SEASONED SNIPPETS Music

The Great Grandsire

*Mayamalavagowla is one of the first ragas a student of Carnatic music encounters. Let’s go back in time and meet the great Sangeeta Pitamaha and composer of yore who led to this practice.

*Purandara Dasa was born as Srinivasa Nayak in the 15th century at Kshemapura, Shimoga to an affluent merchant, Varadappa.

*He is believed to have transitioned from being a wealthy yet miserly merchant to leading a spiritual life, following a miraculous event around his gracious wife Sarasvati lending a nose ring for charity.

*He was formally initiated into music and spirituality when he was about forty years old, by Vyasatirtha.

*Purandara Dasa was a distinctive musician, a composer and a musicologist. He was the founder of musical pedagogy and is hence revered as the Sangeeta Pitamaha in the realms of Carnatic music.

*He introduced the Raga Mayamalavagowla as the basic scale for musical instruction and developed several structured lessons including swaravalis, jantai swaras, alankaras and so forth. Uga-bhogas and sooladis are types of compositions unique to Purandara Dasa.

*While he belonged to the ‘Vyasakoota’ category of Dasas who were scholars in Sanskrit and the scriptures, many of Purandara Dasa's compositions were centered around socially relevant themes in folk tunes and simple language. He was hence able to capture the attention and imagination of the common people as well.

*He also had a great influence on Hindustani music. Several legendary musicians including Bhimsen Joshi and Madhava Gudi have sung his kritis in many recitals.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 4:08:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chen-arts/chen-music/the-great-grandsire/article4222875.ece

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