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Music of Haridāsa-s

Featured Exhibit: Music of Haridasas

The Haridāsa movement emerged in South India in the 15th Century AD, with the main objective of propagating ‘Bhakti’ through devotional songs. However, the musical compositions of Haridāsa-s also brought about some seminal changes in South Indian music. The ‘Suḷadi Tāla-s’ employed in these compositions became very popular and were extensively used by other composers as well for the next few centuries. It is highly probable that Haridāsa music was responsible for the developments in the contemporary Tāla system such as emergence of the Anudruta. Contrary to common belief, Haridāsa composers have used many more than 32 Rāga-s, including those classified as ‘Adhama’ (unfit for composition) by the 16thcentury musicologist, Rāmāmātya. Apart from the ‘Devaranāma-s’ (or Dāsara Pada-s), Haridāsa-s have introduced new musical forms into South Indian Music such as Suḷādi-s, Ugābhōga-s, Vṛttanāma-s and long poems. Gīta-s, Danḍaka-s, Nāmāvaḷi-s and a Koravañji Nāṭaka have also been composed by them.


In the websites www.musicresearch.in and www.musicresearchlibrary.net, there are many books and articles relating to Haridāsa music. Please click through to the pages / links on the right to view these.