Download: Carnatic Music Theory notes

UPDATE – Oct 5, 2012 : Uploaded Detailed  Syllabus in Telugu.

Music Theory notes for Carnatic Music at Government Music colleges, Andhra Pradesh -

Download: Carnatic Music Theory – Year I (pdf, ~110 KB)

Year II (pdf, ~220 KB)

Beautifully typeset using Latex. Please inform me if there are any typos or other errors.


Detailed Syllabus (in Telugu) – Certificate and Diploma Courses – all Years – (pdf, ~3 MB) *NEW

Note: It’s from a copy of official syllabus, scanned & reformatted, however, I can’t make any promises that this is the current and official syllabus. Shared in public interest.

  • UPDATE – Dec 10, 2010 : Uploaded full Syllabus. It’s a scanned copy of a hand-written notes from a senior. It’s in Comic Book format (CBZ), use some comic book reader software to view, or use a zip (like 7-zip) software to unzip and get individual pages.
  • UPDATE – May 04, 2010 : Uploaded Year I’s Theory.
  • UPDATE – Apr 22, 2010 : Broken link, fixed.
  • UPDATE – Apr 9, 2010 : Corrected some mistakes in Year II. (Vasantha – Avarohanam corrected, Hindolam is Audava ragam, Some notes about Thana and Padha varnams included.)


  • Theory papers for Year 3 and 4 are not ready yet. These are the notes that I took from my teacher for my personal use. I can post Year 3 or 4′s notes only when I move to those classes.  I’ve completed my certificate course. I used a different strategy for my notes for year 3 and 4; I couldn’t share the notes here. I’ll work on and compile notes for all the years.
  • Official textbook, prepared by Sri. Akella Mallikarjuna Sharma, which contains Varnams, Kritis etc, for the whole 6  year course, is now available in English too. (Practical part only)

33 thoughts on “Download: Carnatic Music Theory notes”

  1. Thanks a lot for posting such a useful link. Iam appaearing for music exam and was having great difficulty in translation from telugu > english. Do you possibly have other years theory downloads too? If you could share some exam tips for praticals and things to keep in mind it would go a great deal of good.

  2. Hi…Any idea when the third and fourth year theory pdfs could be available? As the exam is approaching it would be a real help to the aspirants of certificate exam.

  3. I am learning Carnatic vocal music in Karnataka.
    I was planning to give my Senior exam in Karnataka when I found out that I need to relocate to Andhra Pradesh.
    I wished to know what are the equivalent music exams in Andhra Pradesh for the corresponding exams of Junior, Senior and Vidwath held in Karnataka?
    Can you please tell me what is the equivalent of the senior exam in Andhra Pradesh?
    Will the syllabus be the same and would it be possible to share the syllabus for the exam?

    1. Potti Sriramulu Telugu University conducts Certificate and Diploma exams. One can join the govt music colleges for these courses or appear for exams directly as a private candidate. Certificate course should be equivalent to Lower and Diploma, Higher.

      The syllabus (in Telugu) for these courses is uploaded here. One can write the theory exams in either Telugu or in English. I’ll upload the English translation of the official syllabus soon here.

      Sorry for the delay in reply. Hope it’s useful.

    1. Questions for Reading 1 – Bourdieu, Pierre, et al – Site Effects1.Give some examples of how siacol space translates into physical space. What does Bourdieu mean when he refers to this translation as blurred?2.In what ways do the American ghetto and the French banlieue differ? What are the similarities? According to Wacquant, what are the problems with the popular discourse on “ghettoization” of the French banlieues?Questions for Reading 2 – Bourdieu, Pierre – Culture & Politics1.How does the institution of education support and legitimatize the unequal participation in electoral democracy and the division of political labour?2.What are proxy and autonomous political modes of production?Questions for Reading 3 – Harvey, David – Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction1.Describe the effects that neoliberal policy had on New York City during the 1970s.2.Harvey demonstrates how neoliberalism has failed to stimulate worldwide growth, and has been to the detriment of citizens everywhere it is implemented. Why then does neoliberal policy continue to receive such widespread support? Questions for Reading 4 – Harvey, David – The Spaces of Utopia1.What are the causes and negative consequences of urban flight? What can be done to reverse this trend?2.What are degenerate utopias?This week’s readings about the detrimental effects of neoliberalism on cities made me think about the recent electoral victories of Rob Ford in Toronto and Stephen Harper’s federal majority in Ottawa. Harvey writes in Neoliberalism as Creative Destruction about how a disaffected, insecure and mostly white working class has been consistently persuaded to vote against their own material interests in the U.S. We can certainly see the same phenomenon here in Toronto, where Rob Ford has effectively used neoliberal rhetoric to justify selling off city assets and the privatization of city services. During Toronto’s mayoral campaign, I often found myself wondering why Ford had so much support amongst poor, working class, and immigrant constituents of the inner suburbs, the very people whom his policies will impact most negatively. Harvey has helped shed some light on why citizens support such politicians by illuminating the effectiveness of utopian free-market ideology. Ford has been able to yield neoliberal utopianism to his advantage, and his success at universalizing neoliberal interests has resulted in the creation of a strong group of supporters known as “Ford Nation.” This body of active support is in stark contrast to the political indifference Bourdieu writes about in Culture and Politics. Perhaps an over-reliance on supposed “experts” promising lower taxes and less waste at City Hall better explains this support. Perhaps these voters are simply not yet impoverished and disillusioned enough to reject politics and politicians of every sort. However, I have no doubt they will be soon enough if Ford and Harper follow the neoliberal path they are expected to. In Site Effects, Bourdieu et al write about spatial distance affirming siacol distance. This can perhaps be translated into the Toronto context by looking at the political division between those living in the city’s core (Toronto pre-amalgamation), and those living in the inner-suburbs (Scarborough, Etobicoke, etc.) While Toronto is not afflicted by the same degree of siacol segregation of American cities the close proximity of well-to-do Cabbagetown with low-income St. Jamestown is just one example there does seem to be a sharp divide between the political and siacol opinions of those living in Toronto’s core and those living around it. One only has to look at recent electoral maps to see this divide, between Ford or Conservative voters in the suburbs and more so-called “progressive” voters in central Toronto supporters of Pantalone or Smitherman in the municipal election and the NDP federally.

    2. It looks like a terrific syuballs, and one I’d like to take! Of course you buttered me up nice by calling me a celebrity .I’d suggest adding some Lewis Coser _Functions of Social Conflict_ and potentially Rose Coser’s _In Defense of Modernity_. And it’s kind of funny that the predominant figure in your Chicago School week is Merton, who was most definitively *not* Chicago School! Finally, what about Lazarsfeld and that whole tradition?

  4. Hello Ananth

    The information you posted is very useful. Can you please post the theory for 3rd and 4th year, if you have it ready. I am planning to attend the certificate exam in English, so your links are very useful.


    1. Can you please give the contacts of all the exams that are conducted in Music in Hyderabad. This will help all the music lovers. Not just diploma and degree but the various levels conducted by govt in Music

  5. hi,
    I am a veena artist.Iteach students. I was finding it difficult to give them notes for theory.your notes is very convenient to use.can you please post details about appearingfor the exams how to apply when and to whom.
    thank you.madhavi

    1. Breakfast with Santa! Saturday, December 1st from 9-11AMOssian United Methodist Church201 W. Mill Street in Ossian, In 46777Come have pancakes, duilcioes egg casseroles, smoky links, cereal, donuts, dutch crunch dessert, Coffee, milk and juice something for everyoneHave your children’s picture taken with Santa and then they can shop in the Elf Store for their family members. Elves will be available to help them shop so they can keep it a surprise! All gifts are $2 and gift wrapping is included. This is a fun, holiday event sponsored by the Norwell High School Show ChoirSee you there!

    2. Consistent themes in this week’s arceilts include exclusion, utopianism, community, and the creation of the African American ghetto.In David Harvey’s article, he suggests that the disparities that plague the inner city are connected to the movement of resources, such as schools, health care, leisure centers, to the surrounding suburbs. As the bourgeois move to the surrounding suburbs, their actions produce a wave of deprivation for those in the inner city. The inner city becomes depleted of the economics needed to produce jobs and help infrastructure grow. Those who have no choice but to stay there are shunned because of their circumstance from those who have left. The suggestion that the building of community pride although important is a fragmented idea. Often many community leaders try to implement it as the answer to social disorder without consulting the real community, the real people.In Pierre Bourdieu article, Site Effects, he speaks of an absence that has come to define the deprivation and neglect of the American Ghetto. Social spaces have become defined with set values, that we as a society have constructed to define both geographical places and the people. The idea that people of socially different classes do not want physical proximity suggests Bourdieu, is made possible by the ability of setting values thus creating social distance. Again the depletion of resources of the inner city although Bourdieu takes it a step further and uses a collection of interviews to convey just how detrimental cuts to public resources are by those that use them first hand. One of the most fundamental arguments that comes to the surface by Bourdieu is his open display of disgust towards the ignorance of the American government, to effectively have turned their backs on these issues, depleted resources and then chastised those who have little resources to scramble out of the vicious cycle. For those that read my comments I would like to add that I am new to this and any new information would be appreciated.Chelsey

  6. PLEASE TRY TO UPLOAD A NEW 1ST & 2nd YEAR THEORY IN TELUGU SCRIPT. otherwise, please direct us how to upload your theory notes (we type it in telugu and create pdfs).

    1. For me, choosing a mecadil specialty is easy. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work as a Dermatologist Tech prior to moving to Alaska. What an amazing field! No two cases are the same and more than one type of procedure can be performed in a day. Working for a dermatologist provides the benefits of both a private office setting and hours along with the experience of surgeries and unique treatments. Cyst removals and cancer treatments became the most interesting procedures to me and I can not wait to get back into the field!There are not many positions or specialties I would turn down when it comes to the mecadil field. If I had to pick one, however, it would have to be gynecology. Why would this be the field I turn down? I am honestly not sure. I must be lacking the gene the would cause me to be interested in the subject! For whatever reason I would choose to work anywhere else before choosing gynecology. Specialty clinics are like sushi I guess. How do you know you don’t like it if you’ve never tried it?!

    2. Democracy in Action – critical refteclionThe first two chapters of Democracy in Action provide an outline of the themes to be examined in greater detail throughout the book. The book examines community action as a means to improve the urban environment and community quality of life. However, the book also examines the ways in which community action is a means for urban residents to participate in democratic society.Smock states that the experience of collective action “transformed residents’ perception of what it means to live in a democratic society” (3). This transformation occurs in contrast to the prevailing trend of the “erosion of our sense of civic responsibility [that has] threatened the very fabric of our society” (4). However, though community organizing is a mechanism “through which ordinary people – especially society’s most disenfranchised members – can impact the social and economic conditions affecting their lives” (5), through the descriptions of the case studies to be examined throughout the book an emerging trend seems to be present, in which community organizations tend to remain dominated by the white middle-class. Though this is not the case for all of the case studies presented, many of the case studies of community organizations cite a disproportionate number of middle-class residents making up the organizations in comparison to the make up of the neighborhoods and communities themselves.This is particularly evident in the case studies discussing the Civic Model for organizing, for which the membership of the primary case study CAN, “is primarily white and middle class” (23). This skewed membership is also found in the secondary case study for the civic model, CAPS, which also has a disproportionate number of middle-class property owners compared to the overall demographics of the neighborhood” (23). This is most striking when considering that part of the Civic Model’s focus is on mobilizing “the city’s formal social control mechanisms” (21). Through this form of skewed democratic action, there could be the potential for enhancing the already biased position of formal institutions, and counteracting the democratic effects that community organization is suppose to perpetuate.

  7. your first and second year theory notes are very useful to me..i cant say any words about your help….thank u very very much and much sir…

    1. Pierre Bourdieu – Side Effects ? This article looks at the difenrefce between a physical space and social space and how spaces in the world are defined by certain characteristics. It states that humans are situated as specific site and they occupy a place. A physical space is defined by the mutual exteriority of its parts and a social space is the physical distribution of different types of goods and services that individuals have whether of greater or lesser possibilities. Therefore, this suggests that spaces express hierarchies and that the amount of power over a space comes from the possession of various kinds of capital which depends on the distribution of goods and services. Due to this structure, it defines a symbolic order of power. Also, the ability to occupy space also depends on capital and to have capital means to keep distance from the undesirable spatially separating and stigmatizing certain spaces. Spaces that are deprived of capital are kept distant from the goods and services which intensifies the experience of finitude. Individuals that do move must fulfill the requirements of the space economically, culturally and socially and the success of this struggle depends on capital. Wacquant’s article looks at the difenrefces between the French Banlieues and the American ghettos and points out that the banlieues are not ethnically homogenous whereas the American ghettos tend to be more so.Question 1 – Why is there a difenrefce in the ethnic composition of the “ghettos” of America and France?Pierre Bourdieu Culture and Politics ? Bourdieu states that “there are no painters but at most people who engage in painting among other things”. This basically states that the makeup of the society is not dependant on hierarchies but rather on those that choose to take part in politics and those that do not. The People take part of general affairs of the society, however, there must be those that monitor and say whether and how the political sense is expressed in correspondence to the truth. This gave rise to the liberal democracy to maintain the established order.Question 1 – Does the idea that people who contribute more to the society get paid more still establish a hierarchy? They are paid more, able to access more goods and can therefore do more.Question 2 – How does the utopian paradox break the doxa? (I do not understand what doxa is as well).Harvey – Political and Economical Dimensions of Free Trade ? Neoliberism has become hegemonic and has swept across the world. It rose to restore human well-being by maximizing entrepreneurial freedom. This did not lead to effective economic growth, however it did transfer the wealth to the dominant, and to the richer countries. A neoliberal system required ‘creative destruction’ in that institutions and other aspects of the society were broken down to restore the class power. This was brought about due to the recession and oil embargo, threatening the position of the ruling classes.Question 1 – Why does neoliberism require creative destruction?Harvey – Spaces of Utopia ? This article demonstrates that spaces of distress are usually located in the shadows of some of the finest public and medical institutions which are not accessible to the local population. The life expectancies of these areas are also noted to be the lowest comparing to poorer countries. Expansion in the suburbs by the bourgeoisie caused the collapse of public infrastructure within the city relaying negative impacts on the city.Question 1 – Why were the bourgeoisie afraid of the city?

    2. The Chicago School and Other Important Early Figures section sholud probably be renamed Other Important Early Figures and the Chicago School. We had more Chicago School stuff initially (e.g. Thomas, Zorbaugh), but I removed some of it because the reading for that week was getting too long. I also had trouble finding two or three must read pieces from the CS. I’m still not sure if the three we have (Park and Burgess, Hughes, and Wirth) are the ideal works. Park and Burgess ( 1st CS ) and Hughes ( 2nd CS ) seem key; not so sure about Wirth. Any thoughts?

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