Origin and History

The great origin of Carnatic music that is best known as the Karnataka Sangitham can be traced back from the age of Vedas. The history of karnataka sangeetham is inadequate without expressing about the contribution made by the holy people, Sri Purandharadasaru ( fifteenth century A.D.) known as the Father of Carnatic Music and even he is called the ‘Pitamaha’ of the south Indian classical music. Sri Thyagarajar and Sri Shyama Sastri (all of eighteenth century A.D.), who had left a continuing legacy of creations and compositions.

Karnaṭaka Sangita is an arrangement of music generally connected with Southern India including the advanced states Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. The principle accentuation in Carnatic music is on vocal music; most compositions are composed to be sung, and even when played on instruments, they are intended to be performed in Gayaki (singing) Style. Some of the royalty of the kingdoms of Mysore and Travancore were themselves noted composers and proficient in playing musical instruments, such as the Veena, Rudra Veena, Violin, Ghatam, Flute, Mridangam, Nagaswara and Swarabhat.

Swaras and Talas

Pitamaha has defined the Carnatic music under 22 scale notes (swaras) and 72 Melakarta Ragas. The components and the requirements of a raga will be plainly characterised in the course of action of the notes in its arohanam (ascending notes) and avarohanam (descending notes). Ragas and Swaras have considered gamaka and brighaa as the two most important features of the Carnatic music. This arrangement of talams is the rhythmic premise for Carnatic music. It depends on 7 centre talas which utilise just 3 of the 6 conceivable parts of an Indian Talam- Anudrutam, Drutam, Laghu, Guru, Plutam, and Kakapadam. The Seven Talams are Dhruva, Matya, Rupaka, Jhampa, Triputa, Ata, and Eka Talams. 

Melakarta Ragams

After the centuries, the Carnatic music was intensified and its roots were strengthened by melakarta ragams. The Melakarta Ragams alludes to the essential 72 Janaka Ragams for the greater part of the endless number of different ragams in Carnatic Music. These ragams have seven notes Saptaswaras that will be that they have each of the seven swaras which are- Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Da, Ni, and Sa.

Notations, Rhythm, and Melodies

Carnatic music is generally taught by framework planned by Purandara Dasa. This includes varisais (graded exercises), alankaras (exercises based on the seven talas), geetams or basic songs, and Swarajatis. After the understudy has achieved a specific standard, varnams are taught and later, the understudy learns kritis. It commonly takes quite a while of learning before an understudy is sufficiently capable to perform at a concert. Carnatic music was customarily taught in the gurukul system, where the understudy lived with and learned the workmanship from his master. 


Written notation of Carnatic music was restored in the late seventeenth century and mid eighteenth century. Duplicates of Shahaji’s musical original copies are still accessible at the Saraswati Mahal Library in Tanjore.

The notation is not a new concept in Indian music. Years ago, Carnatic music kept on being transmitted orally for a considerable length of time without being written down.

Carnatic music artists play flute and violin famous Carnatic music artist plays tabla, ghatam, kanjira, morsing


The notation is divided into columns, depending upon the structure of the tāḷaṃ. The division between a laghu and a dhrutam is called a ḍaṇḍā, as is the division between two dhrutams or a dhrutam and an anudhrutam. The end of a cycle is set apart by a, called a twofold ḍaṇḍā, and resembles a caesura.


Not at all like traditional Western music, Carnatic music is documented only in tonic sol-fa documentation, utilising either a Roman or Indic script to speak to the solfa names. It becomes difficult to write Carnatic music. A Carnatic notation does not indicate the key and wants to utilise scale degrees (relative pitch) to mean notes. The vocalist is allowed to pick the real pitch of the tonic note.


Carnatic music is generally performed by a little group of artists, who sit on a lifted stage. More often, Carnatic performances comprise of a principal performer, a melodic accompaniment, a rhythm accompaniment, and a drone. Performances can be musical or musical-drama. Musical presentations are either vocal or absolutely instrumental in nature, while musical-drama presentations allude to Harikatha.


The tambura is the conventional automaton instrument utilised as a part of shows. In any case, tamburas are progressively being supplanted by śruti boxes, and now all the more normally, the electronic tambura. The automaton itself is an indispensable piece of exhibitions and outfits soundness – the likeness agreement in Western music.

In a vocal presentation, a coordinated group may have one or more vocalists as the important performer(s). Instruments, for example, the Saraswati veena or venu woodwind, can be sometimes found as a cadenced backup, yet, for the most part, a vocalist is bolstered by a violin player (who sits on the other side, facing the violin player). Notwithstanding, other percussion instruments, for example, the ghatam, kanjira and morsing every now and again additionally go with the fundamental percussion instrument and play in a practically contrapuntal manner alongside the beats.

play Carnatic music with Mridhangam, Sarangi, Thampura & Tabla Carnatic music famous instruments are kanjira, veena


The city of Chennai has developed as the locus for Carnatic music. Its performers established the Tyagaraja Aradhana celebration in 1846. The Aradhana celebration is a yearly passing commemoration festivity of the productive Carnatic music writer, Tyagaraja. Held in the city of Thiruvayaru, a large number of artists go to the celebration to play out his synthesis. Since its initiation, different celebrations were begun in a comparable way all through India and abroad, for example, the Chembai Sangeetholsavam in the Indian city of Guruvayur, and the Aradhana in the US city of Cleveland.

The city of Chennai additionally holds a six-week-long fantastic “Music Season”, which has been portrayed as the world’s biggest social occasion. It used to be a customary month-long Carnatic music celebration, however from that point forward it has broadened into move and dramatisation, and in addition non-Carnatic works of art.

The rich custom of South Indian music is one of the world’s jewels. The elite performance and the all around composed hypothetical establishment put it keeping pace with anything that world has seen, either East or West.

  • Divyangee Srivastava