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Tribute to musicologist M.B. Vedavalli


M.B. Vedavalli, who handed away just lately, was a revered musicologist, who was recognized for her analysis, writings and lec-dems

M.B. Vedavalli, who handed away just lately, was a revered musicologist, who was recognized for her analysis, writings and lec-dems

We have a number of musicians however only some erudite musicologists, and one among them was M.B. Vedavalli. She was a preferred musicologist, scholar, writer, and an eminent trainer. Born on June 5, 1935 to Yadugiri and M.B. Shama Iyengar, Vedavalli had her preliminary coaching underneath her sister Singamma.

She did her commencement in music from Maharani’s College in Mysuru and post-graduation from Stella Maris College in Chennai. She was skilled by the likes of Krishna Iyengar, M.A. Narasimhachar and Prof. T. Sambamoorthy, and T. Viswanathan. Her experience in pallavi singing was honed underneath stalwarts comparable to Mudikondan Venkatarama Iyer. Her doctoral thesis on ‘Mysore as a Seat of Music’ is a crucial contribution to the world of music.

Vedavalli (proper) presenting a lec-dem on ‘Ragas with dual names in post Trinity period’ on the Music Academy in Chennai
| Photo Credit: GANESAN V./The Hindu Archives

Vedavalli was recognized for her relentless analysis to establish options and nuances that enhanced Carnatic music’s attraction and understanding. This journey led her to write a number of books together with Ragas Which Emerged During The Post Trinity Period and their Lakshana, Sangeeta Sastra Sangraha, Theory of Indian Music, and Mysore as a Seat of Indian Music. She has offered lec-dems at varied establishments when she served as school at University of Madras, and in addition as a member of the advisory committee of the Music Academy and Board of Studies of University of Madras. She was the recipient of the Music Academy’s Best Musicologist award in December, 2011.

Vedavalli presenting a lec-dem ‘Ragas on ‘Post-Trinity period and their salient features’. Lalitha Sampathkumar on vocal support at Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha in 2005.

Vedavalli presenting a lec-dem ‘Ragas on ‘Post-Trinity period and their salient features’. Lalitha Sampathkumar on vocal assist at Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha in 2005.
| Photo Credit: SRIDHARAN N./The Hindu Archives

In the identical yr, I had attended her lec-dem at Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, the place she spoke about some uncommon ragas comparable to Hamsadeepakam, Valaji, Pasupathipriya, Karnaranjani, and Niroshta, launched by Muthiah Bhagavatar. One of probably the most prolific post-Trinity composers, Muthiah Bhagavatar launched almost 27 new ragas. Vedavalli traced the origin of those ragas and their construction, and offered about 10 compositions. On that event, she was honoured with the title ‘Sangeetha Sastra Ratna’. She additionally introduced out a ‘Dictionary of South Indian Music and Musicians’, a challenge that was began by Prof. Sambamoorthy and accomplished by her. Her lec-dem, ‘Emergence of new ragas — a continuum’ was maybe the final she offered.

Vedavalli was supported by her brother Shriman Narayanan, who can also be a musician and scholar, in her initiatives. Initially, related to the Music Academy, he’s now school at Tamil Isai Sangam. He plans to launch a compilation of his sister’s lec-dems and articles.

Vedavalli’s daughter-in regulation and vocalist Lalitha Sampathkumar has loads to share in regards to the musicologist. Apart from being a school at a number of establishments, Lalitha mentioned that Vedavalli did her D.Litt from the University of Madras on ‘Ragam Tanam Pallavi’. She had authored analysis papers on Kanakadasa, Music Heritage of Kanchi, Mysore Karigiri Rao and one primarily based on her lec-dem on Akka Mahadevi on the Music Academy.

“A traditionalist and disciplinarian, her life revolved around music. Though she was passionate about focussing on new ragas, their origin and how they have been presented in recent times, she did not like any compromise with the quality and content of the classical idiom. She spent most of her time reading to widen her horizons,” mentioned Lalitha.

Vedavalli has left behind a wealthy treasure of reference materials for musicians and students.

The Chennai-based reviewer writes on Carnatic music.



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