Blindness in childhood could do nothing to blunt the musical genius of Sarabha Sastri. By experimenting with the flute, he evolved a fingering technique by which he could produce the entire range of Indian ragas on it.
The fingering technique invented by Sarabha Shastri was as highly scientific, and as accurate as a keyboard. The minutest oscillations required for the intricate gamakas of Carnatic music were covered by this fingering system. By progressing from playing only simple tunes to the ability of producing full fledged kritis complete with the nuances of every raga, the flute came on par with the veena as a concert instrument.
Sarabha Shastri, like many a great genius, lived only a short life. Upon his death at the age of 32, his work was carried on by his most celebrated disciple, Palladam Sanjeeva Rao, who perfected and elaborated on the fingering system and popularized the flute as a solo concert instrument. However the original contribution of Sarabha Shastri upgrading the flute onto the concert platform remains immortal