Manodharma singing or creative music is an integral part of our classical music. In Carnatic music this manodharma is seen in the areas of raga alapana, kalpana swara, niraval, tanam and pallavi. One of the most beautiful components of Carnatic music concerts – the tanam, is unique as a musical entity. While the words tana, tenna, and tenaka have occurred in ancient texts on music, they have different connotations, but could have in some form or other contributed to tanam in its present form. My guru Mudicondan Venkatarama Iyer was extolled in music circles for tanam singing and I am proud to have inherited this legacy from him.