Music Research Seminar: Dr Karaikudi S. Subramanian

Wednesday, November 23, 2022 - 16:00 to 17:00
Bewerunge Room, Logic House

Beyond Genres: Creative Principles of South Indian Music – the COMET Way 

This seminar will provide insight into the principles of South Indian music through the COMET pedagogy. COMET (Correlated Objective Music Education & Training) is a system of music education developed by Karaikudi S. Subramanian (KSS) in the 1990s for the transmission of South Indian music. The focus of COMET is a holistic learning of the aesthetics of Karnatak music. Right from the beginning, the students open themselves to holistic listening at the macro level and detailed listening at the micro level. At the microlevel, COMET parses the intricacies of Karnatak music and reveals its basic principles as isolated studies. This facilitates the communication of Karnatak music to any student, going beyond cultural boundaries. COMET encourages meaningful cross-cultural interactions to make the participants discover the creative possibilities in their practice. Drawing from the rhythmic and scalar vocabulary of Karnatak music, this seminar is focused on getting to the roots of music-making. The participants are engaged in an interactive way in which they are taught simple Karnatak rhythms and melodies to understand the aesthetics of improvisation and its significance in global music education. 

Dr Karaikudi S. Subramanian (KSS) is a senior South Indian classical musician and ethnomusicologist. Representing the ninth generation of the 250-year-old Karaikudi Vina tradition, Dr KSS is one of the most renowned masters in the field of South Indian classical music. He has learned Karnatak music in the indigenous ‘gurukula’ way from several veteran musicians since his early childhood. In addition to this, Dr KSS has done intensive research on music education since 1975 when he began his postgraduate studies in Ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University. By virtue of his traditional background and institutional education, KSS assumes a unique position as a performer and educator. He is an authentic representative of the ancient Karnatak tradition who combines the traditional and modern educational approaches for effective communication of the music he practices. In 1989, he founded the music institute ‘Brhaddhvani – Research & Training Centre for Musics of the World’ in Chennai to create a space where anyone could study music irrespective of their background. His research has received support from India Foundation for Arts and The Ford Foundation, and he has held visiting positions in Amherst College, The New School, New York, San Francisco State College, National University of Singapore, Leeds College of Music, York University, University of Michigan, University of Limerick and University College Cork.