Musicopedia >> History >> Evolution of Carnatic Music
Evolution of Carnatic Music
According to the Natya Shastra, Carnatic music is said to be, based on primary music concepts. Until the 13th century Carnatic and Hindustani music are known to have shared a common history. It was only after the Persian influence in North India, that Hindustani music evolved into a separate genre. And the pan-India Bhakti movement resulted in influencing Carnatic music.All through the Vijayanagar Empire, Carnatic music saw a renewed growth by the Kannada Haridasa movement of Vyasaraja, Purandara Dasa, Kanakadasa and others. The grandfather of Carnatic music, Purandara Dasa, is known to have laid out the fundamental rules and framework for teaching Carnatic music. While Venkatamakhin, the author of the Chaturdandi Prakasika, is accredited with the classification of ragas in the Melakarta System. Govindacharya on the other hand expanded the Melakarta scheme into the Sampoorna raga system, which is used widely today.While the earlier writers, namely Matanga, Sarangadeva and few others were from Karnataka, the music tradition was formally named Karnataka Sangeetha for the first time only in the 13th century, when the Vijayanagar Empire was founded.It was only in the 18th and 20th century, under the patronage of the Kings of Mysore that Carnatic music finally took shape. Composers during this time were known to play their compositions on the veena, rudra veena, violin, tambura, ghata, flute, mridangam, nagaswara and swarabhat. It was only later that instruments such as the harmonium, sitar and jalt-tarang also came into play, as well as western instruments such as the saxophone and piano

Carnatic music rests on two main elements, the raga and the tala. The swaras too play an important role in Carnatic music.Purandara Dasa is known to have written his krithis in the Kannada. Carnatic music was perhaps called Karnata Sangita as it was sung in the courts of Mysore kings. Carnatic or Karnatic or Karnatik is called Karnataka Sangita when used in the vernaculars.

Major Artists
• Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar


•    Carnatic music shares certain classical music concepts with ancient Tamil music. In Carnatic music, the Pann is related to Ragas. The rhythmic meters found in the Tiruppugazh, which is a musical form resemble the talas, which are widely used today.

•    Carnatic music is taught and learned through compositions, which encode many intricate musical details. It is known to provide a lot of scope for improvisation.

•    Carnatic music compositions are known to be unique as they exemplify elements of the composer’s vision. Sometimes also the musician's interpretation.