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Carnatic Music Composers

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This chapter contains thumbnail sketches of eminent composers many of whose works have been included in this book and in level 1. Some of these personalities shaped the very history of Carnatic music. It is desirable for students to read more on these greats as well as learn about other composers from various sources. It must be noted that the time periods of some are approximate.

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Learning Carnatic Music

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Carnatic music is a highly organised system, easy to learn with a rational approach. But it is also very intricate and demanding, and full of subtleties.One needs musical aptitude, patience, perseverance and focus on quality. Above all, one needs to possess and display the right attitude towards the art and the teacher

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Carnatic music is one of the most colourful, complete and evolved melodic systems of the world. With over 7.2 million melodic scales (ragas) and hundreds of rhythmic cycles (talas) to choose from, there is very little that a good Carnatic musician and composer cannot do, especially from a melodic perspective.

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Fundamentals of Rhythm

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Rhythm is inherent in almost every activity of nature. There is rhythm in the movements of cosmic bodies, as there is in the microcosmic. Tala is the orderly physical expression of the rhythm inherent in music. In Carnatic music, this is done through beats, finger counts or waves of the hand. A tala has several parts.

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Fundamentals of Melody

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A raga may be understood as a melodic scale of formula, created by using some of these 16 notes in a specific manner and combination. If we were to use all types of combinations available to us, with these notes we would arrive at over 7.2 million ragas.