Shyama Sastri & Natakurinji

Facebook prompted me to post this as a memory. The actual fact is that Natakurinji and Syama Sastri’s Maayamma are so much part of me that I thought instead of merely posting this as a memory, why not reblog it! 🙂

Mohan Santhanam

Note: this article was published in the February 2014 issue of the bi-lingual journal Naadhabrahmam (

Though Natakurinji is a very popular raga with instantaneous appeal, yet it isn’t characterized by a corpus of well-known kritis.  If a musician renders or plays a Chakkani Raja or an Endukupeddala or an O Rangasaayi or a Meenakshi Memudam, a reasonably knowledgeable rasika of Carnatic music would immediately identify these compositions with their respective ragas.

Natakurinji unfortunately doesn’t enjoy this luxury, so to speak.  Hence it can be said that it is a raga that has survived on its own intrinsic charm and attractiveness.  From a concert standpoint, it is more or less accepted that the more number of compositions that a musician knows in a particular raga, the better is the musician able to handle the raga in terms of raga-alapana elaboration in particular.  Examples of such ragas are all…

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About Mohan Santhanam

Carnatic vocalist, based in Chennai. Disciple of Late Shri T.R.Subramanyam (TRS).
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