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1) Carnatic Music Primer: "Nature has endowed this universe with many beautiful life forms, of so many different shapes, sizes and abilities. Most animal forms have the ability to produce sounds and some of them even have the capability to communicate using varied sounds. Man is unique in that he can express his thoughts using sound." This is how Swami Jayendra Saraswathy, the Sankaracharya of Kanchipuram, introduces the Kamalaambaa Navaavarna Kritis of Muthuswamy Dikshithar. The ability to express thoughts through sounds has evolved into an art which we call music. Music can thus be defined as an art form that arranges sounds in a fashion that follows certain natural principles and provides that special inner feeling of happiness and contentment. It is important to note that the basic principles are natural and thus the theory of music is only an attempt by man to rationally explain what is already beautiful. As a fringe benefit, this rationalization helps in understanding the inherent beauty of music and creates increasingly higher levels of appreciation in the listener. more

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