Old world charm wafts out from letters

The Chettinadu region has always patronised classical music and musicians. Weddings, temple festivals and other functions featured the concerts of the best musicians of the time. A treasure trove of letters written by musicians themselves reveals interesting details of the remuneration for their performance.

“I collect old magazines, stamps and books and found these letters among them. The Chettiar families normally keep these letters tagged with their response as records,” said an antiques dealer who wishes to be anonymous.

The oldest letter in the collection was written by nagaswaram player P.S. Rathinam, who had arranged a performance of a ‘chinna melam’ (Bharatanatyam troupe) in 1931. He had informed the organisers that the troupe would perform only if it was paid ₹300 and not ₹250.

Nagaswaram maestro Rajarathinam Pillai had requested ₹350 for a concert in 1935. “I will play for both the wedding and procession of the deity from the temple. In fact, the amount is very less,” he had said in a letter.

Andankoil A.V. Karuppaiah Pillai, another nagaswaram player of great repute, had informed an organiser in 1945 that his minimum rate was ₹200.

Organisers of concerts by Karukurichi P. Arunachalam would have to pay a princely sum of ₹1,000 in 1955.

“If you are ready to pay the amount, I will perform,” Arunachalam had written to K.A. Angamuthu Mudaliar, secretary of the Hindu Traders’ Association at Karaikudi.

M.M. Dhandapani Desikar had written to Angamuthu Mudaliar in 1961. He wanted ₹1,001 for himself and his troupe, including a violinist, a mridangam player and a kanjira player.

Vocalist and playback singer Sirkazhi Govindarajan had also written to Angamuthu Mudaliar, expressing his willingness to perform at an event to mark the Tamil New Year in 1961.

In his letter to Natarajan Chettiyar in 1964, Madurai Mani Iyer had said he would reach Karaikudi with violinist M.S. Gopalakrishnan and mridangam player Umayalpuram Sivaraman. “Book rooms in the municipality rest-house. For me, book a big room with an attached bathroom,” he had said in the letter, written by T.S. Vembu Iyer on his behalf.

In 1960, clarinet maestro A.K.C. Natarajan had written to Rajamanickam Chettiyar at Karaikudi, recommending Kumbakonam K.A. Thangavel Pillai for the thavil accompaniment.

Nagaswaram player Thiruvidaimarudur P.S. Veerusami Pillai had told the organisers to book Nachiyarkoil Raghava Pillai or someone else as special thavil.

You have reached your limit for free articles this month.

Subscription Benefits Include

Today’s Paper

Find mobile-friendly version of articles from the day’s newspaper in one easy-to-read list.

Unlimited Access

Enjoy reading as many articles as you wish without any limitations.

Personalised recommendations

A select list of articles that match your interests and tastes.

Faster pages

Move smoothly between articles as our pages load instantly.

Dashboard

A one-stop-shop for seeing the latest updates, and managing your preferences.

Briefing

We brief you on the latest and most important developments, three times a day.

Support Quality Journalism.

*Our Digital Subscription plans do not currently include the e-paper, crossword and print.

Disclaimer: This post has not been edited by our staff and is published from a syndicated feed. The Original Source of this post can be found at Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest

‘Chief Minister to decide on restarting Classes 9 & 11 in Tamil Nadu’

A decision on reopening schools for Classes 9 and 11 in February will be taken by Chief Minister...

Why didn’t Prime Minister probe Balakot strike news leak: Rahul Gandhi

Modi has not ordered an inquiry because he himself is involved in letting it out: Congress leader Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday...

Early hearing in Veda Nilayam case

The Madras High Court on Monday agreed to hear on January 27, instead of February 4, the writ petitions filed by former Chief Minister...

Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman opens NCLAT Chennai Bench

Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday virtually inaugurated the Chennai Bench of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT)....

7,307 people receive COVID-19 vaccines on Day 10 in Tamil Nadu

7,145 received Covishield and 162 received Covaxin; 69,027 health workers have received jab in total Another 7,307 people received the vaccines against COVID-19 in Tamil...

More Articles