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Famous Carnatic Composers - KK

Kavi Kunjara Bhaarati - Born in 1810 in the village Perungarai in Raamanaatapuram district in Tamil NaaDu, he became proficient early in Sanskrit and music. At 12 he composed padams and keertanais, and came into close touch with his relative Madurakavi Bhaaratiyaar, the wellknown composer of Tamil padams. He was a contemporary of the Music Trinity.

At 18, he was struck by a severe disease and was advised by the village chief to worhsip the village deity to be cured. He sang a prabandham in the deity's honor and offered pooja, and recovered immediately. After this, he composed a dance drama called a kuravanji on the deity, called "Azhagar" and also wrote other compositions in honor of Madurai Meenaakshi, the Lord of Tirupati, and others. The Azhagar dance-drama is literature (iyal), music (isai) and drama (naaTakam) and contains many types of musical forms. From it came the song Ivan yaarO in kaambhOji, among other songs. The drama includes a song "MOhanavalli pandhaDitaal" in kamaas that gives the impression of striking and tossing a ball when sung. The drama blends classical and folk music, and blends devotion with love.

The first performance of this piece was in the presence of the lady-chief of Shivagangai and many scholars. Later the ruler of Shivagangai (gauri Vallabha Raajah)heard about his compositions and invited the composer to court to perform them. The raajah was impressed and conferred upon him the title "Kavikunjaram" and appointed him a court musical scholar (Samaastaana Vidwaan). He was also invited by the King of Ramnad and was again appointed as Vidwan there. Then he went back to his native village and worked for 5 years on his musical piece "Shree Kanda Puraana Keertanai." Kavi Kunjara Bhaaratiyaar died in 1896 at 86. His grandson was KOTeeshwara Aiyyar, author of the 72 mElakarta keertanas. Mudra: Kavi Kunjara



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updated on 12/27/2008