Madras Music Season

Madras Music Season
Carnatic Music

SrutiSwaraRagaTalaMelakartaAsampurna Melakarta


VarnamKritiGeethamSwarajatiRagam Thanam Pallavi • Thillana


melody: Vocals • Saraswati veenaVenu • Violin • Chitra veena • NadaswaramMandolin

rhythm: MridangamGhatamMorsingKanjiraThavil

drone: TamburaShruti box


List of Carnatic composers

Madras Music Season is an event hosted every December–January in the present-day south Indian metropol of Chennai. Spanning some six weeks, a number of large and small kutcheris (Carnatic music concerts) are performed by highly competent musicians.[1] The traditional role of the Music Season is to allow aficionados of Carnatic music to appreciate performances by renowned artists, and to allow promising young artists to display their talent and skill. Audiences and artists come from across India and from the international Indian diaspora to be part of the event.



The Music Season started in 1927 to mark the opening of the Madras Music Academy. It used to be a traditional month-long Carnatic music festival consisting of Carnatic music concerts, harikathas, lecture demonstrations (otherwise known as lec-dems) and award/title ceremonies. However, over the years it has also diversified into dance and drama, as well as non-Carnatic art forms.

The festival

The Music Season has grown over the years, and has been described as one of the world's largest cultural events.[2]. In 2004-2005, there were over 1200 performances by about 600 artists (about 700 vocal, 250 instrumental, 200 dance, 50 drama and others).[3]

Sabhas and Halls

The performances are typically organised by sabhās. A Carnatic sabha is an organisation that helps conduct concerts and bestow titles and awards to artists to recognise talent. Most sabhas own a hall (or two). Some smaller sabhas rent a hall during the season. Generally, the main halls, on average, can accommodate about 300 people while the mini can take not more than 75 people. Most performances are held in such halls.

Prominent Sabhas

The following prominent sabhas have regularly organised concerts during the Music Season:

  • Brahma Gana Sabha: Pethachi Sivagami Auditorium
  • Indian Fine Arts Society[4]: Bala Mandir German Hall
  • Kalarasana[4]: Rani Seethai Hall
  • Kartik Fine Arts[4]
  • Madras Music Academy[4]: T. T. Krishnamachari Auditorium
  • Mudra : Freedom Hall
  • Mylapore Fine Arts Club[4]
  • Nadha Inbam : Raga Sudha Hall
  • Narada Gana Sabha[4]: Sathguru Gnanananda Hall
  • Nungambakkam Cultural Academy : Rama Rao Kala Mandap
  • Rasika Ranjani Sabha : Dakshinamoorthy Auditorium
  • Sri Krishna Gana Sabha[4]: Sri Krishna Gana Sabha
  • Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha : Vidya Bharathi
  • Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha[4]: Vani Mahal
  • Tamil Isai Sangam[4]: Raja Annamalai Chettiar Hall
  • Hamsadhwani NRI Sabha


  1. ^ Nettl (2005), p38
  2. ^ The Hindu : Opinion / Editorials : MUSIC MUSINGS
  3. ^ Chennai Music Season 2004 - 2005
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeetha Sabha - Shanmukha 1986, p44


  • Nettl, Bruno (2005). The Study of Ethnomusicology: Thirty-one Issues and Concepts. Illinois: University of Illinois Press. 

External links

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