Syama Sastri was born to a brahmin family of priests. He was a devotee of Goddess Kamakshi and Madurai Meenakshi. He composed songs in praise to them. He was the oldest of the two in the Carnatic trinity. He was the first ever composer who created concert style swarajati. His compositions are a bit more complex in nature and structure compared to the other two in the trinity. His three swarajatis in ragas, bahiravi, todi, yadukularkamboji are considered to his best ever compositions. They reflect his perception of the goddess as the mother and himself as her child. They showcase his obedient and devout nature. He has the credit of around 300 songs out of which only 60 - 70 are remaining. His famous work is the nine kritis also known as the Navaratnamalika  which means the garland of nine gems, praising Goddess Meenakshi of Madhura. One of the most outstanding feature of his work is the way he employs the rhythm which creates magic in his music. He had made use of the five syllabic word many times. Some of them are sarasamukhi,varamosagu, etc. He used them in such a way that they correspond to the musical phrase.


He also specialized the Misra chapu tala in which he not only used the normal pattern but also the reverse pattern. The reverse pattern was called as the Viloma Chapu. He was an absolute genius while using the Swarakshara in which both the notes, and the words have identical syllables.  The Anandabhairavi raga was his favorite raga. It is a very old raga and was used in folk music at that time. The raga accquired special status after it was used in some of his masterpieces.

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