CHENNAI: Thematic Carnatic music echoed in the auditorium of Raga Sudha Hall on Monday. The rasikas had gathered for renowned music teacher Usha Prasad’s book launch event. The book titled 'The Anya-svara in a Bhasanga Raga' is a documentation of all 69 bhashanga ragas and anya svaras. The first copy was given to Kalaimamani Madhurai GS Mani.
The guests of honour were musician RS Jayalakshmi and vocalist Sriram Parasuram. Usha received a doctorate in Indian music from the University of Madras for her study on anya-svara in bhasanga ragas in 2007.
She is an accomplished teacher and has served as an academic consultant in AR Rahman’s KM Music Conservatory. She is much sought after for her workshops on work culture and holds many research articles on various aspects of classical music to her credit. “I have studied ragas in-depth — historically, theoretically and practically.
I have analysed, compared and documented renderings by different musicians. Related audio material is also attached with the book. It serves as the best source to understand the raga. My work is a guide to music students, teachers, musicians and rasikas,” said Usha, the wife of mridangam vidwan Kalaimamani KV Prasad and a senior disciple of veteran musician Madhurai GS Mani.
Usha believes that her work will serve as a reference book for those who want to know about ragas. “In my next project, I will be publishing my guru’s Sanksrit compositions with notations. I’m also interested in the subtle and abstract areas of ragas,” said Usha who has been teaching Carnatic vocal music for the past 30 years to students through Skype across the globe. The book, published by Giri Trading Agency Limited, is priced at Rs 500 and available at book stores.