European musical instruments in India

Fri Mar 28 15:02:31 UTC 1997

The growth of the colonial city of Madras has much to do with
incorporation of violin into Carnatic music. For example,
Baluswamy Dikshitar worked in Manali Ramakrishna Mudhaliar's
court. Pachaiyappa Muthaliar, the philanthropher, Manali muthaliar
are Dubashis for the British. They made fortunes as toll collectors,
intermediaries. Tanjore Quartet visited Madras often.
Seerkaazhi Arunasalak Kaviraayar, author of Ramma naaDakam,
was also patronized by Manali family. The Carnatic music trio
Muthusamy Dikshitar, uncle of Balusamy,  wrote on Manali family. Even today,
the descendents are trustees of many temples around Madras.

A good place to look for documents is Madras Music academy and
Tamil Isai sangam libraries. Of course, the persons to contact are
V. A. K. Rangarao, T. S. Parthasarathy and Le. Pa. Karu.Ramanathan
all of Madras. Shruti magazineof Carnatic music  has rare photos, articles.

Lalgudi Jayaraman, the famous violinist always says violin has
been with us for long. He has written few articles in popular 
magazines with photos from Rajagopurams of Tiruchy, Tanjore district
temples. They are remarkably like violin and must predate the British violin.
One of them from Lalgudi SaptarishIsvarar temple itself.

What is "yaazh" of old Tamil literature? Is it a kind of harp?

N. Ganesan

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