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Golden Jubilee
Issue : 221
Published on : February, 2003



3 Sruti Box

7 News & Notes

11 Main Feature

21 Special Feature

45 Seminar On Music Therapy

56 Publisher's Note

Front Cover: The New Shanmukhananda Hall

News & Notes
Regatta Cultural Society Celebrates 30th Anniversary

Regatta Cultural Society celebrated its 30th anniversary at the Tagore theatre in Tiruvananthapuram, 11-15 October 2002. Hundreds of dance students above five years of age participated each day in the five-day festivities and it was amazing to watch the programme sailing smoothly without any confusion. The credit for the well organised show goes to Regatta's founder-director Girija Chandran, her sister Geetha Krishnakumar and the parents of the students who helped with the arrangements. The festival culminated with a group presentation by the staff and students of BHAASKARA from Payyanur in Kerala. V.P. Dhananjayan and Shanta Dhananjayan, famous Bharatanatyam exponents and guru-s, the founders of Bharata Kalanjali and BHAASKARA, were honoured on the occasion.

Regatta has specialised in presenting well coordinated group dance presentations on the large proscenium by young dancers. As a result it is called upon to participate in mega events in Tiruvananthapuram, whether it be a programme in a stadium, a film festival or a television event. It has five centres in Tiruvananthapuram city alone and branches elsewhere, with a total of about 2000 students.

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Main Feature
Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeetha Sabha

The year-long golden jubilee celebrations of Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeetha Sabha, the premier cultural organisation in Mumbai was flagged off on 31 August 2002 with felicitations; release of a 10-minute documentary titled '50 Years in the Cause of Fine Arts'; special First Day Cover by the Dept. of Posts; release of a commemorative volume A Peep into the Past; and rendering of Shanmukha Stuti, a song composed specially for the occasion. The inauguration of the Jasubhai Shah Art Gallery on the second floor the next day, preceded the inaugural concert by shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan. The Sabha is organising a host of programmes throughout the golden jubilee year that is as varied and eclectic as its members have ever seen.

The Beginning

The Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeetha Sabha came into existence in 1952 with the merger of the Shanmukhananda Sabha, the Fine Arts Circle and the South Indian Sangeetha Sabha which were catering to the cultural interests of the South Indian population of Bombay as it was then known. In the early years, the concerts were held in pandals in Matunga and in the vicinity of the current auditorium. Many stalwarts like T.V. Ramanujam, the former Sheriff of Bombay and R.S.S. Mani, to name just two, had worked tirelessly to nurture the sabha through its infancy. Today, if it stands tall as the premier cultural organisation in Mumbai with the largest auditorium this side of the Suez, it is thanks to the selfless service of such personalities and a host of faceless well wishers.

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Special Feature
N. Pattabhi Raman (Part II)

One day last October, I walked into the Sruti office on one of my visits. Pattabhi Raman, Editor-in-Chief, was sitting in his usual leather couch. He had recently returned from a visit to Delhi. Greeting me, as usual, with 'Ennada' (for which I know of no exact English equivalent), he said: "I have got you a T-shirt from Delhi for your birthday. And an identical one for myself. Shall I give it to you now or shall we wait for our planned birthday lunch in December?" I said it was better to wait for the birthday party. (For certain reasons, the birthday party which we used to have in Sruti office, usually a simple affair, could not be held in October this time.)

Our birthdays were like that. From early days, we would exchange small gifts, what we could afford with our small pocket money (starting with four annas—25 paise). Often it was an exchange of the same thing, something that we needed, like a screw pencil or a pencil clip. Last year (2002) we missed out.

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Seminars On Music Therapy

The primacy of sound in the process of communication has been recognised in all ancient cultures. In India the harmonious relationship of the individual to his immediate environment and further to the universe, was believed to be established by rituals and accompanying chants at one level, and by artistic activities like music at another. In China, music assumed the role of maintaining harmony between heaven and earth. Legends abound about the effects of music in Egypt, Greece and Europe. In India, miraculous powers of rejuvenation have been attributed to music through the ages. The Sanskrit term, 'raga' itself stands for emotional state. Writers on music like Bharata and Sarangadeva identified the emotions created by music and different rasa-s produced by different swara-s respectively. In modern times, B.C. Deva found that descriptions elicited by some phrases of Hindustani music were of emotional tone and mood. V.N. Bhatkhande spoke of diurnal variations in tonal quality as being positive in either the poorvanga or the uttaranga of specific raga-s. Even today, the sound of OM intoned in a deep voice from the abdominal region is believed to vibrate through the spinal column and clear neural pathways. At best this wealth of belief provides pointers to the relationship between the human being and musical sound. The scientific work of Jagdish Chandra Bose on the effect of music on the growth of plants might also add some guidelines in any systematic study on the effects of music on the human being. This work seems to have had a recent sequel in the researches of Pandurang Shastri Deshpande in Pune who exposed plants to the music of six maestros and found that those exposed to Abdul Karim Khan's Bhairavi showed maximum growth.

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