S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Subramania Bharati

Birthdays & Anniversaries
11.12.1882 - 11.09.1921
Subramania Bharati was a celebrated National Poet of India. He was also a good singer, composer, and enlightened critic. He was born on 11 December 1882 at Ettayapuram Of the scholars who have done excellent research on Subramania Bharati’s life and works, Prof. K.R. Rajagopalan (retd.) of Madras Christian College. prepared a statistical analysis of the ‘musical poems’ of Bharati in 1983. The monograph is in Tamil and is titled Bharatiyin Isaippulamai. It is in a mimeographed form and, to the best of my knowledge, it has not been published. (In the past, Prof. Rajagopalan had made similar studies on the kriti-s of Tyagaraja and Muthuswami Dikshitar as well.)

Bharati was a born poet and a born singer too. He had a fine voice, as testified by those who heard him sing patriotic songs at the Marina, Madras. According to V.V.S. Aiyar (1881-1925), a revolutionary and a contemporary of Bharati, the poet possessed a majestic voice and sang his compositions with the pride of a composer. The poet’s younger brother C. Viswanathan has also stated that Bharati himself set the songs to music and that he sang them quite tunefully. “Aakkur Anantachari’s biography mentions that Bharati used to sing well and was particularly fond of Nata and Kalyani,” observes T.S. Parthasarathy.
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