Thursday, 9 February 2017

Carnatic Music (Post Trinity) - List of Musicians

Patnam Subramanya Iyer(1845-1902) was a great vocalist, teacher and composer.

He was born in 1845 in Tanjavur to Bharatham Vaidyanatha Iyer, his father. He hailed from a musical tradition: his grandfather was Bharatham Panchanada Sastry, the samasthana vidwan at the court of Serfoji II and his uncle Melatture Ganapati Sastrigal was also a vocalist and taught him music, along with Kothavasal Venkatarama Iyer and Manambucchavadi Venkatasubbaiyyar. Among his sishyas were Ramanathapuram (Poochi) Srinivasa Iyengar, Kakinada C.S. Krishnaswamy Iyer, G Narayanaswamy Iyer, Mysore Vasudevacharya, Guruswamy Iyer, Tiger Varadachariar, Muthialpet Sesha Iyer (known as Kulla Sesha Iyer), M.S. Ramaswamy Iyer, and Enadi Laksmi. He was the Asthana Vidwan to the Courts of Travancore, Mysore, Vijayanagaram and Ramanathapuram. He has composed over a 100 pieces, including tana and pada varnas, kritis, tillanas and javalis. He has set a pallavi to the Simhanandana Tala, the longest tala. He used the mudras Venkateswara, Adi Venkateswara, Varada Venkateswara, Sri Varada Venkateswara or Venkatesa. He is credited with the creation of the raaga Kathana Kuthuhalam. Famous for singing begada, he earned the name Begada Subramanya Iyer. He died July 31st, 1902 in Tiruvayyar.

Subbarama Dheekshithar (1839-1906) 

the grandson of Baluswami Dikshitar, brother of Muthuswami Dikshitar. He was a great composer in his own right, but is more well known for Sangita Sampradaya Pradarshini, an important book detailing works of Muthuswami Dikshitar and a reference on many other Carnatic musical concepts.

Subbarama Dheekshithar was born to Annapurni and Sivarama Iyer. Annapurni was the daughter of Baluswami Dikshitar, brother of Muthuswami Dikshitar. Baluswami Dikshitar, a great musician, was at the court of Ettayapuram kings. He adopted Subbarama Dheekshithar as his own son and taught music to Subbarama Dheekshithar. Subbarama Dheekshithar began composing at the age of seventeen and became the ashtana vidhwan of the Ettayapuram kings at the age of nineteen. He composed maintaining the high style of Muttuswami Dikshitar, composing kriti-s, many varna-s, svarajati-s, and ragamalika-s. He also set to music, the Valli-Bharatam, a Tamil composition by Kadigai Namassivaya Pulavar of the Ettayapuram Court. "Ma moha lahiri" in Khamas on God Kumara at Kazhukumalai by the same Tamil scholar was also set to dance-music by Subbarama Dikshitar. He also did a Tamil translation of the Telugu Mahabharata.

Sangita Sampradaya Pradarshini is printed in two vilumes and extends to about 1700 pages. It comprises 76biographies of persons from Sarngadeva to those of Subbarama Dikshitar himself. Two sections are devoted to the science of music (Sangita-lakshana-prachina paddhati and Sangita-lakshana-sangraha). There is an exhaustive tabular statement of raga-s, raganga-s, upanga-s and bhashanga-s with their murcchana-s; a detailed descriptive guide in Telugu and Tamil to the gamaka-signs employed in the notations of the songs in the book and tala-signs. The main text of the work gives the 72 Mela-s and all their Janya-s with their raga-lakshana-s, explanation of their special characteristics, their lakshana-gita-s, sanchari-s and illustrative compositions; and supplements giving ragamalika-s and pieces of other composers who had lived in the previous three centuries, including 170 gita-s of Venkatamakhin, about 229 kriti-s of
Muttuswami Dikshitar.

Pallavi Sesha Iyer (or Seshayyar)(1842-1909) 
one of the important post-trinity composers and musicians in the Tyagarajashishya parampara.Sesha Iyer was born in Neykkarapatti, a village about 8 miles from Salem, Tamilnadu। His father, Neykkarapatti Subbayar, was a disciple of Shri Thyagaraja. Sesha Iyer had his musical training from his father, who taught him all the Thyagaraja Krishi-s.

As a singer, he was an expert at Ragam-Thanam-Pallavi, so much so, he came to be known as Pallavi Sesha Iyer। Another of his specialities was his ability to compose and sing in rare raaga-s. He composed in many rare mela-s like Kanakangi, Manavati, Tanarupi and raaga-s like Mallikavasantam and Pushpalatika. He also set his own compositions in notation, a rarity among Indian composers. He became a singer in the court of Mysore Maharaja, staying in Mysore and Bangalore for a number of years and teaching a large number of students. Towards the latter part of his life, he lived in Madras. His prime disciples include Manattattaai Duraiswami Aiyar, Chintalapalli Venkita Rao and Nagaswaram Krishna.

Veene sheshanna(1852-1926) 

perhaps the most famous musician of the Mysore royal court and proponent of the famous Mysore Bani i.e. school of veena playing. He also represents the times when Mysore royal court was the cultural capital of the south.
Born into a family of musicians, he learnt from his father Bakshi Chikka Ramappa who was the court musican in the court of the Mysore king of the time Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. He was a child prodigy and gained acceptance of the court even at the age of just ten. Later he learnt vocal music under the famous vocalist Mysore Sadashiva Rao.
Apart from Veena, he was adept at playing many instruments like piono, sitar and violin. He also learnt Hindustani music and even western classical. He was also a composer.

Koteeswara Iyer(1870-1940) 
an important post-trinity composer, known for his many krithi-s in Vivadhi Raaga-s. 
Koteeswara Iyer was born into a music famly. His grand father was the famous poet and composer Kavikunjara Bharati, a contemporary of the trinity. Koteeswara Iyer was initially trained by his grand father. Later he was trained by Ramnad Sreenivasa Iyengar and then by Patnam Subramania Iyer. Koteeswara Iyer's mudra, Kavi Kunjaradasan, shows his respect for his grand father, Kavikunjara Bharati.,book Kandha Gaanamritham. But he is Koteeswara Iyer penned over 200 compositions. He also composed a krithi in each of the 72 mela-s and published them in his well known for his Vivaadi raaga krith-s like Mohanakara (Neethimathi), Ma madhura sarasa (Ganamurthi) and Singara Kumari (Varunapriya). 

Dr. Harikesanallur Muthaiah Bhagavathar (1877-1945)

one of the most important post-trinity composers and an important vocalist as well.
Muthaiah Bhagavathar was born to Lingam Iyer and Anamdam in1877. After the early death of his father, he was brought up by his maternal uncle Lakshamana Suri of Harikesanallur, who taught his Sanskrit, Vedas and music. He got further musical training from Sambasiva Iyer and his son T. S. Sabesa Iyer, who belonged to the Thyagaraja shishya parampara.

As a vocalist, his big break came when in 1887 he sang before Maharaja Mulam Thirunal of Travancore who honoured him as a court musician. This established him as one of the front ranking musicians of the time. Later he started giving Harikatha performances, for which he earned the name Bhagavathar. This was the time he started composing, which he would use in his Harikatha-s.

The next phase of his life was as a court musician in Mysore, from 1927. Most of his compositions were from this period. Initially he composed mostly in Madhyakala, like Shri Tyagaraja. After 1931, he was influenced by Muthuswamy Dikshitar compositions and started compoing in vilambita kala. In 1936, he was again invited byMaharani Sethu Parvathi of Travancore and he spent several years there. during that time, one of his major contributions was popularising Swati Tirunalcompositions. He was also the first prinicipal of "Swathi Thirunal Academy of Music" there.

Papanasam Shivan(1890 -1973)
the most important Carnatic Composer in Tamil. He has composed over two thousand songs in seventy five raaga-s. He is known asTamil Thyagaraja.Papanasam Shivan was born in1890 in Polaham, Tanjavur district. His real name wasPolagam Ramaiah. His father passed away very early, forcing his mother to move to Thiruvananthapuram. Papanasam Shivan studied Sanskrit at Maharajah's college. His musical training was mostly informal. He was guided and influenced by Neelakanta Sivan and Konerirajapuram Vaidyanatha Iyer. The limited formal training he had was from Samba Bhagavatar and Mahadeva Bhagavatar. He also never had any formal training in Tamil.

He was a teacher at Kalakshetra for sometime. During that time he got a big break and started working for the Tamil music indutry. About 800 of his compositions would be for the film industry. He is perhaps the only Carnatic composer to have so extensively worked for the film industry. Papanasam Shivan's carnatic compositions were mostly spontaneous and noted down by others. His compositions were mostly in Tamil, even though he has some Sanskrit compositions. In 1972 he was awarded, belatedly, Sangeetha Kalanidhi by Madras Music academy.

Jayachamaraja Wodeyar(1919-1974)
was one of the rare Kings who was also an important musicologist and composer. Perhaps he was following the example set by Travancore king - composer Swati Tirunal and the last Mughal emperor - ghazal poet Bahadur Shah Zafar .
Jayachamaraja Wodeyar was born in Mysore on 18th July, 1919 as the son of Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wodeyar. He received traing from ashtana vidhwans in all arts and sciences. Mysore kings were great patrons of art and music. They had in their court great musicians from all over India, both Carnatic and Hindustani.
Jayachamaraja Wodeyar ascended to the throne in 1940, after the death of Chamaraja Wodeyar IV and ruled till 1950, when he handed over the state to the Indian republic, ending 550 years of Wodeyar rule. But, he continued to be the constitutional head of Mysore state as the Raja Pramukh (1950-56), till the post was abolished. He was then the first governor of Mysore state (1956-65)and also Madras state (1964-67).
As a great patron of music, he had several artists in his court - Tiger VaradachariarMysore Vasudevachar,Muthaiah Bhagavathar, Gotuvadyam Narayana Iyengar and Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar. Jayachamaraja Wodeyarcomposed about 90 krithi-s in Sanskrit, some in rare raaga-s like Bhogavasanta, Durvangi. He had great interest in western music too. He was the recipient of D.Lit from Queensland University, Australia, Doctor of Law from Banaras University, and D.Lit from Annamalai University. He was honorary Fellow of Trinity College of Music, London, in the year 1945.

Disclaimer: the above list is prepared from culling and compiled from different sources for music lovers and whatever mentioned above is absolutely not my opinion, and i claim no historical authenticity or whatsoever.

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