THE BIG BANG
Music has the power to transcend language, age, gender, geography, culture and socioeconomic standing. Music allows a deeper understanding of culture and history and can help us to connect the past with the present. It is a part of our identity. In India, classical music – Hindustani in the north, and Carnatic in the south – is rich in heritage, but as globalization spreads, that identity is likely to be blurred, particularly in the younger generation.
Innovative and inspiring at every level, Brhaddhvani is a research and training centre founded by Dr. Karaikudi S. Subramanian in 1989, with the support of Dr. S. Seetha, to fill the lacunae in music education in India. With a unique outlook and ambitious goals, Dr. KSS combines the strengths of the traditional Gurukula and the institutional systems of learning by virtue of his long lineage as a vina player, his formal education in science, literature and musicology, and his services in universities around the world. He strongly feels that while traditional music is nurtured in some institutions by a minority with care and concern to retain its value, music is yet to become firmly a part of the school curriculum in order to benefit the wider section of the Indian society.
Underpinning the organization is Dr. KSS' ability to foster the interactions with music genres and the cultures from which they originate. With foundations firmly rooted in Carnatic music, Dr. KSS believes that a balance can be found between global and national music, for the benefit of all.
MUSIC FOR EVERYONE
Traditional classical music is not available to everyone, something Dr. Karaikudi S. Subramanian has been attempting to change since Brhaddhvani’s inception. He has worked to bring traditional music to a large number of people. Classical music as a genre revealing and exploring the sound of aesthetics with a balance of intellect and emotion should not be difficult to communicate to anyone at any level through proper educational methods. Dr. KSS believes that this way we are more likely to appreciate, value and preserve our indigenous music irrespective of the geographic locality. Using a grassroots approach, he has visited villages to spread the joy and the value of music whenever and wherever he can.
His music educational program reaches out to children even from the age of two years. He insists it is not so much about creating maestros (which is at the exclusive tip of the pyramid in music education) but more about having a widespread understanding of the music among the masses (at the bottom of the pyramid which we tend to ignore), which is what would preserve a culture.
A greater appreciation of music, Dr. KSS believes, helps people feel connected to their culture and identity. It brings a sharper and finer intelligence to create and recognize the beauty in everything. Music enriches people’s lives, makes them beautiful and provides an effective tool to help communicate better.
ALTERNATIVE TO GURUKULAM
Mostly, resources available in Indian universities do not permit the required space and infrastructure to nurture the traditionalism and absorption of music in an intimate way as in Gurukulam. There are rare exceptions to this observation where one would find the near gurukula climate in some private institutions, but seldom do you find a system meant to combine the best in both. Brhaddhvani strives to make this learning landscape feasible. Dr. Karaikudi S. Subramanian believes that, in the spirit of the gurukulam way, fully trained and well-informed faculty should constantly be nourished with inputs from great maestros in order to conserve the collective values they represent in music rather than just borrow ideas from them.
The traditional Gurukulam way of learning music in India is service-oriented keeping intact the devotion to music and tradition in mind, body and soul.
Having trained in this way under his guru Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer, Dr. KSS carries on this tradition, while also acknowledging the merits of institutional learning.
I am deeply impressed by the new and scientific approach to the great tradition.
Pandit Ravi Shankar
BRHADDHVANI'S Vision Song
Poem by Sri Vaidheeswaran Sundaram
Tuned by Lalgudi Sri G. Jayaraman
Let the wind be our music
Let life be its language
Let the flowers be our ears
Let the sky be the space of 'sweet sound'
Let light reveal new direction
Let the whole world be our city
Let words speak the sound of truth
Let our deeds spread welfare to people
Let our past be of golden dreams
Let there be new blossom filling our hearts
Let the universe be our harp
Let all the arts be the fingers that pluck
Vocal: Dr. Karaikudi S. Subramanian, Srikumar S. Subramanian, Hamsa Raghuvir & Nirupama Raghuvir
Veena: Dr. Karaikudi S. Subramanian, Thenuga Thevapalan & Mathuriga Thevapalan