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Carnatic music

Carnatic music is the classical music of South India (as opposed to the classical music of North India called Hindustani[?]) performed by a small ensemble of musicians. The troop usually has a vocalist, a primary instrument performer, a drone instrument performer and a rhythm instrument performer.

Primary instruments are string instruments like veena[?] and violin. Drone instruments are accompanying instruments which just set an environment for the underlying melody (e.g., tambura[?] and sruti box). Rhythm instruments are percussion instruments (e.g, mridangam). See also: Indian musical instruments.

The Carnatic music differs from Hindustani in that it is mostly improvised. It is also more theoretical with stringent rules. It also emphasizes the expertise of the voice rather than of the instruments.

The main two components of carnatic music are raga, a melodic pattern and tala[?], a rhythmic pattern.

A raga is a specific scale, that is a sequence of notes. Specific ragas are associated with specific times of the day and are supposed to invoke different moods.

A tala is a cyclical pattern, to help the rhythm of the performance, to synchronize voice with drone and other instruments. The vocalist either creates taala by tapping on his thighs or by conceiving the rhythmic patterns in his mind.

The subtleties of carnatic music were once not known to many people. As a lot of treatises were developed and Bhakti (absolute devotion in Hinduism) flourished in India, more and more people got attracted towards it and it has earned international acclamation.

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