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                            The Mamallapuram Dance Festival is held every year

      Folk Dance


The Music Academy is one of the earliest established organisations to promote serious study of classical music in South India. Established in 1928, it plays an important role in encouraging and promoting primarily Carnatic music It played a vital role in the revival of the Indian classical dance form Bharatnatyam in 1930s when the latter faced near extinction due to a negative connotation caused by conservative societal standards. In 1929, the Music Academy pioneered the concept of the December Music Festival, now a city-wide celebration of the classical arts, conducted by various organisations.

The Music Academy also runs the Advanced School of Carnatic Music, which has prominent musicians on its faculty.


In 1927,Indian National Congress held the All India Music Conference in Madras. At the end of the conference it was decided that an organisation be formed to help the cause of classical music. A prime mover of the conference was E. Krishna Iyer who had played a vital role in reviving the south Indian dance art form - Bharatanatyam.

The Academy had sound planning from the start with an expert committee consisting of some of the leading musicians and scholars to advise it on all technical matters.

The Academy was formally inaugurated on the 18th of August, 1928 by C. P. Ramaswami Iyer, in the Y.M.C.A. Auditorium before a large and distinguished gathering.Since then the academy has endeavoured to provide various avenues to further the advancement of the science and art of Indian music.

Annual music conferences are held every December to promote awareness, patronage and serious study of the classical arts. The Academy also helps to bring to public notice aspiring musicians and scholars by conducting competitions and other presentations.

The Academy’s annual December festival was taken forward to other parts of the city by several local organisations. This later came to be popularly known as the Margazhi Season or the Music Season amongst Carnatic enthusiasts. Sabhas that existed even prior to the formation of the Music Academy such as the Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha inTriplicane (established 1900), have followed suit.

Chennai Music Festival

Now said to span over 60 organisations hosting over 3000 performances, Chennai’s music festival nowadays spans the period November to January. However, December 15th to January 1st forms the core of the festivities. It is said to be the world’s largest festival dedicated to classical music.


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