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Dhwani

Dhwani is YACM’s monthly journal. The journal talks about various aspects of classical music including musicians, mythology and its impact on classical music or events that regularly take place at YACM. We also feature interviews with leading vocalists and instrumentalists. Our newest highlight is the article on a Divya Kshetram in every edition of Dhwani.

Stay tuned for the anniversary celebration Dhwani series, released each day!

19th August 2007

Dear Readers,

Welcome to the fifth and final day of our anniversary celebrations. We have immensely enjoyed being with the Rasikas and experiencing musical exhilaration for all the five days.

This morning we have a panel discussion on the present and future of Carnatic music. We are fortunate to have a set of eminent personalities as our panelists – Sri PS Narayanaswamy, Smt. Suguna Varadhachari, Palakkad Sri TR Rajaraman, Guruvayur Sri Durai, Sri R Krishnaswamy and Smt. Gowri Ramnarayan. The valedictory of the festival is at 6pm and we are extremely happy to have Sri TV Gopalakrishnan as our chief guest. We are also happy to have Smt.Jayalakshmi Santhanam as the guest of honor. Following the valedictory, we have a concert by Sri.MR Subramaniam. He will be accompanied by Sri.L Ramakrishnan on the violin, Sri MR Srikrishna on the Mridangam and Sri Harihara Sharma on the Kanjira.

Dhwani today brings to you an article on the Pitamaha of Carnatic Music, Sri Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. We have made a humble attempt to pay our tribute to the legend through this article. We also have an article on the Kshetram of Sringeri, and a small article on Bangalore Nagarathnamma which is sure to delight our readers.

We take this opportunity to thank all or Rasikas for their constant support throughout the Anniversary Celebrations.

Sangeetha Vasudevan
(Editor – Dhwani)


SEMMANGUDI SRINIVASA IYER

Srinivasa Iyer was the third son born to Radhakrishna Iyer and Dharmasamvardhini Ammal. Born on 25th July 1908, he grew up in the village of Semmengudi which is in the cradle of Carnatic music, Tanjavur District, South India.
Semmengudi had the opportunity to learn music under four distinguished musical stalwarts. Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer started learning music in 1916, at the age of eight from Semmangudi Narayaswamy Iyer. He was then under the tutelage of Gottu Vadhyam Vidwan Tiruvidaimurudur Sakharama Rao for a few years. Later he went to Umayalpuram Swaminatha Iyer from whom he learnt many number of Thyagaraja songs. Semmengudi also had training from the acclaimed vocalist, Sangita Kalanidi Sri Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer whom he supported in many concerts.
Semmangudi's first music recital was in 1926 at the Kumbakonam Nageswaraswami temple. Although a traditionalist, he introduced many novelties in the works of composers ranging from Swati Tirunal to Ambujam Krishna. He also popularised rare ragas such as Bhavapriya, Salaghabhairavi and Narayanagowla.
Among his rare distinctions is the great qualitative contribution he has made to the development of M.S. Subbulakshmi's transporting music, and the fact that she acknowledges him as her guru. He was instrumental, along with Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar, for work on the krithis of Maharaja Swathi Tirunal. After attending one of his concerts in 1934, Maharani Sethu Parvati Bai of Travancore was so impressed by his talent and scholarship that she invited him to come to Thiruvananthapuram to edit and popularise the compositions of Swati Tirunal. He succeeded Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar as Principal of the Swathi Thirunal College of Music at Thiruvananthapuram, a post he held for 23 years, until the age of 55. At this age, he handed over his responsibilities to another Carnatic legend, G N Balasubramanian and at the behest of the Government of India, became the Chief Producer of Carnatic music at All India Radio, Madras from 1957 to 1960. In later life, he concentrated on concert performances and tutoring youngsters. He gave public concerts even after the age of 90.This turned out to be a milestone in the history of South Indian music as more and more of Swati Tirunal's songs came to be sung in concerts from then on.
He was the youngest recipient of the Sangita Kalanidi awarded by the Music Academy in 1947, He has received many awards including Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan from the government of India. His prominent disciples include Prof. T. N. Krishnan (who accompanied him on violin in many concerts) and T. M. Thiagarajan and also       P . S. Narayanaswamy.
Sri Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer has designed and crafted a unique singing style, which is a blend of tradition and modernity. He will reign supreme in the Rasika’s heart forever.

 

SRINGERI - THE HOLY REALM

Sringeri is a picturesque town in the heart of the Malnad with rich vegetation and pleasant climate. This temple town attracts pilgrims from all over India and abroad as well. It is located at the foot of the Sahyadris (Western ghats). The green forests and the sacred river Tunga have made this town a lovely abode of nature. Sringeri is situated on the left bank of the holy river Tunga.
The region of Sringeri was once ruled by the Hoysala emperors. The Hoysala rule came to an end when Mallik Kafur entered South India with his regiments in 1311 A.D. The invaders in their zeal to spread their religion, made assaults on the Hindus and broke their idols of worship and their temples. It is said that the Sringeri Mutt and Sharada temple suffered mutilation at the time of the invasion.
There are many shrines and temples in and around Sringeri. Adi Guru Sankaracharya constructed four temples for four deities as the protector of the Sree Sharada Peetha at Sringeri. They are Kalabhairava temple to the east, Durga Temple to the south, Anjaneya temple to the west and Kali temple to the north. Sankaracharya established the Advaita Mutt and the temple of Sree Sharada. The Sharada temple has been rejuvenated from time to time.
Sree Malahanikareshwara temple, situated on the top of the Mallappa hill, in the heart of the town, is very old. This temple is built in the dravidian style. On the left is the Bhavanidevi temple, which is believed to be built by Sreemad Chidanand Swamiji.
Sree Vidyashankar temple is the cynosure of Sringeri. It fascinates all types of visitors and devotees. It possesses architectural beauty and grandeur. The samadhi of Sree Vidyatheertha Swamiji is also here. Viewed from a distance it looks as though it is a attractive chariot. On the walls are carved innumerable statues. On the pinnacle of its lofty tower is the gold cupola. Inside this temple are the twelve sculptured pillars with the signs of zodiac from Aries to Pisces. As the sun move from one zone to another, its rays fall on the respective pillars. These pillars are placed strictly in accordance of the principles of astronomy. Lord Shanideva housed in this temple is offered with special pujas.
Shree Sankaracharya temple, the Janardhana temple and the Harihareshwara temple are also beautiful. Sringeri overflows with life and brisk activities. Everyday one can find a celebration of some kind. Celebrations on a grand scale takes place on days like, Sankara Jayanthi, Ganesha Chathurti, and Shiva Rathri etc. The Rathotsavas of Sharadadevi, Vidyashankar and Malahanikareshwara present a grand spectacle of religious gatherings. The Jagadguru of the Peetha offers worship to Lord Chandramouleshwara everyday. The silver Rathotsava of Sri Sharadadevi is celebrated on all Fridays.
Sringeri has all along been a great center of education, a platform of intellectual activities and strong moral force. People all over India revere it as a Peetha of moral and intellectual and philosophical excellence. It has ushered in a new era by engaging itself in the nation building activities.

 

BANGALORE NAGARATHNAMMA

Born as a Devadasi, she was a liberated woman in her times, having learned Sanskrit. She performed bharatanatyam and had a great influence on the arts in South India. She was also responsible for building the memorial to Thyagaraja and establishing the Trust that allows performances at Tiruvayaru each year on his birthday, defying cultural norms that prevented women from performing.

It is said (from her will) that she had a dream in 1921 in which Tyagaraja appeared, which spurred her to devote herself to him and to music. She also published a book of poems by a woman author (and in so doing defied the British), "Radhika Swanthanamu" (Appeasing Radhika, 1910). She learned music from Munuswami Appa of Bangalore, a violinist. Her house still stands in George Town. Her compositions include an ashtotram on Saint Tyagaraja, an article "Sri Tyagaraja swami sannidhi puja," as well as songs.

 

YACM THANKS ITS SPONSOR FOR THE DAY:

THE NEW INDIA ASSURANCE COMPANY LIMITED, CHENNAI