1) Timiri and Baari are types of which instrument?

Answer : Nadaswaram

Timiri is smaller and much older when compared to baari which is bigger in size. The timiri naayanam had a higher pitch (3 to 5 kattai), and is now replaced by the lower pitched baari naayanam (1 to 2.5 kattai).
2) Identify this Sangeetha Kalanidhi who also sang. https://soundcloud.com/sukrtam-trust/audio-sample-1

Answer : Padma Vibhushan Sangeetha Kalanidhi Smt. T Balasaraswathy

Balamma epitomised artistic aesthetics. A great inspiration for both dancers and musicians alike, the most esteemed musicans were heard to say, “I am off to hear Bala’s dance”. For instance, The way she explored the raga swaroopa while singing the viruttam, Krishna nee begane is inimitable…
3) A rare theatre art blending bhakthi, music, art and culture in vogue over 4 centuries ?

Answer : Bhagavatha Mela Natakam

The Bhagavatha mela Nataka consists of music, dance and dramatic elements which another form of dance drama prevelant in South India. This art form is known to have been in practise for more than 4 centuries and is highly classical in its content and presentation. The text followed is in Telugu. Narayana Theertha Yogi of Varahoor, is said to have composed many dance dramas , whose tradition was followed by his disciples. One of the disciples son, Sri Venkatarama Sastri who was a scholar in Telugu and Sanskrit apart from being a learned Bharathanatyam dancer, produce nearly 12 master pieces such as Prahlada , Harishchandra, Markandeya, etc.. These dramas were annually enacted during the Narasimha Jayanthi festival in villages like shoolamangalam, salyamangalam, oothukkadu, Nallur besides Mellattur. The orchestra consists of 3 singers, 2 cymbal players, a mridangam player, a flautist and a violinist. The natakam consists of a story narration, music, dance, drama, beautiful costumes, etc. a wonderful sight to watch and so many aesthetic ideas infused into one art form.

Apart from being a very traditional and classical art form, it has a very religious side to it.
The Prahlada charitram is enacted on the day of Narasimha Jayanthi every year. The drama is enacted only in the temple. The mask of Narasimha is kept inside the temple and so many poojas are done for it before it is taken to for the mela. So much care is taken to keep up all the traditional values.

Also, Bhagavatha mela natakam can be considered to be the precursor to the Carnatic music structure that is in practise today. It is said that Great composers like Sri Thyagaraja , Sri Mudduswamy Dikshitar have attended the mela and were deeply inspired by the songs and the song structures and based a lot of their own compositions on those ideas. Sri thyagaraja’s prahladha bhakthi Vijayam – an opera that he composed is said to have been an inspired version of the Bhagavatha mela natakam.

MusIQ 6

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