India’s musical history dates back to the prehistoric times and is in fact regarded as one of the oldest in the world. Most experts claim that the origins of Indian music dates back to the era when the Vedas were created. No matter what time and age maybe associated with the history of Indian music, there is no doubt that it has been and important part of the country’s rich cultural and traditional heritage.
India’s music is based on the combination of vocal and instrumental music, along with dance. And these three combined is what is known as sangeet. According to the documented history of Indian music, performances were complete with the combination of the three. This includes the musical performances in the royal court, temples, during celebrations and festivals, in the villages as part of their entertainment program, etc.
One of oldest music forms known as Sama was developed during the Vedic period, which stretched from 1500 to 500 BC. The hymns that were penned by the learned men of that age were put to tune. Ever since the history of Indian music saw continuous evolution from the devotional folk to the present day structural form based on the melody and rhythm, also called raga and taal, respectively.
According to historic recordings concerning the music of India, prior to the 13th century there was primarily one type of musical form. But with the invasion of the Mughals, the music of north and central India blended with the Mughal influences of Arabia and Persia bringing into being Hindustani music. On the other hand the Carnatic music of the south has remained untouched by any kind of external influences.
Indian music has continued to evolve and develop through the eras. It undoubtedly, forms an essential part of every Indian’s life living in this country or overseas. In fact there are a large number of foreigners who have taken to learning the various forms of Indian music. As the history of Indian music clearly declares, music has been the foundation for religious inspiration and rituals, cultural and traditional expression and has been a source for entertainment.
Types of Indian music
India is a country known for its unity in diversity. India is made up of innumerable and varied cultures that inhabit various regions of the country. Though this country is made up of over twenty States, each one having its own mother tongue, culture, traditions and art forms, these states have varied regional cultures. Every region has its own unique art forms, which includes music, poetry, prose, handicrafts, paintings, etc.
While there are varied musical forms, Indian classical music has been broadly divided into the north Indian tradition also known as Hindustani music and the Carnatic music belonging to south India. What differentiates the two is their arrangement and performance.
Apart from the abovementioned broad based categories, there are varied types of Indian music. The fact is that many associate all Indian music compositions of the eras gone by to be classical, however there are other entertaining and purposeful ones that have come down the ages. These include:
• Bhajans or devotional
• Ghazals and Qawwalis meningitis
• Indi-pop Film songs meningitis
With passing time the role of music has been changing. With Vedic beginnings
and spiritual compositions, Indian music has seen numerous genres step in. Apart
from the original classical forms, every foreign invasion brought with its musical
influences, thus giving musicians more scope for creative and tuneful compositions.
Today, the country has innumerable types of music that is enjoyed by people
in every nook and corner. It could be in the form of live performances or what
is heard and seen through the electrical medium.
Raga is basically the melodic basis of Indian musical forms. In the western
world musicians base their compositions on mode and scale, which are considered
the equivalent of the Indian raga more...
Taal is considered the rhythmic basis of Indian music, be it instrumental or
vocal. There are common rhythmic patterns that are used in various combinations
to create a musical composition more...
The term Carnatic music refers to the music of the southern states of India.
In fact most of the literature of south India was in the form of poetry that
was set to music and sung by one and all more...
Classical Indian music
A classical Indian music performance generally comprises of the vocalist and
the instrument- playing musicians. Certain classical ensembles would probably
not have a vocalist, more...
Instrumental Indian music is generally the basis of the Hindustani category
of Indian classical music. Though instruments are used in the background during
Carnatic performances, more...
Indian Folk Music
India folk music owes its origins to the villages of India. This musical form
represents the folklore and lives of the villagers. Indian folk music is classified
into its varied types depending on the region of their origination. more...
Modern Indian Music
In the present day, there are far less people who enjoy Indian classical music
as they feel it is too slow for them. Many youngsters go a step further terming
classical music to be boring. more...