Composers : Cultural Leaders Of India

Item Code: IDK566
Author: V. Raghavan
Publisher: Publication Division, Ministry Of Information And Broadcasting
Language: English
Edition: 1991
Pages: 117
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 7.7" X 5.3"
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Book Description
Back Of The Book

In our country we are familiar with a large number of devotional notes whose outpourings are part of our music heritage and some of them have an imported place in the history of our music and the evolution of musical forms. And it is difficult to draw the line between these devotional poets and the composers who form the subject of this volume.

The galaxy of composers in this volume includes Javadeva of Gita Govinda fame Annamcharya who shares with Purandaradasa the honour of being the Pitamaha of Kamataka music Kshetrajna a specialist in Mudhura bhakti Tyagaraja Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syame Sastri the trinity of Karnataka music Maharaja Svati Tirunal the royal composer from Travancore and Gopal Krishna Bharati who has been won immortal fame by his composition on Nanda the untochable. Amir khusrau who is a product of the blend of who cultures Haridas and Tansen the pioneers of the highest Hindustani music Dhrupad these three are outstanding names in the history of Hindustani music. Haridas was a saint-singer who sang only of God and for God only.


Two large volumes in this series have been devoted to saints and mystics. The outpourings of most of them are part of our history of our music and the evolution of the musical forms. It is difficult to draw the line between them and those who figure in the present Volume entitled Composers. All that could be said in support of this division is that those dealt with here are more especially composers and their contributes form the mainstay high-watermark of classical concert -music.

jayadeva leads the whole galaxy. All the music compositions before the Gita-govinda are to be seen only in the music treatises lessly by later poets and composers. It is also the fountainhead of dance and dance-drama and of the sampradaya of Mudhura bhakti. With purandaradasa Annamacharya shares the honour of being the Pitamaha of Karnataka music his compositions which had not gained the vogue that their quantity and quality entitle them to gave the shape to the Kirtana which forms the major song-form of Karnataka music. His creations include the theme of Mudhura-bhakti but it was Kshetrajna who specialized in it. An equally prolific composer, Kshetrajna was a master of the rhetoric of love and the analysis of all the possible types of Nayika and nayaka as developed in the Alankara and Natya Sastras and he composed a Pada for everyone of this infinite variety. His Padas are still sung and in dance their abhinaya forms the acme of excellence of bhava.

Tyagaraja Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri form a class by themselves. In their compositions the Kirtana of Kriti form attained its perfection. Raga and Tala with scope for variations along with Bhava go here to make an artistic whole which raises the Kriti above the recitative devotional composition. These three are venerated as the Trinity of Karnataka music and the repertoire of south Indian concerts is dominated by their creations.

Although Tanjavur and Trivandrum are far from each other music and dance brought them close during the time of the Royal Composer and patron Maharaja Svati Tirunal whose varied compositions include Kritis varnass Padas pieces for dance, Karnataka and Hindusthani modes and long-story compositions for Harikatha.

Gopalakrishna Bharati represents the Tamil composers of this time. He immortalized himself by the long-story composition on Nanda the Parish devotee to Lord Nataraja in which he inlaid the symbolism of the fallen human self yearning for the supreme self. Bharata Natya recitals without his song on the dance of Nataraja Natanam adinar in Raga Vasanta and his Varugalamo, in which the pariah-bhakta begs whether he would approach the Lord's presence is one of two most moving in Raga Manji.

Three outstanding names in the history of Hindusthani music are Amir Khusrau Tansen and Swami Haridas. The first is usually considered to be responsible for the Persian influences in North Indian Music Ragas song forms and instrument. A poet and an ardent admirer of the ancient art of Indian music he was a product of the blend of the two cultures. The other two were primarily musicians pioneers of the highest form of north Indian music the Dhrupad. Haridas came in the regular line of the Saint-singers who shunned the courts and patrons and sang only of God and for God only.

The writers on these composers in this Volume are those who have made a special study of the subject of their articles. As regards the lives of such celebrated and venerated figures only in some cases we do have reliable biographical details; for the rest the authentic picture of their historical personality gets into a maze of myths and anecdotes. But these as handed down by tradition are not to be ignored but understood for they represent the image that these great artists had created in the minds of the people and the value that the people saw in their lives and contributions.

Our Contributors

Swami Prajnanananda

Ramakrishna Vedanta Math Calcutta

P. V. Rajamannar

Retired Chief Justice of Madras High Court Madras.

R.A. Jayantha

Lecturer in English Sri Venkateswara University Tirupati. (The late) V. Raghavan

Retired Professor of Sanskrit University of Madras Madras

S. Venkitasubramoni Aiyar Sanskrit Department University of Kerala Trivandrum

(The Late) P. Sambamurit

Retired Professor of music university of madras, madras

T.L. Venkatarama Iyer

Retired Judge Federal Court of India Madras.

Chaitanya P. Deasai

Research Officer University Of music Khairagarh, M.P.

K.C.D. Brahaspati Chief Adviser music All India Radio New Delhi.

Mudikondan Venkatarama Iyer Principal Teachers Collage of Music, music Academy Madras.

Dr. B.C. Deva

Assistant secretary (music) Sangeet Natak Akademi New Delhi.


Swami Prajnanananda 1
P V Rajamannar 5
Tallapaka Annamacharya
R A Jayantha 12
V. Raghavan 20
Maharaja Svati Tirunal
S. Venkitasubramonia Iyer 40
Syama Sastri
P. Sambamoorthy 48
Muthuswamy Dikskitar
T.L. Venkatarma Aiyer 55
Amir khusrau
Chaitanya P. Desai 66
K.C.D. Brahaspati 75
Gop Lakrishna Bharati
Mudikondan C. Venkatarma Iyer 89
Swami Haridas
B.C. Deva 103
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