Seerkazhi sings on Chembai

Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, a patrician in the sphere of  Carnatic music abounding in gayaka lakshana was a deeply religious man. Music was in his family and he was taught and learnt as part of Vedic instruction.

Born on August 1896 in a family of musicians,  whose  traditions  ran  uninterruptedly  over  about  two centuries, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar had music in his blood. A great grandson of Chakratana Subba Aiyar,who was a contemporary of the musical trinity,and son of Chembai Anantha Bhagavatar  young Vaidyanathan had music readymade for him.He had his  early training under  his father and for himself equipped fully to give an independent performance even at the age of nine.

He has a tonal clarity and flawless articulation with undiluted rhythmic content. His repertoire was wide enough to include poems from the Tiruvachakam, Tiruppugazh, Divya Prabhandam, Ramalingaswami's Viruttam, compositions of Muthuthandavar and bhajans of Kabirdas, Tulasidas and Bhaktha  Meera,  besides the immortal  creations of the trinity  and others.  
As a performer his creative ability was astonishing. He could do a neraval and swara- prasthara  from  any  given point, which bespoke of mental alertness from the word ``go'' in a concert. His  abiding  sympathy  for  his  accompanists  was  noteworthy  and  he  would  go to any length to encourage them by giving them full scope to develop and display their talent.   
With his rich vibrant  voice and a  ringing tone,  Chembai's music had a direct appeal to his listeners. To Chembai, the main factors that contributed to the development of a musical personality were the intuition of the musician,  his  sound  knowledge  of  ragas  and  swaras  and  firm  control  of sruti and laya and the capacity to evolve an individual style of expression  suited  to  one's  voice  and  aptitude  and ``ideas distilled through the variegated experience behind him.'  
He lived a life of a savant larger than real life to two years short of four-score. He passed  away on October 16, 1974. Chembai was the recipient of numerous honours.    Swami  Sivananda  conferred  on  him  the title of Sangita Samrat.    Honours  were  also   bestowed on him by the rulers of Cochin,  Mysore,  Baroda, Vijayanagaram,Bobbili and Jaipur.

Sirkazhi Govindarajan 
January 19, 1933 - March 24, 1988) was a leading vocalist in Carnatic Music.
Govindarajan, born in Sirkali in Madras Presidency) and started performing at the age of eight in Tirupurasundari Temple. His son Sirkazhi G. Sivachidambaram is also a Carnatic singer.
He graduated from the Tamil Isai College in Chennai in 1949 and learnt music from Thiruppampuram Swaminatha Pillai. He was conferred the Padma Shri award by the Government of India.
Govindarajan had also done playback singing in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada films. Madras University conferred a doctorate (Honoris Causa) on him in 1983. He died in 1988, aged 55.
(thanks to Wikipedia)


Ragam Mohanam                                       

"Mohanam",the very name of this raga is synonymous with allure and beauty.It has the capacity to woo and captivate the hearts of both the cognoscenti as well as the lay rasika .It is a very simple  pentatonic,"Audava/Audava" raga with five notes,both in aarohanam and avarohanam,with "madhyamam" and "nishadham" absent from both aarohanam and avarohanam. It is a janya of the 28th Melakarta,Harikhambhoji.
Aa: S R2 G3 P D2 S
Av: S D2 P G3 R2 S 

Mohanam is an enchanting Raga . Here is a song in Malayalam for you.

It's Jeeva swaras are Ri,Ga and Dha.Amsa swaras are Ga and Pa. It is one of the most popular ragas in carnatic music,capable of elaborate rendition,including RTP's, lasting upto one hour,with alapana,sangathis,neravals,kalpana swarams,gamakas etc.It is usually taken up in the first half of the concert as a main raga.It may also be taken up in the latter part of the concert for rendition of bhajans,viruthams etc. The main rasas of the raga are valour,challenge,sringara and karunya.
It's similar raga in Hindustani Music  is called "Bhupali" or "Dheshkar". It is also an international raga,in as much as it's scales have been used in all the world music forms,notably in South East Asian countries like China,Thailand,Malaysia and Japan as well as in Swedish and Italian music.
A Carnatic composition in Raga Mohanam in Flute !


Raga Bahar
Bahar is a Hindustani classical raga. Raag Bahar is usually rendered in the Spring season. 
Since it is the raga of spring, it can be considered that the raga has shringara rasa.
An immortal presentation by Pandit.Kumar Gandharva,
the legend of Hindustani Music

Pandit. Kumar Gandharv
One of the most famous classical musicians in India was undoubtedly Pandit Kumar Gandharva. His real name was Shivaputra Siddharamayya Komkali. Pandit Kumar Gandharva was born on 8th April, 1924 in a place called Dharwad located in Karnataka. The most unique thing about him was that he refused to be tied down by any kind of Gharana and believed in being innovation and trying out his own new styles. The life history of Pandit Kumar Gandharva is truly fascinating. Read this short biography of Pt. Kumara Gandharv.

When he was still very young, Kumar Gandharva was inflicted with the deadly disease Tuberculosis. As a result, he was left with just one functioning lung. He was determined to make his mark and that is what took him to the heights he has reached in his lifetime. The title "Kumar" was given to him when he was a child because he showed extraordinary talent in music. Gandharva was the God of music according to the Hindu mythology.

Though his voice was affected after the illness, he developed his own style of singing. Though he may not have reached the same heights as his contemporaries like Bhimsen Joshi, his style won him appreciation and accolades from one and all. His style of pronunciation was unmatched and he believed that words, if pronounced properly with the correct feel can be very powerful. His style of singing also included many dramatic gestures and smiles, which was thoroughly enjoyed by his audience.

He also experimented with other genres of music like devotional songs known as "Bhajans", folk songs, etc. His unique style and creativity made him compose songs in the same Raga in both fast and slow pace; this was something rarely done by a north Indian musician. Though he refused to follow the tradition of a Gharana, he never rejected completely the rich tradition of music. The great legend passed away on 12th January, 1992, leaving behind disappointed fans but a rich legacy of classical music.  

A film Song based on  Rag Bahar

Older post...

Raag Malkauns ,a vintage Hindi song from Baiju Bawra!

Ragam Kharaharapriya

 LISTEN TODAY A great VINTAGE song in Ragam Kharaharapriya
 Movie - Devi
Year - 1972
Lyrics - Vayalar
Music - Devarajan
Singer - Yesudas
Raga - Kharaharapriya
Story - K Surendran
Producer - M O Joseph
Banner - Manjilas
Direction - K S Sethumadhavan
On Screen - Madhu, Sheela, Sujatha, Meena

A post on 7/12/2011
Singaravelane ...
An immortal song based on Raga Abheri from the movie Konjum Salangai. 
Singer : Smt. S. Janaki 
Nadhaswaram by Karukkurichi Shri. P.Arunachalam

Konjum Salangai (1962)
Made by M. V. Raman, another vocal-nagaswaram duet was featured here. ‘Singaravelaney…' created history. It was S. Janaki's voice against the legend Karukurichi Arunachalam Pillai's instrument. And S. Janaki became a celebrity.

Interestingly, Janaki's song was recorded in Bombay where Raman had his film studio at that time. However, Karukurichi's part was recorded in a Madras studio because he was unable to go to Bombay. Later the two independent soundtracks were mixed to produce this masterpiece. In many wedding scenes, few notes of the nagaswaram are heard after the ‘thali' is tied, which today has become a cliché!

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