Style is NOT Tradition

Article by Sri. S.Madhva Muni Rao

    Sri. S.Madhva Muni Rao Reading of the opinion of Great Maestro and Genius Dr.M.Balamuralikrishna on Tradition in Karnataka Music prompted me to share with the readers/rasikas/practioners of Karnataka Music the correct position on the Tradition in Karnataka Music as written in an article for the special issue by the Hindu and published by Late NMN, as part of performance review of Sandhyavandanam Srinivasa Rao(with his consent), doyen of Karnataka Music. In fact, DR.MBK had received lots of information and guidance from SSRao, when they were associated with AIR, India, as told by Dr MBK himself.

    Tradition is not Style. Tradition is perceived and recognized as Classical-Excellence, time-tested and everlasting. Excellence is determined by the achievement of cherished goals of Indian Music - DehaSudhi- cleansing of the Body( Folk/Fast beat based other forms), KarnaSudhi - pleasing the Ears( light music, with greater emphasis onlyrics), Manas Sudhi- cleansing of the Heart( judicious mixture of melody and bhava) and Chitta Sudhi( Melody, with greater emphasis on Nada/Nadanubhavam-pure and noble sound). The Original, creative and innovative works of the Great Composers are encapsulated in their composition. It is a crystallization in music which has captured the vision of eternity gained by the great Masters in their sublimely creative moments.

    The need to pursue this course of ‘Style' would not have arisen if the significance of what is Classical/Tradition had been deeply and profoundly understood by the artists. That which is truly Classical needs no updating, since it is not dated. It is eternal . It is so, because each masterpiece of the Classical legacy embodies immortal music . The task of preserving their immortal excellence is rendered immensely possible for the artist(s), who is musically sensitive and capable.

    The pursuit of Pata Integrity rendered it possible to pass on priceless works with the flame of their creator burning in them. It was a path in which creativity was not shut out as commonly understood. Pata is repetitive, no doubt, but when the artist comes to it anew every time with artistic character of his intensely dedicated musical heart, he sees it as fresh as ever and presents it with the passion and ardor of the first romance with it .

    In the task of preserving the Tradition/Classical Excellence, the Stylists have not been helpful and successful. They adopt the masterpieces and great works to fit in with the very personal propensities and idiosyncrasies of their talent. This is was/is an enterprise in which they freely tamper the great works, retaining only the skeleton and the broad sketch of the compositions and push their style in to the substance and improvisations(sangati ornamentations) of the works. With the growth of Styles and personal interpretations, the ideal of Pata Integrity suffered eclipse. This is the major factor,which has contributed to the decline in the Excellence and quality of Classicism in the cutcheri music.
    Goals of the Indian Music, are
    a) attaining theSat-Chit-Ananda(Reality, fresh, creative and unconditioned mind and pure Bliss),
    b) Entertainment of the Rasikas.
    Artist entertaining the rasika does not deviate or dilute the Tradition by accepting Money !

    The contributer of this aricle may be contacted at:

    S.Madhva Muni Rao,
    Son and Disciple of Late Sandhyavandanam Srinivasa Rao,
    170/C, 3rd E Cross Street, 3rd Stage, 2nd Block,
    Basaveshwarnagar, Bangalore-560079
    Tel:80-23229151. Mobile:9845336203
    E-Mail/MSN:munirao2001@hotmail .com


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