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Maargadarshi Sesha Aiyyangaar

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A pre-Trinity composer of the 17th century, Margadarshi Sesha Iyengar composed mainly in Sanskrit. He had used brndavana saranga before many others. He is also known to have been among the earliest to use the raga bEgaDa. His kritis have triple charanams, and he experimented with the traditional pallavi-anupallavi-caraNam structure of kritis. Some of his manuscripts are still available on palm-leaves.

The famous musician Shatkala Govinda Marar brought with him a collection of the songs of Margadarsi Sesha Iyengar and sang many of them before the king, Swati Tirunal. Impressed by their novelty, Swati Tirunal adopted them as models for his own compositions and also wrote a tract on the verbal embellishments like assonance, alliteration and rhyme to be adopted in musical compositions. Because he paved the way for a systematic style of compositions for all composers that followed, his title Margadarshi (one who shows the direction), is appropriate. Other compositions include: kannilaveno nija kaanaveno, jaya sugunalaya – bilahari, Vande Govindarajam

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