T. Brinda

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Thanjavur Brinda (1912-1996) was one of the representatives of the Veenai Dhanammal school of Carnatic Music. She was primarily a vocalist, although she also played the Veenai. She is affectionately referred to as 'Brindamma', by her fans.

Brinda had much of her initial training from her mother Kamakshi. This training was in the Veenai Dhanammal style, a style of Carnatic Music known for its unhurried, alluring movements, as also for its use of intricate gamakas (graces) in the handling of ragas (modes). Additionally, Brinda trained for a substantial length of time under Kanchipuram Naina Pillai, whose style of music was marked by agility and robustness in laya (rhythm). After her training under Naina Pillai, Brinda learnt from her aunt Lakshmiratnam. Veenai Dhanammal, who was also Brinda's grandmother, herself taught her some compositions. Brinda absorbed both the sublime and intricate Dhanammal style and Naina Pillai's fast paced masculine music and blended them seamlessly into her singing.

Her peers and music connoisseurs regarded her as a person of superlative musical knowledge. She was an expert at rendering ragas that featured complex patterns and subtle gamakas, such as Begada, Mukhari, Sahana, Suruti, Varali and Yadukulakambhoji. She was a repository of Kshetrayya padams and javalis (romantic compositions rich in musical content) and many rare compositions of the Trinity of Carnatic Music and Patnam Subramania Iyer.

Many talented and popular musicians were attracted by...
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