Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan (1844–1893) was a composer of Carnatic music. He was a great exponent of extemporaneous singing.

He was born in the village of Viyacheri in the Thanjavur districts of Tamil Nadu. His father Duraisami Iyer was also a musician and he trained Vaidyanatha Iyer as well as his other sons in Carnatic music. Vaidyanatha Iyer continued his training with some of the well known musicians of his time including Anai Ayya brothers. Later he continued his training under Manambuchavadi Venkatasubbayyar, one of Tyagaraja’s disciples.

He is known for his ragamalika composition in the 72 melakarta ragas Pranatharthihara Prabho Puraare. He also created a Pallavi in Raga Kalyani, set to Simhanandana tala, consisting of 128 units.

He was famous for his elaboration of ragas. Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan and his elder brother, Ramaswami Sivan, were the earliest performing duo in the history of Carnatic music as known in the last two centuries and were close collaborators as both artistes and composers

He composed mainly in Telugu and Tamil and used the mudra 'Guhadasa'. Some of his famous compositions are Pahimam Srirajarajeswari (Janaranjani) and Neekela dayaradu (Sarasangi).

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More on Maha Vaidyanathan Sivan
His great grand son, Mr. M N Srinivasan, recalls some events from his life and style.

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