Musical Morsels

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Pasupathy
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#1 Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

Dear Rasikas,

I am continuing the discussion from :
http://www.rasikas.org/forums/viewtopic. ... 4&p=235802

In this thread, I will be posting links to my Tamil posts in my Blog, which deal with many musical tidbits...articles, jokes, reviews, caricatures, etc..mostly taken from very old Tamil magazines. The posts I am listing below are good examples of the mixture I will present.

Here's a list of my recent posts which, I'm sure, would be of interest to many members. I apologize to those who can't read Tamil. I'm sure the pictures in many of these posts would be of interest.
1.
I remember excerpts from M K Tyagaraja Bhagavathar's concert being broadcast by AIR. Dr John Marr ( 2009 Padmasri Awardee) presents a talk at Vidhvat
Sabha.Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar , looking at Minister C.Subramanyam sitting opposite him , starts " Sri SubramaNyAya namasthE" ...

When did all these happen? 1953/54 season. When Sri ThiruppAmpuram Swaminatha Pillai got "sangeetha kalanidhi".
A Tamil article with pictures about the Season that appeared in Ananda Vikatan is given below:
Musical Tidbits -1
http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2012/12/1_15.html
2.
Caricatures of Vidwans (as they were in 1930-s) by the famous artist, Mali, of Ananda Vikatan.
Musical Tidbits - 2
http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2012/12/2_19.html

3.
Another Tamil article (with pictures) about the 53 Music Season.
Musical Tidbits - 3
http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2012/12/3_22.html

4.
A 'Vikatan' article (by the famous lawyer V.C. Gopalarathnam) about 'Sangitha Kalanidhi' T L Venkatarama Iyer, whose 'Shashtiabda pUrthi' was celebrated in 1953.
Musical Tidbits -4
http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2012/12/4_24.html

5.
'Light' refreshment for the Season .Some 'musical' jokes ...mainly from artists Raju and Gopulu of Vikatan , starting from the 40's
Musical Tidbits -5
http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2012/12/5_27.html

6.
A rare Tamil article written by Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar in 1939. ( with his characteristic humour bubbling in parts).
Musical Tidbits -6
http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2012/12/6.html

7.
Many photos of 4 Vidwans taken by artist Mali of Vikatan in 1938, who spent most of his Rs.300 monthly salary on Camera (according to veteran artist Gopulu).
Since the names of artists were not given, I have guessed them to be Ariyakkudi, Kumbakonam Rajamanikkam Pillai, Chithoor Subramanya Pillai and GNB.
Musical Tidbits - 7
" Musical Expressions" ; Photos by Mali
4 pages from 39 Deepavali Special Issue of Vikatan.
http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2013/01/7.html

8.
AIR Madras was started in 1938. Victor Paranjothi ( trained at BBC) was the first station-director. His (rare) Tamil article in Vikatan
(39 Deepavali Special Issue) , adorned by 'Mali's' sketches, is presented in
Musical Tidbits -8
http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2013/01/8.html

9.
A Tamil article on ' Narayana Theerthar' by Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer , from 1938 Vikatan Deepavali Malar.
Musical Tidbits -9
http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2013/01/9.html

10.
The last 'Dance and Song' article in Vikatan about the Madras 53 Music Season
Musical Tidbits -10
http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2013/01/10.html

11.
After AIR Madras started in 38, 'Kalki' magazine started reviewing Radio Concerts regularly . Here are two samples of those (40-s) articles. Artists like
VVSadagopan, Karaikkudi Sambasiva Iyer, ThuRaiyUr Rajagopala Sarma, M A Kalyanakrishna Bhagavathar .... are some names .....
Musical Tidbits -11
http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2013/01/11.html

12.
After AIR Madras started in 38, "Ananda Vikatan" also started reviewing Radio Music programs in a regular series of articles , called ' How is Radio?" ( Radio
eppadi?) Here are a few such articles, which appeared in the 40-s, commenting on subjects like Koteeswara Iyer Day, Music Lessons thru Radio, increase of
"Record" music in Radio etc.
Musical Tidbits -12
http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2013/01/12.html

13.
The special relationship between M.S. Subbulakshmi and 'Kalki' magazine is illustrated by these 3 articles (from 'Kalki'-Issues from the 40-s),
which talk about a 78 rpm record of M.S. and two charity concerts of M.S. ( one article written by Kaviyogi Suddhanandha Bharathi)
Musical Tidbits -13
http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2013/01/13.html

I plan to post some more such 'Blasts from the Past' , though my Blog is not just about Music. Will post those links here.
Thanks,
Pasupathy

Pasupathy
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#2 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

Musiri Subramanya Iyer acted only in one Tamil movie --' Thukaram".
Here's a review of that film by "Kalki" Krishnamurthy, which appeared in Ananda Vikatan around 1938.

http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2012/08/3_25.html

sureshvv
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#3 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by sureshvv »

Good stuff! Thank you.

cmlover
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#4 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by cmlover »

Thanks. Amazing collections.
Though many of them I have read in my younger days reading them after such a long time brings back those
golden memories.
These are "pasupathy's pashumai pathivugaL" !
Too bad everybody cannot enjoy these recollections due to the language barrier!
Again many of the musical jokes are untranslatable...
Some of the cartoons and pictures have been posted previously by our members
Pratyaksham Bala and Venkatakailasam and you too belong to their august group..
...and not to forget our arasi (Rajee krishnan) who was also a journalist of that era....

By the by I was under the impression 'isai thENI" was "Devan". Thanks for the info..

Pl keep going...

Pasupathy
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#5 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

cmlover wrote:
>>By the by I was under the impression 'isai thENI" was "Devan". Thanks for the info..>>

Note: 'vAna sanchAram" penned by "isaith thEnee" appeared in Kalki, not in Vikatan. ( I think that the only article Devan ever wrote in Kalki magazine was
the tribute when Kalki passed away. It is also there in my Blog) ( "thamizth thEnee" was a pen name which Kalki had used in earlier days..)

I have wondered if Devan continued to write 'Adal pAdal" after Kalki quit Vikatan. Could not find out. Similarly who wrote the Radio reviews in Vikatan? don't know...

Thanks for the comments and intro of other members with similar intersts.

cmlover
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#6 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by cmlover »

I was a Devan addict from the very beginning. Yes, he wrote mostly in Vikatan as the asst editor. My unforgettable was his "Gomathiyin kaathalan" though the movie was unimpressive with TKR comedying the august Rangarajan!
Did any of MKT's classical concerts survive and are available?
By the by GNB sported a moustache for Sakuntalai as did VV Satagopan for Madanakamarajan? Am I right?

Pasupathy
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#7 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

>>Did any of MKT's classical concerts survive and are available?

As far as I know, no:-(( AIR , due to scarcity of funds, tapes etc...apparantly wiped most tapes to record new concerts etc...that's how many concerts of persons like MKT, NCV were lost...

>>By the by GNB sported a moustache for Sakuntalai as did VV Satagopan for Madanakamarajan? Am I right?

I think you are right. Here's VVS in Madanakamarajan!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQQIeMH9g6o

cmlover
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#8 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by cmlover »

With the exception of moustache the other important charateristic of the artistes then was shikai (kuDumi)
I remember for those with a slim kuDumi (Eg', ARI) which used to untie when they reach the stratosphere and dance around - indeed a sight to see! Anga vastram was a must for a bhagavatar those days which appears to have disappeaared mostly. But apparently vEShTi stays but not the pancakaccam. Betel and snuff also have disappeared entirely! Do you remember the kAlakshebam by PUC in Krishna bhakti which though a mockery was typical :D

Pasupathy
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#9 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

>>Do you remember the kAlakshebam by PUC in Krishna bhakti which though a mockery was typical
>>cmlover

I did not see the movie. Here's the PUC kAlakshebam , for the benefit of Rasikas:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrTn99AEAjY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdmhdnfVcNI

Like our purAnA telling leading to upa-purAnA-s , each nugget leads to other musical nuggets. And each personality deserves much praise .....

e.g. those who watch the above video will surely enjoy the mridangam thani. It was actually played by SVSNarayanan, son of Sri SVSubbiah Bhagavathar ,
famous in Dramas.

The music was due to the great, unfortunately forgotten, Sri SVVenkataraman ( of "Meera" fame).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S._V._Venkatraman

The great lyrics were written by Udumalai Narayana Kavi.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Udumalai_Narayana_Kavi

In addition, MLV appeared in one scene in KB and sang one song in that movie... Saraswathi Manohari of Tyagaraja!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zMtoof72Zw
Enjoy!

cmlover
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#10 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by cmlover »

Real nuggets indeed!
I was under the impression that many of the old movies were tuned by P Sivan!
I had associated SVV only with MS.
By the by what is the raga of "katrinile varum geetham"?
It is after a bengali tune by Juthika roy and Lakshman pins it at sindhu bhairavi....

Pasupathy
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#11 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

>>By the by what is the raga of "katrinile varum geetham"?
>>It is after a bengali tune by Juthika roy and Lakshman pins it at sindhu bhairavi....
>.cmlover

I am not qualified or knowledgable enough to answer that .... but still here are my views:-))
1) I think that one who knows Hindusthani music should be approached to find the raga of the original ( Who is the music composer of that ?)
if at all it is really a "raga".
2) It may very well be a "tune" like many film-compositions are.
3) I asked Mala Chandrasekhar who played this on the flute at a Toronto concert. She said "all I can say is that when I play it, I feel all the notes of
Sindhu Bhairavi". So I feel she played it as a "tune" and not according to a "raga" notion. After all, an expert can notate the song .And why should it fit "our" strict defn of a raga?

Sindhu bhairavi has all the 12 notes. B.Subba Rao in 'Raga Nidhi" calls the Bhairavi with 12 notes as the "Asuddha Bhairavi" :-)) So, from our Carnatic Music view point, we can take it as a "tune" born out of or based on the notes of Sindhubhairavi! Still it would be good to find the answer to 1).

mahavishnu
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#12 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by mahavishnu »

I have heard people refer to this ragam as "Savithri", although as Dr. Pasupathy says the ragam was probably defined after the tune. However, there are many carnatic ragams that probably came into existence this way.

Shivadasan
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#13 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Shivadasan »

Pasupathy sir,
You are soing a great work, both in Tamil language and tamil cultural history. My salutations to you.
Do you have any review of MSS performance in her first film debut , 'Seva Sadan' and the songs she had rendered in the film ?
Shivadasan

Pasupathy
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#14 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

>>Do you have any review of MSS performance in her first film debut , 'Seva Sadan' and the songs she had rendered in the film ?
>>Shivadasan

No; if I do get it, will post it.

Pasupathy
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#15 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

Tyagaraja Aradhana --in the mid 40's

Articles from 'Vikatan' with pictures
(like B'lore Nagarathnammal reciting nAmAvaLi ....)

Musical Tidbits -14
http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2013/01/14.html

cmlover
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#16 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by cmlover »

Nice pictures and nice discussions!

RaviSri
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#17 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by RaviSri »

According to film historian Randor Guy, the negatives of 'Seva Sadan' were damaged beyond repair and nothing survives now.

RaviSri
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#18 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by RaviSri »

Pasupathy
Re: Musical Morsels » 31 Jan 2013 18:55
Tyagaraja Aradhana --in the mid 40's
Articles from 'Vikatan' with pictures
(like B'lore Nagarathnammal reciting nAmAvaLi ....)
Musical Tidbits -14
http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2013/01/14.html
The nAmAvaLi that Bangalore Nagaratnammal recites is the Thyagaraja aSTTOtram. She and Ramudu Bhagavatar prepared this aShTTOtram in praise of Thyagaraja and this was recited by her as long as she lived. This aShTTOtram is being recited even now during the daily pujas.

The years 1945, 46 etc may be correct. The five pancharatnas were begun only in the 1950s. As can be read in your blog, they sang only sAdinchEnE at the request of Ariyakkudi. Kalki does not seem to have written on the three groups, the periya kaTchi, chinna kaTchi and the Nagaratnammal group all of which merged only in 1950 and which existed during 1945/46.

Pasupathy
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#19 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

>>According to film historian Randor Guy, the negatives of 'Seva Sadan' were damaged beyond repair and nothing survives now.>>

Thanks. Yes, but I'm sure Kalki wrote a review of the film in Vikatan. because Wikipedia quotes a sentence from Vikatan;
"We should always expect somethings from Subramaniam's direction - for instance depiction of social ills.. If we have to say only two words about this talkie based on Premchand's story it is - Go see (it)."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sevasadanam

It would be interesting to get the full review.

Pasupathy
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#20 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

>>The years 1945, 46 etc may be correct. The five pancharatnas were begun only in the 1950s. As can be read in your blog, they sang >>only sAdinchEnE at the request of Ariyakkudi. Kalki does not seem to have written on the three groups, the periya kaTchi, chinna >>kaTchi and the Nagaratnammal group all of which merged only in 1950 and which existed during 1945/46.
RaviSri

Thanks for your comments. ( Note: these reviews were not written by Kalki though; He left Vikatan in 41 and started his own
magazine... ) How interesting it would be to get reviews of ALL the aradhanas during those early years! My thanks to Vikatan which has published a "pokkisham" book recently.... a collection of articles from their archives. Since they have tried to cater to all interests, they have not gone deep into any one area. If they publish a "pokkisham" just focussing on Music alone..I'm sure Music Rasikas would support such a venture by buying many copies of such a volume! I hope a Rasika who knows and has influence with Vikatan can persuade them to do such a thing!

Thanks once again for your valued comments.

arasi
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#21 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by arasi »

Pasupathy,
Thanks for sharing such a precious collection of vintage writing on music. Kalki, Devan and others cast their magic in these pages. Your writing frames such gems with spirit and wit.

There is so much to read and relish.
In another thread, someone had wondered about how chEtulAra on the flute became the prelude to pancha ratnam singing. Here, it is reported as follows: Palladam Sanjeevi Rao played 'nEnendu vetukudurA' and then 'chEtulAra'. Ari then announces, 'we will sing the pancha ratnams now', and starts singing 'sAdhinchenE'.

The radio reviews are special too. The bit about one of VVS's evening concerts is indicative of Kalki's fondness for his music. In 1947 (48?), he asked VVS to give a special concert at Ettayapuram Bharathi VizhA, and that's how he had tuned many of the bard's verses. villinai otha puruvam vaLaithanai became a popular recorded number. endaiyum thAyum, thIrthak karaiyinilE, kaNNan mana nilaiyai, Asai mugam maRandu pOchE, ethanai kODi inbam, ninnai charaN aDaindEn, suttum vizhi chuDar thAn kaNNammA were all tuned by him (of course, newer and film versions of some of the songs made them recede into oblivion). The bhAvam he invested in them is something which not many got to hear...

Kalki's fondness for VVS's music didn't stop there--a writer too, VVS wrote for (worked at??) Ananda Vikatan before being drawn into the film world. Kalki had this great idea of a full length kamba rAmAyanam concert, and VVS got to work tuning many verses. The concert was a 'never-done before feat'(1950??). Held in Rajaji Hall in the presence of Rajaji, TKC, and a crowd of literati, it was something to experience. A shame, there is no recording of it that I know of. VVS as a tune smith was brilliant. Tuning of Ambujam Krishna's songs (first volume of Geetha Mala) came next...

cmlover
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#22 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by cmlover »

pasupathy
It is an excellent idea to persuade Vikatan to publish a 'pokkisham' of CM based on its archives. How should we go about it?
There are sufficient members at this Forum who would throw their weight for such a project. A simiar venture from Kalki will be equally fruitful.

By the by be aware that arasi is the niece of VVS and of the veteran Ananthalakshmi Satagopan as well as a relative of Ambujam Krishna.

Pasupathy
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#23 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

Thanks, Arasi, for your comments and sharing your memories about VVS. I remember VVS ..I think he used to live somewhere near Hindi Prachar Sabha in TNAgar, Chennai once. I have seen him many times....I have some old cine ads of VVS + some Tamil articles ( Circles and spirals )..somewhere... ..one of these days, I will find them and post them...His fondness for Tyagaraja and Bharathi is well represented in the name 'Tyagabharathi"....Do you have the complete "Circles and Spirals" series of articles? There should have been at least a review of his Kamban concert in one of the Tamil magazines..at least in Kalki? ..we have to get these out ..and record them for posterity.....

Pasupathy
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#24 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

>>pasupathy
>>It is an excellent idea to persuade Vikatan to publish a 'pokkisham' of CM based on its archives. How should we go about it?
>>There are sufficient members at this Forum who would throw their weight for such a project. A simiar venture from Kalki will be equally fruitful.

I think a rep of rasikas.org should meet the Editor of Vikatan in person and request earnestly. We definitely need a "isaip pokkisham". ( Dance can be added).
Similarly with Kalki.

>>By the by be aware that arasi is the niece of VVS and of the veteran Ananthalakshmi Satagopan as well as a relative of Ambujam Krishna.
cmlover

>> Yes, I have seen her interview on Podhigai and heard one of her compositions (sung by Sumitra Nitin ? I think) ...I had the pleasure of fwding these Youtubes to
a local Yahoo music group we have in Toronto....

cmlover
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#25 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by cmlover »

That can be the theme of the next Rasika Meet at Chennai. I am sure our Nageshwaran will take the initiative.
Those of us who have connections at Chennai may also try independently...

Since you are the most knowledgeable on the old issues would you draft an appeal and post it as an independent thread here
so that members can express their support!

Pasupathy
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#26 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

>>Since you are the most knowledgeable on the old issues would you draft an appeal and post it as an independent thread here
>.so that members can express their support!

I'm sorry. I think it is better for a more senior member of this Group (one known to most persons and who agrees with the idea) to make this appeal. I would be happy to add my thoughts to the appeal after I see it. Also, I'm very much 'spread thin' among many Groups.... Please excuse me.

cmlover
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#27 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by cmlover »

Let me take a crack in a few days with your help, unless somebody else would take an initiative...

Pasupathy
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#28 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

Musical Tidbits -15

An article on 'Tyagaraja and Tamil" , originally published in "Sarigamapadhani" Magazine, Dec 98 issue.

http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2013/02/15.html

cmlover
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#29 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by cmlover »

A crow will not become a swan if dyed with white paint....

Pasupathy
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#30 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

A brief, similar English article on same topic of "Tyagaraja and Tamil", published in "Sruti", April 89.
Image

cmlover
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#31 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by cmlover »

Why don't you claim that T was also an afficianado of English since he even used the english word
"laanthar" (lantern) in one of his songs. He lived during the peak of British Times and sure must have learned
a smattering of English. There is not an iota of nationalism in any of his songs. Unquestionably in the undivided
Madras Presidency he had every right to be a Telugu scholar and Vaggeyakara. The Presidency was as much Telugu
as it was Tamil. In fact legitimately Madras should have been ceded to Andhra and Madurai or Trichy should have been made the capital of TN.

Unquestionably he was a musical genius. His contribution to CM is immense. His mother used to sing Purandara keertahnas which he enjoyed in childhood. He may even have learned Kannada and incorporated Purandara style music in his songs. For that you can even call him a Kannada prEmi as much as a Tamil lover. Let us focus on his music rather than the languge. Actually CM as an Art and science is Language neutral!

Pasupathy
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#32 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

:-)) I don't think I called Tyagaraja as a "lover" of Tamil in my articles. I just explored some possible two-way influences That's all.

Articles have been written about the influence of Kannada composers, mainly Purandaradasa, on Tyagaraja.

The influence of English tunes in some Tyagaraja songs has also been explored !

cmlover
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#33 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by cmlover »

Can you post some links?.
I thought that HMB was the one who exploited Western Tunes in CM..

Pasupathy
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#34 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

The gist is this:

We all know the 35-40 nottu-swaras of Dikshithar... all based on Western music tunes. This is the biggest influence in trinity's music.
Much has been written about that.

While Tyagaraja did not compose that many similar "nottu-swaras" , his "varaleela gana lola", " pahi ramachandra" and Sarasara samare ( kuntalavarali) seem to be influenced by similar western music.
( "vara leela gana".... probably influenced by " for he's a jolly good fellow").
Last edited by Pasupathy on 09 Feb 2013, 05:26, edited 1 time in total.

Pasupathy
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#35 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

Here is Aruna Sairam singing "summaa summaa varumaa sugam" of Ghanam Krishna Iyer (pallavi composed and sung before Tyagaraja by the composer.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_SgdoV ... redirect=1

Pasupathy
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#36 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

On Nottuswara Sahityas of Muththuswami Dikshitar
An interview :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DrcNNM ... redirect=1

Kanniks Kannikeswaran has been popularizing these for some time now.

Pasupathy
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#37 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

Varaleela Gana Lola of Tyagaraja
by Prince Rama Varma + group
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohrDlai ... redirect=1

Hope these links are enough to demonstrate the exploitation of Western Music in CM during Trinity's time.

cmlover
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#38 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by cmlover »

Thanks.
Isn't Ramicurarevarura (suposhini) yet another western based song composed by T ?

Pasupathy
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#39 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

>>Isn't Ramicurarevarura (suposhini) yet another western based song composed by T ?

Yes, true.

cmlover
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#40 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by cmlover »

If I were with Ghanam Krishna Iyer I wold have made the pallavi line:
"Summa summa telungilE pADinAl puriyumA" :D
and T wwould have reetorted in Khamas
"Telungil uLLa sugam nEnu tamizhil lEdu rA " :D

Ponbhairavi
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#41 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Ponbhairavi »

I agree with CML(post 31).Thiagaraja was a great composer in telegu which was his mother tongue though he was born and lived fully in tamil milieu.All the same we may have to bend ourselves backwards very hard if we wish to establish that he was influenced by english or tamil.We do not know whether he was at all aware of the following 3 tamil composers: thyagaraja (1767--1847 )
O V K - author of the Sapta ratna kirthanas.(1700 - 1765 )
Arunachala Kavi (1712-1779 )
Marimutha pillai (1712 -1767)
As we see these 3 composers lived just a couple of decades before him in less than a circle of 50 kms.

cmlover
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#42 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by cmlover »

I have heard in my younger days in late 30's in the villages (among KudiyaanavarkaL) mellifluous singing of Arunacala kavi's Rama NaTakam. Many of those lines were even used in proverbs. It never became popular due to the overpowering influence of 'concerts' from PaTNam organized by moneybags who were mostly Telegus (undivided madras presidency, of the "obnoxious odes" category :D ). All the musicinas in those days will sing only Thyagaraja or Dikshitar or occassionally Sastri. Even the light music they occasionally sang were mostly Telugu Javalis. The remote villagers could not understand a word of what was sung except they liked the Raga of the music. Most of the dramas in those days exploited those 'mettu' to compose songs in Tamil which were very popular in the villages. OVK was unheard of! How could CM thrive in the heartlands of TN when 95% of the audience do not understand what was sung? With the arrival of the Movies the allegience of the populace swung to movie songs which they could understand and relate to. P Sivan did a great service by composing Tamil songs patterned after Thyagaraja's music which were immensely popular. Bur the performing musicians steadfastly refused to sing Tamil compositions nor were there Tamil composers (Ambujam Krishna/ P Thooran were not musicians (vaggeyakaras) whose songs had to be tuned by other musicians). Now the allegience has shifted to "dappankutthu" due to performers' ignoring Tamil compositions and relegating them to the thukkada sections. So how could CM survive in TN among masses under such a hostile atmosphere?

Pasupathy
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#43 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

CML, Good points.

It is not at all that easy to be a good vaggeyakara ...let alone in a language one is not comfortable or have good grounding. I remember reading that Mysore Vasudevacharya could not oblige Mysore Maharaja and compose in Kannada. It was left later for HMB to compose 100's of Kannada songs (possibly with help from
Kannada scholars).

Also, note: When Syama Sastri composed a Kalyani song in Sanskrit, his sishyas complained that it was very difficult! So he composed another one in same tune in Telugu!

In Tyagaraja's time things were different. Composers composed in whatever language they were maximum comfortable .... and nobody expected them to do otherwise!

For CM to survive, we need "heavy" kritis in all languages...Tamil, Kannada and MalayaLam in particular.... and for that to happen, one should understand the musical grammar of great vAggEyakAra-s like Tyagaraja et al. Not enough people know it or want to make an effort. So "light" songs are written and tunesmiths do their job and we get only "tukkadA-s".

cmlover
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#44 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by cmlover »

For CM to survive, we need "heavy" kritis in all languages...Tamil, Kannada and MalayaLam in particular.... and for that to happen, one should understand the musical grammar of great vAggEyakAra-s like Tyagaraja et al. Not enough people know it or want to make an effort. So "light" songs are written and tunesmiths do their job and we get only "tukkadA-s".
Very true! Only a ver good musician can become a vaggeyakara! After all there is nothing profound in language or meaning in the songs of T or even Dikshitar. But their knowledge of the 'musical grammar' is stupendous! HMB though a Tamil was able to compose in Kannada since he was a gifted Musician. Too bad there is none such these days. Musical training for most of today's folks is quite on the surface. Nor do they have strong linguistic skills like Bharathy whose lines hold us spell bound in ideas as well as language!

Pasupathy
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#45 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Pasupathy »

Here's a summary of the titles of the first 100 posts in my Blog. Some bits may be of interest to some Rasikas.

http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2013/01/1-100.html

A summary of titles of 101-125 posts:

http://s-pasupathy.blogspot.com/2013/02/101-125.html
Last edited by Pasupathy on 10 Feb 2013, 21:14, edited 1 time in total.

venkatakailasam
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#46 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by venkatakailasam »

cml...

Have you read the interesting story leading to the composing of the song...suma suma...provided by me

in the information Bar of the song...

Ponbhairavi
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#47 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by Ponbhairavi »

post-43-' heavy krithis in all languages"--vidwans like Ravi Kiran have stated that OVK's compositions are in no way less heavy thaN most of T.
pst 42- " how could CM thrive in the heartland of T N when 95 percent of the audience do not understand what is being sung"
Paradoxically that is the truth. In the olden days as on today it is doubtful as to whether a major percentage of the audience understands what is being sung.
" performing musicians steadfastly refused to sing tamil compositions."--very true One of the reasons may be that the tanjore mirasdars who were the equivalent of today's sponsors did not want that. Why ?The dravidian movement and the social state of mind of the first half of the last century holds a clue to the real reason.

cmlover
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#48 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by cmlover »

Thanks Vkailasam
I missed it.
It is clear T may have noticed the irrelevance of 'lyrics' for good music!
Not only was he not offended, he even honoured the performer!
I wonder whether any of the modern performers will have the guts to perform a whole
concert with nonsense syllables! That will be an eye-opener!
(I am not discounting Santhanam's 'vILayaaDa ithu nErama" composed on the spot!)

There are two sides to music. One appeals to the 'inner self' and brings about peace of mind and equanimity. That is pure music which requires no words, more like WM and HM to some extent. The other is the one which appeals to the intellect and emotional self. Lyrics are a must here! Film Music belongs to this category which sets your mood and synchs you with the events. Listen to Pancali Sabatham set to powerful music which will rouse your passions. The words are very important and Bharathy is a Master of words! On the other hand you never get intellectually excited when you listen to T even if you understand the language. The music however moves you.

CM has a role to play on both these fronts. The former is less exploited than the latter. Good Vaggeyakaras are needed to balance the two! To start with they must be well grounded in the grammar of CM as Pasupathy rightly suggests....

arasi
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#49 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by arasi »

As a rasikA, here are my thoughts.

For some reason, any composition in sanskrit is perceived to be a heavy piece and not a thukkaDA. Well, there are exceptions of course (sara sara samarE in kunthala varALi and such, usually treated as a filler in the earlier part of the concert). Thanks to Ari, TiruppAvai verses have advanced as fillers, at least in the order in which they are sung.

In Telugu, tamizh and kannaDa, most compositions are sung with only one charaNam, even if they happen to have several more. Still, because of years of listening to their elaboration, a sanskrit or telugu song is looked upon as a heavy item.

Some of GKB and PS's songs for example have attained the serious heavy krutis status of late--which only goes to prove that it's all in our mind. Any meaningful eight or ten lines (not just a nAmAvali) can make the grade, rising from the tukkaDA section--if prefaced by rAgam and with svarams to finish off.
By the way, BhArathi's verses make better heavies than what he wrote as krutis, in my view.
I think the long standing habit of relegating tamizh (kannaDa) songs to the 'idara vagaigaL' (tail end of the concert pieces) is what brought this about.
(A pity, rarely any malayALam songs are sung in a concert).

Take tamizhisai concerts. They can have as much substance as a trinity loaded one.
If only performers and the audience realize that to sing many tamizh songs in a tamizh nADu concert is a natural thing to do! The tukkaDA state the local language songs (PD in KarnATakA, AnnamAchArya in AndhrA and so on) will become a thing of the past.
I know that performers will say: I do sing all tamizh (kannaDa, telugu) concerts! True, but only if they are those rare thematic or ArAdhanA concerts.

To sing mainly in the local language in small cities, with a mixture of songs in other languages in big cities (where the rasikAs are cosmopolitan) with a number of songs in the local language is agreeable.

My point is, stick with the Trinity, but do not ignore others, just because the trend to treat anything else as tukkaDA has become the norm over the past so many years.

keerthi
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#50 Re: Musical Morsels

Post by keerthi »

Why don't you claim that T was also an aficianado of English since he even used the english word
"laanthar" (lantern) in one of his songs. He lived during the peak of British Times and sure must have learned
a smattering of English. There is not an iota of nationalism in any of his songs.

For that you can even call him a Kannada prEmi as much as a Tamil lover. Let us focus on his music rather than the language. Actually CM as an Art and science is Language neutral!

cmlover, this post seems unnecessarily aggressive and is misleading in parts.

1. The influence of Tamil language and culture in tyAgarAja's songs can be established incontrovertibly. He uses phrases like 'kanna pinna',[the shUlini song] which to the best of my knowledge isn't seen in idiomatic telugu, as spoken in contemporary Andhra / telugu sIma. There are more examples of tamil influence in his language. In the sAranga karuNajUdavayya he uses words from the vishishtAdvaita paribhASa - nAchiyAr and Azhwar.

He has described the peerless chOla land [sogasaina chOla sIma] with a glorious breeze rising of the kAvEri in more than one song. [muripemu in mukhAri, ennADO raksincitE in sAurAStra]. In the latter song, he actually exhorts rAma to learn a lesson in compassion from Kaveri, since she raises a gentle cooling breeze to cool the brows of her children during the hot season. He has a whole song dedicated to the kAvEri [sAri veDalina in asAvEri] where he describes the cuckoos calling on the trees lining the Kaveri's course.

References to the KAvEri are endless and can be found in the sAranga song that Pasupathy mentions, and in many other kRtis on dharmasamvardhani and praNatArihara. In kAru vElpulu he says that the other devatas in comparison to rAma are like minor canals compared to the KAvEri. The above rUpakAlankAra [metaphor] illustrates tyagarAja's regard and affection for both rAma and the kAvEri.

From U.Ve Swaminatha Iyer's account, we know that tyAgaraja interacted with his contemporaries such as AnatANDavapuram gOpAlakRsNa bhArati and ghanam kRSNayyar.

2. The fact that tyAgarAja, and many composers from around that time, especially those who had court connections / formal training wrote and composed in telugu, is a consequence of the status Telugu enjoyed as the language of the court. They were long separated from the times when the Vijayanagar rule dictated the nature of Tanjore's cultural atmosphere. Nonetheless, telugu enjoyed a classical status that was not [at that time] matched by Tamil. The study of classical grammars and the mahAkAvyas in tamil has fallen into a low. The texts that were being published were mostly smaller simpler stOtras, piLLAitamizh verses, thalapurANams and so on.

If not, why would the Marathi kings Sarabhoji and Sahaji learn and write in Telugu? Why were several Marathi texts written out in telugu script in the Saraswati Mahal archive.

lAndaru was already part of the telugu lexicon when tyAgarAja used it, he did not coin a new term from the english lantern. It most likely entered telugu through Urdu. tyAgarAja has used other such Urdu-telugu terms [like kArubAru for kArObAr, the coarse term haramitanamu in eduta nilacite etc.]


3. It is important to read historical meaning in the contents of the lyrics of any such composer. It is nobody's business to say 'Let us focus on his music alone rather than the language.' You may opine that carnatic music is language-neutral [whatever that means]; other may chose not to ignore the linguistic and literary content of music.

If you're sure that language is an unimportant aspect of music, you could stop singing the sAhityam of his compositions. Singing jagadAnandakAraka in akAram, or even better sing the swara notation, may suite your tastes .

The language of tyAgarAja and his contemporaries - be they kavis or vAggeyakAras, is a rich source material for historians and to ignore that would be most unfortunate. There is rich material in tyAgarAja's songs to locate the influence of his contemporary telugu , tamil, marathi and sanskrit poets from Tanjore, the influence of the AdhyAtma-, Ananda-, Kamba- and vAlmiki- rAmayanas, the influence of tIrtha nArAyaNa yati, purandaradAsa, Upanishad brahmEndra and kancerla rAmadAsa; the influence of musicologists like shArngadEva..

Why wouldn't one want to look for it?

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