The curtain will go up on the 93rd Annual Conference of the Music Academy, Madras this evening. The Academy by the way is only 91 years old and the Season is a year older at 92. Then how does this become the 93rd conference of the Music Academy? For that you need to attend my forthcoming heritage tour of the premises on December 25th, Christmas Day, the date when the Season officially began for the Academy for the first ten years of its existence.

But enough of my sales pitch. Today I take up keyboard to type my story of the quaint ritual of proposing and seconding the Sangita Kalanidhi designate. This goes back to the first three to four years of the annual conference when the musician/musicologist to preside over the deliberations was done on the floor of the house, by acclamation. Then one musician would formally propose and another second the choice. The choice of President by 1942 became synonymous with the title of Sangita Kalanidhi – a decision that is taken months in advance. But the practice of proposing and seconding never went away and continues.

This is usually done by the immediate two Kalanidhi-s but when a more senior one offers to do the needful, due consideration is given. This evening, the choice of Dr S Sowmya will be proposed by Sangita Kalanidhi Umayalpuram K Sivaraman and seconded by Sangita Kalanidhi Sudha Raghunathan.

More tales to follow…

Do join me for the following events –

Dec 16th 6.00 pm The British Raj & Carnatic Music – a talk – Ramanujar Millenium Hall, D’Silva Road, Mylapore- all are welcome

Dec 21st 5.45 am – the Musical Heritage of Mylapore- a heritage walk, music by Shruti Shankar Kumar

Dec 25th 5.45 am – the Music Academy, a Heritage Tour