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Garbhapurivaasa – Also called Garbhapuri Srinivasa, this “composer” is actually a quartette of composers who composed in KannaDa together. The main two were PeDDa DEvuDu VenkaTasubbiah (a violinist, Karur Dakshinamurthy, 1860-1887) and Cinna DEvuDu Krishniah (Karur Krishna Iyer, 1861-1901, also a violinist and composer). The other two were Karur Chinnaswamiah (a violinist as well, 1888-1967) and Dakshinamurti Sastri (dates not known). The first three were sons of Narasa Ayyar and Akhilandammal. Dakshinamurthi Sastri was a cousin of the other three and was a lyricist and teacher in the High School at Karur.

They had their training under Nemam Subramania Ayyar, a direct disciple of Tyagaraja. Karur Chinna Devudu composed several songs like ‘Neramanchakura’ (Sankarabharanam). His violin duets with his elder brother, Pedda Devudu had a premature end when the elder died. Chinna Devudu then trained his younger, Chinnaswamiah and both were playing together.

It was Karur Chinnaswamiah who was later honoured by the Music Academy wth the conferemnt of the title ‘Sangita Kalanidhi’ in 1950. He had accompanied most of the great artistes. His musical expertise was sound and used the full bow. Musiri Subramanya Ayyar, K.S.Papa Venkatramiah, G.N.Balasubramaniam and Varahoor Muthuswami Ayyar were his disciples. His capacity to present rich ragabhava, wide range of ragas, unequalled skill in producing rare and unique tones on his instrument and his remarkable attractive style have been complimented by Keerthanacharya C.R.Srinivasa Ayyangar.

Chinna Devudu composed note-swaras also like Muthuswami Dikshitar. ‘Sami Ninne’ (shree ragam – adi tala) varna is his. Their compositions are all in the tradition of Tyagaraja. Prof.P. Sambamurthi Ayyar says that Dakshinamurthi Sastri wrote the Sahityas (script) which were set to music by DevuDayya and that the two are called Garbhapuri composers after their signature ‘Garbhapuri’. A collection of the compositions has been published by the Music Academy, Madras. Other compositions include koniyaDi tarama, kamalaamba, brova samayamithe ramayya in gowrimanohari, yadukula tilaka in cakravaakam, and saaramaina in behaag.

Mudra: Gharbapurisha

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