Classical Carnatic Music of South India is perhaps, the greatest intellectual tradition to have emerged from that part of the globe. Of the revered Trinity (Dikshitar, Shyama Sastri and Tyagarajar) I have a particular fascination for Muthuswamy Dikshitar. The chaste Sanskrit lyrics of Dikshitar have been a source of endless fascination. The slow melodies are beautiful. He seems to have been a master of Word Play in music, and based on this alone, he can be considered a pioneer. Here is a nice link about Dikshitar. Here are his compositions with meaning. Here is a nice webpage which also contains some nice audio files of Dikshitar’s music. I feel that DK Pattamal and Dk Jayaraman and KV Narayanaswamy and Sanjay Subramanyan are some of the finest expositors of Dikshitar’s Songs.