Carnatic music reigns over the Southern-States of India: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andra Pradesh and Karnataka.
An attentive reader will observe the resemblance of the latter with our subject: Carnatic
music. Indeed, it seems that this style got its origin in the southern state of Karnataka. If
one knows that India is as big as Europe, without former Russia, its obvious that different
languages, cultures will occur all along this territory and put its mark on the arts and
A major difference between Hindusthani and Carnatic states is, that Hindusthani states
use the Devnagari script, while the Carnatic states use a Dravidian (Tamil, Telugu,
Malayalam) script! Although being a “Indian” entity, multiple differences in society,
culture, food and traditions are prevailing.
Some famous “Dakhini” musicians are: T.N.Krishnan (violin), E.Gayathry (veena),
Balmurali Krishnan (vocal, violin), Vikku Vinayakram (ghatam)…. Musical instruments:
Karnatic violin, veena, nadaswaram, ghatam, mridangam, tavil…
The musical forms in South-India are in origin, for vocal use.
Then, these compositions are also used for various instruments adapting the songs into
their musical and technical possibilities.
Music is available in two different structures:
Music for educational use and music meant for the concert platform. ( abhyasa gana and
Sabha gana )
The ‘SOUNDS’ of a raga
1) Aesthetically chosen pre-designed sequence of sounds.
2) Presented in a ascent and descent order ( aroham, avaroham )
3) Consisting of a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 7 different “sounds”.
4) Having a pivotal sound in each tetra chord: the vadi and the samvadi.
5) Sometimes provided with a “vakra” feature. A pre designed ‘motif’.
6) Ornamented with a set of embellishments: gamakas, and with deviating sound pitches
for one or more swaras. (sounds, notes.)
7) Starting on a pitch that is comfortable for vocal or instrumental performer.
8) After the free rhythm alapana immediately comes a preset composition, enveloping the
WHAT IS CARNATIC MUSIC? (Part 1)
About munshii am munshi..!
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