About me!
About Me!

I am M.Subramanian and I live in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India after my retirement from Government Service. I am the author of RasikaV2 software package, containing Rasika, Gaayaka, Sishya, Student's Music Players and Novice programs(and also the previous DOS programs CMRasika and CMSishya).

My interests are Carnatic Music (South Indian Classical Music) and Computers. Of course I listen to other types of music also, especially North Indian Classical Music. I had formal training in Veena from late Dr. S.Ramanathan during 1955-56. (He taught me 2 small krithis within 8 months of my starting tuition on Veena!). Thereafter I learnt from Sri A.Muthiah (who was then in the AIR, Madras) during 1965-67 and later from Sri R.Venkataraman (of the Veena,Venu,Violin fame) of Trivandrum during 1974-77. (All these old dates obviously mean that I am not quite young!). After my retirement, I have also been teaching Veena and involved in my other interest - Computers.

I had also given a couple of concerts in the local temple.

On 1st May, 2005 I gave a 'Musical Discourse' (along with my friend Mr. M.Ganesan) in our Sabha on 'Thyagaraja on Sangeetha Shasthra' in our local Sabha, Sangeetha Rasikar Sangam. We sang about 15 krithis of Thyagaraja dealing with music (such as Nada loludai, Swararaga sudha etc.). I explained the meanings of the krithis and what I perceived as Thyagaraja's concepts on music. Click here for a review (originally put up in the Sabha's website) of this program.

On 2nd February, 2003 I gave a short Veena Concert in my residence before an invited audience. (For a review of the concert go to Concert Review. which was put up in the website of our local sabha Sangeetha Rasika Sangam). Excerpts from the concert (Alapana in Varali and the krithi 'Kaa vaa vaa') in mp3 format can be downloaded by right clicking the following links and saving the file by clicking "Save Target As..". The files can be played with Windows Media Player (Win 98 or later) or other audio software: Varali Alaapana (800 Kb). If you have Windows Medial Player Ver 12 you can also listen without downloading Varali (stream)

Carnatic Music Software: In 1992-93 I wrote two programs for Carnatic music, Cmrasika and Cmsishya which worked in DOS and produced music using the PC Speaker. I believe that Carnatic music cannot be properly represented by the mere notes and the nuances of movements between and around notes are very essential to get the raaga bhaavam. I spent much time experimenting and was eventually able to develop a system for producing gamakams. Thus although the sound of the PC speaker is poor in quality, the deft use of gamakams made the music sound realistic and the programs were well received. Cmrasika is a program for appreciating the Carnatic music system and Cmsishya is for beginners, helping them to practice lessons upto Geethams, in between their sessions with a teacher.

When sound cards became standard items on PCs, I wrote 2 programs - Rasika which is the sound card version of Cmrasika and Gaayaka which is a new program enabling the entry of notation in the South Indian 'sa ri ga ma ..' style and playing it. All the software available for composing and playing music use staff notation and it is quite difficult to produce gamakams. Gaayaka can be used to enter notation and play it with gamakams (if the notation includes anuswarams and movements for which Gaayaka has provision). The first version of this software had 5 upgrades and the second version (RasikaV2) with additional programs (Sishya, Student's Music Players and Novice) is the one now described in this website.

A more detailed article on the problems of computerisation of Carnatic Music and my experiences has been published in 'Sangeet Natak' (Journal of Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi) in the issue 133-134 (1999) pages 16-24.

I have also been writing other small programs related to music. I tried a program to generate raagam using randomly selected notes but with certain restrictions. Even for a raagam like Hindolam which is note oriented it was not pleasant and so I did not pursue this idea. I have written a program to sharpen the tuning skills for a Carnatic music student. To download the program go to Tuning Test Program.

Another program for quick calculation of cent value of relative frequencies (for those interested in theory and research) can also be downloaded. Go to Cents program.

For those interested in Computers: My DOS programs were written using Turbo C++ (though I did not use the object oriented features). To make movements between notes smooth, I changed the normal 18.2 clock ticks per second into 100.1 ticks per second by playing with the interrupts and then calling the normal interrupt routine twice in eleven ticks (100.1 is 18.2 * 5.5). My earlier Windows programs were written in VB3 and the current version in VB4. The music is produced by synthesizing the wave data required to play through the wave device of the soundcard, using wave definitions of Veena or Flute. These require fast calculations and the program gets these done through some DLLs.

I have also done some analytical work on Carnatic Music Gamakams using the PC. I found many interesting things by analysing the gamakams of 4 notes ri,ga,da,ni of Maayamalavagowla sung/played by different artistes. The findings have been published in Sangeet Natak Volume XXXVII, Number 1, 2002 pages 26 - 47. I followed this up with an analysis of Thodi gamakams. All the articles published by me can be downloaded from the 'Articles' link of this site

My latest work is automatic introduction of detailed gamakam notation in bare notation. Gaayaka program plays what is typed and the notation available in books is skeletal (not depicting the gamakams). My efforts in this direction are described in http://gamakam.tripod.com. The web site also has audio clips to show how the conversion has worked. The article published on the subject is available at http://carnatic2000.tripod.com/AutoGamakam.pdf. A paper was presented in the 2nd Computer Music Workshop (Istanbul, July 2012) on this subject. The video of the presentation is available here. Copy of the paper prsented there is avaialble here and a slide set with audio is available here.

I am interested in exchange of ideas on use of Computers in Carnatic music.

I can be contacted by email at manianms@yahoo.com or msmanian@hotmail.com

About Rasika
About Gaayaka
How to Get Rasika-Gaayaka
What is new in the latest versions
Other Music sites
Some Gaayaka files
Users' Contributions
Tuning Test Program