Vintage Vignettes: VSN on T.K Rangachary

T.K Rangachary was best known for his clear citation of words in a field where music was always considered more important than words, wrote V. S. Namboothiripad, Kerala’s first music critic, in 1954.

T.K Rangachary is one of the few musicians of the South who flourishes both as a good teacher and a performer. He is one of the first few pupils in the first batch of Annamalai University of Chidambaram where classroom system of music teaching in high level was introduced earlier. He is lucky enough to have close contact with some of the most outstanding individuals of Carnatic music of modern times, like late Tiger K. Varadachari and late Ponniah Pillai.

He began his musical career as a teacher in the same institution where he learnt, and he considers those years to be written in letters of gold in the annals of his life; because it was in those days he was able to develop his talents in a highly musical atmosphere. But even before he became a teacher, he had been holding performances.

Importance to words

Besides being a pure Carnatic musician, the secret of his success as a performer lies in that he can follow the styles of the time which usually change from day to day. An ordinary admirer can admit that his music has an individuality to a certain extent and that his music is widely appreciated technically and artistically. One of his many good qualities in vocal music is the clear citation of words. The place of words in music is supposed to be secondary when compared with tune. Some say that there are psychic effects for Raga Alapanas and Krithis. But ordinary listeners who are not well-versed in music technique care much for the citation too.

Rangachary cannot be said to have originated a complete individual style of his own; but he is noted for presenting some kind of music of high quality following the footprints of some of his forerunners, presenting the utmost of their classical and artistic beauty. Rarely he meets with failure in his performances due to voice difficulties etc. He himself has perfect confidence due to his training and experience.

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