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Article: Karnatic Music

By Haresh Bakshi
  Karnatic Music [also spelled Carnatic, Karnatik, Carnatik, Karnataka)

There are several good sites devoted to Karnatic music. With this note, Sound of India starts the section on Karnatic music genre, because we believe with conviction, that, the Hindustani music lovers and performers need to know more about Karnatic music, for greater insight, better understanding, and greater aesthetic joy.

The two genres -- Hindustani and karnatic -- have been too artificailly kept apart, too much, too long. This is in spite of the fact that their standard texts are the same -- Natyashastra of Bharat Muni, and Sangitaratnakara of Sharngadeva, among several other authentic works. The two "styles" share a common culture, too.

We firmly believe that Hindustani musicians will gain immensely in variety and musicianship by learning more about gamaka-s, shruti-bheda etc., from karnatic music.

We strongly urge that joint sessions of the performances of the two genres should be held, all over the world. Several interesting studies offer themselves here: common, or similar raga-s, exchange of aesthetic applications, etc. Further, seminars should be held in comparative study of Hindustani and Karnatic music. We find several karnatic musicians performing in the Hindustani genre, with great merit and success; but, unfortunately, the opposite takes place very rarely.

The differences between Hindustani and Karnatic music genres have been emphasized too much, too long. Let genuine sharing of, and exchange between, the the two great streams take place, to create a magnificent Confluence.

Haresh Bakshi 2003/10/30



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