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The first steps to sa, re, ga, ma, pa

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Upbeat: Thanks to the reality shows on TV, there is a rush of students in music schools in Bangalore.
Upbeat: Thanks to the reality shows on TV, there is a rush of students in music schools in Bangalore.

Ranjani Govind

BANGALORE: Bangalore has more than 50 active colleges of music that impart classical music (Carnatic) lessons and there continues to be a high demand for learning. “This is no exaggeration, be it professional teachers or frontline performers, they are too busy to take in new students… and the nook-and-corner search for good teachers in every area continues,” says mridangist H.S. Sudhindra of Suswaralaya College of Music.

Suswaralaya has 35 students and gives individual attention to senior students ready to take the stage. “We have flute and mridanga classes for beginners too. “The usual fee in teaching institutions ranges between Rs. 400 and Rs. 1,000 for eight classes a month,” says Sudhindra.

“Music is in the city’s veins,” says H.K. Venkatram of Vijaya College of Music. “In a cosmopolitan city like Bangalore where Hindustani, jazz, sugama sangeetha and rock vie for equal space, the spread of Carnatic genre has been an upbeat story. Thanks to the Reality Shows on TV, there is a rush of students in music schools today,” he says.

The Vijaya College of Music was started by the vocalist and violinist, the late L.S. Narayanaswamy Bhagavathar, in 1953 where both the lakshya and lakshana aspects of music was given prominence. The virtues were retained even after violinist H.V. Krishnamurthy took over the reins. Carnatic music theory, vocal, violin, veena, flute and mridanga training are provided here for nearly 100 students at any given point of time.

The music scene is not complete without the Anoor family of musicians’ contribution to the teaching scene in Bangalore. Fourth generation musicians Anoor Dattatreya Sharma and Anoor Anantakrishna Sharma now run the Ayyanar Music College with the deeply ingrained family motto of imparting music to the deserved with no expectations whatsoever. “My father Anoor S. Ramakrishna also insisted that State artistes get more chances in their weekly programmes. T. Chowdiah had initially started the Ayyanar College in Mysore and Bangalore in 1954 and our family took over from there,” says Dattatreya Sharma.

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