(Last Updated on : 14/03/2015)
Ritualistic music and dances of the temples occupy an important place in the history of music. Festivals connected with the temples had special music and dance items of worship. Temples also promoted the learning of music and dance. The Nayakas were great devotees of Lord Ranganatha of Srirangam, and Rajagopalaswami of Mannargudi. Of the instruments that were used in temple service (Mukhavina, Dande, Kombu, Chandravalaya, Bheri), the use of Nadasvaram
is of special interest. For the first time in the history of musical instruments, Nadasvaram finds mention in the Telugu work Kridarambam. It was during the Nayaka period when it was known as Nagasvaram that it also enjoyed great popularity. It has become an indispensable temple instrument of south India.
Like the hymnists the Dasakutas has firsthand experience of gods and their grace. The dasas of Karnataka headed by Purandaradasa, followed by Kanaka, Vijaya, Gopala, Vithala Jegannatha and others constitute the Dasakuta. The dasas closely follow the metaphysical tenets of Sri Madhva's philosophy. The Dasabhava is an approved form of bhakti
adumbrated by Sri Madhava. Purandara Dasa
has the special title to eminence by virtue of being the pioneer preceptor of Carnatic music
. The dasas has awakened spiritual faith in men through the medium of music with examples drawn from mundane life.
The origins of the major composers suggest identification with the Vijayanagara Empire
. Purandara Dasa was born near Pune
and settled in the capital city of Vijayanagara
. It is claimed that he was known to Krishnadevaraya. The valleys of the Krishna River
had been the meeting place of Maharashtra
, Andhra Pradesh
The Tallappakkam composers are hailed as the pioneers of the congregational prayer format from which arose the Nama Siddhanta cult. Favouring bhava (concentration on a mood) as a theme the Nama Siddhanta School brought art into direct contact with religion. A theme of art need not always be religious. This school that gained popularity during the Nayaka period, had not been able to ignore treatment of the religious sentiment of devotion to God (bhakti) and the tranquillity of liberation (santha) in addition to secular feelings like fear (bhayam), love (rathi) and sorrow (soka). Thus art served as a catalytic agent for fostering the religious spirit. This is a special contribution of Vedanta. The goal of religion is the attainment of moksha
(liberation). The Sankya philosophy declares that art has no relevance to moksha. Vedanta on the other hand states that art is both a pointer to and preparation for moksha, sreyas and prey as which are antagonistic meet in sangita. Sreyas is that which is immediately pleasant; what is sreyas is not preyas. It is said that music tames the mind and senses. This is another dimension of the art of music. The music of the Nayaka period was believed to have ennobled the soul.