Sri. T. S. Parthasarathy, veteran music &
dance scholar and erstwhile secretary of the Music Academy passed away on
Friday, Oct. 13th at his residence in Chennai. Aged 94, but alert and
sprightly to his last days, he was a veritable encyclopedia on matters related
to classical music and dance. He was a one-stop source for musicians, dancers
and scholars looking for authoritative reference material.
Tiruvallikeni Srinivasan Parthasarathy, popularly known as TSP, was born on
Sept. 8th 1913 in Chennai. He was educated at Madras & Calcutta
Universities and earned degrees with distinction in Economics, Political
Science, History and Sanskrit. After graduating in 1934, he was a journalist
in Calcutta with a leading daily before joining the Indian Railways. He
retired as the Chief Commercial Superintendent of the Northern Railway after
serving the organization for 36 years in various capacities.
Music started as a hobby but soon turned into an all-consuming passion. Even
while in School, he learnt Carnatic Music from eminent teachers. He studied in
depth the theory of Carnatic Music, Bharatanatyam and allied dance forms,
eventually becoming a respected musicologist. He served the Madras Music
Academy as its Secretary for 18 years. He was well-versed in Sanskrit, Tamil,
Telugu, Kannada, Hindi and Bengali.
Several honors also came his way such as a fellowship of the Sangeet Natak
Academy in 1992, Sangita Kala Acharya title from the Music Academy in 1995 and
Emeritus Fellowship from the Dept. of Culture, Govt. of India.
the years, he compiled hundreds of compositions in different languages from
original manuscripts and researched their authenticity, style and content
before translating them into different languages. His first work was the
translation of Tagore’s seven plays from Bengali to Tamil for the Sahitya
Academy. But his magnum opus was the 1967 publication of the complete
works of Tyagaraja in Tamil script with meaning. He was also responsible for
inscribing the complete works of Tyagaraja on marble slabs at Tiruvaiyaru, the
village of the bard. He has authored several books, journals, articles and
monographs on music and dance. He was an art critic for the Indian Express and
book reviewer for The Hindu as well as accredited guide to several Ph. D.
scholars in music and dance.
hallmarks were his simplicity and the free sharing of his vast knowledge and
musical resources with anyone who sought it. He was a father figure to scores
of artistes, thus making his demise an irreparable loss to the music and dance