The South Indian music has developed in a very chronological order which had clear demarcations of a grey past and the records of it can be traced from the literary works of several scholars. The references of the ancient Tamil music can be found from the Tolkappiyam
, the Ettnttokai and Pattuppattu works of the Sangam Age
The Silappadikaram of Ilanko Adigal, the `Jivaka Chintamani` and the Panchamarabu of Arivanar are also reliable resources of music in South India. Few other works on South Indian music include the `Talasamudiram`, `Bharata-senapatiyam`, `Bharatasattiram`, and `Kuttanul`. The 19th century works like `Mahabharata Chudamani` and the `Kartmamrita Sagaram` of Abraham Panditar and Vipulanandar`s Tazhnul are also important treatise on music.
There are also many treatises in Sanskrit and Telugu found in South India. There is a 14th century composition called `The Sangita Sara` which was based primarily on music literature. It was composed by Vidyaranya, native of South Indian region Vijayanagar. This work first discussed the ragas in detail in Sanskrit. One of the great musical treatises named `Swaramelakalanidhi` of Ramamatya was said to be published in 1550 A.D. It was in Sanskrit.
Chatura Damodara, a composer from Andhra Pradesh
wrote an item named `Sangita Darpanam` on musicology, a 16th century composition in Sanskrit. Another Sanskrit composition on music was `Raga Vibodha`, by Somanatha, a native of Rajamundhry. Another South Indian author named Govinda Dikshita, the Prime Minister of Raghunatha Nayaka of Tanjavur also wrote one musical literature named `Sangita Sudha` in the same period and this too was in Sanskrit.
`Chaturdandi Prakasika` is another musical work in Sanskrit by Venkatamakhi, who was the son of Govinda Dikshita. This too was written in 17th century. It is said that this was written at the request of the Tanjavur king Vijaya-raghava Nayaka.
One more work on music is `Meladikaralakshetna`, which was written in 18th century but the name of the author is not known. The `melaprastara` in this work is important regarding music.
Sangita Saramrita is a work by king Tulaja of Maharashtra
origin. He reigned over Tanjavur
from 1728-36 A.D. This is in Sanskrit and deals with theoretical and practical aspects of music. Govindacharya wrote `Sangraha Chudamanis`, a work written in Sanskrit was also based on music. This was also an 18th century composition. He was regarded as the `Asthana Vidwan` of the Tanjavur court.
Sri Subbarama Dikshitar wrote the `Sangita Sampradaya Pradarshini`, which was published in Telugu in 1904 at the request of Sri A.M. Chinnaswamy Mudaliar. There is a work on musicology named `Sangita Kalpadrumam` written by Harikesanallur Muthaiah Bhagavatar. It was written in Tamil and he got a doctorate title at the Travancore
court for this work in 1941.
Sangita Chandrika is another illustrious work on music by Attoor Krishna Pisharody, which was written in Sanskrit. Other works on music in Tamil were Kongu Velir``s `Perunkathai`, Varaguna Pandian`s `Panar Kaivali`. The `Chendan Divakaram` and `Pingala `Nikandu` are two musical works in Tamil, which are lexicons but there are also references to musical terminology.