one in her collection of the event?
Arasi,

This picture is not there. I will try and see if there are any other pictures of this event.

RaviSri
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#84 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by RaviSri »

I had forgotten to upload two picture belonging to 1934 and 1936. Here they are:

http://i45.tinypic.com/2mcjfjo.jpg
http://i50.tinypic.com/2w4ybs3.jpg

In the first, from left to right, Madurai Shanmukavadivu, Madras Lalithangi, Madurai Shanmukavadivu's daughter, who later became famous as..., then C.Saraswati Bai, and Ustad Nazeeruddin, a court musician of Holkar State in North India. Sitting on the ground is Madras Lalithangi's daughter who later became famous as....

The second photo is of the daughter of Damal Krishnaswamy Deekshitar who became famous as.......

Both photos were taken at the Academy's conferences in 1934 and 1935 respectively.

MS made her debut at the Academy in December 1935 and DKP in December 1936. The fee for DKP including accompanists was Rs.25/. DKP returned the fee as donation to the Academy. Thereafter all her performances for the Academy were for free. DKP was and is the only artist to have sung at the Academy continuously for 50 years. And in 1985, it was her 50th performance. It was a morning concert and all the bigwigs were present, including MS/Sadasivam, Semmangudi, MLV, Conference President Dr.S.Ramanathan and others. The auditorium was full. After an emotionally surcharged concert, DKP was given a standing ovation.
Last edited by RaviSri on 23 Mar 2013, 12:21, edited 2 times in total.

RaviSri
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#85 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by RaviSri »

http://i50.tinypic.com/wtefys.jpg

In 1947, the Academy purchased the above property which was called 'Sweet Home' by its owners. This is the bungalow that stood on the premises that now houses the Academy auditorium. The property was purchased by the Academy for Rs. One lakh and ten thousand.

cienu
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#86 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by cienu »

mahavishnu wrote:RaviSri: thanks for those pictures. Smt MSS has pretty much been at the very center of every good deed that happened in CM in the last century!
Cienu, Are you sure it is Murthy-sir in that picture? It is too grainy to make out, but my guess is Mavelikkara Krishnan. Perhaps your mother could confirm...As Arasi says, perhaps a higher-res picture from her collection would be great to see.

Do we know what year that was?
Dear Ramesh,
The Mridangam Vidwan is TKM for sure who has in this picture turned himself to face the audience and the PM during the speech !
The date of the function was Oct 3rd 1955.

mahavishnu
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#87 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by mahavishnu »

thanks, Cienu.

cmlover
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#88 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by cmlover »

WOW! Those pictures are collector's items! Especially the first one!
Thanks!!

arasi
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#89 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by arasi »

Sweet Home must have been sold to a book seller, at least for a short time??
The sign says: puthaga viRpanai nilayam.

RaviSri
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#90 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by RaviSri »

arasi, it was not sold, it was rented out by the Academy to a writer called Govindan who had a store of books written by him and other authors on the ground floor. Since he defaulted on paying he rent a few times he had to be evicted it seems. Thereafter no one was rented that place.

Rangadu
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#91 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by Rangadu »

Sadir means BEAUTY.....

in the nalayara divya prabandham , the great nammalvar writes

Sadirana rathi maami....

Sadir was a term used to describe beauty..... sadirattam meant the dance of beauty....

all this Bharatanatyam and new nomenclature was devised by V Raghavan who also came out with the idea of
Bha = bhava
Ra = raga
Tha = tala

it sounded charming and easily acceptable to the brahminical elite who were dying to displace the poor innocent devadasis.....

ALSO.......Rukmini devi was NOT the 1st brahmin woman to dance......Kanakanahalli Papamma , a brahmin dancer from konkan region was already employed decades before by the Mysore royal family as a palace dancer....
so Rukmini was just a lot of hot air and gas!

Pratyaksham Bala
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#92 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by Pratyaksham Bala »

Rangadu wrote: 23 Apr 2013, 01:04 Sadir means BEAUTY.....
in the nalayara divya prabandham , the great nammalvar writes
Sadirana rathi maami....
Would you please quote the verse ?

rshankar
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#93 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by rshankar »

Rangadu wrote: 23 Apr 2013, 01:04Rukmini devi was NOT the 1st brahmin woman to dance......
She never claimed she was....
Rangadu wrote: 23 Apr 2013, 01:04Rukmini was just a lot of hot air and gas!
Takes one to know one I guess... :)

rshankar
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#94 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by rshankar »

Rangadu wrote: 23 Apr 2013, 01:04Sadir means BEAUTY.....
It means many things, in addition to beauty, and should be interpreted contextually.
From the online dictionary:
1 catir 1. greatness, excellence; 2. fortune, blessing; 3. beauty, loveliness; 4. state, condition; 5. cheapness, low price; 6. economy, frugality
2 catir boundary, limit
3 catir nautch
4 catir slight effort which produces great results (TLS)

ANDAL says 'sadir-iLa mangayar tAm vandedir koLLa' - and it can mean both beautiful young girls as well as dancing girls, IMO.

SrinathK
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#95 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by SrinathK »

rshankar wrote: 30 Aug 2018, 05:37
Rangadu wrote: 23 Apr 2013, 01:04Rukmini devi was NOT the 1st brahmin woman to dance......
She never claimed she was....
Rangadu wrote: 23 Apr 2013, 01:04Rukmini was just a lot of hot air and gas!
Takes one to know one I guess... :)
He has 22 posts, 18 of which are all bitter and cynical. He has a lot of gas to vent I guess.

shankarank
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#96 Re: Contributions of Music Academy

Post by shankarank »

Hilarious:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZXB1cUo9aI

I must admit. I never knew of this lady before this! Her name only faintly resonating!

There she demolishes the high-class low-class sub-altern theorists : https://youtu.be/mZXB1cUo9aI?t=1187

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