Musicians of The Kingdom of Mysore

Musicians Of The Kingdom Of Mysore

The Kingdom of Mysore (1399-1950) was founded by Yaduraya in 1399 as a feudatory of the Vijayanagara Empire and became an independent kingdom in the early 17th century, after the decline of the Vijayanagara Empire. Many musicians and composers have presumably adorned the courts of the Mysore kings from Yaduraya's time, furthering the Dakshinadi school (southern school) of music that had developed in earlier centuries. However, records are only available from the time of King Ranadheera Kanteerava Narasaraja Wodeyar (1638). Musical treatises surviving from this time, though, provide ample information on the music, musical instruments, the types of compositions, the raga (melodies) and the tala (rhythms) used. Though all the Mysore kings patronised music, the golden age of Carnatic music was considered to be during the reigns of Kings Krishnaraja Wodeyar III (1794-1868), Chamaraja Wodeyar IX (1862-1894), Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV (1884-1940) and Jaya Chamaraja Wodeyar (1919-1974). The reign of Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV is regarded as particularly important in musical terms.

The instruments normally used to play compositions were the veena, the rudra veena, the violin, the tambura, the ghatam, the flute, the mridangam, the nagaswaram, the swarabhat. Instruments such as the harmonium, the sitar and the jaltarang, though uncommon to the southern region, came into use and British influence popularised the saxophone and the piano. The royalty of this dynasty were noted composers and proficient in playing musical instruments both solo and in concert with others. The different styles of compositions included jati swara, swara jati, varna, kriti, javali (a light lyric), tillana and pallavi. It was not unusual for the composers and the kings who patronised them to be experts at instrumental music as well. So proficient were the musicians at their chosen instrument(s) that the name of the instrument became a part of the musician's name, examples being Veena Subbanna and Veena Sheshanna, Veena (or Veene as it is known in South India) being their instrument. During these times, Tanjore in modern Tamil Nadu and Mysore in modern Karnataka were the centres of Carnatic music. Mysore developed a distinct school of music which gave importance to the raga and the bhava. Though many of the musicians in the courts were natives of the Mysore Kingdom, artists from other parts of South India were also patronised. Another important development of this period was the growth of drama. These dramas, original or translated from English and Sanskrit classics, contained many melodious songs and were brought to the stage through the various drama schools established by royalty.

Read more about Musicians Of The Kingdom Of MysoreKing Krishnaraja Wodeyar III (1794-1868), King Chamaraja Wodeyar IX (1862 - 1894), King Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV (1884 - 1940), King Jayachamaraja Wodeyar

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