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Famous Carnatic Composers - PGS
Paidala Gurumurthi Shastry - A well-known seventeenth-century composer, he was born in Katayar (a village in the district of Turnelveli). He was a student of Sonti Venkatasubbayya and a young contemporary of Ramaswamy Dikshitar.
A prolific composer, he composed in Sanskrit and Telugu. A great composer of geetams, his lakshana geetams illustrate various melas and their janyas, as well as showing praise of his guru (he was one of the first to do so). For this achievement he was called "Veyigita Paidala Gurumurti" (composer of 1000 gitas). His compositions also include kritis in rakti ragas, and his knowledge of ragas earned him the title "naluvadi vela ragala" (one who knows 40,000 ragas!). He was also self-titled "ghana naya desya samsthapanacharya" (one who systematized the ghana-naya and desya margas), "sastrajna" (master of the science of music), "raga bheda dureena" (one who excelled in ragas) and "gita sastra parina." Most of his compositions praised Lord Rama, though he also composed on Krishna and Shiva.
His family-name was Paidala, to which he refers in two of his geetams in naaTTai and aarabhi ragas. He showed love for his guru in a geetham in naaTTai, calling his guru "gana vidyadurandhara." It is said that Sahana was first mentioned as a derivative of the Kambhoji mela by this composer. He was one of the first Carnatic musicians to settle in Madras and played an important role in bringing the seat of Carnatic music there.