Fascinating article on 'Margadarsi' Sesha Iyengar. Found the following excerpt on his contributions especially interesting:
Are there any renditions of Sesha Iyengar's compositions available? To be called a 'Margadarsi' by your contemporaries is indeed a great compliment and honour!The Muhana prasa antya prasa vyavastha deals with the principles of using the Sabdalankaras - muhana, prasa and antyaprasa - in musical compositions in Sanskrit, a subject not met in any work on the theory of music. All the examples cited are from the kritis of Margadarsi Sesha lyengar. Muhana (called Monai in Tamil) is the Sabdalankara by which the same letter as in the beginning of an avarta or any of its substitutes occurs in the beginning of the second avarta. For example,
'Dinakara Kula dipa!
Dhrita divya sara chapa!'
Prasa, (called Edukai in Tamil) is the repetition of the second letter in the first avarta in the same position in the subsequent avarta in the same position in the subsequent avartas. This is concerned only with consonants, not vowels. The example given in the book from Sesha lyengar's Kriti is:
â€˜Tanuja sarana pa-
Vanaja mukha pari-
jana ! jagadahita-
manuja tanu dhara!
vanaja dala nayana!â€™
Antyaprasa is the repetition of a letter or group of letters at the end of the avartas. It differs from prasa. For instance, a word like netram can have antyaprasa only with words like gatram, sutram, etc. For examples,
Tavakina Charana Kisalaye
The most interesting part of the book deals with a feature called Antarukti, not mentioned at all in any other work on music. This is the use of one or more syllables between two words which are in muhana or Prasa, for the sake of tala. For example,
â€˜Hanumantam Chintayeham paVana'
Here the word Pavana is split to provide 'vana' as prasa to 'Hanu' The syllable 'pa' is therefore the 'antarukti'
The Muhana prasa antyaprasa vyavastha is thus a treasure-trove to musicologists and to those who wish to compose Kritis in accordance with time-honoured Saddalankaras. In the beginning the author says:
'The three Sabdalankaras used in composing Sahitya for music are muhana, prasa and antyaprasa. Although the rules for such compositions in Telugu and Tamil are well-recognized, there is no set of rules for compositions in Sanskrit. We have therefore, to accept certain norms that are found in the Kritis of the poet known as Sesha Ramanuja Kavi who has composed only in Sanskrit.'