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Enchanting Kerala


ISSUE: 228


Sri Swathi Thirunal College of Music

As soon as you step in to the granite gate, reminiscent of an old fort, you will be welcomed by the distant resonance of tantalizing compositions. The prestigious Sri Swathi Thirunal College of Music, named after the great Swathi Thirunal, the erstwhile Maharaja of Travancore has a legacy of several decades.

Located in the heart of the capital city Thiruvananthapuram, the college was established in 1939 by eminent vocal artist Late Dr. L. Muthayya Bhagavathar for giving refresher courses to music teachers of the Travancore State. The institute was first named as "The Music Academy" and Muthayya Bhagavathar was the first principal of the college. The primary motive was to popularise the compositions of Maharaja Sri. Swathi Thirunal who was a great connoisseur of Carnatic music and a great musician himself.

The institute was renamed as Sri Swathi Thirunal College of Music in 1962. During the early days, a three-year certificate course in music titled 'Gayaka' and 'Gayika' for male and female students respectively were provided in the institute. In 1961, a committee, constituted by the Government of Kerala prepared a comprehensive curriculum and syllabus for the institution. Later the courses were changed to 'Ganabhooshanam' and 'Ganapraveen' which were diploma and post-diploma courses. In 1999, the college was affiliated to the University of Kerala. A four-year bachelor of performing arts and three-year master of performing arts courses were also initiated. The main subjects include vocal, veena, violin, mridangam and dance.

Ever since its inception the institute has nurtured numerous talented artists whose contribution to the world of music has been cherished worldwide. Renowned playback singer K. J. Yesudas, renowned Carnatic musician Late Neyyatinkara Vasudevan, film music composer and singer M.G. Radhakrishnan and composer Raveendran are some of the noted alumni of the college. Though foreigners are not allowed to enroll in any of the courses, they can visit the campus with the permission of authorities.

Contact details:

The Principal
Sri Swathi Thirunal College of Music
Thycaud, Thiruvananthapuram
Kerala - 695014
Phone: +91-471-2323027

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