Carnatic Music is believed to be a divine art form which originated from the Devas. Ancient treatises also describe the connection of the origin of the swaras, or notes, to the sounds of animals and birds and man's effort to simulate these sounds through a keen sense of observation and perception. The Sama Veda, which is believed to have laid the foundation for Indian classical music, consists of hymns from the Rigveda, set to musical tunes which would be sung using three to seven musical notes during Vedic yajnas. References to Indian classical music are made in many ancient texts, including the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Carnatic music is based on musical concepts such as swara, raga, and tala. These have been described in detail in several ancient texts, particularly the Silappadhikaram by Ilango Adigal, and Bharata's Natya Shastra.
Carnatic music is traditionally taught according to the system formulated by Purandara Dasa. This involves varisais (graded exercises), alankaras (exercises based on the seven talas), geetams or simple songs, and Swarajatis. The learning structure is arranged in increasing order of complexity. The lessons start with the learning of the sarali varisai in Raga Mayamalavagowla.
Carnatic music was traditionally taught in the gurukula system, where the student lived with and learnt the art from his guru (perceptor).
Research shows that children receiving Carnatic Music training were in advantage for phonological awareness (PA) and verbal working memory (VWM) along with enhanced pitch perception abilities. It was also found that the children who had undergone longer duration of training showed better performance in these areas. Post-operative patients can ease their pain and reduce their dependence on pain-killers by listening to One of the famous Ragas of Carnatic music, Anandha Bhairavi.