Carnatic vocals

Lakshmy Natarajan

Asia | Singing

Indian classical music consists of two systems: Hindustani and Carnatic. The Hindustani system developed in the northern regions of the country while the Carnatic system refers to music practiced in the south of India.

Carnatic music is considered one of the most ancient music systems in the world. It is a learned music that is full of emotion and involves a lot of improvisation. Its system was largely developed through the contributions of inspired artists such as Purandara Dasa, known as the father of Carnatic music, and other specialists who have codified the system and given it a clear form by developing it as a way of teaching, practising, praying and therapy.

The foundation of Carnatic music involves ragas (melodic scales) and talas (rhythmical cycles). There are seven rhythmic cycles and 72 fundamental ragas. All the other ragas are seen as being part of these 72 ragas. A complex classification system exists for identifying scales, which is called 72 Melakarta Ragas.

Carnatic music is full of compositions from the different ragas. It is made up of songs composed by the great artists, which have been transmitted from generation to generation through various disciples. Although the improvised elaborations of ragas vary from musician to musician, the structured part does not change. These compositions, which are extremely popular, place emphasis on rhythm and are characterised by lively melodic patterns. Three composers of the nineteenth century, Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shama Shastri, have composed thousands of songs that continue to captivate musicians and audiences.

An important element of Carnatic music is its sacred and devotional aspect. The lyrics of traditional compositions, which treat social and mythological themes, always involve devotional or philosophical depths.


Mrs Lakshmi Natarajan began her studies in Carnatic music in South India at the age of eight. She received her diploma from the Music Academy of Kerala and then taught vocals in a prestigious school for over seven years.

Based in Geneva since 1986, she continues her vocal practice and teaches numerous students, while actively promoting the development of Indian music and culture in Geneva.

She has performed at the ‘World Civil Society Forum’ (ICCG), the Red Cross,  ‘Art Plus’, Fête de la musique, Programmes de l’Association de l’Inde, Don du coeur, Fête de Thygaraja etc.

Her classes involve theory and practice in equal parts, and include rhythms (talam) as well as the practice of melodies and ornamentation (gamaka). Private and group classes are available and are aimed at beginners through to advanced students.


Lakshmy NATARAJAN - 38 A, ch. de Cornellons


To discuss with the teacher

30 CHF/hour (theorical and practice) ; 
25 CHF/hour (practice only); 
15 CHF/hour (children)

T: 022 344 66 07 • 079 565 70 90


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