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In association with the TAG Group of Companies that has set up a huge digital listening archive of vintage music at the Madras Music Academy, the IGNCA Southern Regional Centre has established an audio-visual archival centre. Sh. R.T. Chari, MD of TAG Corporation, who has established the TAG Music Academy archives in Chennai, has donated about 1000 hrs of recording of Carnatic music since the 1930s from his personal collections that have been painstakingly catalogued and digitized.

Several artists including Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, M. S. Subbulakshmi, D. K. Pattammal, K.V. Narayanaswamy, Alathur Brothers, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, M.D. Ramanathan and others are featured in this collection as also recent artists. He also contributed valuable paintings and wall-to-wall murals featuring icons of Indian music, including one by Sri. S. Rajam which now adorns our archival centre room.

The archive also has gramophone recordings from Archive of Indian Music (AIM) by Sh. Vikram Sampath. They include recordings on gramophone discs from 1902 in Hindustani and Carnatic music, folk music, movies and plays. Several artists like Gauhar Jaan, Peara Sahab, Maujuddin, Kesarbai Kerkar, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Salem Godavari, Bidaram Krishnappa, Veene Sheshanna, Mysore Palace Orchestra, Bal Gandharva, Indu Bala, KL Saigal, Kalinga Rao, Ashwathamma, speeches of Gandhiji, Tagore, Subhash Bose etc are part of this collection. Between the TAG Archives and the AIM collection, a major chunk of our country’s musical history has been captured in digital format, right from 1902 to latest times. Mr. Chari helped IGNCA to develop special user-friendly software that allows the users to select the song by various parameters like raga, composer name, genre, artist etc and listen to them as per one’s wish. SRC has also added IGNCA’s entire visual repository of cultural documentaries and past programmes to this collection for people to access. However due to copyright issues in several of these, the collection will not be available online but people can come to the Centre and access this at listening kiosks with head phones attached to them, totally free of cost.
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