Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our Music from Different Perspectives - Swaminathan and Ramachandran

The Tamil Heritage group cordially invites you and your friends
to the programme of this month featuring a
Lecture-Demonstration titled

"OUR MUSIC FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES"

by Prof S.Swaminathan and
Thiru T.K.Ramachandran, I.A.S.,
on 3rd January (Saturday) 2009 at 05.00 pm
at Thakkar Bapa Vidyalaya Campus,
58 Venkatanarayana Road,
T.Nagar, Chennai 600 017
(Invitation in Tamil attached)
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About the Lecture-Demonstration

Like the Tamil language, our music is ancient, but it is a living tradition. It is sad that we are not able to follow its history continuously. But from available sources we are able to understand its progress to some extent.

Beginning of Indian music was similar to the contemporary Greek music of the pre-Christian era. But after Renaissance, from the 15th century, the West opted for harmonic music. We continued on the melodic style. This difference is significant. That there exists 12 notes to an octave is may be a testimony to the common origin, or adaptation of one from the other. The melodic music can be called Raga-Tala music, and is our gift the world of music.

Raga-Tala acquired grammar over centuries as a reflection of people's aesthetic sophistication.
It is certain that folk music was the inspiration to classical music. In the early stages it must have been that songs were to set to pan (present day raga). Later music grew in dimension to become art music where the lyrics took a secondary place. It may be mentioned that in the north Indian tradition, lyrics have no significant role.

One needs training, exposure and leisure to enjoy classical music. Music being subjective, the evolution of human parts, particularly the ears and the brain, play important roles in the musical aesthetics.

The development of our music instruments is remarkable, like that of the veena and the tambura. One may appreciate this, from the fact that the Indian drums, the mridangam and the tabla, are the only musical drums in the world.

The lecture-demonstration will attempt appreciating our music from various angles.

About the speakers:

S. Swaminathan: Born in Pudukkottai, S. Swaminathan has served mostly at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, teaching mechanical engineering for more than 30 years. He was a part of a ginger group in IIT-Delhi who felt that public institutions like the IITs are not doing much for the people who need the support of science and technology, that is, the poorer section of our society. Realizing also that students have inadequate understanding of the social reality, Swaminathan oriented his classroom teaching and interaction with students to remedy these.

For several years he has been attempting to raise an army of young foot-solders for sensitising our youth to appreciate our heritage. He has given numerous lectures and prepared multimedia material on several aspects of Indian heritage, like the paintings of Ajanta caves and the monuments of Mamallapuram. He is 68 years old and lives in Chennai.

T. K. Ramachandran was born in Chennai and was educated at Coimbatore, Chennai, Nagpur, IIT-Kharagpur (BTech) and IIT-Delhi (MTech - Computer Science). He has also obtained a Masters degree in Public Policy from Princeton University, USA as a World Bank - Robert McNamara Fellow. He entered the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in the year 1991. He is presently with the TNSCB as Managing Director  in the rank of Secretary to the Government.

He is an accomplished concert musician, having been trained by Sangeetha Kalandhi Shri T.K. Govinda Rao and Chitraveena exponents Shri N. Narasimhan and Shri N. Ravikiran. He regularly performs on the concert circuit (including the current 'season' in Chennai) and is an AIR artiste. 

He is   an avid Indian heritage buff and has published a number of articles and research papers on matters related to culture, music, heritage and conservation.