Born on 12 July 1928 in Lalgudi, Tamil Nadu, Shri S.R. Janakiraman received his training in Carnatic music under various gurus and scholars. His teachers in vocal music included stalwarts like Tiger Varadachariar, Budalur Krishnamurthy Shastrigal, T.K. Ramasami Iyengar, Musiri Subrahmanya Iyer, Tirupambaram Swaminatha Pillai, Mayavaram V. V. Krishna Iyer, and T. Brinda. He also learnt the Veena under Kalpakam Swaminathan, and got the title of Sangeet Vidwan from the Central College of Carnatic Music, Madras.
Among our leading musicologists today, S.R. Janakiraman has worked under Professors P. Sambamurthy and P.K. Rajagopala Iyer. He is a repository of Carnatic classical music and has taught music and musicology for over five decades within the country and abroad in many prestigious institutions such as Shri Venkateshwara University (Tirupati), Annamalai University (Annamalai Nagar, hidambaram, Tamil Nadu), Telugu University (Hyderabad), Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha (Mumbai), Indian Musicological Society (Baroda), Andhra University (Andhra Pradesh), Nagarjuna University (Guntur), etc.
There are large number of publications to his credit including: Sangita Sastra Saramu (two volumes) in Telugu; Raga Lakshanas (three volumes) in Tamil; Ragas of Saramrta; Ragas at a Glance; Essentials of Musicology and Miscellany of Essays on South Indian Music and Musicology in English. He has presented various papers on music in many seminars and workshops in India. He has presented a three-hour documentary titled “Varnas through the Ages”, and an audio video presentation on the 72 Melakartas with reference to the 72 Mela-Ragamalika of Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer.
S.R. Janakiraman has received many honours from various institutions such as the Sangita Kala Acharya by Music Academy, Madras; the Kalaimamani bestowed by the Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Manram, Government of Tamil Nadu (1998); the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1999-2000); and the Padma Shri (2011) by the Government of India.
Shri S.R. Janakiraman is elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for his contribution to the study of Indian music.