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Articles on Carnatic Music

Maharaja Swati Tirunal
by R. Ganapati Subramaniam

Tirunal was born on April 16, 1813 in Trivandrum in the royal family of Travangore.His original name was Ramavarma and hereditary title ‘Kulasekara’.He learnt carnatic music under the versatile Subba Rao of Thanjavur who later became Dewan of Trivangore.He came to the throne on April 21,1829,ruled for 17yrs.He left the mortal soil on December 25,1846.

Taking the model of kirtanas of Margadarsi Sesha Iyengar,he began to compose kirtanas. Govinda Marar was in his court for sometime.

Vadivelu and his brothers known as the ‘Tanjore Quartette’ had influenced in Maharaja a great deal of musical activity inform and technique.

Since Vadivelu was a reputed dance master of those days he got unique incentive to compose the forms of dance of music like Varnams,Padas, Swarajatis and Tillanas some of them with the collaboration of the Quartette.

Due to the influence of Maratha Saint singer AnanthaPadmanabaGoswamy, Maharaja composed the ‘KUCHELAUPAYAKGNANAM’and ‘AJAMILALOPYAKGNANAM’ both of them in Sanskrit and Maratha forms and tunes to the Harikatha style.


R. Ganapathi Subramanian is a retired Professor of Physics, National College, Educational Advisor of Srimathi Indira Gandhi College, and Coordinator of all Carnatic Music Sabhas, in Trichy.



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updated on 06/10/2005