Crooning for the masses

In his resolve to bring religious harmony in Carnatic music, Vazhamuttam B Chandrababu has been penning and composing Kirtanas based on Christian and Muslim beliefs

Published: 26th November 2013 12:12 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th November 2013 12:12 PM   |  A+A-

Vathapi Ganapathim Bhajeham’, crooned the songster in the age-old Hamsadhwani Ragam and the audience sat enrapt. Just when they were paying respect to Ganesha in their minds during the ‘Gurusthuthi’, came Yesuvin naamam madhuram mahiyil (The name of Jesus is sweet) taking them by surprise.

 Vazhamuttam B Chandrababu’s concerts do not stick to the four walls of ‘Carnatic Music’ rules, instead in his resolve to bring religious harmony in the art form, he has been penning and composing Kirtanas based on Christian and Muslim beliefs. The ragas, which sound and feel ‘Carnatic’ have nothing to do with the age-old ragas, except, the tunes. Instead, they are entirely designed by Chandrababu himself.

This musician, who has a ‘ganabhooshanam’ and ‘ganapeedam’ from the Music College, has been studying music for the past 25 years. It was during his student days at the Music College that he took the decision to bring some changes in the Hindu-oriented ‘Carnatic music’. His ‘guru’, late Padma Shri Neyyattinkara Vasudevan, who has conducted many a Christian concert at different venues, was the inspiration behind this endeavour.

“I have always noticed the disinclination of the non-Hindus while learning Kirtanas pertaining to Hindu beliefs. While I was a music teacher at the St Joseph’s School, I started writing Kirtanas based on Christian beliefs. When I taught them at the school both teachers and the students enjoyed them,” says Chandrababu. Chandrababu’s first concert of Christian Ragas was conducted at St Nicholas Church around five years back, with the help of the school’s teachers. Since then, he has been composing Ragas with Christian and Muslim imageries.

“I had a Malayalam Quran during those times and started reading and understanding it. Then I wrote and composed some songs citing it. When a Muslim family hears their children singing Rabbe Rasoole instead of Mahaganapathe it brings them extra joy. Thus more of them will be willing to learn Carnatic music,” says Chandrababu, whose strong inclination towards the principles of Sreenarayana Guru ‘Oru Jathi oru matham oru daivam manushyanu’ (One caste, one religion, one god for human beings), comes across in his ‘Kirtanas’.

Music has no religions or barriers so Chandrababu, who is currently learning music under S Ratnakaran, strives to make a difference in our society with his ‘Carnatic’ compositions. —Express Features


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp