The two contestants for the letter K were apparently grandfather – grandson, and I chose the grandson Koteeswara Iyer over Kavi Kunjara Bharathi. Koteeswara Iyer (1870 – 1936) studied music under Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar and Patnam Subramania Iyer both of whom were eminent composers.
Koteeswara Iyer was one of the first composers to compose in all the 72 melakartha ragas. Implies, he should have given life to many of the otherwise synthetic ragas in the melakartha scheme. These compositions included ragas which were vivadhi, a classification of ragas considered taboo to be sung in concerts.
His compositions were mostly in Tamizh and his favourite god of praise was Lord Muruga. His songs had many variations (sangathis) as in a Thyagaraja’s but had chittaswaram, raga and composer mudhras as in a Dikshitar’s.
Other literary works of Koteeswara Iyer includes Siddhi Vinayakar padikam, Shanmukha Malai, Sundareswara Padikam, Kayarkkanni Paditrupattu, Meenakshi Andadi.
All India Radio conducted a series of concerts in 1950s, rendered by S Rajam and G Vaidehi – detailed rendition of one sudha madhyama and one prathi madhyama kriti.
Listen to Dr. Vijayalakshmy Subramaniam singing ‘arul seyya vendum’ in Rasikapriya which is the last melakartha ragam of the chart. My guru, Dr. Vijayalakshmy is the disciple of S. Rajam “who did learn them from RM Sundaram, a relative of Koteeswara Iyer. Rajam Sir has published all his compositions in a very neat volume.( Earlier, he would give xerox copies of the book– covering only photocopying charges!) He has also rendered all the 72 , with raga niraval and swaras.” (words of my guru in this thread).
N Ramakrishnan (also PA to Kamarajar) published the melakartha kritis with notations
RM Sundaram, who in turn spread the KI tradition through his disciples and family
T L Venkatarama Iyer, D K Pattammal, Parur Sundaram Iyer, V V Sadagopan, S V Parthasarathy
Kavi kunjara dasa was Koteeswara Iyer’s mudra; not to be confused with “kavi kunjara” which is his grandfather Kavi Kunjara Bharathi’s mudra.