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Music And Dance

Music of the Carnatic style really developed after the thrust given by Vidyaranya and the royal patronage of the Vijayanagar Empire. After, a brief period, when it was sidelined, Haidar Ali and Tipu, during their reign, showed special interest in Carnatic music and musicians.

Later, the Wodeyars, and especially Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, gave valuable support and encouragement to the tradition. While many names preceded them, truly memorable and celebrated are Veena Seshanna, Veena Subbanna and Veena Doreswamy Iyengar - direct descendants of the Mysore veena tradition.

Another legendary figure was the Asthana Vidwan, Bidaram Krishnappa, and the most illustrious of his disciples. T. Chowdiah, who gave a new character altogether to the violin in Carnatic music.

As for Karnataka's contribution to Hindustani music, it includes the rich gift of voices and traditions of Gangubai Hangal and Basavaraj Rajguru of Hubli and Bhimsen Joshi and Mallikarjuna Mansur of Dharwad. So also, Karnataka gave this country the trailblazing Kumar Gandharwa and Shyamala Bhave.

In the area of composition, the contribution of the Dasas - with their bhakti, spiritualism and compassionate understanding of man in all his weaknesses - has been unparalleled.

Kanaka (a shepherd from Dharwad) and Purandhar (a goldsmith from Pune) together were the finest exponents of the wandering method of propagating their bhakti (faith) through songs that have been sung down the generations till today.

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