Brhaddhvani. Research and Training in the musics of the world
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BRHADDHVANI (meaning “Big or Universal Sound”) is a non-profit organization based in Chennai, a research and training centre for musics of the world, founded in 1989 by Prof. Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer Subramanian. The institute opens up music to everyone and works towards a holistic music education in a global context, combining art and science, tradition and technology.

BRHADDHVANI combines the best of the Indian traditional GURUKULA (Student living with the master and learning through service) system of music learning, and a well structured INSTITUTIONAL system contemporizing learning methods in SOUTH INDIAN CARNATIC MUSIC. In the process a new gateway to the exciting world of music opens up to a student of music.
The backdrop of the contribution of this institution to the world of music is the pioneering research work of Prof. Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer Subramanian (born: 1944) who belongs to the 9th generation in the illustrious family of vina players (Karaikudi Veenai Sambasiva Iyer-1888-1957 was a national celebrity) who were temple and court musicians from the late 18th century. Karaikudi Subramanian holds a doctoral degree in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, USA (1985).

The COMET program of Brhaddhvani is Dr. Karaikudi Subramanian’s researched  contribution for the music students all over the world, including all the vital Carnatic traditional components with a teaching, learning and performance experience spanning 40 years and more in India and around the world.  Happily, as he wished, students, scholars, educationists within India and around the world have already incorporated the ideas in the music curriculum and teaching in their home environment as well as in organized institutions. Dr. KSS would greatly appreciate if the viewer of this web page could respond with specific comments how s/he was benefited by this web page and share his/her ideas on different areas with our team. 

BRHADDHVANI explores the fundamentals of Carnatic music in relation to the MIND, EXPRESSION, BODY, AND THE SOCIETY.

MIND: The R & D in music education has evolved a contemporarily meaningful system-COMET to train professionals in Carnatic music, to give a strong foundation to children, to develop voice culture based on the philosophy of yoga as prescribed in the ancient texts and as alluded to by divine composers such as Thyagaraja (18th century). Dr. Subramanian’s research in voice relates strongly to the construction, production and realization of vina sound in the body. This he calls body singing. This approach makes any one learn, develop and discover the strength of his/her own voice. The learner instantly gets confidence to sing and experience the sound in the body in various yogic Cakras.

A new approach to precisely understand the melodic nuances irrespective of the musical styles in the Indian context, comes through his innovative notation called svarasthana notation (using the English alphabet to denote the 12 tones), at the prescriptive and descriptive levels. This is used in musical transcriptions of any melodic style (classical, temple, film, folk) and in researched documentations. For a holistic and easier understanding of the intricate melodic details the svarasthana notation is complemented by a graphic notation called EGR (Emotional Graphic Representation). Even the new entrants to music including children are able to grasp and notate with ease. This brings a new mindset of listening to music through twelve semi tones. The listener naturally gets sensitized to microtones (the contour of gamakas). This sensitization enriches the self-learning capability of a student. As a result distance and international education becomes more effective.

EXPRESSION: Brhaddhvani’s work makes it possible to relate tradition with modernity without contradictions. Both can exist together boldly and with conviction. Musical performance at the professional level is given utmost attention. Because of the strong and uncompromising foundation, every student has a chance to get professionally trained in performance. The COMET method of training connects different artistic expressions in music, dance, theatre, painting and sculpture, within the boundaries of tradition and beyond. Many a great artistes in diverse fields have visited and have been part of the center contributing and acknowledging our methods. A traditionally bound student can, without risk, explore the other styles and expressions. Similarly, a contemporary performer is given opportunities to perform in the traditional context and explore new meanings in going beyond. An entirely new space is created for World Music at BRHADDHVANI.

It became evident that to preserve music we needed to preserve music craft. In the electronic music era music craft is getting neglected. Traditional craftsmen in the dwindling areas such as the acoustic tambur and vina making are encouraged and supported at BRHADDHVANI. Even children can experience in making a tambur or a vina from our craftsmen. Acoustically the best Tamburs and vinas are made here. Innovations and scientifically better methods in crafting instruments support the products. Eminent Carnatic musicians use our craftsmen for customized work on their instruments. Vina and tambur making are the forte of Brhaddhvani’s craftsmen.

BODY:  Music Therapy and Music healing emerge as applied fields of research and training here due to the scientifically precise practice and training in music integrating yoga, chanting and rhythmic breathing techniques and in proper sound production so as to sensitize the practitioner and make her experience sound vibrations in the body through what we call “body singing”.

SOCIETY: To reach out the fruits of our work to the society we have four outlets.  One is the Art Circle, which brings special performances to the public in different Art forms including creative work in the traditional and non-traditional media. The Study circle brings discussions on music and other art forms in different cross sections in the field of education opening it up to Schools and Colleges. Brhaddhvani’s archives have collections of books, recordings and documentations of our research work in the field of music education and performance. To disseminate our work in specific areas we conduct workshops and seminars in different locations. Our specific outreach programs include work in villages such as primary education through music for poor children.

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What's On

Apr-May 2014: Music Summer Camp for beginners (3-6yrs)

Dates: 25th Apr to 1st May, 2014,
Timings: 10am to 12pm

Apr-May 2014: Music Summer Camp (7+ yrs)

Dates: 25th Apr to 6th May, 2014,
Timings: 2:30pm to 5pm

May 2014: Music and Yoga (11+ yrs)

Dates: 8th May to 12th May, 2014,
Timings: 6:30am to 8:30am

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Find answers to commonly asked questions about Brhaddhvani's programs, aims, and activities.

Brhaddhvani, 55, 3rd street, East Abhiramapuram, Mylapore, Chennai - 600004, INDIA
Tel 91-44-2498-8875 | E-mail

BRHADDHVANI is a non-profit registered organization with 80G tax exemption.
Your generous support and patronage to us qualifies for exemption from income-tax.











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