1) Which genius musician was named after the presiding deity at Thiruvidaimarudur ?
Answer : Flute Vidwan Sri T R Mahalingam
Sri TR Mahalingam , fondly referred to as Flute Mali – a genius who not only pleased his listeners but also moved their hearts. His usage of gamakas on flute was unique which brought his playing close to vocal music. He was a pioneer in many aspects including the changes he made to the instrument to improve the tonal quality.
His amazing breath control allowed him to dwell on each note for a long time. The pauses that followed every phrase were so full of music, thereby highlighting the importance of silence in music. He was also a master of violin .
2) This famous musician/composer has authored a book on his experiences with various artistes of his time. Identify the author & the book. (Clue: Kannada)
Answer : Vidwan Sri Mysore Vasudevachar
Book – Na Kanda Kalavidaru
Sri Mysore Vasudevachar was a 20th century musician and composer who very aptly fit into the lineage of Sri Thyagaraja’s sishya parampara.
Apart from composing over 200 compositions in Telugu and Sanskrit himself, Sri Vasudevachar’s musical prowess has lent hands to provide musical beauty in different arenas. Sri Vasudevachar was the chief court musician of the Mysore Wodeyar dynasty, where his contribution to music is unfathomable.
Towards the end of his life, Smt Rukminidevi Arundale , the then head of Kalakshetra invited Vasudevachar to move to Madras to work in that institution. Sri Vasudevachar accepted the invitation and spent several years in Kalakshetra, teaching the students and setting a lot of their dance dramas to tune, including the Ramayana.
Sri Vasudevachar is credited with two writings in Kannada, Nenapugalu (memories) and Na Kanda Kalavidaru (the musicians I have met), in which he wrote the biographies of many well known musicians of his times. Both these works are a huge testimony to the great thinking musician that he was and how much he respected and revered by the artistes of his times.
These works also reveal Sri Vasudevachar’s humour and honesty. One can glean enormous information about the music and musicians of this period.
3) Identify the composer and raga. https://soundcloud.com/sukrtam-trust/musiq-10-audio
Answer : Raga – Bhajangini
Composer – Sri Annamacharya
Raga Bhujangini is a Raga derived from the 16 Melakarta, Chakravakam. The panchamam is absent both in the ascent and descent, thereby making it a shadava(6 notes) scale. This composition of Sri Annamaya was tuned in this Raga by Sri Nedunuri Krishnamurthy garu. The melodic structure of the composition brings out the beautiful curvaceous patterns of the Raga. The svasthana kampita (mild shakes) in each of the constituent notes, makes the Raga very pleasant to listen to.