Carnatic Postage Stamp9

Musiri Subramania Iyer (1899-1975) was one of the giants of Carnatic Music in the country. He was not only a great musician but also a great teacher. After completing his musical training with a long spell under another legendary figure, Vidvan Sabhesa Iyer, Musiri began his career as a concert artist. Blessed with a beautiful high pitched voice with perfect total purity (Sruthi), Musiri was a great exponent of Bhava, bringing out the full emotional content of the Krithis that he sang. He was a specialist in Vilamba Sangitham, a slower tempo which exuded tranquillity. Special mention must be made of Musiri’s Neraval singing, which his audience invariably found to be very moving. In 1949, he was appointed as the first Principal of the Central College of Carnatic Music. During his tenure, he influenced a whole generation of musicians. Several honours and awards were showered on him. In 1939, he was awarded the ‘Sangita Kalanidhi’ by the Music Academy of Chennai. In 1967, he was made a Fellow of the Sangit Natak Academy. The President of India honoured him with the ‘Padma Bhushan’ in 1971. Musiri was a great devotee of the great composer, ‘Thyagaraja’, whose compositions he rendered with rare feeling and fervour.

Issued for : Indian Music has a long unbroken continuously evolving tradition back to the period of the Vedas. Development of music commenced with the folk idiom, evolved in consonance with regional ingenuity and slowly grew into classical forms. Differing from region to region, there is an underlying unity in Indian classical music. There are two systems of music in India, the Carnatic and the Hindustani, which are highly dramatised. These are supplemented by folk music, bhajans and kirtans. The Department of Posts pays tribute to this ‘Unity in Diversity’ in Indian music through issue of a set of commemorative stamps on two masters of classical music of the modern era, one from the Carnatic School and the other, Hindustani.