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Venu Shastra

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The Genesis of a Tradition...

The flute arrived to the concert platform somewhere at the crossroads of the 19th and 20th centuries, where the Bansuri, the North Indian classical flute achieved prominence by the prodigious Panalal Ghosh. In the south, Sharaba Shastri, the blind genius flautist, created the concert version of the Venu. New! Join Us At:

In today's context, the flute is often idealized as a light music instrument and aspiring music students envisage the flute as a colossal barrier in the pursuit of classical music as a result of its complex playing techniques and the natural unparallel uniformity of its design.

Founded in 2007, the purpose of this institution is to redefine, refresh and renew the idea of the South Indian classical flute in all of its splendour, mystical sound and soulful magic to all corners of the globe. Join us on Facebook!

Maestros' Anecdotes...

Conquest of the Carnatic Flute...

With the dawn of the first concert-worthy Carnatic flute by Sharaba Shastri, it manifested into several different forms today ranging from the popular D# (D-Sharp) and G# (G-Sharp) to all known possible pitches ranging from C onwards

In a Time propelled by the need to secure the foundations of Carnatic music in the 20th century, musicians of all decree undertook arduous tasks to promote the music. The shining beacons like Semmangudi, M S Subbulakshmi, G N Balasubramaniam, Musiri Subramania Iyer, Papansam Sivan, Palghat Mani Iyer, Veenai Dhanammal, Mali made this art immortal.

Mali was the revolution who redefined the very art of playing the flute to such standards that could match almost all technicalities of vocal music. He positioned the flute as an enviable instrument that could challenge the virtuosity of the violinist and the dexterity of the mridangist to the absolute limit. More... Watch Flute Mali Documentary LIVE on YouTube: I - II - III - IV. Other references: Carnatic Durbar 1, Carnatic Durbar 2,, Anita Nair & Recent Archive Review Special! RTP - Shubapanthuvarali More... Listen Online!

Dr. N. Ramani, the foremost disciple of Mali, took the flute to a higher level, attempting flutes with different pitches and settling to the 2 1/2 octave D# (used by veena players and violinists) predominantly where his predecessors did not attempt. The result was the creation of flutes that span from half a metre to slightly more than a metre. In any case, he used heavier reed bamboo flutes which is capable of high volume and rich tonal timbre. He was also the first Carnatic flautist of the Mali's school to have introduced & popularized the transposed fingering technique by playing with bass flutes, giving lengthy, scintillating raga elaborations in the lower registers with great effect. His performances made some of the most respected musicians in Carnatic music & Hindustani music including Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia & Pt. Ravi Shankar his fans. To date, he has performed in almost all the major music festivals in the world & is undoubtedly the most recognized & accomplished Carnatic flautist in the international media. He has trained a legion of disciples (including senior vocal students) many of whom are respected performing artistes, in their own right. His playing style & techniques have both become legendary today & is well emulated by many upcoming flautists. He was given AIR's (All India Radio) highest award; National Artiste Award in 2004. Interview 2006, Interview 2008, Review 2009, Recent 2010 (1), Recent 2010 (2), Official Bio-Data More... Listen Online!

Shashank, the celebrated prodigy of the next generation of flautists raised the possibilities of the Carnatic flute to a new level. His revolutionary technique of double-octave blowing which is the first of its kind ever played on a bamboo flute, ushered in a renewed interest in Carnatic flute to a cross-cultural global audience. He is an 'A' Top rank performer at AIR (All boom beach online India Radio) & conducts many workshops, music camps & lecture demonstrations the world over. More... BBC Destination Music: India

The Art of The Magic...

The undeniable fact is, the fingering of the flute is extremely complex. A slight movement of the fingering can bring numerous subtleties that invoke the the melodious ornamentations (gamakas) which form the essential base of Carnatic music. To add to this challenge, positioning of the flute in the lip, variations in lip movements can alter the pitch entirely or produce notes of extremely high pitch or extremely low pitch. This is the Mali tradition that is in use today and the techniques are surprisingly derived from the extremely powerful and auspicious wind instrument, the nageswaram, commonly used in temples and on auspicious cultural occasions in South India.

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This site was last updated Tuesday, 13 September 2011 00:05:39