The royal patronage of Karnatak music dates back to the period of Kadambas and Chalukyas. It was during the reign of Hoysalas and Vijayanagar dynasties music, Dance and other fine arts reached to its peak. After the decline of Vijayanagar dynasty, Wodeyars the rulers of Mysore started growing strong. Though Yaduraya and his brother Krishnaraya were the originators of Wodeyar dynasty in the year 1399 AD, it was Raja Wodeyar (16th century) who reinstated the splendour of music and other arts in Mysore kingdom and conducting the celebrations of Dasara festival following the tradition of Vijayanagar rulers. Later Kings of this dynasty faithfully adhered to this Raja dharma.Many Musicians and Composers adorned the courts of Wodeyars. This book deals with the Composers who were under the patronage of nine Mysore Kings viz. from Ranadheera Kanteerava Narasaraja Wodeyar to the last ruler Jaya Chamaraja Wodeyar covering a span of around four Centuries. This study was an extension of the author’s doctoral research comprising:
Brief history of Wodeyars; life and contributions of the rulers under study; biographies of around 59 court musicians/composers with analysis of their compositions; songs composed for Yakshaganas, Dramas, Marriage and other rituals; Sangatyas; Granthas (Treatises), Illustrations, Shishya paramparas and many more.
Few Excerpts from Experts
My happiness knew no bounds on going through your wonderful book on the Musical Composers during Wodeyar Dynasty (1638-1947 AD). Your work is going to be the real epoch–making history, helping not only those interested in the present times, but also to posterity. Very rightly you deserve the doctorate for this topic.
Sri B M Sundaram Musician, Musicologist, Tanjavore
Going through the pages of Dr. Meera’s doctoral thesis- Musical Composers during Wodeyar Dynasty (1638-1947 AD)- was like a pleasant voyage across the ocean of the cultural glory of the erstwhile state of Mysore
Sri S Krishna Murthy Musician, Musicologist, grandson of Mysore Vasudevachar
Meera Rajaram Pranesh’s doctoral work Musical Composers during Wodeyar Dynasty- 1638-1947 AD is a comprehensive, analytical and expert document on this subject. She also travelled to southern parts of South India to collect relevant information from their shishya parampara pertaining to the above topic. Her exposition of these milestones in the history of Mysore music, supported by authentic documents reflects a comprehensive exploration of the available source material.
Deccan Herald March 21st 2004
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