Here is an excerpt of an article featured in the Ms.Durga Krishnan’s New England School of Carnatic Music published with permission. This article written by her Guru, the legendry veena maestro Dr. Chittibabu and was originally published in the Hindu on September 27, 1970.
She writes in her website…”. The name that comes to everyone’s mind when the word ‘PADAM’ is spoken is Kshetrayya. This article is not only a tribute to the other great composer of PADAMS, Sri Sarangapani but also a tribute to my late guru.”
Here is an excerpt:-
Veena Vidwan Chitti Babu
Along with musical forms like Varnam, Keertana, Javali, etc., Padams have a place of their own on account of their dhatu (music) and maathu (sahitya or lyric content). In the keertana, the emphasis is more on the musical content and in Javali, the sahitya is given more importance, whereas in the padams both sahityam and sangeetham get equal importance.
As a pada karta, Sarangapani deserves praise and recognition like Kshetrayya, whose name has come to be synonymous with padams. Sarngapani belonged to the 17th century and lived in Karvetinagaram in Chittoor district. He was the Vidyadhikari (Minister of Education), in the court of Makaraju Venkata Perumal Raju, who ruled Karvetinagaram.
Sarangapani was proficient in Sanskrit as well as Telugu. He had the authority to issue Raja Sasanams (Royal orders). He was a poet and an expert in music and Natya Sastra (incidentally, this reveals the qualifications then expected for a Minister of Education).
He was held in high esteem not only by the ruler and the ruled, but also by contemporary musicians like Govindaswami, the composer of the famous Pada Varna “Inta Aluka” in Natakuranji who also adorned the same court at the time. Like Kshetrayya, Sarangapani was also an ardent devotee of Sri Venugopala, the only difference being, if that can be called a difference, the former worshipped Him at Moova, the latter at Karvetinagaram.
All his compositions bear the Venugopala Mudra, his “Ishta Daivam” of Karvetinagaram, though some have come to be attributed by Kshetrayya inadvertently by substitution of the term “Moova Gopala” for “Venugopala”
Nearly 200 padams of this composer- of which `mogudochi’ (Sahana- Chapu) is the best known-are available in ancient fibrous paper. A study of these reveals that these padams can be divided into 4 categories: 1) Sringara padams 2) Desiya padams 3) Janapada padams, and 4) Vairagya padams.
To know more about this composer, see a few example of his works and to read the entire article click here
PS: MY sincere thanks to Ms. Durga Krishnan for sharing this with us.
Durga Krishnan is a graduate of Carnatic Music College of Madras, India. She holds the degree “Sangeetha Vidwan” – Scholar of Music and is also a certified teacher of Carnatic Music. She is also one of the primary disciples (student) of the legendary veena player the late Dr. Chittibabu. She has accompanied him on several of his CDs and LPs. She is also a composer who has composed, arranged, directed and played music for several productions such as Sakunthalam, Ramayanam, Dasavatharam and Festivals of India by the dancer teachers in the local area. She has been performing solo concerts and also concerts with other artists in and around Boston and in many other cities in the USA and Canada. She teaches both veena and vocal at her house in Marlborough. To know more about her visit here