Dr. L Muthiah Baghavathar

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Have you mentioned any thing about the Great Muscian Dr L Muthiah Baghavathar in this site.


Have you come across any Web site portraiting about this Gifted Muscian, Please let me know.

-- Srinivasan Venkitaraman (srimoorthy@rediffmail.com), May 22, 2001



I have added a link to carnatic.com now...

Please visit ( http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/Stage/2225/articles/muthiah2.tx t ) to read "A tribute on the occasion of his 50th death anniversary." ( copy attached )

Best Regards, Kishore

ps : Please visit http://www.google.com/search?q=Muthiah+Bhagavathar for many more links...


( source : http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/Stage/2225/articles/muthiah2.tx t )

Here is an article by N. V. R. SWAMY published in The Hindu on 30/6/95

The article was made available by: From: "Puduhai Sreeram" Date: Mon, 17 Jul 1995 12:33:44 -0400 Subject: Muthiah Bhagavathar.

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A versatile composer

================================================== =============== Muthiah Bhagavathar occupies a distinguished place among the post-Tyagaraja composers of classical Carnatic music. A tribute on the occasion of his 50th death anniversary. ================================================== ===============

Muthiah Bhagavathar was a leading luminary, one of the few musicians who combined good story-telling with high quality of music, late E. Krishna Iyer had rightly said.

Born in 1877 at Punaiveli, near Srivilliputtur and having lost his father at a tender age, Muthiah Bhagavathar came under the tutelage of his maternal uncle at Harikesanallur, who exposed him to the Vedas, under the guidance of Muthu Ganapadigal of Tiruvayyar. At that time, Tiruvayyar was the home of classical music exponents such as Maha Vaidyanatha Ayyar and Patnam Subrahmania Ayyar. Attracted by their music, young Muthiah gave up his `adhyayana' and switched over to the study of classical carnatic music. He became a disciple of violin vidwan Sambasiva Ayyar.

At 16, after completing his studies, Muthiah Bhagavathar returned to Harikesanallur and devoted himself to music practice for three years. He gave concerts and soon became a recognised vidwan. His performance before the Maharaja Mulam Tirunal of Trivancore in 1897, fetched him the highest State honour.

The death of Thanjavur Krishna Bhagavathar left a void in the field of Harikatha, and Muthiah Bhagavathar joined vidwans Anantharama Bhagavathar and Vedanta Bhagavathar in taking to Harikatha. His fine personality, wonderful power of exposition, scintillating wit and humour, besides his knowledge of Tamil and Sanskrit, helped him, and his reputation as Harikatha exponent surpassed that as a music vidwan. The Kalakshepams he popularised include ``Valli Parinayam'', ``Sati Sulochana'', and ``Tyagaraja Charitram.''

In 1905, he went to Thanjavur and lived there for three years with his uncle Lakshman Suri and established himself as a concert vidwan and a Harikatha performer. He specialised the theory of Indian music with the foundations laid by Sambasiva Ayyar. He established contacts with famous vidwans, including Abraham Pandithar, who associated Muthiah Bhagavathar in his work. The latter availed himself this opportunity to gain mastery over his subject.Muthiah Bhagavathar began to compose kirtanas and wrote his own `nirupanams' for his Harikatha performances. Soon he established himself as a composer of kirtanas. He was patronised by the Raja of Ettayapuram, Raja of Ramnad and Zamindar of Andipatti. p73

In 1927, his concert before Maharaja Krishna Rajendra Wodeyar, during the Dasara festival won him the title ``Gayaka Sikhamani''. He was also appointed as an Asthana Vidwan and as desired by the maharaja, he composed Ashtothara Satha Kirtanas in praise of Chamundeswari, followed by another on Siva and the Navagraha Krithis. He also composed several varnams, ragamalikas, darus and tillanas.

Muthiah Bhagavathar presided over the Annual Conference of the Music Academy, Madras, in 1930 and was conferred the `birudu' Sangita Kalanidhi. He also served as Principal of the Teachers' College of Music from 1932 to 1934.Unable to bear the sudden demise of his only child in 1928, he went to Benares for about six months, when he heard a good deal of classical Hindustani music and also evolved `Hamsanandi', which has become one of the most famous ragas.

Muthiah Bhagavathar, whose 50th death anniversary is being observed this year, was known for his captivating discourses, sparkling wit and matchless music. His compositions were innumerable both in Sanskrit and Telugu. He displayed remarkable versatility in handling rare ragas. His 103 kritis on Chamundeswari are a substantial contribution to music literature. His compositions are marked by originality, vigour and systematised variations.

Muthiah Bhagavathar's disciples include Madurai Mani Iyer and Budalur Krishnamurthy Sastrigal.


-- Puduhai Sreeram psreeram@pms238.pms.ford.com

-- Kishore Balakrishnan (kishore@carnatic.com), July 21, 2001.

Born on 15-11-1877, Muthiah Bhagavathar came under the tutelage of his maternal uncle, Mahamahopadhyaya Lakshman Suri, in Harikesanallur having lost his father at the tender age of six. Though sent by his uncle to do Veda Adhyayanam, music drew him like a magnet. Giving up vedic studies, he turned to music and studied under Vidwan Sambasiva Iyer & Sabesa Iyer, who were of the sishya parampara of Thayagaraja. Muthiah Bhagavathar had a rich and sonorous voice and devoted a lot of time to voice culture, which enabled him to sing with full throated ease. Tanam-singing was his forte and in that he was unrivalled. This is evident in his compositions and only a well trained voice can do full justice to them. He also trained in Harikatha Kalashepam, his towering personality and feel for the dramatics, being a great asset. In his time none could hold a candle to him in this art form. Composing songs for his Harikathas, was but a mere step to composing full fledged Krithis in the classical format. His compositions, in the form of Varnams, darus, tillanas, kirtanas and ragamalikas had a lilting quality with scintillating flights of swara passages, often leaving both listener & performer, breathless with their sheer beauty. He brought out from the dark unfathomed caves, ragas, as yet unheard of, and composed kritis in them, each a gem.

On a visit to Benares, he heard the Raag Sohini (of the Hindustani Music System) and was so captivated by its haunting beauty, that he wished to adopt it to the Carnatic System. On omitting the occasional panchama prayoga, he found its lakshana agreed with that given in our music books. Thus was born Hamsanandi, in a beautiful song Needu Mahima Pokada, an instant hit, which took South India by storm & was taken up by all musicians of the south. Similarly he made popular ragams like Mohanakalyani, Valaji, Budha Manohari, Gauda Malhar to name but a few.

He was the asthana vidwan of the Mysore and Tiruvananthapuram Samasthanams. His Devi & Siva Ashtothara Kritis have songs in a variety of ragams, each one a beauty. While at Tiruvananthapuram, at the behest of Rani Sethu Parvati Bai, herself a no mean Vainika, Muthiah Bhagavathar set up the Swati Tirunal Music Academy and was at its helm for 7 years. During that period he unearthed and brought to light many of Swati Tirunal's compositions.

Titles - Gayikashikhamani, Sangita Kalanidhi etc. came his way, as a matter of routine. He was the first musician/ Composer to be conferred a Doctorate. This was done by the University of Travancore. He wrote & published a book in Tamil on the theory of music titled Sangeeta Kalpadruma. He passed away on 30.6.1945, leaving behind a rich legacy to Carnatic music.

-- V. Srivathsan (tyagasri@rediffmail.com), October 25, 2001.

Try harikesa.com

-- L.Ragde (shalak@gate-way.net), January 02, 2002.

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