In focus Vasa Krishna Murthy’s ‘baani’ has gained unique place in the realm of instrumental music. SREE SESHA KALYANI
To excel in one’s field is commendable and we have many maestros who have become legends by the sheer strength of their skill. But there are very few musicians who developed their own style. Vasa Krishna Murthy was one of the few.
Though he lived only till the age of 51 (1923-1974), he made a mark as a genius in the art. He hailed from Vizaynagaram Hailing from Vizianagaram, he had made Vasa sampradaya the native style of veena playing in Andhra region.
Vasa Krishna Murthy is an expert in both Carnatic and Hindustani baanis of music. He was well-versed in these styles when either played individually or combined together. During his concerts on veena, he used to mix these two styles and mesmerise the audience. There is no doubt in stating that his concerts were a memorable experience to his audience.
He had a special style of playing tanam on veena. He carried out experiments even in this aspect and this added a special attraction to his concerts. He was proficient in ‘layavinyasam’ and ‘pallavi prastharam’. Especially, he was much talented in composing ‘pallavis’ and ‘gathi bheda pallavis’ in rare and difficult ragas like Nasika Bhushani, Raghupriya, Ragavardhini and more.
Occasionally, he adopted few methods which are otherwise normally used in playing sitar and thus playing of veena was in fact not restricted by him to its own style.
Vasa Krishna Murthy ran a music school in gurukula style and trained many aspirants of music.
Kaza Subhashini Sastry is one of the prime disciples of Krishna Murthy who carries forward the Vasa baani.