|Galaxy of Composers|
|TRINITY AND CONTEMPORARIES|
|SYAMA SASTRI (1762-1827)|
Sastri did not come from a family of musicians, but was taught some
music by his uncle. Despite being groomed to be a priest, he had
plenty of interest and talent in music. He was taught by an ascetic,
Sangeeta Swami, about the intricacies of raga and tala.
Region: Syama Sastri was born in Tiruvarur, Tanjavur district, but lived in Tanjavur. He did not travel much.
There is an interesting incident, which is a testimony to his strength in Laya. He was once challenged by Bobbili Kesavayya to sing a Pallavi in Simhanandana tala (the longest tala with 128 beats per cycle). To everyone's amazement, he not only sang it but also composed a new Pallavi in Sarabhanandana tala (79 beats per cycle).
Theme: His compositions were totally devotional in nature, mostly in praise of Goddess Kamakshi of Kanchipuram.
Languages used: Predominantly Telugu; a few in Sanskrit and Tamil.
Signature: Syama Sastri used the mudra, Syamakrishna.
Popular kritis: Kamakshi (Bhairavi), Himadrisute (Kalyani), Sankari Sankuru (Saveri) etc.
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