People

Vidwan Palghat K V Narayanaswamy – Sangita Pitamaha of contemporary Carnatic music

  “A good-looking man, his hair slicked down in the traditional way, sang like an angel with a delightful voice, husky at times, but never heavy throated or loud” – exclaimed Lakshmi Viswanathan, the Vice President of Music Academy  Madras in her tribute to KVN when he passed away in 2002. Kollengode Viswanatha Narayanaswamy a Carnatic musician par excellence, often referred to as KVN, was born on 15 November 1923 in Palghat in a family of…

Continue reading

Features Vocal health

Don’t Gasp! Learn these Breath Control Techniques

Breath control is about so much more than just taking a deep breath. It is about maintaining a controlled, steady stream of air while singing. Many singers face the same question: Why do I run out of breath very soon though I take deep breaths? Breath control for singers is rarely about inhaling more. What matters is how you control your exhalation. Conscious breath control is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed and clear…

Continue reading

General Knowledge Vocal health

All You Need to Know to Increase Your Voice Flexibility

Everyone dreams of having a flexible body that can be twisted, turned anyway around. Well, this is possible with regular exercises in the gym and practicing yoga. Then why not aim for voice flexibility similarly, so that one is able to sing a song of any genre melodiously and attractively? This is possible by developing a flexible voice that is agile enough to render any kind of a song that has complicated passages, with good…

Continue reading

General Knowledge Vocal health

Vocal Hygiene – Importance of Vocal Warmup Exercises

All of us would love to go on a long journey in that favourite car of ours. However, the journey comes to a sudden halt because the engine seized. Why did this happen?  Without oil and water, the engine suffered a wear and tear. This is a similar scenario with the human voice. Without proper vocal hygiene, the voice suffers a wear and tear after few years and the dream of a fruitful musical journey…

Continue reading

General Knowledge Vocal health

The Science of Voice Culture

“Human voice is the most beautiful instrument of all, but it is the most difficult to play” – Richard Strauss. What is voice culture? Voice culture primarily refers to the methodology adopted to train or control the voice to sing effectively. Many musicologists and voice experts have accepted it as science. According to one of the voice experts Dr. T. Unnikrishnan, technique of voice culture is a branch of knowledge, which deals with the techniques of…

Continue reading

People

Bangalore Nagarathnamma – The Songster Activist

“I was Nagarathna (precious jewel on the snake’s head) by birth, then became bhogarathna (jewel of pleasure) and now I am rogarathna (jewel of disease)” – this was how Bangalore Nagarathnamma jovially described herself during her last days. She may also be called ragarathna (jewel of musical ragas) and tyagarathna (jewel of sacrifice). This is an excerpt from D. V. Gundappa’s Jnapakachitrashaale translated from the original Kannada text. Bangalore Nagarathnamma was alive when he wrote…

Continue reading

People

Srimad Walajapet Venkataramana Bhagavatar

An illustrious and devoted disciple of a saint poet Thyagaraja, a prolific composer, a hatha yogi, – these should best describe Srimad Walajapet Venkataramana Bhagavatar.                                                               Venkataramana Bhagavatar was born on February 18, 1781 in Ayyampettai of Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu to Nannuswamy. He was…

Continue reading

People

Mandolin U Srinivas – Mozart of Indian Classical Music

“Music is a divine gift. Whatever you play, it should touch the soul. How does it come? If you enjoy what you play, then you can make others enjoy”. Career in the classical arts is not often remembered for courage. Too many other elements tend to intrude into the discussion, and to be prized heavily by purists: a stickler to tradition, for example, or the flourishes of genius, or capacious knowledge. But it is courage…

Continue reading

Uncategorized

Progression in basic lessons in Carnatic Music

What next after the varases? This is one question that pops into the mind of every beginner. Once a student is through with the basic lessons i.e. sarale varase, janti varase, taggusthaayi varase, taarasthaayi varase, dhaatu varase and alankaara, before proceeding to learn the pillarigeethe and sanchari geethe, one litmus test to see if he/she is ready to learn different types of geethe is to sing the basic lessons in three speeds continuously. If possible,…

Continue reading

People

Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar: The Trailblazer

“I was greatly influenced by Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar. I do not want another life. But if there is one, I want to be able to sing like Ramanuja Iyengar” exclaimed the doyen of Carnatic Music, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar popularly known as Ariyakudi, was born in  Ariyakudi, a town in Karaikudi district near Tamil Nadu, in 1890, to Tiruvenkatacharya, who was a famous astrologer and veda exponent. Music Initiation Ariyakudi started learning under…

Continue reading