Smt. Madhavi Rajagopalan obtained her M. Litt degree from the University of Madras on her research work on "Tamizh Padam Composers and their contribution to Carnatic Music".
She had her practical training in music from Padma Bhushan Sangita Kalanidhi Sri. T.N. Swaminatha Pillai and later from Sangita Kalanidhi Sri R.K. Srikantan. She also had special training in Tamizh Padams from Smt. T Jayammal and Sangita Kalanidhi Dr. T. Viswanathan. She is a graded artist of All India Radio and still performing at Chennai.
She has to her credit a number of lecture demonstrations given at various reputed organisations in Chennai, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram and Delhi, besides many music concerts. She has and is still training a number of students both in India and abroad.
It gives me great pleasure to write this note expressing my warm regards for Smt. Madhavi Rajagopalan, Senior musician and musicologist, whom I have known for the past three decades. I met Smt. Madhavi first at the Wesleyan Navaratri Festival in the USA, in mid 80's where I presented a major Bharatanatyam performance. In the same festival, Smt. Madhavi presented a paper on Tamizh Padams. Later when I was Secretary at the Madras Music Academy, I invited her to participate in the morning Lecture-demonstrations, and present a lec-dem on Compositions of Sri Vasudeva Kavi of the Thanjavur court. Over the decades our friendship has remained firm, in spite of our inability to connect personally again for more than ten years.
Smt. Madhavi is a direct disciple of the legendary Thiruppampuram N. Swaminatha Pillai and was closely associated with another legendary musical tradition, namely that of Veena Dhanammal through her training with T. Jayammal, her daughter, Bharatanatyam legend and my own teacher T. Balasaraswati and Dr. T. Viswanathan. In that way, Madhavi and I belong to the same Gurukula.
Our recent meeting last year has culminated into further fruitful endeavors, one among which is the present publication titled "Tamizh Padams", with musical versions from Madhavi's personal collection of the tunes learnt from her illustrious teachers, each of whom were authorities in the genre of Padam rendition.
It is my good fortune to get Smt. Madhavi's acceptance to record and document these notations as handed over to her through oral tradition and publish them for the benefit of the future generation of musicians and dancers. It is a happy coincidence that this publication is being brought out on the occasion of the Centenary of my own teacher Smt. T. Mukta ,another musical legend from the Dhanammal lineage, which is being celebrated by my centre- Dr. V. Raghavan Centre For Performing Arts., Chennai with major support from the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.
My joy is doubled as this venture has been readily accepted for publication by the well-known Giri Trading Agency of Chennai; their dedicated efforts in publishing rich, resourceful projects on Indian Culture, Sanskrit, and Fine Arts are known worldwide.
This book contains invaluable musical treasures sustained through Sampradaya; its contribution to the enrichment of the fields of music and dance is unique in the sense that the immortal tunes as given in the book, have emerged from sources that have been the perennial strength of the twin field of Performing Arts. I am sure that the notated repertoire of these fifteen Padams with meanings in English will be useful for artists across the globe.
I place my gratitude to Smt. Madhavi for her generosity and concern in sharing her musical assets, greet the Sangeet Natak Akademi for joining my Centre in the book release and congratulate Giri Trading Agency Private Limited for undertaking this work.
This collection of Tamizh Padams has been compiled by me containing the invaluable musical versions handed over to me through oral tradition by legendary Exponents of Padams and Javalis like my own Guru Sangita Kalanidhi, Padma Bhushan Sri. Thiruppampuram N. Swaminatha Pillai, Smt. T. Jayammal (Mother of Sangita Kalanidhi Smt. T. Balasaraswati), Veteran Bharatanatyam Exponent Smt. Svarna Saraswathi and Sangita Kalanidhi Dr. T. Viswanathan.
This Booklet consists of some rare Padams of Various Known and few unknown composers. The work is based on the research corpus collected during the work for my M. Litt Degree (1956-1958) under the guidance of Padma Bhushan Prof. P. Sambamoorthy, Head of The Department of Music, University of Madras.
I am happy to pass on these precious materials to the future generation of artists through this publication.
I am very grateful to the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi and Dr. V. Raghavan Centre For Performing Arts, Chennai for Arranging to release this publication very appropriately during the Centenary Celebration of the legendary Exponent of Padams and Javalis, Smt. T. Muktha.
I am thankful to Ms. Leela Samson, Chairman, Sangeet Natak Akademi for releasing the book.
My special thanks are due to Smt. Nandini Ramani, Managing Trustee, Dr. V. Raghavan Centre For Performing Arts and a prime student of Smt. T. Balasaraswati, for not only encouraging me to take up this work but also checked through the entire process until its publication, including the text and the translations.
I acknowledge Giri Trading Agency Private Limited for readily accepting to print this publication and also to undertake the propagation of this worthy musical treasure.
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