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RANEE KUMAR
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Event Malladi Suribabu conducted a workshop on classical music. RANEE KUMAR

Educative workshop Malladi Suribabu.
Educative workshop Malladi Suribabu.

M usic aficionados converged at Saptaparni for a three-day workshop on yesteryears' Bhakti Ranjani (AIR) conducted by eminent scholar-musician Malladi Suribabu.

“The objective of this workshop is to educate singers in classical music of different ‘vaggeyakaras' pre and post Thyagaraja. Many hold a misconceived notion that classical music did not exist prior to Thyagaraja. It was not so,” explained the maestro. “Classicism and tradition in music was not just born in a particular century. It has been handed over down the generations. The need for a guru to guide you in music which is different from a song is inevitable in the case of serious singing. This workshop offers a platform for all these principles I cherish.”

The compositions he has been teaching were all broadcast on AIR five decades ago in the popular Bhakti Ranjani as a sort of wake-up call to many a household, said an elderly lady who was enthused about retuning herself to old-time favourites.

Interspersing group singing and learning with brief lessons on the systematic way of learning Carnatic music, Malladi Suribabu was keen on notation prior to singing a kirthana. “It is to keep you grounded to real music. Otherwise, the singing turns airy. There is a depth, a pause at the right places, a high and low octave, a beat and rhythm to a song that is sung in a traditional manner. Only when you sing within the classical framework does it stay with you. That is the essence of classicism,” he enlightened the learners.

He chose to present Nata and Vasantha ragas. Lucid delineation of the raga with fine tuning vocal chords to touch the high and low in a measured manner made Suribabu's workshop a wonderful experience. Saptaparni deserves a pat on the back for bringing in such educative events in music and arts from time to time.

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