DK PATTAMMAL

DK Pattammal50, Gandhi Mandapam RoadKotturpuram, Chennai 600 085.













By breaking barriers, D. K. Pattammal emerged a pioneer in the field of Carnatic music, dominated by men. Damal Krishnaswamy Pattammal, is the member of what is known as 'Female Trinity of Carnatic Music', with M S Subbalakshmi and M L Vasanthakumari as the other members.















Born on March 2, 1919 to Damal Krishnaswamy Dikshitar and Rajamal, in the temple town of Kancheepuram, the young Patta was considered a uniquely gifted child. Her career is unique in the sense that her foundations were not structured by a formal music tuition, learning 'Sarala Varisai', 'Janata Varisai', Geetham and Varnam, step by step.













Her talent flowered even as she learned to sing slokas at home from her music loving father and avidly listened to the musicians who came and performed at Kancheepuram. She received tuition from a Telugu Vaadhyar who volunteered to give her music lessons.














It was the recognition and support from her school headmistress Ammakutti Ammal that enabled Pattammal to appear for a government examination in music conducted at Madras even before she reached her teens. Though such stalwarts as Prof. Sambamurthy, Tiger Varadacharya and Sri Ambi Dikshitar were examiners, Pattammal was reportedly not in the least nervous in singing "Sri Subramanyaya Namaste" in Kambhoji and "Naa Jeeva Dhara" in Bilahari. Her performance resulted in an offer by one of the examiners, Sri Ambi Dikshitar, a scion of the Muthuswamy Dikshitar family, to give her instructions.



















But, after some initial lessons, she had to return to Kancheepuram. Pattammal had also attended the summer school for music run by Prof. Sambamurthy and she even participated in a few variety programmes given by the summer school. When she was 14, she gave her first public performance at the Mahila Samaj in Egmore and won acclaim. She moved to Madras in 1933 to become a regular performer in the concert circuits.

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