PROF. SAMBAMOORTHY AS A MUSICOLOGIST
In the Centenary year of this great musicologist, another musicologist, S R Janakiraman, pays his tribute.
|The role of Prof. Sambamoorthy as an
outstanding musicologist supersedes any other aspect of his genius. He richly deserves to
be ranked alongside great treatise-writers in music of the ancient and medieval periods in
Carnatic history. Posterity would forever remember him as Bharata, Matanga, Narada,
Sarangadeva, Ramamatya, Somanatha, Venkatamakhi, Tulaja and Govinda of the past, all
rolled in one. While those mentioned above chose to write on the science of music in
Sanskrit, the eminent professor chose English mostly and Tamil occasionally, as his medium
of expression of his thoughts. Prof. Sambamoorthy had delved deep into the writings of the
legendary musicologists. His own writings constituted, in all essence, a digest of all the
material transmitted from time to time.
The greatness of Sambamoorthy rests in the fact that he could realise that like other sciences, music also had its own twin channels of investigation - in pure and applied spheres. The Professor's contribution was projected in both the spheres.
The Professor's genius got reflected not only in his mastery of the practical aspect of musicology as expounded in the different treatises of ancient and medieval history, but also in the fact that he opened up new vistas in pure as well as applied aspects. He is the architect of many concepts in musicology. He was the torch bearer and pioneer in formulating a thematic scheme of study of musicology in the academic curriculum in varying grades of musical pedagogy. He was the prime innovator of many technical forms in Sanskrit to explain the different aspects of musical concepts. What was supposed to be a privileged monopoly of a few became the democratised property of hundreds and thousands, if not millions of the musically inclined. The inculcation of musical awareness in both the theoretical and practical aspects can in no small measure be attributed to the pre-eminent Professor. His yeomen service to the cause of music in general and musicology in particular cannot be exaggerated. He is the Sangeeta Sastra Pitamaha of the 20th century.
The great composer Tyagaraja characterised Lord Rama in his kriti Dasarathi nee runamu (Todi) in the following manner: 'Asadeera dooradesamulanu prakasimpajesina rasikasiromani'. Prof. Sambamoorthy was largely responsible for making South Indian music internationally popular. So he could be hailed as 'Asadeera dooradesamulanu prakasimpajesina gita sastra sikhamani'.