Staff Correspondent

MYSORE: The Government's surprise Ugadi gift to Mysore in the form of a University of Music has excited musicians here. Many of them are of the opinion that the university should have a unique identity based on the musical tradition of the region, and should not ape existing music universities.

Welcoming the Government's decision, noted music critic Raghavendra Rao said that the university should cater to both Carnatic and Hindustani styles. He suggested that English, Kannada and Sanskrit be taught as allied subjects at the university and that aesthetics be introduced as a major subject. Strict selection and consultative committees should be formed to impart quality education to students, and stress should be given to the teaching of Kannada compositions of Venkatagiriyappa, Chikkaramarayaru, B.K. Padmanabha Rao, T. Choudayya and others. The university should also focus on Haridasa Sahitya and Shivasharana Vachanas, and change the existing syllabus books accordingly, he said.

Principal of the College of Fine Arts Narayana said that the setting up of the University of Music would help improve the quality of teaching at the college and attract more students to take up the study of music, especially as the intake at the college had been dwindling over the years. He said Mysore had a great musical tradition, as music and dance had received good patronage by its rulers in the past.

Noted violinist Mysore Nagaraj, while welcoming the Government's decision, said that the setting up of the music university would be a big challenge as it would need to address a wide spectrum of musical styles.