Yearn to immerse yourself in the world of shrutis and taalas, but don’t like the thought of lugging CDs and cassettes across countries or continents? Music websites are just the thing for you. The World Wide Web is home to scores of sites where you can listen to Carnatic music, download songs and even indulge in intense discussions with other music aficionados.
Music has no barriers, and the Internet has made this statement true in the most literal sense. Thanks to music websites, fans of Indian classical music can fill their lives with its soulful richness anytime, anywhere in the world. Here’s our pick of the best websites dedicated to Carnatic music.
Musicindiaonline: This site is a virtual treasure trove of all genres of Indian music. Members can listen to hundreds of kritis and bhajans rendered by veteran Carnatic vocalists and instrumentalists, as well as contemporary artistes. It also has a Carnatic News section, which posts events and developments worldwide in the field of Carnatic music. The site does not, however, provide the option of music downloads.
Sangeethapriya: A non-commercial endeavor for the promotion of classical music, Sangeethapriya allows rasikas – music lovers – to upload and download concert recordings, lec-dems, etc. The site has archives of performances by maestros like MS Subbulakshmi, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar and DK Pattammal, and a regular feature highlighting the works of renowned composers like Thyagaraja and Muthuswami Dikshithar.
karnATik: This well-organized website is specifically designed to aid students of Carnatic music. The site has downloadable audio lessons, samples of famous artistes, music theory and even a downloadable “shruti box”.
Carnatic Kritis Archive: The portal has hundreds of krithis, complete with lyrics, that can be downloaded in MP3 or Real Audio formats.
For the die-hard aficionado, Carnatic Corner offers an array of links to downloadable audios, music libraries, Carnatic artistes’ groups and discussion forums.
Modern technology has, beyond doubt, globalized all spheres of life including art. How has this trend affected classical art forms like Carnatic music? Does the increased accessibility ensure the survival of classical music over the generations? Or does it lead to what critics call the “corruption of pure art”?