The intoxicatingly beautiful vocal music of south India
March 15, 2008 7:39 AM   Subscribe

Queens of Carnatic singing: Nithyasree Mahadevan: 1, 2 and 3. Sudha Ragunathan: 1, 2, 3 and 4. And the legend of the legends, M.S. Subbulakshmi, in her film appearances from decades past: 1, 2 and 3, and as an elder stateswoman of Carnatic vocal artistry: 1, 2, 3 and 4.
posted by flapjax at midnite (13 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Flap -- thanks for introducing me to this wonderful singing. Nithyasree Mahadevan is the pip.
posted by Faze at 7:57 AM on March 15, 2008

Beautiful stuff. I would love to see the failed attempts at the staff notation to which the wiki article referred. I can't even tell what time sig the first youTube link is in.
posted by DenOfSizer at 8:15 AM on March 15, 2008

Thanks. I've really only heard male Carnatic singers. These are awesome videos.
posted by kozad at 8:19 AM on March 15, 2008

Wow. Never heard this stuff before and it's amazing. Thanks!
posted by owhydididoit at 8:56 AM on March 15, 2008

There's plenty of Carnatic and lots of other Indian music for your listening pleasure at musicindiaonline. For example, here's their page on Sudha Ragunathan.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:56 AM on March 15, 2008

flapjax, do you have a job?

just kidding. thanks for being one of my youtubefilters.
posted by billtron at 11:28 AM on March 15, 2008

Wonderful stuff, Flapjax.

Back in the late 70s and early 80s I used to do sound and recording for the St. Thyagaraja . Music Festival and really fell in love with Carnatic music. I can't sing it, but I did learn to count it out and to play the mridangam a bit.

The traditional ensemble usually consists of the singer, violin, mridangam (two-headed drum) and either tamboura or a sruti box.

The music would go on all day and into the next. I think it's a week long now. Headliners, nearly always in their 60s or 70s, performed compositions that might last an hour or more, depending on the singer's improvisational inspiration. There would also be a long long drum solo in each piece.

The people were always cool and the food wasn't too shabby either!
posted by Herodios at 11:37 AM on March 15, 2008

Nithyasree Mahadevan is incredible. Thanks for expanding my horizons once again, flapjax!
posted by languagehat at 12:55 PM on March 15, 2008

Not Carnatic, but I quite like Neela Bhagwat (YT) - through her Songs of Kabir* - the ecumenical Poet-Saint whose devotional songs she started singing after the Ayodhya riots.

* (trans: Rabindranath Tagore, so you know it's gotta be good!)
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:41 PM on March 15, 2008

Surprising that she can sing like that sitting down!
posted by scarabic at 5:47 PM on March 15, 2008

A gentle introduction to carnatic classical music. Part 1, 2, 3, 4
posted by dhruva at 6:05 PM on March 15, 2008

Subbalakshmi's voice gave me chills. Amazing post.
posted by facetious at 6:09 PM on March 15, 2008

posted by Wolof at 1:53 PM on March 17, 2008

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