Carnatic Music of India
The origin of Indian Music can be
traced back to the Veda 4000 BC. The Sama veda laid the foundation for
Indian Music. Indian classical music is classified into two categories
- Hindustani Music and Carnatic Music. Hindustani music has is origin
in the northern regions of the country, while Carnatic music developed
in the southern regions of India.
¤ Classification of South Indian Music
The long history of South Indian music can be classified into 3
periods - The Ancient Period, the Medieval Period and the Modern
Period. Carnatic music lies under the Ancient Period of Indian Music
Form. The back bone of this great music is Purandara Dasa, known as
the Father of Carnatic Music, and other scholars who classifies the
music and developed it as a medium of teaching, performing, prayer and
¤ Evolution of Carnatic Music
Famous Carnatic music holds a special place in the classical music of
Southern India. The music is considered as one of the oldest systems
of music in the world. Endowed with color of passion and the soul of
innovation the music also is well equipped with a scientific
The Carnatic Music is developed through the system of ragas known as
'melodic scales' and talas 'rhythmic cycles'. There are seven rhythmic
cycles and 72 fundamental ragas. All other ragas are considered to
have branched from these. The 72 Melakarta Ragas is a detailed
approach to identify these scales.
The illustration of a raga varies from musician to musician whereas
the structured portion has its predefined path. These compositions are
extremely popular, with a strong accent on rhythm and lively melodic
patterns. Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Shastri - the
saint composers of the 19th century, have given the best compositions
that are quite renowned worldwide.
¤ Purandara Dasa, Known as the Father of Carnatic Music
Purandara Dasa (1484-1564) has a strong influence in the development
of Carnatic Music, he made great contributions to both Sacred and Art
music. He is the most teeming of all the South Indian composers. He
realized a well-organized approach to train students in Carnatic
music. His teaching finally has formed and become a standard format to
study the Carnatic Music. His great compositions - the "Swaravali"
(simple exercises based on the Scale), "Alankaras"
(exercises based on the seven basic Talas) and "Gitams"
(simple melodic compositions in praise of the various deities), songs
in Kannada known as "Devarnamas" have their special place in
the world of Carnatic Music. He was also the creator of one of the
most rhythmic musical form- "Kriti" which was later
developed by the great composer "Thyagaraja".