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Music of the monsoon

We are in shravana, or saawan, a season celebrated in music. It's the time when the earth's longing for rain finds reflection in lovers' hearts. Traditional music compositions talk of the magic of the season. The great poet Kalidasa wrote about it. The monsoon is the best season, he says, for lovers to meet, but the rain can also play spoilsport. The dark skies, the lighting and thunder, the showers -- all find expression in countless songs. Mira confided in her Shyam the fear she felt looking at the clouds. Raga Malhar, and Megh, paint the moods of this season. So also the Karnatak raga Amritavarshini; Dikshitar's Anandamritavarshini is a classic in that mode.

We review this time Kumar Gandharva's rain theme concert. Lalgudi Jayaraman has just turned 70, and we thought it a good occasion to do a special tribute to this great violinist.

A reader has suggested we run a 'What's on' column and give concert listings. We've been planning to do that. Do send in details of concerts, and we'll put them up.

Keep writing in with your comments and criticism.

S Suchitra Lata

The Music Magazine
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Tel: (080) 664 5841

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