G.N. Balasubramaniam (GNB)

Carnatic composers
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Postby vs_manjunath » 12 Jul 2008, 17:39

Can rasikas provide link to GNB's rendition of nidhichAla sukhama(T) in kalyani ? Thanks in advance.

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Postby Lakshman » 12 Jul 2008, 18:53

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Postby subakutty » 15 Jul 2008, 01:27

links are dead.....I like all songs that are uploaded

please reupload all the songs.

thanx in advance


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Postby thodiraga » 12 Sep 2008, 23:08

Do you know if there is a rendition available for 'maha deva manoranjani' in Ranjani? Thanks.

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Postby tonedeaf1765 » 03 Nov 2008, 04:33

subakutty wrote:links are dead.....I like all songs that are uploaded

please reupload all the songs.

thanx in advance


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Postby tonedeaf1765 » 03 Nov 2008, 04:34

I find that all the rapidshare.de links come upwith FILE NOT FOUND.
Can the postings be revived.Thanks in advance.

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Postby sivachinta1965 » 26 Nov 2008, 18:00

dear Rasikas

In one of the posts by Meena, It is wriiten that the kriti " Paramuka... in Kanada has " Marala Jita Manda..."

Is it Marala Dayita Manda..." ?

This usage had got commendation from great Chandrasekara Saraswathi.


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Postby keerthi » 26 Nov 2008, 19:29

Marala-jitha-manda-gamana or gaamini(I guess) must mean 'one who has won over(jitha) a swan (maraala) vis-a-vis graceful gait(manda gamana)

Maraala-dayitha would mean swan's wife.

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Postby sivachinta1965 » 27 Nov 2008, 13:05

dear Keerthi

"Marala dayitha" is the beauty of that , instead of "Marali" Manda Gamana( Lalitha Sahsranamam), GNB used Marala Dayitha Manda... That "Dayitha" depicts the style of gait also.


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Postby keerthi » 27 Nov 2008, 14:42

dear sivaprasad,
There is no such usage in any sanskrit poetry, prose or song I have encountered. The only usage of dayitha is in the sense of beloved or spouse. Do you have this in print from any reliable source. Or are there other such usages from literature of songs??
I can speculate that it may be marAlAyitha meaning swan-ified i.e, one who is swan-like in gait. But this is only guesswork.

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Postby sivachinta1965 » 01 Dec 2008, 15:40

dear Keerthi

Dayitha is reffered by Halayutha (Koshakara)

I have got two references

1. Raghuvamsha Chapter 2 Verse 3
2. Narayaneeyam by Bhattathiri 14th Dashaka, Kapilavatharam, Verse 3

please refer to these.


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Postby keerthi » 06 Dec 2008, 13:56

Forgive my mulish stubbornness; but I looked up both references and in both contexts, Dayitha has been used to indicate dear wife.
In the Narayaneeyam it refers to Devahooti - Kardama's Dayitha and in the Raghuvamsa it is used vis-a-vis Raghu's Dayitha - Sudakshina.
I don't have access to copies of the Halayudhakosha, so couldn't see if it refers to multiple meanings of the word.
Please shed light as to how GNB's song can incorporate this usage.

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Postby sivachinta1965 » 09 Dec 2008, 14:17


"Marala Dayita" in this context simply means " Maralee".

This is GNB style. That is why he got a pat on his back by the great Swami. "Innovation" is the signature of GNB kritis ( he did not use any other textual signatures. It is easy to find a GNB kriti by looking for innovative uses, but not violatiing any rules)

Please mention the grammar or other errors if one uses "Marala Dayitha" instead of "Maralee". ( I am not a Sanskrit Pandit!, kindly educate me)


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Postby keerthi » 10 Dec 2008, 14:32

Your latest message made it clear to me! I had never thought of MarAla-dayitha-manda gamana as She-swan like gait.
Kudos to GNB for his superior poetry, to the paramaacharya for his rasika-ness, and to you for bringing this to our notice.

This is a perfectly legitimate usage. Only, it is unusual inasmuch as the metaphor of swan for gait has always been to the elephant or swan; not to the she-elephant or she-swan.
Even when the gait of a woman is being described...

This is like cupid - Manmatha/ MAra being used as the paragon of Beauty, for both males and females. To take a leaf from GNB's book, he says 'MAra-koti sundari'in his Bahudhari song - which is another rare but accepted usage(comparing a woman's beauty to that of Cupid, allegedly male) ;)

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Postby sivachinta1965 » 10 Dec 2008, 15:28

dear keerthiji


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Postby rajeshnat » 01 May 2009, 09:25

59 songs in the movie shakunthalai , about 25 years back we all used to ridicule that!!What a bore it was!!!Hindu's today review of GNB

But 25 years later , O god what a movie is shakunthalai and how beautiful are the songs.
I particularly loved this kAmbOdhi viruththam, got introduced with this by one of my favorite contemporary vidwan when that vidwan sang in the doordarshan, and then searched youtube to get the original source of Great New BhAni rendition of this master piece

Last edited by rajeshnat on 01 May 2009, 12:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby coolkarni » 01 May 2009, 10:25

Last edited by coolkarni on 27 Nov 2009, 20:46, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby vs_manjunath » 15 Jun 2009, 16:25

An article on GNB by Prof.TV Ramanujam, Bhavan's Journal( publ. by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan),
Sep' 1986.


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Postby rajeshnat » 28 Jul 2009, 10:18

GNB Lec Dem demonstration by SAK DurgA@ Mudhra on July 25th,2009
Musicologist Smt SAK DurgA and Radha bhaskar of mudhra teamed up to give a 45 minute lec dem on shri GNB.Radha asked just few questions and Smt DurgA did give quite a comprehensive review of GNB's music.

DurgA's dad venkataraman Iyer was based in kumbakonam and Shri GNB has minimally tutored and shaped DurgA's musical interest . The Lec Dem had 3 modules of talk filled with few interleaving songs of GNB . I am not a big fan of projector and powerpoint slides (infact I go to concerts a lot only to wash all the powerpoint puddalanga sins and nonsense that I create and see in work), but the good news there was only 4 black and white photographs of GNB that was recycled twice and the best news is the projector was offed (hurray)

GNB as a Vidwan:
Smt DurgA did have a low voice to start with but as she picked up steam there was a sense of forcefulness filled truthfulness, no blanket statements like GNB mAri ulathalE yArum pAdamudiyAthu, but more setting a context of how GNB was great? .
Smt DurgA's started her lecdem quipping "GNB is just not a vidwan and vageyakkAra as you all think, but he does so much of critical analysis of krithis. His concert had the appeal of being both aesthetically pleasing and being emotionally pleasing". Out popped a small sound track of rAdha Sametha Krishna in mishra yaman.

Durga continued that GNB's USP was his voice and brigA , rumba rumba gaNamAna voice , before him there was no one and after him there was none . She gave an interesting anecdote where the mridangist TanjOre vaidyanatha Iyer (guru of TKMurthy Sir) had made a comment that he had heard mahA vaidyanAtha Iyer (vageyakkara) and GNB's voice weight was as much as mahA vaidyanatha Iyer.

GNB was one musician who could 100% musically communicate what exactly he wanted to communicate , his kAlapramanam was typically in medium or fast tempo.She also told that his bAni was brand new but however Shri GNB was able to seamlessly transition the existing tradition of singing CM from its original tradition and take it out of neo classicism (rajesh is not 100% sure what neoclassicism is , I only have a faint idea, some one can help me there?)

GNB's masterpiece illustration with kalyAni and sudda dhanyAsi:
Smt DurgA like her Guru shri madurai mani was in full form from this topic onwards. She said many musicians of that era had a strong liking and exhibited extraordinary confidence in handling big rAgas .Ariyakudi was known for tOdi and Shri GNB was known for his kalyANi.

DurgA specifically gave a precise illustration of his kalyAni(personally to me I like vasudevayani and kamalAmbAm in kalyAni),she recollected that when she took private tuitions with her guru Shri madura mani and some tirukkodikAval ???, they all used to teach her and was always warning durgA that you should never stop the alApana sangathi of kalyAni with NishAdam (NishadathulA nikkAdA), but GNB took the same kalyANi in a different out of box perspective and started singing kalyAni where he sang with stoppages in nishadam (nishAdathula niruthinA evalavu azhagu kalyAnikku). That was ample evidence of great new bAni.

Durga also told that GNB used to read venkatamakhi's Chaturdandi Prakashika a lot and structured all his alApanai and swaras based on the treatise. She beautifully demonstrated in her own voice how GNB builds stage by stage the alApana and swaras of kalyAni, especially the mEL kAlam swaras of kalyAni with Ni stoppages was very good.She concluded her kalyani dose that nowadays every carnatic singer sings kalyAni like GNB and his kalyAni has been followed by all musicians.The song #2 vasudevayAni was played to complete the kalyANi illustration 1.

Smt Durga took the next illustration of GNB where to start with she just explained brigA. GNB was able to sing in such a fast kAlapramAnam because he sang with a considerably less gamakam and he had used lot of plain and flat notes. The song #3 himagiri thanayE premalathE in suddadhanyAsi was played . She immediately gave a context of how GNB sings pOdi saNgathis and particularly demoed with the key phrase premalathE in the same krithi. (Rajesh personally loved this rendition of GNB a lot , the mridangam I think was CSM(brilliant playing) and LGJ is I think in violin, this was a very old recording and I assume GNB's voice was more fresh than most of the other recordings)
Last edited by rajeshnat on 28 Jul 2009, 10:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby rajeshnat » 28 Jul 2009, 10:19

GNB as a Vagayekkara:
Personally to rajesh,GNB as a composer interests me a lot than as a vidwan. Smt DurgA's research was more factual , she was just giving one fact after another .

# GNB composed varnams, krithis and one thillAna,totally there are 200 compositions of GNB .GNB was a srividya upasaka and he has composed in thamizh, sanskrit and telugu

# There was an illustration of GNB composition of an abHogi krithi along the same lines of sevikka vendumayya of MT which durga specifically mentioned.The known fact that GNB never used to sing his own compositions and only his sishyAs like MLV used to sing was highlighted (I would have loved if she had also mentioned the genius SKR there too).

# Two songs were played one was shree chakra rAja nilayE in shivashakthi where MLV was given support by sudha. THe other tillAna was briefly played where sudha sang the only thillana of Shri GNB in the rAgam hamsAnandi.

# Shri GNB apart from handling rare rAgas like vasantha bhairavi, marga hindOlam and ranjani (Rajesh was surprised that ranjani was mentioned , rajesh thought that ranjani was never rare , possibly GNB may have brought it first in). In addition GNB created new rAgas like gavati, amrithabehAg, one janya of subhapantuvarALi (I didnot catch that one), chandrarashikam, veenadhAri , Saranga Tarangini,shivashakthi and Soma Kadambari (Is there any recording of chandrarashikam,veenadhAri and soma kadambari) .

# DurgA opinionated that GNB had a lot of respect for thyagaraja and he had composed even an exclusive krithi for thyagarAja in his hindoLam krithi "mAdhava kula bhooshani thyagarAja" (has any one heard that or is any recording available).Durga also said that because of love of ThyagarAja he wanted to undertake the task of composing in telugu , eventhough most of the krithis were in thamizh and sanskrit.She also took a small caveat that this reasoning is my calculated guess .

# Durga also said that "As a musicologist we all believe that thyagaraja did not compose any cittaswaras for any of his krithis, that was added only later by others". She gave an example of mAlavi krithi nenarunchi where thirukkodikaval krishna Iyer added that. GNB was the musician who added cittaswaras for vararAgaLaya where GNB intelligently crafted the ArOhanam and AvarOhanam of the rAgam senchuKamBodhi in that krithi of T. Durga sang briefly both the sarvalaghu madhyama kAlam as well as mel Kala swaras tuned in the same raga and krithi.

# Radha bhaskar sang few lines of cittaswaras of his own composition neepAdamuLe nalinakAnthi in the nalinakanthi rAgam and wrapped up the lecdem .

Durga finally summed up the musical genius of GNB as a performer and composer will live for ever (Certainly there was no doubts there).

Rajesh Personal Impressions:
DurgA spoke well with well measured words setting the right contextual information of GNB with the right objective subjectivity.The lecdem cannot be compared with say SRJ or Vedavalli or a madurai GS Mani expressive articulation, but smt durgA being a disciple of the great Madurai Mani Iyer had the omnipresent touch of humility talking about GNB and gave an overall avery good lecdem.

Kudos to radha and mudhra bhaskar and gnb centenary committee for arranging this between concerts, mudhra is indeed turning out to be a great sabha. 2008 was semmangudi birth centenary and is past, 2009-2010 is GNB birth centenary and is present , looking forward for 2012 birth centenary(I am sure you know who I am talking), I am sure Smt DurgA would be as expressive as a SRJ or vedavalli or madurai GS mani in 2012.
Last edited by rajeshnat on 28 Jul 2009, 10:24, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby cpblog » 03 Aug 2009, 01:51

Posted some audio on GNB's performance (with Chowdiah and Palghat Raghu) in 1957 in "Parvathi" Mysore. Also please see GNB's article on Chowdiah. http://chowdaiahandparvati.blogspot.com/

Ramasubramanian M.K
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Postby Ramasubramanian M.K » 07 Aug 2009, 09:23

As a late entrant to the Forum, I have to join the GNB bandwagon although late!! He was a good friend of my father and family and I have had the privilege of acting as his errand boy whenever he visited Bombay for a concert--normally he used to stay with his uncle Mr.K.SN.Sharma in Matunga--just a few houses away from ours --but sometimes he has stayed in our flat and as a boy of about 12 I used to be awestruck by the force of his majestic personality.( Note: In a book written by my late father K.S.Mahadevan--the Music critic of Indian Express ,I have contributed my article on GNSir--the book is entitled Musings on Music and Musicians released in 2003 when my father turned 90). GNSir was noted for his humor(most of it self-deprecating!!)--example he used to expand on his initials GOOD for NOTHING BHAGAVATHAR. After a concert in which he struggled with his Sruthi,when one of his many sycophants tried to "smooth" over it by remarking the humidity,the hall acoustics may not have been conducive GNsir promptly said "Nan Enna Pannaradhu,Sruthiyai avane venchunduttan(What can I do the Sishya kept the sruthi to himself!!).

Also once he tried to sell his car- an old jalopy-GNSir was noted for frequently changing residences in Chennai(mostly driven by some vasthu fears) A prospect wanted to test-drive the car(the prospect unfortunately was oblivious to GNSir's stature in the Music World !!). After the test drive the prospect was very unhappy with the condition of the car,got irate with GNSir saying how dare he try to palm off an old jalopy. GNSir asked What is the problem to which the prospect replied--all the parts are making noise-to which GNSir replied Yar Sonna--Horn amukki parungo--sattame varade--translation-- The horn does not make noise!!).

Maestros like TNR have ack GNSir's prowess and GNSir has also imbibed many of TNR's raga style.I have never heard any Vidwan who can sketch a rare raga like Chenjukambodhi or Kapinarayani or Malawi with an artistes' flourish that would bring the essence of the raga although there may not have been many krithis to illustrate the contours of the Raga. That was imagination and innovation judiciously combined!!

More later. I hope to be able to attend the centenary celbs in Chennai in jan 2010.

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Postby cmlover » 07 Aug 2009, 22:57

Can we have a ref to that GNB biography?
I'd love to read it...

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Postby srkris » 08 Aug 2009, 01:13

I received a complimentary copy of GNB's biography from Lalitha Ram (his pseudonym) last year and have read it. It is a must for any GNB fan, an excellent read.

The DKP article and his interview with Sangeetha Kala Acharya Sri S.Rajam about DKP (http://varalaaru.com/images/Jul09/Ram/SRajam_DKP.mp3) are relishing. The language is engaging and of a high standard.

He also is a prolific contributor on temples and their architecture (apart from classical music of course) to varalaaru.com

Unfortunately non-tamils may not be able to follow these but we can translate.

I wish he starts posting his articles more here too... now that we have the lounge and the languages section where he can post in tamil as he usually does.

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Postby Gamakam » 08 Aug 2009, 08:47

cmlover: the gnb book was discussed elsewhere in this forum under the vaggyeyakara section. You can buy the book in Vikatan's office, mount road, Chennai.

Ramakrishnan, nice to meet you again in this forum. I shall definitely post my writings in this forum.

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