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Archive for the ‘Indian Classical Music’ Category

IMC – India meets Classic presents … the single all years radio programme for Indian (Music) Culture … monthly on air since April 2005

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 20, 2023

IMC – India meets Classic + Indian E-music:

Welcome to the Blog site of IMC OnAir – IMCRadio.Net, a broadcasting show on radio (cable/antenne + internet/mobile radio + podcast) as the single all years programme for Indian (Music) Culture in the whole German language area – with both German and international formats in English language.

During the phase of development and onging maintenance of this new blog, don’t hesitate to follow our webpages in traditional form:

IMC ONAir, two language website (English / German) …
– standard format “Raga CDs of the Months” (DE)
– special feature “From India to Europe … Festivalreport” (DE)
– special feature “StudioTalk” (DE/ENG)

promotion initiative IMC – India meets Classic (German site) …

TablaGroup Hamburg (German download site)

IMC Archive … Music Maestros from India of Hindustani and Carnatic Music

Posted in Carnatic (ICM), FestivalReport, Hindustani (ICM), Indian Classical Music, Raga CDs of the months, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Indian Classical Music (ICM) …

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 20, 2023

The origins of Indian classical music can be found from the oldest of scriptures, part of the Hindu tradition, the Vedas. Samaveda, one of the four Vedas, describes music at length. Indian classical music has its origins as a meditation tool for attaining self realization. All different forms of these melodies (Ragas) are believed to affect various “chakras” (energy centers, or “moods”) in the path of the “Kundalini”. [read full text…]

Posted in Indian Classical Music | 2 Comments »

Carnatic – karṇāṭaka sangītam (South Indian Classic)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 20, 2023

Carnatic music, also known as karṇāṭaka sangītam is one of the two styles of Indian classical music, the other being Hindustani music. The present form of Carnatic music is based on historical developments that can be traced to the 15th – 16th centuries CE and thereafter. From the ancient Sanskrit works available, and the several epigraphical inscriptional evidences, the history of classical musical traditions can be traced back to about 2500 years. [read full text…]

Music Council of Australia …Asia SocietyIMC - International Music Council

Posted in Carnatic (ICM) | Leave a Comment »

Hindustani (North Indian Classical Music)…

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 20, 2023

Hindustani Classical Music is an Indian classical music tradition that took shape in Northern India in 13th and 14th centuries AD from existing religious, folk, and theatrical performance practices. The origins of Hindustani classical music, the classical music of India, can be found from the oldest of scriptures, part of the Hindu tradition, the Vedas. Samaveda, one of the four Vedas, describes music at length. The Indian classical music has its origin as a meditation tool to attain self realization. [read full text…]

Posted in Hindustani (ICM) | 1 Comment »

FB group “Indian Classical” oversteps >18,000 group members end of March 2016

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 31, 2016

Tks by heart to all our new FB group members we got more than 2,000 over last 12 months… “Indian Classical” shows a significantly growth of 12.5 % in one year (Rec.: In March 2015 we counted 16,000 musical friends on Facebook).

Many tks/ElJay Arem (the group owner/chief editor of


Posted in IMC OnAir - News, Indian Classical Music, Medias | Leave a Comment »

We remember the 241st birthday of composer Muthuswami Dikshitar

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 24, 2016

Saint Tyagaraja, Muthuswamy Dikshitar and Shyama Shastri -The Trinity of Carnatic music.

Saint Tyagaraja, Muthuswamy Dikshitar and Shyama Shastri – The Trinity of Carnatic music.

Muthuswami_DikshitarMuthuswami Dikshitar (March 24, 1775 – October 21, 1835) was a South Indian poet and composer and is one of the Musical Trinity of Carnatic music. His compositions, of which around 500 are commonly known, are noted for their contemplative nature and for capturing the essence of the raga forms through the vainika (veena) style that emphasises gamakas. They are typically in a slower speed (chowka kala). He is also known by his signature name of Guruguha which is also his mudra (can be found in every one of his songs). His compositions are widely sung and played in classical concerts of Carnatic music.

The musical trinity consists of Dikshitar, Tyagaraja (1767–1847), and Syama Sastri (1762–1827) although, unlike theTelugu compositions of the others, his compositions are predominantly in Sanskrit. He also had composed some of his Kritis in Manipravalam(admixture of Tamil and Sanskrit).

Muthuswami Dikshitar (March 24, 1775 – October 21, 1835)

Muthuswami Dikshitar (March 24, 1775 – October 21, 1835)

Muthuswami Dikshitar was born in Tiruvaruar (of Thiruvaruar district in what is now the state of Tamil Nadu) to a Tamil Iyer Brahmin couple Ramaswami Dikshitar(discoverer of Raaga Hamsadhwani) and Subbamma, as the eldest son. According to the account of Subbarama Dikshitar, Muttuswami Dikshitar was born in the manmatha year, in the month of Tamil Panguniunder the asterism Krittikaa. He was named after the temple deity, Muttukumaraswamy; legend has it that he was born after his parents prayed for a child in the Vaitheeswaran Temple. He had two younger brothers Baluswami, Chinnaswami and a sister Balambal.

In keeping with the tradition, Muthuswami learnt the Sanskrit language, Vedas, and other important religious texts. He obtained his preliminary musical education from his father.

While he was still in his teens, his father sent him on a pilgrimage with a wandering monk named Chidambaranatha Yogi to gain musical and philosophical knowledge. Over the course of this pilgrimage, he visited many places in North India and acquired a broad outlook that is reflected in many of his compositions. During their stay in Kashi (Varanasi), his guru Chidambaranatha Yogi, presented Dikshitar with a unique Veena and died shortly thereafter. The samādhi of Chidambaranatha Yogi can still be seen in Sri Chakra Lingeshwar temple at the Hanuman Ghat area in Varanasi.

His music

According to legend, his guru asked Muthuswami to visit Tiruttani (a temple town near Chennai). There, while he was immersed deep in meditation, an old man appeared and asked him to open his mouth. He dropped sugar candy into his mouth and disappeared. As he opened his mouth, he had a vision of the deity Muruga and Dikshitar burst forth into his first composition “Shri Nathadi Guruguho” in the raga Mayamalavagowla.

This song addressed the Lord (and/or the guru) in the first declension in Sanskrit. Dikshitar later composed kritis in all the eight declensions on the Lord. These are mostly with epithets glorifying the guru and have very few references to Lord Muruga or specifically to the deity in the saguna form, as at Thiruthani.

He then went on a pilgrimage visiting and composing at the temples at Kanchi, Tiruvannamalai, Chidambaram, Tirupathi andKalahasthi, before returning to Tiruvarur.

Muthuswami Dikshitar attained mastery over the Veena, and the influence of Veena playing is evident in his compositions, particularly the gamakas. In his kriti Balagopal, he introduces himself as a vaiNika gAyaka, “a player of the veeNA”. He experimented with the violin, and among his disciples, Vadivelu of the Thanjavur Quartet, and his brother Baluswami Dikshitar pioneered the use of violin in Carnatic music, now an integral part of most Carnatic ensembles.

Dikshitar’s prime

On his return to Tiruvaruar, he composed on every deity in the Tiruvarur temple complex including Tyagaraja (an amsham of Lord Shiva), the presiding deity, Nilotpalambal, his consort, and the Goddess Kamalambal an independent deity of high tantric significance in the same temple complex. This is when he composed the famous Kamalamba Navavarna cycle, filled with exemplary sahityas on the deities of the Sri Chakra which proved to be the showcase of his compositions. Thesenavavaranams were in all the eight declensions of the Sanskrit language and are sung as a highlight of Guruguha Jayanti celebrated every year. He continued to display his prowess by composing the Navagraha Kritis in praise of the nine planets. The sahitya of the songs reflect a profound knowledge of the Mantra and Jyotisha sastras. The Nilotpalamba Kritis is another classic set of compositions which revived dying ragas like Narayanagaula, Purvagaula, and Chayagaula


Muthuswami Dikshitar was approached by four dance masters from Tanjavur: Sivanandam, Ponnayya, Chinnayya and Vadivelu. They expressed their desire to learn music from him and entreated him to accompany them to Tanjavur. There, Dikshitar imparted to them the 72 mela tradition handed down by Venkata Vaidyanatha Dikshita. The students showed their gratitude by composing a set of nine songs called Navaratna Mala glorifying their guru. These four disciples became what is known as the Tanjore Quartet and are revered as the prime composers of music for Bharatanatyam. Among his students, Ponnayya (Also called Ponnayya Pillai) and Chinnayya (Also called Chinnayya Pillai) also served as court artists of Sri Swati Tirunal of Tiruvananthapuram (Trivandram – Kerala). Sri Ponnayya served as the principal of Annamalai University as well and trained many students in music there.

At a young age, Dikshitar was also exposed to the music of the Western bands at Fort St. George. At a later stage, Dikshitar composed some forty songs to several (mostly western folk) tunes loosely adopted to ragas such as sankarabharaNa. This corpus is now known as nottusvara sAhitya (etym. nottusvara = “notes” swara). The influence of Celtic and Baroque styles in these compositions is quite evident (e.g., Sakthi Sahitha Ganapatim, to the tune of voulez-vous dancerVarashiva Balam). There is an erroneous belief that these were composed at the behest of CP Brown, the Collector of Cuddappah. This is not possible as the two could have never met. Muttuswami Diskhitar had left Madras by 1799. Brown came to Madras only in 1817, learnt Telugu in 1820 and moved over to Cuddappah the same year.


On Deepavali day, in 1835, Dikshithar performed puja as usual and asked his students to sing the song “Meenakshi Me Mudam” in the raga purvikalyani raga.

As his students sang the lines “Meena lochani pasa mochani” he raised his hands and saying “Sive Pahi” and left his mortal coil.

His Samadhi is at Ettayapuram ( Mahakavi Bharathi’s Birth Place), between Koilpatti (14 km) and Tuticorin.


Muthuswami Dikshitar died on 21 October 1835. Dikshitar had a daughter but it was the descendants of his brother Baluswami who have preserved his musical legacy, and his compositions have been popularized due to the efforts of people like Subbarama Dikshitar and Ambi Dikshitar.

Baluswami Dikshitar, the sixth descendant in the line, a well-known vainika by his own rights, resided in Trichy and then moved to Chennai in 1957. He died in November 1985. He has two sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Muthuswamy, the seventh descendent in the line, retired as a top executive in the State Bank of India group of banks and then was the managing director and CEO of a private sector bank. The younger son runs his own small-scale industry near Madurai. Both daughters are married and well settled in Chennai.

The Raja Rajeswari, Vallabha Ganapathi, Sree Chakra, Banalingam, Saligramam and other idols, given to Shri Muthuswamy Dikshithar by his guru Chidambaranatha Yogi is in the family with the eldest son Muthuswamy along with the veena (with the upturned Yaali Mukha) with the Sanskrit inscription “Sri Ram” said to have been given to Dikshithar by Goddess Sarasvati, when he bathed in the river Ganges, as indication of his having attained Mantra Siddhi.

The grandson of Dikshitar’s only child – a daughter – was a Shri Venkatarama Iyer who took voluntary retirement in the 1940s from his position as Superintendent in the Secretariat of the then Madras State Govt to devote full time attention to his coconut plantation in what is now known as Seetamma Colony of Alwarpet in Madras (official new name is Chennai). The descendants of Shri Venkatarama Iyer are scattered all over the world, a feature if not typical, at least far from uncommon among Iyer families in the 21st century. His great grandson lives in Seetamma Colony with his mother and family, and other great grand children and their descendants live in Madras, Bangalore, Australia, the United Kingdom, Dubai, Doha, Canada and the United States.

Music compositions

His total compositions are about 450 to 500, most of which are very widely sung by musicians today in Carnatic music concerts. Most of his compositions are in Sanskrit and in the Krithi form, i.e., poetry set to music. Muthuswami Dikshitar traveled to many holy shrines throughout his life, and composed krithis on the deities and temples he visited. Dikshitar is considered to have composed on the widest range of deities for any composer.

Each of his compositions is unique and brilliantly crafted. The compositions are known for the depth and soulfulness of the melody — his visions of some of the ragas are still the final word on their structure. His Sanskrit lyrics are in praise of the temple deity, but Muthuswami introduces the Advaita thought seamlessly into his songs, resolving the inherent relationship between Advaita philosophy and polytheistic worship. His songs also contain much information about the history of the temple, and its background, thus preserving many customs followed in these old shrines.

Muttuswami also undertook the project of composing in all the 72 Melakartha ragas, (in his Asampurna Mela scheme) thereby providing a musical example for many rare and lost ragas. Also, he was the pioneer in composing samashti charanam krithis (songs in which the main stanza or pallavi is followed by only one stanza, unlike the conventional two). Dikshitar was a master of tala and is the only composer to have kritis in all the seven basic talas of the Carnatic scheme. Dikshitar shows his skill in Sanskrit by composing in all the eight declensions.

For richness of raga bhava, sublimity of their philosophic contents and for the grandeur of the sahitya, the songs of Dikshitar stand unsurpassed.

Muthuswami Dikshitar composed many kritis in groups. The List of compositions by Muthuswami Dikshitar describes those groups and compositions that belong to each group. Vatapi Ganapatim is regarded his best-known work.

Muthuswami Dikshitar composed one song (Shri Kantimatim Shankara Yuvatim Shri Guruguhajananim Vandeham.. Samashti Charanam Hrîmkâra Bîjâkâra vadanâm Hiranya manimaya Shôbhâ Sadanâm) on the Nellaiappar Temple goddess Kanthimathi Amman.This song is considered to be a rare song set in the rare raga.

He is also said to have composed a Rama Ashtapathi along with Upanishad Brahmendral at Kanchipuram. Unfortunately, this work has been lost.

(Source: 03/2016 –

Compositions of Muthuswamy Dikshitars
sung by Dr. M. Balamuralikrishn

Posted in Carnatic (ICM), Culture (news), IMC OnAir - News, Religion (news) | Leave a Comment »

HAPPY & BLESSED DIWALI to all our fans of Indian Classical Music !

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on November 11, 2015


We wish all our fans & music lovers of Indian Classical music, their families + friends
a HAPPY & BLESSED DIWALI 2015 ! – May we look beautiful new music ahead 🙂 

Posted in Culture (news), Indian Classical Music, Medias, Religion (news) | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

RareCollections (ABC Australia): The Eastern and Western musical adventures of Brian Godden

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 9, 2015

(1:1 re-print: RareCollections)

Sunday 8 March 2015 5:30 AM

Presented by Jordie Kilby and David Kilby


The Eastern and Western musical adventures of Brian Godden



Guitarist Brian Godden has been exploring musical boundaries since he started his career more than fifty years ago. Whether playing rock and roll, folk, jazz or rock he’s always been looking to make things sound different and interesting.

So it didn’t surprise anyone at the beginning of the 1970s when he rented his house in Sydney and travelled to India. He’d already devoted himself to his instrument for more than a decade playing in a series of successful groups, but there was something about the guitar that really frustrated him.

‘I was looking for the pure intervals. I know that you can find them playing slide guitar, pedal steel and violin. But the guitar was really inefficient because of the tempered tuning and the way the frets are, you had to bend the strings to get them to play those in tune intervals. I thought I’ve really got to know what’s going on. Why is our music, the tempered scale, why is it so out of tune when there’s such pure beautiful intervals that we ignore. I decided to go to India and study the twenty-two intervals of the octave, which we don’t deal with in the west at all. We have twelve averaged out intervals that we call the tempered scale. But the true tuning has twenty two intervals in an octave.’

Brian’s eureka moment came almost forty years later, while teaching and studying with Ali Akbar Khan in the U.S, when he applied for a patent for what he calls the Perfect Third system.

‘That’s been my main work through out my life. To get that organised and get that done.’

What Brian achieved basically allows musicians wanting to play with the larger twenty two-interval scale, to get themselves properly in tune. A key that helped unlock the mystery was coming to understand Indian music through a Western music perspective. He hit upon the idea of using the Western concept of tonal centres.

‘Once I worked out where the tonal centres were the whole thing clicked and I had the whole concept of how to construct all the scales based on a simple melody.’

And the simple melody that Brian decided to use.

‘If you can sing Mary Had A Little Lamb from the tonal centre then you’re using the twenty two notes of the scale.’

This epiphany caused a few waves throughout the Indian musical community when Brian presented his findings. It corrected some of the teachings of music schools that had traditions going back hundreds of years.



Brian Godden got his start playing alongside Billy Green and Bix Bryant in Sydney rock and roll band The Raiders. Between 1958 and 1963 they were an in demand band around town but eventually the bar scene that supported them became too much.

‘I just got so sick of the booze and the fights and the bloodbaths of some of the pubs we were playing in that I decided to quit it. Bix said well let’s just do folk music.’

Godden took his electric guitar back to the store and traded it in for an acoustic. Brian’s girlfriend Irene Whitehead joined the two and they became The Liberty Singers. They began performing in a small coffee house and almost straight away were spotted and championed by DJ Ward ‘Pally’ Austin.

‘He was immediately struck by my girlfriend and I could see he had the hots for her. He went on the radio and said, ‘you gotta see these guys’. Within a few weeks the place was packed.’

This led them to share the stage with many popular names on the folk scene at the time including The Green Hill Singers.

‘It was two brothers Alex and John McMillan and this other guy Chris Bonnet. Bonnet was probably way ahead of them musically. They were not great musicians but they were really good singers.’
It was 1964 and the Green Hill Singers had just won the first Hoadley’s Band competition, the pre-cursor to the now famous Hoadley’s Battle Of The Sounds. Bonnet and Godden became fast friends and when renowned folk musician Dave Guard headhunted Bonnet for his own band Godden got the job as their new bass player. He played on their sole LP The Folk Sounds Of (1965) and did a national tour in support of Shirley Bassey.



Late in 1965, Bonnet and Godden had decided that they weren’t being challenged enough in their respective groups. Pulling in jazz drummer Laurie Kennedy and singer/songwriter Norma Stoneman they embarked on a new project they called The Grape Escape.

‘That was a good band. We did, you know, a lot of compound times—7/4 and 5/4. It was a jazz-rock kind of an outfit. It was a really good adventure in trying to do something that was bound to be unpopular with the dance crowds because we were working in 7/4 and 5/4 and playing Lydian scales and really working hard on producing material that was on the edge of jazz.’

The group embraced the musical theories postulated in George Russell’s 1953 book the Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organisation and built their entire catalogue on its principles.

Sadly, the group’s management didn’t understand exactly what the band was trying to do or where they wanted to go. After a disastrous season playing dance venues down in Lorne, they decided they couldn’t do it anymore. The solution was a trip to the Pacific.

IMAGE: The Prodigal Sons (flyer)

IMAGE: The Prodigal Sons (flyer)

In 1967 the members of the Grape Escape, though not using that name, took a job in Noumea playing to the holiday crowds.

‘We played pasadoble and tangos because being a French country they love those sort of tunes. Then we’d play some jazz tunes and then we’d do some rock and roll. We had a good time over there.’

With batteries recharged Brian decided to come back to Australia in 1968 and he quickly found work with folk musician Alex Hood. The two performed as The Prodigal Sons and also did a series of broadcasts for schools. It was lucrative work and before long Godden had enough to buy himself a house. The same house he decided to rent out not long after when he realised he needed to get to the bottom of Indian tuning systems.

Today Brian Godden is still active as a teacher and instrument maker and repairer. His children have an interest in his techniques and teachings too and they are working with him to further develop his insights and knowledge into the future.

This episode of RareCollections is built upon interviews with Brian Godden.

Supporting Information

Playlist Information:

Track: India Blue
Artist: Ali Akbar Khan with Brian Godden
Album: Garden Of Dreams
Label: Triloka
Duration: 4:30
Year: 1990

Track: Derrie Derrie Dream
Artist: The Liberty Singers
Composer: Liberty Singers
Label: RCA
Duration: 2:48
Year: 1963

Track: Long Long Road
Artist: The Green Hill Singers
Album: The Folk Sounds Of…
Label: Festival
Year: 1965

Track: The Easy Life
Artist: The Grape Escape
Composer: Chris Bonnet
Label: RCA
Duration: 2:24
Year: 1966?

Track: Night Plane
Artist: The Grape Escape
Composer: Chris Bonnet
Label: RCA
Duration: 1:24
Year: 1967

Track: Happier The Day
Artist: The Grape Escape
Composer: Brian Godden
Label: RCA
Duration: 1:57
Year: 1966

Track: Is Your Soul Drip Dry
Artist: The Grape Escape
Composer: Chris Bonnet
Label: RCA
Duration: 2:01
Year: 1967

Track: Two Lovers
Artist: Ali Akbar Khan
Album: Garden Of Dreams
Label: Triloka
Duration: 4:56
Year: 1993

Track: Lullaby
Artist: Ali Akbar Khan with Brian Godden
Album: Journey
Label: Triloka
Duration: 4:24
Year: 1990

Track: Anticipation
Artist: Ali Akbar Khan with Brian Godden
Album: Journey
Label: Triloka
Duration: 3:22
Year: 1990

(Source: 03/2015 – ABC (Australia))

P.S.:  Brian gives deeper insights onto his studies and elaborating the Perfect Third system on his personal website.


Posted in Indian Classical Music, Medias | Leave a Comment »

Merry Xmas to all our listeners and musical friends !

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on December 23, 2014


We wish our listeners, musical friends, artists, music directors, composers,
technical crews of our radio stations (Radio Rasa/CH, Radio Fro/A, radio + Tide Radio/DE) and all >15,000 group members of Indian Classical
a very musically MERRY X-Mas & Happy New Year 2015 !

Posted in Broadcasting Calendar, Culture (news), Economics (news), Education (news), FestivalReport, Health Care, Health Care (news), IMC OnAir - News, Indian Classical Music, Live around the globe, Music Paedagogic Work, News from India, Politics (news), Raga CDs of the months, Religion (news), StudioTalks, Thought Experiment(s) | Leave a Comment »

FB group “Indian Classical” reaches 10,000 members…

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on April 22, 2014

become member here..


Many tks to all our 10,000 members. On Easter Monday our uniquely Facebook group “INDIAN CLASSICAL” overstepped >9,999 +1. – Many tks by heart to all music lovers around the globe for this wonderful Easter present… Let us enjoy and deepen our common love for Indian classical music further on ! – Warm regards/ElJay Arem (The Group owner/promotion initiative IMC – India meets Classic)

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Posted in IMC OnAir - News, Indian Classical Music, Medias, Raga CDs of the months, StudioTalks, Thought Experiment(s) | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

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