Purandara Dasa ( 1484 - 1564)
Purandara Dasa is regarded as the father of Carnatic Music. He was born as Sreenivasa Naik, at Teerthahalli, Shimoga now in the state of Karnataka. He was born into a wealthy family of traders in the Vijayanagara Empire. According to the legends, he gave away his luxurious lifestyle and became a wandering minstrel. A prominent figure in the Bhakti Movement, he composed some 75000 songs altogether. Mainly Kannada and Sanskrit. He systemised the style of teaching Carnatic Music in the present way. He condified the teaching of Carnatic music by evolving several graded steps like Saralivarisa, Jantavarisa, Tattuvarisa, Varnams, Geetams and Krithies. Purandara Dasa also influenced Hindusthani Music. Swami Haridas the teacher of Tansen was one of his disciples.
The saint, the musician ,great composer and devotee of Lord Sree Ram. Tyagaraja was born in Tiruvarur in Tanjavur district of Tamilnadu in 1767. He composed thousands of devotional songs including a number of popular Krities, most of them on his favourite deity Sree Ram. He also employed almost 200 ragas for rendering his compositions. The Pancharatna Krithis, five of his compositions in Nata, Goula, Arabhi, Varaali and Sri ragam are some of its finest and popular composition in Carnatic Music.
Syama Sastri , the famous composer was born in Tiruvarur, where saint Tyagaraja also hails from. He introduced Swarajathis to the Carnatic Music system. Though not a prolific composer, he has been given a permenant place in the musical trinity because the quality, depth, variety, scholarliness in his compositions. Most of his compositions are in praise of Goddess Kamakshi.
Muthuswami Dikshitar (1767 - 1835)
Muthuswami Dikshitar was also born in Tiruvarur . Most of his compositions numbering to 500 are in Sanskrit. As a master of Tala, he composed songs in all the seven talas of Carnatic Music. He also followed Western Music and adopted some of the styles and tunes of it.