Carnatic music has a very ancient and traditional background. The very word “Carnatic” means traditional or ancient. However, the application of the term Carnatic to this form of music is more recent than the music itself! Here we discuss the elements of change and continuity in this traditional form of classical music in India. Carnatic music is a melody-based system. Melody in the context of Carnatic music may be explained as, “The production of any musical tone or succession of such tones or semitones, with definite frequencies, within certain parameters, whether rendered independently or in conjunction with rhythm and / or Iyrics”. Rhythm can be defined as a process in which the nuclei of attention are separated by individual parts of time. In Carnatic music, the other important and unique feature is the prosody (Iyrics), Known as Sahitya. The Sahitya has always been the effective means to communicate man’s moods. Some of the key term you will come across when dealing with Carnatic music are: Raga, Tala, Kriti, Varnam, Padam, Javali, Tillana, Alapana, Tanam, Neraval, Kalpanaswara and Tani Avartanam.
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