About Charangi

By S R Madhu, Editor. Editor1941@gmail.com

      Welcome to the joys and delights of Carnatic music through Charangi.com. This is a cause that gives industrialist R T Chari and his wife Rangi a great deal of pleasure.

      Charangi was an institution started by Chari and Rangi some 35 years ago to promote not merely Carnatic music but various facets of south India's culture and heritage. The now-celebrated South India Heritage Programme has organized some 200 lectures and 250 events over the past 15 years. Besides lectures, the programmes have presented music concerts and discourses, plays, films, panel discussions and book launches. They have included awards to encourage talented young musicians and honour young achievers for outstanding work in Heritage promotion.

      Charangi has over the years promoted Carnatic music in a number of ways:

      a)    It has set up the Tag Digital and Listening Music Archives at the Music Academy, Chennai. Students, scholars and rasikas enter a computerized musical paradise where they can retrieve and download any song by singer, by composer, by raga, by date. He has set up these archives in 15 places in India and abroad (even to institutions in UK and Singapore).
      b)    It has donated auditoriums to several schools and colleges of Chennai, to fine arts institutions in Chennai and other metros. The auditoriums promote learning general and enable music concerts.
      c)    It has prepared and disseminated a four-CD packet under a "raga identification project". It was meant to help fans of Carnatic music to identify ragas. Mr Chari put together four CDs. The first CD consisted of pallavis by VidwanNeyveliSanthanagopalan -- 75 ragas where the raga's name figured in the pallavi. The second CD was a famous lecdem by Vidwan Madurai G S Mani that discussed ragas in famous classical film songs. The third CD contained a lecdem by Raghavendra (character actor of cinema) and his daughter Kalpana. They rendered Carnatic songs in various ragas and corresponding film songs based on the same ragas. The fourth CD consisted of 170 popular songs rendered by a number of vidwans. The name of the raga figured midway in each song.
      d)    It has promoted Carnatic music in schools and encouraged talented schoolchildren through scholarships, music contests and awards. Recently (in September 2016) he held a raga identification contest for the public.
      e)    It has prepared and disseminated a CD that contains 19 lectures at Tag Centre by music and heritage historian V Sriram, who been described as the best bridge between the Carnatic music expert and the layman. The lectures are a treasure of facts, history, stories, wit and anecdotage and reproduce many of the lectures he has delivered every December at Tag Centre.
      f) It has prepared and disseminated a CD of lecdems by Vidwans to promote appreciation of Carnatic music. This CD contains recording sof 11 special customized lecdems. These include "Know our Carnatic music" by Dr S Sunder: "Know about the basics of Thillana" by VidwanNeyveli R Santhanagopalan; "Know about the concert format of Carnatic music" by Vidwan O S Thyagarajan; "Know about some aspects of Carnatic music" by VidhushiArunaSairam: "Know about thaniavarthanams" by Vidwan K S Kalidas; "Know about the history of Carnatic music: by Vidan Madurai G S Mani.

      Mr Chari made the point that this CD could be appreciated only by people who are already into Carnatic music, who have at least basic knowledge.The Charangi.com website reflects Mr Chari's love for Carnatic music and his passion for promoting it. A sampling of its contents:

      1.    How to identity of Carnatic ragas.
      2.    Lectures by V. Sriram on Carnatic music personalities.
      3.    VidwanNeyveliSanthanagopalan's discussion on 100 popular non - Tamil Carnatic Songs.
      4.    Tips and lessons from Carnatic music vidwans on appreciation of Carnatic music.
      5.    Pravachanam by Dr.PappuVenugopala Rao on Ramayana.
      6.    Pravachanam by Dr.PappuVenugopala Rao on Bhagavad Gita.
         (Dr PappuVenugopala Rao - writer, Indologist, musicologist and pundit on India's heritage and the performing arts - has given numerous religious discourses at Tag Centre on Sunday mornings. These have explained, elucidated and interpreted the great Indian epics with remarkable lucidity. )
      7.    Advanced lecture for seasoned carnaticresikas by VidwanSriramParasuram.
      8.    Lectures on Srirangam temple, drawn from the exposition on "Magnificent Srirangam" held at Tag Centre in April 2016.