known for expanding the melakarta system into the sampoorna raga scheme –
the system that is in common use today.
    Carnatic music was mainly patronized by the kings of Mysore and
Travancore from 18th to 20th centuries. With the achievement of
Independence in 1947, Carnatic music went through a radical shift in
patronage into an art of the masses with ticketed performances organized by
private institutions called sabhas. During the 19th century, the city of Chennai
(then known as Madras) emerged as the centre for Carnatic music.
Nature and Important Elements
The main emphasis in Carnatic music is on vocal music; most compositions
are written to be sung, and even when played on instruments, they are meant
to be performed in a singing style (known as gayaki). Like Hindustani,
Carnatic music rests on two main elements: the raga and the thala. Today,
Carnatic music is presented by musicians in concerts or recordings, either
vocally or through instruments. Carnatic music itself developed around
musical works or compositions of phenomenal composers.
Śruti Śruti commonly refers to musical pitch. It is the note from which all
the others are derived. It is also used in the sense of graded pitches in an
octave. While there are an infinite number of sounds falling within a scale (or
raga) in Carnatic music, the number that can be distinguished by auditory
perception is 22 (although over the years, several of them have converged).
In this sense, while sruti is determined by auditory perception, it is also an
expression in the listener"s mind.
Swara Swara refers to a type of musical sound that is a single note, which
defines a relative (higher or lower) position of a note, rather than a defined
frequency. Swaras also refer to the solfege of Carnatic music, which consist
of seven notes, "sa-ri-ga-ma-pa-dha-ni" (compare with the Hindustani
sargam: sa-re-ga-ma-pa-dha-ni or Western do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti). These
names are abbreviations of the longer names shadja, rishabha, gandhara,
madhyama, panchama, dhaivata and nishada.
Raga system A raga in Carnatic music prescribes a set of rules for building
a melody – very similar to the Western concept of mode. It specifies rules for
movements up (aarohanam) and down (avarohanam), the scale of which