Indian Music

  • There are two systems of Indian Classical music: Hindustani and Carnatic.
  • Carnatic music is popular in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerela.
  • The classical music of the rest of the country goes under the name, Hindustani Classical music.

Hindustani Classical Music

  • Important influence on music includes Rigveda, Yajurvedic chants and Natya Shastra (gives information on scales, melodic forms, tala and musical instruments). Another major text is Matanga’s Brihaddesi compiled between eight and ninth century AD. An important text includes Sangeeta Ratankara (13th century) written by Sarangadeva.
  • A characteristic contribution of India to musical rhythm is the Tala which is the cyclic arrangement of time units.
  • Musical forms can be divided into two broad categories anibadhha and nibaddha sangeeta.
  • Anibaddha sangeeta is not restricted by meaningful words and tala. Its finest form is the alap.
  • Prabhandha is used as a generic term to indicate nibaddha songs among which Jayadeva’s (12th century) compositions are best known. His significant work was Gita Govinda, and his songs are called ashtapadis.
  • Another formal aspect in Nibaddha Sangeet is met within the Dhrupad.
  • There are 10 main styles of singing in Hindustani music like the Dhrupad, Dhamar, Hori, Khayal, Tappa, Chaturang, Ragasagar, Tarana, Sargam and Thumri.
    • Dhrupad: It refers to both the poetry’s verse structure and the manner in which it is sung. In the mediaeval era, dhrupad rose to prominence as the primary singing style.
      • Musicians like Baba Gopal Das, Swami Haridas, and Tansen, who was regarded as one of the Navaratna or nine gems of the Mughal court, were engaged by and supported by Akbar.
      • Man Singh Tomar, the Maharaja of Gwalior was responsible for the enormous vogue of Dhrupad. Bean and Pakhwaj were associated with Dhrupad but do not find any patronage these days.
    • Khyal: It means the idea or imagination is a Persian term. The origin of this style was accredited to Amir Khusaru because it allows for more improvisation, this style is well-liked by artists. It is built on a collection of brief songs with two to eight lines. Khyal composition is typically also referred to as a Bandish.
      • Today the pride in classical Hindustani music is occupied by Khyal. It was given impetus in 13th century by Amir Khusrau. It attained its maturity at the hands of Niyamat Khan Sadarang and Adarang of the 18th century.
      • Amir Khusrau encouraged the practice of musical performance with instruments.
      • He is believed to have invented the sitar and the tabla and is said to have introduced new ragas. Most Hindustani musicians trace their descent to Tansen.
      • There are Gharanas in Khayal which are schools of singing founded or developed by various individuals or patrons such as king or nobility.
      • Important gharanas are Gwalior gharana (oldest), Agra gharana (founded by Khuda Baksh) and Jaipur gharana (directly took off from Dhrupad), Rampur Saheswan gharana (Uttar Pradesh).
    • Thumri and Tappa are popular types of heard in concerts. Thumri is a love song whereas Tappa consists of the song uttered in a fast note pattern.
    • Tarana Style: In this style, the rhythm plays a very crucial role and uses many words that are sung at a fast tempo. The origin of this style was also accredited to Amir Khusaru.

Carnatic Music

  • The ancient Tamils of south India developed a highly evolved system of music. Silappadhikaram (2nd century AD) contains vivid description of music of this period. Tolkapiyyam & Kalladam are other sources of musical history.
  • Carnatic came into vogue after the advent of Muslims, particularly during the reign of the Mughal Emperors of Delhi. It developed along its own original lines.
  • Annamacharya: He was a 15th-century Hindu saint and is the earliest known Indian musician to compose songs called sankirtanas in praise of God Venkateshwara, a form of Vishnu. He is the first known composer in Carnatic music. Other composers like Purandaradasa came after him. The musical form of keertana songs that he composed, have strongly influenced the structure of Carnatic music compositions.
  • Purandaradasa (1484): Known as ‘Carnatic Sangeeta Pitamaha‘. He introduced Malavagowla scale as basic scale for music instruction.
  • Venkatamahi introduced 72 Melakartas which was used by Thyagaraja to invent many beautiful ragas.
  • The birth of the musical trinity-Thyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Sastri at Tiruvarur between the years 1750 to 1850 is an era of dynamic development in Carnatic music. They were contemporaries of Beethoven, Mozart, Wagner and Haydn.
  • Some musical forms of Carnatic music are Gitam, Varnam, Jatiswaram, Kirtanam, Pada, Tillana, Pallavi and Tanam.

Regional Music

  • Musical instruments differ from that of classical music.
  • Cruder forms of table like dholak or nal are used.
  • Sitar is absent in folk music. Also, the instruments of classical music are created by artisans, but folk instruments are crafted by musicians themselves.
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