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Carnatic music commentary

Previous: Before you begin
Next: Carnatic for Dummies

This is a brief note to say that in case you think Carnatic music is boring and tedious, or that the musicians know nothing else, you will be surprised. Carnatic musicians undergo extensive training, and most of them are highly capable of singing both serious Carnatic music as well as lighter stuff. So you can find Carnatic musicians singing light pieces at the end of a concert, find them on movie soundtracks singing not only Carnatic songs but very popular movie songs, and even working with Western symphonies and rock bands, jamming away to glory. Because the training of Carnatic music is in voice, melody, and music, it can be accomodated in almost any music style around the world.

But that's just for the musician - what about the listeners, the rasikas (those who appreciate the music), us? Listening takes a bit of getting used to. It takes some knowledge of the theory as well as an appreciation of what goes into it to really understand Carnatic. Unlike other popular music, it doesn't always have a catchy tune, usually isn't sung by people in cool clothes and with great hair, and isn't over in three-and-a-half minutes. Plus, you don't always understand the words. These are big barriers to learning Carnatic, but some listening and learning (read these pages for help) will get you started.

You'll find that once you seriously take an interest in Carnatic music, you'll start to appreciate not only Carnatic but OTHER types of music more. Find someone enthusiastic about Carnatic music and hang out with them - it's a very rewarding experience to be surrounded by melody and rhythm at a concert and in your daily life. Soon you'll be collecting tapes and CDs and MP3s of your own and start to be a true rasika.


Next: Carnatic for Dummies

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updated on 03/20/2009