Maharaja Swati Tirunal is one of the most illustrious of my ancestors, and although a century haselapsed since his demise the glory of his name and work is not only undimmed but has acquired a new and larger halo. Today, Swati Tirunal is not just a memory but a vital element in the spheres of devotional and musical lore. He was, so to say, "The man born to be king " and acclaimed as Garbhasriman. Richly endowed with instinct and ripe culture as he was, his versatile gifts made him during his day the cynosure of all eyes.

On this occasion, however, we are gathered to celebrate- not the Ruler- but the Royal Author ofMusic which will live as long as Carnatic Music lives. It is hardly necessary for me to say how both myself and my Government have felt it as a sacred duty to preserve in print and secure wide popular currency to the varied musical legacy Maharaja Swati Tirunal has left behind. In his time and in the days immediately following, his music was rendered on appropriate occasions by contemporaries and their following, and in temple festivals and social concerts they were in vogue vocally and instrumentally. But the passage of time led to neglect, and text and notation both suffered unnoticed, and even the authorship was sometimes forgotten. Let us therefore remember with gratitude that in His Late Highness's time pioneer work was done to print and rescue a good number of his compositions. May I also dutifully acknowledge the personal interest and understanding zeal with which my dear mother has, during the last ten years, laboured to restore and revify the music of the great composer ? It is not a small satisfaction to be able to say today that, with the efforts of scholars like the late Dr.Muthia Bhagavathar and Rajyasevanirata Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, the Swati Tirunal Academy has become a recognised institution for the study of classical music, and the songs of the divinely inspired bards, Swati Tirunal and Tyagaraja, Dikshitar and Syama Sastri, are today carried to the attentive ear, wherever Carnatic Music is sung, through a gifted and distinguished galaxy of South Indian singers.

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