MS – Aesthetics, Appropriateness, Enunciation, Sruti and Swarasthana Suddham

Excerpts from Gowri Ramnarayan’s MS & Radha: Saga of Steadfast Devotion

MS Subbulakshmi’s music notebooks testified to her all round concern for every aspect of rachita or composed music, a vital part of Carnatic music dear to musicians as the outpourings of saintly souls in Telugu, Kannada, Sanskrit, Tamil and Malayalam. MS sang in north Indian languages too, mainly Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati.
Every one of these songs, by composers old and new, was first inscribed with its meaning in her notebook, and then each phrase notated with its literal and metaphoric meanings. Music notation came next.
The initial learning process included checking diction, emphasis, and the right spot where a phrase could be split in melodising. Experts were consulted to ensure accuracy.

Her vak suddham (lucid enunciation) matched her sruti suddham (fidelity to pitch). Instinct might have played its part, but the effort expended on such mastery was considerable.

Kunjamma thought her music through and shaped her own original aesthetics. Like the ancient Indian aestheticians she believed that auchitya or appropriateness was essential for art that was allusive, art that strove for the sublime.”

For full article –  please read  The Process Behind the MS Magic


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