Set of 39 South Indian compositions / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The nottuswara (nōṭṭusvaras, from "note" + "swaras") are a set of 39 compositions in Carnatic music by Muthuswami Dikshitar (18th c.), who is celebrated as one among the Trinity of Carnatic music. A few other nottusvaras were added later by his disciples which adhere to the original idea and intent. Nottusvaras are notable as an interaction between the East and the West during the East India company rule, being based on Western sources, mostly simple melodies inspired by Scottish and Irish tunes.[1] They are all composed with Sanskrit lyrics in the Western C major scale, whose pitch intervals correspond to that of the Shankarabharana raga scale in Carnatic music, or the Bilaval that of Hindustani music. Technically, the compositions are not in Shankarabharana proper, being based on simple melodies and devoid of the ornamentation (gamaka) that is characteristic of Carnatic music.[2] On the other hand, the lyrics (sahitya) of these compositions are entirely Indian and consistent with the rest of the stotra-literature, or other songs addressed to similar deities.[1]

Sometimes the name "nottuswara" is used to refer to other compositions based on Western notes, not necessarily by Muthuswami Dikshitar.[3]