The history of the flute is as old as man. The simplest instrument created by us but with an exuberance and a dynamism in producing melodies that are seemingly unparalleled. In its utility in playing compositions in the sphere of Carnatic music, the flute was long looked at as simply an instrument fit only to accompany illustrious vocalists or violinists, not one to take center stage. Thought of only as being able to play straight notes without the incorporation of gamakas (referring to succinct modulations or the compound harmonic oscillation of single notes that are used to embellish classical Indian music compositions), it was a lesser instrument in the eyes of the doyennes at the zenith of Carnatic music performance, during those times.
All this was changed with the advent of Tiruvidaimarudur Ramaswamy Mahalingam, fondly called Mali by al