Composers and Musicians

Annamacharya (1424-1503)

Annamacharya is one of the greatest poets of Telugu and Sanskrit languages. He was born in the Tallapaka family of poets, music composers and scholars. He was a Vishnavite and popularized the cult in Andhra Pradesh. He is also known by the name Annamayya.
Annamayya was born in 1424 A.D. in Tallapaka, a village in Cuddapah district of Andhra Pradesh. From early childhood Annamayya had a deep interest in poetry and music. He was also a great devotee of Lord Venkiteshwara. Annamayya is beklieved to have attained a vision during his teens and spent the rest of his life composing keertanams and padams on Lord Venkiteshwara. He is believed to have written 32,000 compositions,of which only 14,000 are available now. They were found engraved on copper plates which were hidden for centuries inside the Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirumala.
He ran away to Tirupati and lived in Tirumala from time to time. Though he got married, Annamayya drifted towards a full time spiritual and ascetic life and spent his time propogating the Vishnavite faith. He breathed his last in 1503.
Annamayya's considered his compositions as floral offerings to God. In the poems , he praises Venkateswara, describes his love for him, argues and quarrels with the Lord, confesses the devotee’s failures and apprehensions, and surrenders himself to Venkiteshwara. His songs are classified into Adhyaatama and Sringaara samkirtanaas.
Very little is known about Annamachariya’s musical tradition. Only the literature was preserved , the ragas and taalas used by him are not known. Unlike many other Vishnavite teachers, he did not have a following of people who could orally transmit the music.

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