One of the most commonly associated musical system of the Southern part of India is the CARNATIC MUSIC.It is believed that the origin of Classical music is from the Hindu God and Godesses.The saints Purandharadasa ( 15th century A.D.) , Thyagarajar , Shyama Saastri ( all of 18th century A.D.) ,contributed a lot for the carnatic music and left an enduring legacy of compositions. This tradition has a rich heritage and is perfectly attuned with Indian culture and religion.The 22 scale note is the basis of Carnatic music and for the western classical music the basic ic 12 notes. An unique combination of these notes and swaras evolves seperate raagaas.
By the 16th and 17th centuries, there was a clear demarcation between Carnatic and Hindustani music.Purandara Dasa, who is known as the father (Pithamahan) of Carnatic Music, formulated the system that is commonly used for the teaching of Carnatic music. Venkatamakhin invented and authored the formula for the melakarta system of raga classification in his Sanskrit work, the Chaturdandi Prakasika (1660 AD).Govindacharya is known for expanding the melakarta system into the sampoorna raga scheme – the system that is in common use today.
Shruthi means the musical pitch which is equivalent of tonic in western music. Eventhough there exist an infinite number of sounds falling within a raaga in carnatic music, the number that can be distinguished by auditory perception is twenty two.
Swaram refers to a type of musical sound which is a single note. Swaram consists of seven notes , "SA-RI-GA-MA-PA-DA-NI".Their abbreciations are ShAdja,RIshaba,GAndhara,MAdhyama,PAnchama,DhAivata,NIshada.
Raagam defines a set of rules for the making of a melody. It specifies the scale of which notes should figure more, which note should be used more sparingly, which notes may be sung with gamaka, which phrases should be used and avoided and so on.
Taalam means the fixed time cycle to a particular composition. Taalam is formed with Laghu, Dhrtam and Anudhrtam. The seven basic taalam group formed by this are Dhurva taalam, Matya taalam, Rupaka taalam, Jhampa taalam, Triputa taalam, Ata taalam, Eka taalam.