Indian Classical Music

Essence & Origin of Indian Classical Music & Indian Music

Indian Classical Music

What is Music? According to the Indian Classical School of thought, the word ‘Music’ or ‘Sangeet’ refers to a combination of three different art forms namely

  •     – Singing or expressing sounds vocally
  •     – Playing an Instrument or expressing music through musical instruments
  •     – Dancing or expressing music through various dance forms

All three of these art forms are interdependent on each other. However, it is agreed that singing is the most superior of these arts as it can be done independently of the other two.

Origin & history There are many different views about the history and background of Indian Classical Music.

It is believed that Indian Music can be dated back to the scriptures. Music has played a vital role in shaping our Indian culture and traditions. This is the reason why, even today, any happy occasion is incomplete without music in some form or the other.

A variety of traditional songs and music are sung and played to celebrate births, marriages, & festivals etc.

Categories of Classical Music

In India, Classical Music has been divided into two main categories –

  • North Indian or Hindustani Music – This form of music is popular in all parts of India excluding the southern regions such as Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Mysore etc.
  • South Indian or Carnatic Music – This form of Indian Classical Music has its roots in the Southern parts of India and is popular in Karnataka including other regions in the south of India.

Similarities Between North Indian & South Indian Music

Though these two forms of Indian Classical music are independent of each other, they do have some similarities such as

  • Both accept that there are 12 notes in a scale.
  • Both accept the relation between a ‘Raga’ and its ‘That’.
  • In both these forms of Classical Music in India, the song or musical composition usually follows an ‘alap’ / ‘alapana’ or improvised prelude.

Classical Music in India is incomplete without the awe inspiring pairing with Indian Musical Instruments including the Harmonium, Tabla, Jal Tarang, Dholak, Sarangi, Santur, Sitar, Flute, Mridangam, Tambura or Tanpura, and Ghatam etc.

Indian Music can be divided into two different parts –

Whether we talk about Indian Music or Classical Indian Music, it can be deduced that almost any piece of music will be based on two of the most important elements – “Raaga” which refers to the melody and “tala” which refers to the rhythm. Indian Classical Music is quite different from Western Classical Music.

Here are some popular Genres of Music, India & International – Popular Styles & Genres of Music

Elements of Indian Classical Music – Raga or Raag (Melody) Taal (Rhythm)