Purandaradasa Kirtanas with Swara Notations in Traditional Ragas- Set of 4 Volumes (An Old and Rare Book)
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Purandaradasa Kirtanas with Swara Notations in Traditional Ragas- Set of 4 Volumes (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: NAZ022
Author: V.N. Padmini and Jayalakshmi Srinivasan
Publisher: Vasantha Vallabha Music Academy, Bengalore
Language: Tamil Text with Sanskrit, Kannada and English Translation
Edition: 2000
Pages: 269
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 410 gm
Sri Purandara Dasa and Carnatic Music are India's gifts to the world.

Music is in man's nature. In India it had been developing for centuries but during the 16th century it looked as though the system would break up into separate regional versions. It was the Purandara Dasa's contribution which prevented this from happening. His well thought out reforms ensured that the art could grow in beauty and stature. It has during the last 450 years become the best in the world.

Purandara Dasa's main aim however was God realisation and music was the vehicle to sing the glory of God. He had composed hundreds of songs in about 35 ragas. Since there was no system of writing notations, these songs were passed on from generation to generation by practical tradition.

At the time the 400th death anniversary of the Dasa was observed in 1964, the organisers had brought out a book containing the notations of 100 songs, as they were sung during the last century. These were based on the notebooks maintained by leading musicians as also after listening to women who had learnt these songs from various sources like visiting mendicants.

There might have been some changes in the rendering of these songs over the centuries but essentially they seem to have survived well in their original shape. Bangalore V.N. Padmini has sung and Kalavardhini cassettes have brought out audio cassettes of some of these songs.

Music is as old as veda itself. It is said that Devas are more pleased when hymns are chanted musically. Sama Acharyas such as Ramayana evolved Samagana of vedic hymns. The role of music ever since inception has been essentially to enhance the Bhakti emotion both in the chanter as well as in listeners. Thus the music has progressed from time to time freely.

It was only Hari dasas of Karnataka who conceived the conception of classification of tunes (Ragas), classification of rhythm (Tala) and in the process evolved a grammar for music. This approach started around 12th or 13th century. Sripadaraya and his disciple Vyasaraya gave fillip to this approach and composed number of suladis to serve as guide lines. Purandaradasa was a disciple of Vyasaraya. He contributed substantially towards gramatical approach to music. He standardised Talas and composed simple compositions to appreciate form of Ragas. He also composed a number of Suladis to serve as guide line. The work of Purandaradasa served as base for Venkatamuki, Thyagaraja, etc. who came later. The monumental work by Saint Thyagaraja simply overtook all the preceeding works and became standard reference for music.

All the same, the initiative for grammatical approach to music belongs to Purandaradasa.

Purandaradasa was both a litterateur and a musician. Efforts have been made to collect all his works and published. But, the music aspect has received very little attention.

The fourth (death) centenary of Purandaradasa was celebrated at Hampi in 1964. The committee for this celebration addressed itself to the music aspect of Purandaradasa. After vigorous efforts, they could locate only about 100 songs that have come traditionally since long. These were published in their book "Purandara Dasa Kriti Sataka".

In 1998, M/s. Kalavardhini of Chennai brought out cassette "Dasa Hridayam" (Vol-1, Vol-2) containing some 18 songs from this book. The Book "Purandara Dasa Kirtanas-1" was also brought out in 1998, presenting the text of songs in Tamil, Devanagari and meaning in English, retaining the original notation in Kannada for the above.

Now Kalvardhini have brought out Volumes 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Dasa Hridayam, covering some more songs. The songs included in these cassettes are covered in the books "Purana Dasa Kirtanas 2 & 3." Thus, the cassettes and the books cover more than 50 songs from the book "Kriti Sataka".

We would like to express our appreciation for the efforts put in by Smt. V. N. Padmini and Smt. Jayalakshmi Srinivasan.

Our thanks to Dr. Balamurali Krishna and Sri V. Emberumanar Chetty, President, the Indian Fine Arts Society, Chennai for their kind messages. It is indeed very kind of Sri G. Dwarakanath, Chennai to give a note on music then and now. Our thanks to staff of Elegant Printing Press, Bangalore. We earestly hope that this publication will be of interest to all music lovers.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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