WHAT IS COMET?
Correlated Objective Music Education & Training, COMET, is an interdisciplinary approach in music education developed by Dr. Karaikudi S. Subramanian. It has imbibed the essence of the gurukula way of learning while giving room for creative and meaningful interactions and applications. COMET is thoroughly traditional in its content, but contemporary and global in its reach and hereby provides a fuller understanding of music. It is a system of training which allows all to climb up the ladder of learning at his or her own pace.
Subramanian seeks to make music accessible to everyone through a meticulous scientific study of what he calls the “basics of the basics”. COMET is based on the generic principles in music making, useful to anyone in any genre of music. A novice can start with it. A professional can gain from it. On the one hand it creates rasikas to appreciate, support and nurture music through generations. One the other, it fills the gaps among professionals in becoming more refined and sensitive performers and scholars who could connect performance and scholarship with preservation and philanthropy.
COMET, as I see it, is based on modern insights into the psychology of creative processes and music making, on a thorough reflection of the fundamentals of Indian music and raga structures, an intelligent way of using notations and graphic tools, and a carefully designed syllabus to lead students from the very beginnings to higher performance levels. And, COMET works.
Prof. Hans Neuhoff
Cologne University of Music and Dance
This interdisciplinary approach in music aims to bring about a stronger awareness among traditional practitioners of the need to preserve our cultural identities while giving room for creative and meaning interactions and applications.
The purpose of COMET is to make use of the full potential of music through the exploration of generic musical principles to correlate different disciplines. This enables students to experience their uniqueness. It is a system of training which allows all to climb up the ladder of learning at his or her own pace. It establishes a broader base to bring out excellence in any individual. In other words, everyone is given his or her own orientation to develop his or her inherent strong point. This method helps the learner to transcend stylistic limitations and addresses very detail of the problems existing in the field of South Indian music. This will further help learners, on the one hand, to find their place within a particular tradition, and, on the other, not be narrowly bound by the peculiarities of their master’s tradition.
FEATURES OF COMET
1. Scientific understanding of the principles of music, musical instruments, breathing control (yoga), voice production, musical aesthetics, the ability to transcribe music in its several dimensions, linguistic capabilities and a historical awareness.
2. Exploration of chants to stabilize breathing, to focus on the tonal centers within the body and as a charging device through repetitions.
3. Meaningful interactions with other music cultures as an exercise to understand the essence of one’s own tradition through comparison and contrast.
4. Training in musical transcription at the prescriptive and descriptive levels using the svarasthana notation as well as the graphic notation called “Emotional Graphic Representation” invented by Dr. Karaikudi S. Subramanian.
Correlated: The principles and practices of Carnatic music applicable and relatable to different musical styles in the Indian and global context, in other arts, in education and in complementary musical applications such as therapy.
Objective: The principles of Carnatic music taught in a systematic, step by step method, objectively, so that one can transcend stylistic, linguistic and other limitations in the performance of musical compositions, in learning any musical instrument and in improvisation. The learner begins to perceive music as a whole in order to focus in the area of specialization without ambiguity.
Music Education: Learning music through an inclusive graded curriculum from the kindergarten to the level of quality-oriented higher education, finally leading to self- learning, research and applications of music in other disciplines.