"దేశ భాషలందు తెలుగు లెస్స" - తుళువ రాజు శ్రీకృష్ణదేవరాయ
"dESa bhAshalaMdu telugu lessa" - tuLuva rAju SrI kRshNadEvarAya
Telugu is the sweetest among all languages of the Land - Great Tuluva Emperor Sri Krishnadeva Raya, 16th Century

తెలుగు మాట...తేనె ఊట
TELUGU...a language sweeter than honey

మంచిని పంచుదాము వడపోసిన తేనీటి రూపం లో
తేనెకన్న మంచిదని తెలుగును చాటుదాము వేనోల్ల
ఇదే నా ఆకాంక్ష, అందరి నుంచి కోరుకునె చిరు మాట

"TELUGU - Italian of the East" - Niccolo Da Conti, 15th Century

"సుందర తెలుంగిళ్ పాటిసైతు" - శ్రీ సుబ్రహ్మణ్య భారతి
"suMdara teluMgiL paaTisaitu" - SrI subrahmaNya bhArati
Let us sing in Sweet Telugu - Tamil poet Sri Subrahmanya Bharati, 20th Century

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The dynamic music of poetry

- Mrunalini

It is quite heartening to see that Telugu cultural meets these days are concentrating on music and literature. Not exclusively, but as one art. Whether it’s Carnatic classical or film music, or non-film music called Lalitha sangeetham, lyrics seem to have suddenly gained status as a very important aspect of music.

One always knew music without literature i would appeal only to a connoisseur and literature without music to a select few. Only when they come together does it become a wholesome art. They complement each other and enhance each other’s value. In fact, a good poet has something of a musician in him. As T S Eliot said in The Music of Poetry, “I think that a poet may gain much from the study of music… the properties in which music concerns the poet…are the sense of rhythm and the sense of structure…the use of recurrent themes is as natural to poetry as to music.” In one sense, maybe music is mass art, while literature is elite art. Many times literature becomes a mass art when it takes the help of music.

For instance, from the Bhakti movement to the Dalit movement, literature related to social movements was communicated to the common man only through music. We have scores of examples from all Indian languages about the effect of musical literature on the masses.

The Pashuram of Tamil, Padakavitha of Telugu, Vachana Sahitya of Kannada, Vaishnava Geeth of Bengali, Ashtapadi of Sanskrit or Bhajans of Meera and many more such literary creations are great examples of musical literature.

Some of the best poetry in Telugu is in the Padakavitha of Annamayya, which emerged in the Bhakti movement all over India (15th, 16th centuries) and the Kritis of Thyagaraja (19th century). Both these Vaggeyakaras (those who write, compose and sing) are the greatest gifts of the Telugus to Indian music.

Recently there has been a spurt of publications in Telugu on Annamayya, which try to understand his poetry in greater depth. These books attempt to show the reader that Carnatic music has great literary value and only when one understands these nuances can a singer do justice to the rendition. This presupposes that the singer should be a Telugu-speaking person, which may not be totally acceptable in the case of Carnatic music. There are scores of Tamil singers who render Thyagaraja day in and day out. And we have the most famous example of M S Subbulakshmi singing Annamacharya to great effect.

So you don’t actually need to be a natural speaker of the language but, it goes without saying, you render better if you know what you are rendering. This month, which celebrates the birth anniversaries of both Annamayya and Thyagaraja calls for a small comparison of these two masters of music, especially with regard to the literary values in their creations. Thyagaraja has been easier for the singer to learn, for the simple reason that his lyrics are less complicated and his ideas less complex. His language is also closer to modern Telugu. One does not need a Telugu pundit to explain him. One only needs to know the language. Moreover, for Thyagayya, music was the be-all and end-all. Lyrics were complimentary to his musical genius.

But Annamayya’s language is 500 years old, his lyrics are closer to the local Rayalaseema idiom and he sang quite often in the colloquial manner of the common folk. At the same time, he was also a great poet, who could turn words in innumerable ways, keeping the reader guessing as to its meaning. The search for better and deeper interpretations of Annamayya’s Sankeertanas is going on in Telugu right now, on the occasion of his 601st birth anniversary. But the search is a long one; like the proverbial Mahabharata, which means different things to different people, Annamayya too is being interpreted and explained in myriad ways. His raagas are often tampered with, since we do not exactly know in which ragas they were set, unlike Tyagaraja, whose kritis have to be rendered in the ragas he meant them to be.

It appears as if Thyagaraja is more fortunate; both his lyrics and the ragas are quite clearly known since he is more recent in history and his disciples have been very successful in carrying out his tradition. But Annamacharya’s case is different. He is open to all.

And every musician worth his salt is composing him according to his talent. Maybe, looking at the brighter side, we could say, Annamayya is dynamic.

Courtesy: ExpressBuzz

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State 2nd in Telugu, no thanks to teacher

HOSUR: Nothing could prevent sincere students from victory. This was proved by a student from a backward hill hamlet in Denkanikotta taluk in Krishnagiri district.

ప్రశాంత్ కుమార్ (Prasanth Kumar) (15), attached to Government Higher Secondary School in Javalagiri near Denkanikotta, has bagged second rank at State level in Telugu subject in SSLC examinations.

What is special in this? He achieved the milestone when there was no teacher in the school to teach Telugu subject.

Many parts of Krishnagiri district comprise mixed multi-lingual population.
In several government schools in Hosur and Thally panchayat unions, the government has arranged for students to study Telugu and Kannada as their second language but there were no adequate teaching staff in most of the schools.

Even in Javalagiri Government School, there was no teacher. The teachers, with the help of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), used to teach students, but not regularly. Prasanth Kumar, hailing from backward T Sulagundam hill hamlet in Anchetty forest range, studied without any guidance from the teachers and secured 96 marks in Telugu.

Kumar’s father died when he was born and it was his mother Rathinamma struggling alone with daily labour works to survive the family. Poverty is hindering my studies, but I want to become an IAS officer, said Kumar. He said he is working hard to secure higher marks in Plus Two examinations to achieve his ambition.

Courtesy: ExpressBuzz

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

160,000 singers in Hyderabad set new world record

A whopping 160,000 people sang in chorus seven keerthanas, or hymns in praise of god, of Telugu saint-poet Thallapaka Annamacharya in Hyderabad on Sunday evening, and broke a 70-year-old world record.

A representative of the Guinness Book of World Records announced that the previous record is broken at the grand spiritual musical event, organised to mark the 601st birth anniversary of Annamacharya.

"I have great pleasure in announcing that more than 70 years later the record has been broken," said Guinness Book representative Raymond Marshal amid thunderous applause at the sprawling Parade Grounds in Secunderabad, Hyderabad's twin city.

He also presented the certificate from Guinness Book of World Records to state Minister for Finance K. Rosaiah.

It was on Aug 2, 1937, that 60,000 people sang the national anthem in Germany to set the world record.

The programme, లక్షగళసంకీర్తనార్చన (Laksha Gala Sankirthanarchana), was organised jointly by Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), the Andhra Pradesh state cultural council and Andhra Silicon.

The organisers said 160,000 people sang the keerthanas in one voice.

Renowned Carnatic musician M. Balamurali Krishna, singer Kavitha Krishnamurthy and her husband L. Subramanyam and Garimella Balakrishna Prasad led 160,000 singers, both professionals and amateurs. Telugu actor Nagarjuna, who acted in film "Annamayya", was also present.

Annamacharya, who was born in 1408, composed 32,000 Sankeerthans eulogising Lord Venkateswara.

The TTD, which manages the affairs of the Lord Venkateshwara temple at Tirumala, is organising Annamacharya's 601st birth anniversary celebrations on a grand scale.

TTD chairman D.K. Audikesavulu Naidu announced that Tallapaka, the birthplace of Annamacharya in Kadapa district, will be developed as a major spiritual centre.

The TTD is also making efforts to propagate Keerthanas of the first Telugu lyric poet worldwide by organising spiritual programmes, including group rendering of Sankeerthans and lectures on his literary works.

Courtesy: Hindustan Times

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

ABK approaches SC over Telugu's classical status

HYDERABAD: Aggrieved over the way the issue of classical status to Telugu language has been held up in a legal tussle, chairman of the AP

official language commission ABK Prasad approached the Supreme Court praying it to resolve the matter. It can be recalled, following a petition by a Chennai based lawyer that the Madras High Court had earlier said that granting of classical status to Telugu and Kannada shall be subject to the outcome of the writ in Madras High Court.

"This order of the Madras High Court is coming in the way of release of assistance and grants by the central government to universities and academicians who are keen to pursue greater research into the richness of Telugu language," ABK said in his petition to the apex court. KV Dhanunjaya, the advocate for the commission in the Supreme Court told TOI that Madras High Court has no jurisdiction to hear this case and the grant of classical status to Telugu language is a bonafide decision taken by the Government of India and it cannot invite any objection by a resident of Tamil Nadu at all.

Incidentally, ABK, whose term as chairman of the official language commission has come to an end on Saturday, is leaving the office with this special leave petition in the apex court.

During his two terms in office, ABK had relentlessly worked for the usage of Telugu language in the administration and could succeed in bringing tangible progress in at least 7 districts.

Courtesy: TOI


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