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Famous Carnatic Composers - DP

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D Pattammal - Smt. D.Pattammal had her training in music under eminent teachers and has received a number of awards and prizes during her career.

She was a graded artist of AIR and had been regularly performing solo vocal concerts for over 30 years before she took up composing songs in Tamil. She is one of the few vaggeyakaras to have composed songs in all the 72 melakarta ragas.

She has composed the lyrics for Thiruvilayadal Puranam, Kumarasambhavam and the life history of 63 Nayanmars. She has translated Sri Jayadeva's Geeta Govindam into Tamil and developed it as a dance drama - Madhava Geetham. She has also composed songs exclusively for little children under the title Isai - Karnataka Thuvakka Padalgal.

Along with her husband Late Dr. M.N.Dhandapani, she has compiled an index on Carnatic ragas under the title Ragapravaham, for a total of 12 publications with the support of the Sangeetha Nataka Academy and the Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram.

In all she has composed 658 songs in Tamil, which includes a song in panca naDai, songs in dvi-madhyamam,and songs in rare ragas like rukhmAmbari and sukhapAvani. Her books include "Karnataka Isai Thuvakka Padalgal" (click for list of songs, foreword by Dr. S Seetha, and foreword by D Pattammal), "Mela Raga Krithi Mala," and "Janya Raga Krithi Mala," as well as Arul Keerthanaigal, Madhava Geetham, Ragapravaham, Thiruvilaiyadal Keerthanaigal, Arisaram, and Life history of 63 Nayanmars. Books to be published include "Kumarasambhavam," as well as three books that are elusive: Arul Vilayadal, Virakti Padalgal, and Pudumozhigal

D.Pattammal composed simple songs and tunes to help younger children get a liking for music. Her vision was for children to learn carnatic music without worrying about the grammar behind it - similar to how they learn film songs just by listening and liking what they hear. To ensure that the songs are indeed simple - she taught them to her grandchildren who were ~5 yrs old at the time. These songs are in various talas with tisra and khanda nadais. The rhythms in the song naturally fall into the talas.

In 1994, the Government of Tamil Nadu recognized her contribution to Carnatic music and awarded her the title Kalaimamani.

Mudra: Arul

Compositions (See also composition lists in books above): 

  1. Anandam paramAnandan - mAyamALava gowLa
  2. gajamukha gaNanAdan - latAngi
  3. enna pizhai - rasikapriyA
  4. kanindarul purindiDa - kuntalavarALi
  5. mAl marugA murugA - vanaspati
  6. mayil mIdu viraindODi - shanmugapriyA
  7. mullai vAyil - kAnaDA
  8. pOdum pOdum - rEvati
  9. purandara viDalan - shankara lalitA
  10. kuzhalUdum kaNNan - AbhEri
  11. samayapurattu - sahAnA
  12. tunga nadi karaiyil - bEgaDa
  13. gajamukhanai - shankarAbharaNam
  14. harihara sutanE - sudda sAvEri

Source: Shubha Venkatesh, Subshri Mani and K.Rangasayee. Anything written here is accurate/authentic to the best knowledge of the contributors. The contributors may be contacted (v shubha at hotmail dot com) for clarifications or corrections.


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updated on 12/10/2009