Eminent musicians paid tribute to Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan, the music celebrity of the 19th century, famous for his 72 melakarta ragamalika kriti.

Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan, a musical celebrity of the nineteenth century, was steeped in devotion to Lord Siva. His well-known seventy-two melakarta ragamalika composition was saturated with religious fervourfrom the beginning to the end.

Two of his noted disciples were Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar and Umayalpuram Swaminatha Iyer and they belonged to the Tyagaraja sishya parampara. K.V. Nataraja Bhagavatar, a doyen among Carnatic musicians of the cotton city coming from this lineage, can take legitimate pride in propagating the rare melakarta composition that is practically unknown in many parts of Tamil Nadu. Not many artists have been singing this number for some time. Veena Balachandar had played all these on his instrument. After him, M.S. Subbulakshmi had rendered this ragamalika. About 30 years ago, Rajalakshmi Padmanabhan, taught by Nataraja Bhagavathar, sang it at a concert held in Coimbatore. The melakarta ragas contain all the seven notes in the Indian octave and these are distributed among the twenty two srutis or music intervals which are again reduced to twelve intervals giving rise to the sixteen swaras of the melakartha scheme of Govinda.

Rare piece

Bhuvaneshwari, the daughter and disciple of Nataraja Bhagavatar, learnt this rare piece from her father and taught the same to her disciples.

The presentation of the ragamalika was held at Varasiddhi Vinayaka Temple in Saibaba colony, Coimbatore, on August 14. Speaking on the occasion, Vaidyanatha Krishnan, musicologist, paid tribute to the technical and devotional excellence of the valuable composition of Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan. He also spoke of Nataraja Bhagavatar's contribution to the dissemination of the parampara music.

Bhuvaneshwari and her disciples, Durga Balaji Sridhar, Nitya, Krithika, Lakshmi and Soundarya, to the accompaniment of Sriranjani on the violin and Radhakrishnan on the mridangam, presented the ragaswaroopa of the seventy two melakarta ragas as visualised by Sivan, at the hour-long recital.