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K.V.Ramachandran (1898-1956) Musicologist

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  • K.V.Ramachandran (1898-1956) Musicologist

    K.V.Ramachandran (1898-1956)
    Sri K.V.Ramachandran (K.V.R) was a musicologist par excellence. He was a Scholar who had contributed a lot in the subjects of Music, Dance and fine arts by his well researched monographs and articles to "The Hindu", "Triveni" and the journal of "Madras Music Academy". He brought out high class Music, Dance and Literary Journal "Shilpashree" for some years. A Connoisseur of chaste music,he was a music and dance critic with strong views , who wrote regularly to The Hindu. He had the reputation of highly critical and influential art critic. He was not easily pleased and a ‘good-word’ from him was considered a high reward even by merited artists.

    KVR was closely associated with Madras Music Academy. If I remember correctly it was under the initiative of Sri K.V.Ramachandran a resolution was passed in All India Music Conference in Madras held along with the Indian National Congress in 1927 to start the Music Academy in Madras.He used to present valuable papers with lecture demonstrations in Academy's Annual Conferences. When KVR moved to Coimbatore during War time he took his residence in the house owned by famous flutist Palladam Sanjeeva Rao in Thiruvenkitaswami Road, R.S.Puram on rent. Later he purchased his own house "Ashrama" in Crosscut Road,Tatabad, Coimbatore.

    He had a good collection of musical instruments and himself was an accomplished singer and player of many musical instruments, including Dilruba, which he specialised. I have seen him playing this instrument in his house.

    K.V.Ramachandran was an honours Graduate in Chemistry from Madras University. He started his South India Chemical Company, which manufactured the famous "Kesavardhini" hair oil. (Now sold to a new owner) His sister Swarnambal, more popularly known by her pen name "Guhapriyai" ( குஹப்ரியை ) was a famous Tamil writer. His wife Chellammal was very accomplished lady, who used to drive a big (left hand steering) American Limousine "Frazer" Car effortlessly (wearing traditional Madisaar Style saree) on the roads of Coimbatore. She was a trained Bharata Natyam dancer too. She assisted KVR in his business very effectively. Incidentally Chellammal was the daughter of my mother's maternal uncle S.V.Sesha Iyer (Muthanna)of Singanallur and elder sister to my aunt Nagammal. I had met KVR many times when I visited his house with my mother and grandmother. He had also given me copies of many monographs on music written by him, which I could not understand at that time.

    K.V. Ramachandran died in Coimbatore on March 26, 1956. Only eldest of his four daughters, Seetha is still living in Madras (Chennai). Now,his grandchildren and their children live in various locations around the globe, including Switzerland, the U.S., New Zealand, Canada and India.