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Archive for the ‘Carnatic (ICM)’ Category

IMC’s special feature: “INDIAN CLASSICAL ON VINYL” … a Record Store Day special @ TIDE Radio (DE, Hamburg)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on May 15, 2023

IMC – India meets Classic presents the special “INDIAN CLASSICAL ON VINYL” for the Intern. Record Store Day (annually every 3rd Saturday of April).

Today on Monday, 15th May 2023 you can take the chance for listening (via webradio) at 03:00-04:58 pm EST / 09:00-10:58 pm CET

Come in and enjoy the finest Indian classical music on Vinyl records @ (click webstream here).

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Posted in Carnatic (ICM), Hindustani (ICM), IMC OnAir - News, Indian Classical Music, Live around the globe | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

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

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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 »

4th Jan 2014: vocalist Sudha Ragunathan launches her new book SAMPURNA…

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on December 29, 2013


Carnatic concert by Sudha Raghunathan

Carnatic concert by Sudha Raghunathan (Source:

Outstanding vocalist Sudha Ragunathan (born: 04/30/1965) from South India will launch “Sampurna – Sruthi, Laya & My Life”“, a coffee table book that reflects her personal journey through the world of Indian Classical music. The release is dated on 4th of January 2013 at 4 :00 pm IST (at Rain Tree Hotel, Chennai).

Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to Samudhaaya Foundation, an NGO which had been launched by Sudha with its first activities in July, 1999.

With the book release Sudha will celebrate the occasion the Sangita Kalanidhi will be conferred upon her on 1 January 2014 by the prestigious Music Academy Madras (Chennai, India) as a milestone in her career.

(Source: 12/2013 – Sudha Ragunathan @ Facebook)

Sudha Ragunathan with rare “Raga Saramati“, a composition which can be tracked back to the imminent Carnatic composer SrI Thyagaraja (1767-1847))


Posted in Carnatic (ICM), Culture (news) | Leave a Comment »

INDIAN CLASSICAL…. Thanks to >5,555 members (FB group)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on November 21, 2013

On 20th November we reached the number of 5,505 FB group members
(Rec.: on 28th Oct. 2013 our community counted 5,000).
Many thanks to all our members and friends around the globe sharing classical music from India.


today on 21st Nov: special FB event page

! Lets fill plus 55 more friends to reach the symbolically number 5,555 lovers of Indian Classical music !

On 21st November the FB group will focus on music of 5 TONE RAGAS (Pentatonic Raga Scales) to celebrate symbolicly the total number 5,555 we like to reach today, e.g. Raga Chandrakauns, Bhupali, Malkauns, Durga, Abhogi Kanada etc. … Enjoy listening to good music !

Five tone Raga Chandrakauns by Sitar legend Nikhil Banerjee…


Posted in Carnatic (ICM), Hindustani (ICM), IMC OnAir - News, Medias, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on December 22, 2008


Posted in Carnatic (ICM), Culture (news), DE (German), Economics (news), Education (news), ENG (English), FestivalReport, Hindustani (ICM), 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, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Bangalore’s first community radio station goes Active…

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on June 25, 2007

BANGALORE: Bangalore’s first community FM radio station, Radio Active 107.8 (RA), hit the airwaves on Monday.

Bangalore’s first community radio station goes Active

RA 107.8 is Karnataka’s second community radio station, the first one being operated by the Agricultural University at Dharwad. Launched by the Jain Group of Institutions (JGI), RA 107.8 will focus on issues concerning health, environment, development, scientific awareness, women’s welfare and social issues, in turn seeking to inform, educate while entertaining listeners.

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) which had earlier been allocated the frequency 107.8, will start broadcasting from 107.2 starting Monday evening.

The station was inaugurated by Rashtriya Vigyan Evan Prodhyogiki Sanchar Parishad (RVEPSP) scientist Ujjwala Tirkey.

Content, say sources, will be generated partly by students, partly in partnership with other institutions and colleges, as well as sourced from NGOs like VOICE. Since community radios run by colleges and educational institutions are allowed to pay lower subscription rates to the Indian Phonographic Association (IPA), some film music, chiefly in local languages, will also be played on the station.

College students from Bangalore’s RJI institute’s post graduate department of communication will work as radio jockeys for the new station. 28 RJs have already been shortlisted for the job. Initially, the station will air eight hours daily, in sessions of four hours each – the second session being a repeat of the first. College students and RJs Ramakant and Priyanka kicked off the inaugural show, the former in Kannada and the latter in Engliss.

The station will broadcast through a BEL 50 watt transmitter which has a range of about 15-120 kms line of sight radius, according to JGI sources.

At present, there are 28 community radio stations (including RA), with the Anna University being the first one to start a few years ago. Tamil Nadu (including Pondicherry) takes the lead with 11 community radios in operation, followed by Delhi and Uttar Pradesh with four each, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan with two each and Kerala with one, are some of the other states in which some cities have community radio broadcasts. Orissa has recently been granted a license, according to Commonwealth Educational Media Center for Asia director, Dr R Sreedher. In Bangalore, eight licenses (including JGI) have been granted, with Bangalore University having been allotted the frequency about two years ago.

Though non government organisations can start community radio stations with the recent changes in the law, none has been granted a license as yet, according to Sreedher. The Parliament has approved five minutes per hour advertisement revenues for community radio stations, under certain conditions.

(25 June 2007 – Source: by Tarachand Wanvari)

Posted in Carnatic (ICM), Culture (news), News from India | Leave a Comment »

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