Tamil Music has its significance in the history of Indian Music and has played a pivotal role in augmenting the rich culture of our State. Music Schools and Music Colleges were established to provide formal education in music. The students of Music Colleges are given Rs.250/- p.m. as scholarship.    The list of Music Colleges under the control of Arts and Culture Department is as follows:-

  1. Government Music College , Chennai
  2. Government Music College , Madurai
  3. Government Music College, Coimbatore
  4. Government Music College , Thiruvaiyaru
  5. Evening Music College Centres
  6. Kalai Kaveri College of Fine Arts, Tiruchirappalli

1.Government Music College , Chennai

It was established in 1949. Three-Year Diploma Courses in Folk Art, Bharathanatyam, Vocal, and Instrumental Music (Violin, Veena, Mridangam, Flute, Gadam, Kanchira, Mugarsing, Nathaswaram, Thavil) are offered. Two-Year Post Diploma Courses in Vocal Music (Muthukalai Isai Kalaimani), Two-Year Diploma Courses in Nattuvangam and One-Year Diploma Course in Music Teachers Training are offered here. 

The necessity to preserve, transmit and propagate the rich cultural legacy left behind by the builders of music in the country in general and in Tamil Nadu in particular was felt in the year 1949. The Central and State Government put their efforts together to achieve this. It was felt necessary that the inherited musical urge in our youngsters and the hoary tradition of our musical culture with its ancient purity could be well preserved only when opportunities have been provided to those who have an aptitude for learning music. Thiru.T.S.Avinasilingam Chettiar, the then Education Minister of Tamil Nadu, with the assistance of late Prof.P.Sambamurthi took the initiative in getting up a well planned institution to impart the musical wealth in Tamilnadu, the brightest spot adorning the crown of India’s culture. The Central and State Government with their financial aids established the Central College of Karnatic Music in August 1949. Late Prof.Sambamurthi was placed in charge of the Advisory Committee, for setting up the College at first in ‘Rahmed Bagh’ near Santhome and it was there for two years. Since the building could not accommodate all the sections, it was subsequently shifted to “ Bridge House” at Adyar and functioned there for five years. Under the able guidance of Sangeetha Kalanidhi Late Musiri Subramania Iyer, as the first Principal, the college started functioning. In the running of the Institution, Late Musiri Subramania Iyer was greatly assisted by a band of eminent musicians. Again owing to inadequate accommodation, the college was shifted from the “Bridge House” Adyar to “Brodie castle” in Greenways Road. The College is functioning in the same building now, which has since been named as “Thendral” and has strength of more than 600 students.

In the beginning, there were only Vocal, Violin and Veena Sections besides general Musicology. Candidates with a considerable standard in music alone, were admitted into the two year Sangeetha Vidwan Title Course and after completion they were permitted to appear for the ‘Sangeetha Vidwan’ Title Examination conducted by the Director of Government Examinations, Madras. The student who has there training in this college has flourished well as professors or Lecturers in Music College all over, ands many as professional musicians of repute. The college has gradually been developing and new Departments have been introduced. Departments of Mridangam, Nagaswaram, Thavil, Flute, Ghatam, Kanchira, Nattuvangam and Bharathanatyam have come into existence. The administration of this College which was originally under the control of the Central and State Government was subsequently transferred to a Board of Management headed by the then Director of Public Instruction and other eminent persons. In the year 1957, the State Government took the entire responsibility of running the College and Deputy Secretary to Government, Education Department, was made the Head of Department of the Institution and was entrusted with its administration from April 1980 onwards, the control of this college was brought under the Director of Collegiate Education just like other Government Colleges in the State. At present the responsibilities of running both the Administrative and academic sides have been entrusted to the Director and Principal of the Madras Music College, Dr. Bhanumathi Ramakrishna.

After the retirement of late Musiri Subramania Iyer, Thiru Sandhayavandhanam Sreenivasa Rao succeeded him. He was succeeded by the former Principal sangeetha Kalanidhi Thiru T.N. Krishnan subsequently Dr. Bhanumathi Ramakrishna succeeded Thiru T.N. Krishnan.

Dr. Bhanumathi Ramakrishana has joined as principal of this college on 28.02.1985. After her joining. the post of the Principal was upgraded to the level of Director(i.e) the head of Department. Dr. Bhanumathi Ramakrishna is working as Director & Principal and Head of Department for this college from 1.11.1985 onwards. Consequent on this, the responsibilities vested with the Director of collegiate Education irrespective of this college has been entrusted to her and she was functioning as Head of Department there on.

After her deputed time was over Dr. Thirupampuram S. Shanmugasundram took the charge of the Principal from 1988 to 1999. Professor Selvi S. Jayamma succeeded him and worked  as Principal from 1999 to 2002. After the retirement of the former Prof. S.Rajeswari posted as in charge of Principal till May 2005. She was succeeded by Dr. Pakkirisami Bharathi who was the Principal of Coimbatore Tamilnadu Government Music College joined as Principal of tamilnadu Government Music College, Chennai from 01.06.2005 to 31.1.2009. After the retirement of the former, Kalaimamani Thanjai A.Natarajan who was the Principal of Madurai Tamilnadu Government Music College joined as Principal of Tamilnadu Government College Chennai from 4.2.2009 and functioning the College with high standards.

Students from various countries like U.S.A. Mauritius, Ceylon, Scotland, Japan, Africa and England have been benefited much by being students of this unique institution. Students from other states also prefer to join this institution only.

In order to provide opportunities for working people who want to pursue the study of Music, Evening Colleges at four different centers of the city have also been opened and they are functioning from 1976 onwards.

Four centers have been reduced to two centers one in Mylapore and another in T.Nagar from 2004. These evening centers provide Music classes for the students above 16 years and for the employed people.

2.Government Music College , Madurai

The Government Music College of Madurai was established in 1979. Three-Year Diploma courses in Vocal, Veena, Violin, Mridangam, Flute, Nathaswaram, Bharathanatyam and Folk Art, and One-Year Diploma Course in Music Teachers Training are offered in this College.

3.Government Music College, Coimbatore

The Government Music College of Coimbatore was established in 1993. In this College offers, Three-Year Diploma Courses in Vocal, Violin, Veena, Bharathanatyam and One-Year Diploma Course in Music Teachers Training.

4.Government Music College , Thiruvaiyaru

It was started in 1997. In this College, Three-Year Diploma Courses in Vocal, Violin, Veena, Mridangam, Bharathanatyam, Nathaswaram and Thavil, and Three-Year Degree Courses in Voc al Music (B.Music) are offered. 132 students are studying in this College in this academic year 2008-2009.

5.Evening Music College Centres

For the students who are unable to join in regular Government Music Colleges, Evening part time Music College centers were started. Two centres are functioning at Chennai and one at Madurai . Two-Year Certificate Courses are offered in Vocal, Veena and Violin in Chennai Thiyagarayanagar Centre, Vocal, Veena, Violin and Mridhangam in Chennai Music College campus and Vocal, Veena, Violin, Mridhangam and Bharathanatyam in Madurai Centre.

6.Kalai Kaveri College of Fine Arts, Tiruchirappalli

Kalai Kaveri College of Fine Arts in Tiruchirappalli is an aided college. The administrative control of this College was brought under Department of Art and Culture in the year 2000-2001. Grants to this college are being released through the Directorate of Collegiate Education.

Five-Year integrated Degree Courses, Three-Year Degree Courses, Two-Year Post Graduate Degree Courses in the following disciplines are offered in this College.

  1. Bharathanatyam
  2. Vocal Music
  3. Violin
  4. Veena
  5. Mridhangam.


   Contact:artandculture[at]tn[dot]gov[dot]in An Official Website Of Tamilnadu Art and Culture Department