Galaxy of Composers
PURANDARADASA (1484 - 1564)
Musical Background: Although Purandaradasa did not have any musical tutelage in his early years, by the grace of God, he started singing and composing songs. He is acclaimed as the Sangita Pitamaha (Great Father) of Carnatic music, owing to his unparalleled contributions.

Region: Purandaragada, Karnataka

Contribution: He formulated the basic lessons of Carnatic music by structuring Swaravalis (graded exercises), Alankaras (exercises based on the Sapta talas), apart from composing Gitas. He introduced Mayamalavagowla as the first scale to be learnt by a beginner. However, the original tunes of his compositions are unavailable. He was the one of the most prolific composers of Carnatic music. Though he wanted to compose 5,00,000 songs in his lifetime, he could compose only 4,75,000. This has been referred to in one of his own compositions.


Signature: The mudra he used was Purandara Vittala.

Languages used: Kannada and Sanskrit

Theme: His devotional songs called Devarnamas, contain the essence of the Puranas and Upanishads. His songs have simple language, lofty ideas and sublime thoughts. His favourite deity seems to have been Krishna, also known as Panduranga. However, he has sung in praise of other Gods, as well.

Popular Compositions: Jagadoddharana (Kapi), Jaya Jaya (Nata), Innudaya barade (Kalyanavasantam), Venkatachala nilayam (Sindhubhairavi), and so on.    


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