Andhra Music forms a major component of South Indian Music called Karnaataka Sangeetamu (Carnatic Music). Karnaataka Sangeetam is based on a 22-scale note contrary to the 12-note scale that is used in the Western classical music. Different combinations of the notes give rise to different Raagamulu (melodies).
Bharata (~400BC) describes in his book, "Natya Sastra," a Raagamu (melody) called "Andhri (of Andhra or Telugu nationality)." This melody was a hybrid variety between Gandhaari and Shadji melodies. The notes of this melody were described in "Sangeeta Ratnaakaramu (Ocean of Music)" written by Saranga Deva (1200-1247 AD). Saranga Deva was a musician in the court of Simhana of Yadava Dynasty. Simhana ruled Devagiri region of Maharastra, Doulatabad as Capital City. In Sangeeta Ratnaakaramu on music, Saranga Deva describes music from the Bharata’s time to his contemporary music.
Someswara (1131 AD), a king of Chalukya dynasty, called Andhri music after his capital city "Kalyani." He describes Kalyani Raagamu in his book, "Abhilashitardha Chintamani," along with other melodies such as, Bhinnashadjamu, Goudabhedamu, Malavakaisiki, Hindolamu, Sriraagamu, Bhairavi, Saaveri, Bahuli, Bagala, Karnatabangala, Gurjari, Saurashtra, Punnagamaatili, Aahiri, Chayanati, Todi, Velaaulli, Kaamoda, Desanaka, Saindhavi Ramakriti, Tundakriti etc. Kalyani Raagamu is a contribution of ancient Andhras (Telugus) to the Dravidian Music.
Jaayappa and Somanadhudu Palkuriki, who were contemporary to Sarga Deva, contributed to Telugu music through their writings. Jaayappa wrote Nrittaratnaavali (Pearl Rows of Dance), Gitaratanaavali (Pearl Rows of Lyrics), and Vaadyaratnavali (Pearl Rows of Instruments). Somanadhudu Palkuriki in his Panditaaraadhya Charitramu described music related issues. He described several Veenas (stringed instruments): Veenoattamamu, Brahmaveena, Kailasaveena, Saarangaveena, Koormaveena, Aakasaveena, Pinaakaveena, Raavanaveena, Gouriveena, Gaandhrava,veena, Baanaveena, Kaasyapaveena, Svayabhooveena, Bhujangaveena, Bhojaveena, Kinneraveena, Trisariveena, Sarasvativeena, Mollaveena, Manoradhaveena, Gunanadhaveena, Kaumaraveena, Anivaaniveena, Raavanahastamu, Tipiri, Sakane, Valldi, Vichitrika, Nata, saagarika, Kumbhika, Vipanchika, Sarveena, Varapaadi, Mallari, Koalasti, Svaramandalamu, Ghoshaavati, Audumbari, Tantreesaaramu, and Ambujaveena.
During the reign of Chaalukya Dynasti (609-1075 AD), the Telugu language and Telugu literature gained prominence and royal patronage. However, Telugu music and lyrics remained villagers’. Telugu lyrics were confined to songs of mothers’ at home and villager festivities like Jaatara and didn’t gain the appreciation of elite of that time. These Telugu lyrics were considered incomprehensible babble. It is only from the 13th century, these "alagaa’ Telugu songs started gaining importance. The beginnings were found in the Krishnamacharyulu’s "Simhagiri Narasimha Vachanalu" in the temple of Simhaachalam. Until then the Telugu melodies were in Sanskrit!
Annamachaarya Tallapaka, "the Grandfather of Telugu Composers," composed 32,000 devotional songs on Lord Venkateswara, in 15th century. Of these only 14,000 are available now. His devotional songs can be divided into two categories: ascetic and erotic. These songs devoted to Lord Venkateswara are considered to be "Andhra Veda," because Lord Venkateswara is the Supreme God of Telugus.
Annamchaarya Tallapaka’s son and grandson continued Annamachaarya’s tradition. Other composers like Kshetrayya followed his erotic tradition of devotion, while composers like Gopanna Kancherla (alias Raamadaasu) followed his ascetic devotion.
Later in the 18th century, Subrahmanyakavi Munipalle of Kalahasti City composed "Adhyatma Rammayana Keertanalu" and Narayana Teerdha composed "Krishnaleela Tarangini." Krishnaleela Tarangini is a distinct musical tradition called "Yakshagaanaalu." In the later part of 18th century, three composers namely, Syamasastri, Tyagaraju, and Muttuswamy, known as the Trinity of Karnaataka Music, contributed extensively to the South Indian Music.
In modern Andhra Pradesh, cities like Vijayanagaram, Bobbili, Pithaapuram, Kaakinaada, Raajamandri, Machilipattanam, Vijayavaada etc., are pioneers in the music learning. Every district capital has now music schools.
Famous Karnaataka musicians, teachers and researchers of this century are Ariyakudi, Maharajapuram, Musiri, Dvaaram, Papa, Choudayya, Parupalli, Pillai, Palladam, Palani, Palghat, Chittoru, Semmangudi, Subbalakshmi, Pattammal, Brinda, Dokka, Aripirala etc.
For more visit:
South Indian Music http://www.isi.edu/~srao/carnatic/
Indian Music http://www.aoe.vt.edu/~boppe/MUSIC/PRIMERS/icmb.html
List of Ragas http://www-bsac.eecs.berkeley.edu/~ksanthan/Music/ragalist.txt
Carnatic Corner http://www.synflux.com.au/~mohan/music.html
Carantic Music http://www.medieval.org/music/world/carnatic.html
Manfoline Shrinivas http://www.mandolinshrinivas.org/
Carnatic Home Page http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/~sundar/carnatic/
General Information http://minchu.ee.iisc.ernet.in/mirror/icm/geninfo.html
Pramila’s Page http://purcell.ecn.purdue.edu/~pramila/music/music.html
More Sites http://www.aoe.vt.edu/~boppe/MUSIC/SITES/sites.html
Carnatic Malaysia http://www.music.upm.edu.my/malaysia/classical/carnatic.html
References: "Mana Sangeeta Parinaama Charitra," Rajanikantarao Balantrapu; "History and Culture of Andhra Pradesh," P. R. Rao
Sreenivasarao Vepachedu, September 7, 1999
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