Music Academy Research Centre (MARC)

The Music Academy Madras has been associated with Musicology and Research in Music from the time of its inception. The discussions in the Annual Conference substantiate the depth of musical thought that the institution (also called the Vidvat Sabha) engages with. The other hallmarks are the Journal whose 91st volume was published in 2022 and the number of publications that the Academy has brought out. Noteworthy is that these publications were fruits of the efforts of scholars like Sangita Kalanidhi Sri. T.V. Subba Rao, Dr. V. Raghavan, Sangita Kala Acharya T.S. Parthasarathy, and scholar–musicians such as Sangita Kalanidhi Mudicondan Sri. Venkatarama Iyer, Sangita Kala Acharya Sri. B. Krishnamurthy, Sangita Kala Acharya Dr. S.R. Janankiraman, to name a few.

PhD program

Click here for summary of dissertation topics

After the completion of degree by the first batch of students, the Centre has had to withdraw from the PhD programme owing to changes in the conditions of affiliation. The Academy however continues with its research activities.

The Way Forward

MARC ushers in the new decade 2020 with renewed vigour, engaging in music studies and research in a focused manner. In keeping with the fundamental objectives of the Music Academy or Vidvat Sabha, the research centre looks to build on the wealth of oral and aural traditions that are integral to the Carnatic music space. At the same time, it will work on strengthening the musicological dimension by way of rigour in the research methods and honing of structured musical thought and perceptions, with a futuristic approach.

The activities of MARC include publications, seminars / webinars, workshops and research projects.

The MARC team played an active role in putting together some of the December video capsules/episodes that were uploaded in the Academy’s YouTube channel during the virtual music festival in December 2020.

The MARC team:


Dr. Meenakshi (Sumathi) Krishnan

Ex-Officio member.
Secretary, The Music Academy, Madras.

Head of Research

Dr. Sumithra Vasudev

Sumithra Vasudev is a reputed musician and prime disciple of Sangita Kalanidhi Smt. R. Vedavalli. She is a faculty in Advanced School of Carnatic Music, The Music Academy Madras. Sumithra’s penchant for exploring rare raga-s and her flair for niraval and tanam distinguish her performances. She was one of the Ph.D scholars in MARC and her dissertation is based on a study of compositions and raga-s handled by the Dikshita family composers. She authored the English translation for ‘Melaragamalika of Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan’ published by the Music Academy Madras in 2018.

Research Advisory Board

Dr. Ritha Rajan

Sangita Kala Acharya Dr. R.S. Jayalakshmi served as Professor and Head (Retd.), Department of Music, Queen Mary’s College. A member of the Advisory Board of the Music Academy Madras for over a decade, she is currently the Associate Director of the Advanced School of Carnatic Music, Music Academy. Her dissertation on ‘Pāṭhāntara-s in the compositions of the Musical Trinity’ is a brilliant combination of an intimate knowledge of the subtleties of oral traditions in Carnatic music and lucidity of its expression in the textual form.

Dr. R.S. Jayalakshmi

Sangita Kala Acharya Dr. R.S. Jayalakshmi is currently a faculty member in the Advanced School of Carnatic Music, Music Academy Madras, and the University of Silicon Andhra, USA. A vainika of repute, she was a faculty in the Department of Music, University of Madras. Her dissertation is based on the gamaka-s of Sangita Sampradaya Pradarshini and is a model work on the interpretation of the various gamaka-s described in the text. She is the author of ராக லக்ஷணத்தில் ஆரோஹண அவரோஹணம் (MRJ Publishers, Bangalore, 1999).

Sri. V. Sriram

Ex-Officio member.
Secretary, The Music Academy, Madras

Experts’ Panel

Prof. Shiv Visvanathan

Shiv Visvanathan is currently Professor at Jindal Global Law School, Sonipat and Director, Centre for the Study of Knowledge Systems, O.P. Jindal Global University. He is a social anthropologist and is presently working on the relationship between knowledge and democracy, focusing on the idea of cognitive justice. He has held visiting professorship at Smith, Stanford, Goldsmith, Arizona, Maastricht, Pretoria, MICA, NID and IIT Chennai. He is author of works like Organizing for Science (OUP, Delhi, 1985), A Carnival for Science (OUP, Delhi, 1997) and Theatres of Democracy (OUP, Delhi, 2016)

Sangita Kalanidhi Sri. Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Sanjay Subrahmanyan is one of those rare and complete performers whose concerts are the product of a lively and intelligent mind. His intensive and exhaustive elaboration of unconventional ragas, as well as his treatment of the time honoured classical ragas display a unique combination of tradition and modernity. Tamiz language finds the singer in his elements, as he offers classic Tamiz compostions in tandem with those that he assiduously mines of composers whose works have not seen the light of day. Through his music he integrates the wisdom and stabilizing influences of the past with his own artistic and intellectual creativity.

Sangita Kalanidhi Dr. S. Sowmya

S. Sowmya, a vocalist, vainika and researcher, is known for her extensive manodharma, her bold forays into aspects of music that are considered difficult and her adherence to the strict classical tradition as imbibed from her gurus. She is a member of the faculty at the Music Academy’s Advanced School of Carnatic Music. With her path-breaking research work in enhancing the tonal stability of the mridangam, the pre-eminent percussion instrument in South Indian music and insightful presentations on various aspects of classical music, Sowmya in many ways personifies – ‘a quintessential scholarly Carnatic musician’.