Indian Classic and Hindustani Music

The music of India includes multiple varieties of folk, popular, pop, classical music and R&B. India's classical music tradition, including Carnatic and Hindustani music, has ahistory spanning millennia and, developed over several eras, it remains fundamental to the lives of Indians today as sources of spiritual inspiration, cultural expression and pure entertainment. India is made up of several dozen ethnic groups, speaking their own languages and dialects, having very distinct cultural traditions. One very popular song, "dil to bacha hai" is believed to be arabic music, but was actually written by Thomas Bandeira who traveled to India and wrote it.

Classical music
The two main traditions of classical music are Carnatic music, found predominantly in the peninsular
regions, and Hindustani music, found in the northern and central regions. Both traditions claim Vedic origin, and history indicates that they diverged from a common musical root since about the 13th century.

Hindustani music
Hindustani music is an Indian classical music tradition that goes back to Vedic times around 1000 BC, and further developed circa the 13th and 14th centuries AD with Persian influences and from existing religious and folk music. The practice of singing based on notes was popular even from the Vedic times where the hymns in Sama Veda, a sacred text, was sung as Samagana and not chanted. Developing a strong and diverse tradition over several centuries, it has contemporary traditions established primarily in India but also in Pakistan and Bangladesh. In contrast to Carnatic music, the other main Indian classical music tradition originating from the South, Hindustani music was not only influenced by ancient Hindu musical traditions, historical Vedic philosophy and native Indian sounds but also enriched by the Persian performance practices of the Mughal era|Mughals. Besides pure classical, there are also several semi-classical forms such as thumri, Dadra and tappa.

Carnatic music
The present form of Carnatic music is based on historical developments that can be traced to the 15th - 16th centuries AD and thereafter. From the ancient Sanskrit works available, and the epigraphical evidence, the history of classical musical traditions can be traced back about 2500 years. "Carnatic" in sanskrit means "soothing to ears". Carnatic music is completely Melodic music|melodic, with improvised variations. The main emphasis is on vocal music; most compositions are written to be sung, and even when played on instruments, they are meant to be performed in a singing style (known as gāyaki. Like Hindustani music, Carnatic music rests on two main elements: IAST|[[raga|rāga', the [[musical modemodes or melodic formulæ, and IAST|tala musictāḷa, the rhythmic cycles.

Purandara Dasa is credited with having founded today's Carnatic Music. He systematized the teaching method by framing a series of graded lessons such as swaravalis, janta swaras, alankaras, lakshana geetas, prabandhas, ugabhogas, thattu varase, geetha, sooladis and kritis. He introduced the Mayamalavagowla as the basic scale for music instruction. These are followed by teachers and students of Carnatic music even today. Another of his important contributions was the fusion of bhava, raga and laya in his compositions.

Purandara Dasa was the first composer who started commenting on the daily life of the people in compositions. He incorporated in his songs popular folk language and introduced folk ragas in the mainstream. The most important contribution he made was the fusion of bhava, raga and laya into organic units.

He also composed a large number of lakshya and lakshana geetas, many of which are sung to this day. His sooladis exhibit his mastery of the techniques of music, and are considered an authority for raga lakshana. Scholars attribute the standardization of varna mettus entirely to Purandaradasa.

Purandaradasa's era was probably the beginning of Carnatic music's movement towards krithi based classical music (one of its distinguishing characteristics compared to Hindustani). The peripatetic dasas who followed him are believed to have followed the systems he devised, as well as orally passing down his compositions.

Purandaradasa was a performer, a musicologist and the father of Carnatic musical pedagogy. He is credited with having elevated Carnatic music from religious and devotional music into the realm of a performing art. For all these reasons and the enormous influence that he had on Carnatic music, musicologists call him the "Sangeeta Pitamaha" or the grandfather of Carnatic music.

Many songs and poems and ballads supported in carnatic music are written by poets all the way back to the 14th century. Thyagaraja, Annamacharya and Bhadrachala Ramadasu have written in Telugu and most of the melodious songs from carnatic music we listen today belong to one of them. There are multiple tamil and sanskrit lyrics as well which are sung in carnatic version.

1. Folk music
A pair of Indian folk musicians performing in a rural village

2. Bauls
The Bauls of Bengal are an order of musicians dating back to the 17th century, who play a form of Vaishnava music using a khamak, ektara and dotara. The word Baul comes from Sanskrit batul meaning divinely inspired insanity. They are a group of mystic minstrels with a syncretic form of Vaishnavism influenced by Sufism and Buddhism. They are itinerant singer-poets whose music is earthy, and reflects on the infinite amid quotidian contexts of work and love. They have also been influenced by Hindu tantric sect of the Kartabhajas and also by Sufi sects. Bauls travel in search of the internal ideal, Maner Manush (Man of the Heart).

3. Bhangra
Bhangra are a lively form of music and dance that originated in the Punjab region to celebrate Vaisakhi, the festival of the Sikhs. As many Bhangra lyrics reflect the long and often tumultuous history of the Punjab, knowledge of Punjabi history offers important insights into the meaning of the music. While Bhangra began as a part of harvest festival celebrations, it eventually became a part of such diverse occasions as weddings and New Year celebrations. Moreover, during the last thirty years, Bhangra has enjoyed a surge in popularity worldwide, both in traditional form and as a fusion with genres such as hip-hop, house, and reggae, and in such forms it has become a pop sensation in the United Kingdom and North America.

4. Dandiya
Dandiya is a form of dance-oriented folk music that has also been adapted for pop music. The present musical style is derived from the traditional musical accompaniment to the folk dance. It is practised in (mainly) the state of Gujrat. Actually Dandiya is a kind of dance rather than a music, the music is called a Garba in local language.

5. Ganasangeet
Ganasangeet is generally sung in chorus carrying some social message. The songs are usually about Freedom, community strength, patriotism. Due to the British occupation in India, a lot of protest songs about anti-imperialism/pro-socialism has been written in India. Examples: Apni Azadi Ko Hum Hargis Mita Sakte Nahin, ajadee hoyni tor, Kadam kadam badhaye jaa, Vande Mataram, etc.

6. Haryanavi Music
The folk Music of Haryana has been spread by the Bhats, Saangis and Jogis. It is sung and played in the state of Haryana, parts of western UP and neighboring districts of Rajasthan and Punjab. The tradition of music in Haryana goes back to the Vedic times, and it is the only state in India to have towns and villages named after different ragas.

Haryana is rich in folk music, whose roots are firmly entrenched in the classical music of yore. The famous Sringar rasa (based on love songs) has an indirect association with renowned ragas like Bhairavi, Jayjaywanti, Gara (a Persian style), Khamaj and Kafi. However, the folk singer has no idea what a raga is and just goes out and sings.

Mainly string instruments are used to make music. The sarangi is generally preferred. For the wind instruments, the been and the bansuri provide lilting tunes in tandem with the dholak, a drum usually played with the palms or little sticks. A matka (earthen pitcher) may replace the dholak in certain areas to form the backbeat. The Jogis, Bhats and Sangis are the people who have made folk music popular in Haryana. The Jogis prefer the sarangi to form the musical backdrop to their songs which revolve around tales of chivalry and valour.

There are other famous instruments which are used along with singing. The shehnai (a flute-like instrument played mainly at weddings), shankh (conch shell), harmonium, damru (a small palm-held drum with strings attached to beads which hit the sides when shaken), nagara, ghungru, tasha, khanjri and manjira. Musical genuises, these Haryanavis; they create music even with matchsticks, papaya (yes, the fruit!), the hard core of a mango and a strip of wood.

7. Lavani
Lavani comes from the word Lavanya which means beauty. This is one of the most popular forms of dance and music that is practiced all over Maharashtra. It has in fact become a necessary part of the Maharashtrian folk dance performances. Traditionally, the songs are sung by female artistes, but male artistes may occasionally sing Lavanis. The dance format associated with Lavani is known as Tamasha. Lavani is a combination of traditional song and dance, which particularly performed to the enchanting beats of 'Dholak', an drum like instrument. Dance performed by attractive women wearing nine-yard saris. They are sung in a quick tempo. The verve, the enthusiasm, the rhythm and above all the very beat of India finds an expressive declaration amidst the folk music of India, which has somewhat, redefined the term "bliss". Lavani originated in the arid region of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

8. Popular music
The biggest form of Indian popular music is filmi, or songs from Indian films, it makes up 72% of the music sales in India. The film industry of India supported music by according reverence to classical music while utilizing the western orchestration to support Indian melodies. Music composers like Naushad, C. Ramchandra, S D Batish, Salil Chowdhury, S. D. Burman, Ilaiyaraja and A. R. Rahman employed the principles of harmony while retaining classical and folk flavor. Reputed names in the domain of Indian classical music like Pt. Ravi Shankar, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Pt. Ramnarayan have also composed music for films. Independent pop acts such as Asha Bhosle, Udit Narayan, Alisha Chinai, Shaan, Madhushree, Shreya Ghoshal, Nihira Joshi, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sonu Nigam, Sukhwinder Singh, Kunal Ganjawala, Sunidhi Chauhan, Alka Yagnik and rock bands like Indus Creed, Indian Ocean, and Euphoria exist and have gained mass appeal with the advent of cable music television. Recently one of the classical band Indian Ocean gave music in one of the movie called Pepli Live, which will be official entry for Oscars from India.

9. Qawwali
Qawwali is a Sufi form of devotional music based on the principles of classical music. It is performed with one or two or many lead singers, several chorus singers, harmonium, tabla, and dholak. Nowadays there are two many Sufi singers that are singing songs in movie songs. But one of the best Sufi singer is Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

10. Rabindra Sangeet
Rabindranath Tagore was a towering figure in Indian music. Writing in Bengali, he created a library of over 2,000 songs now known by Bengalis as 'rabindra sangeet' whose form is primarily influenced by Hindustani classical, sub-classicals, Karnatic, western, bauls, bhatiyali and different folk songs of India. Many singers in West Bengal and Bangladesh base their entire careers on the singing of Tagore musical masterpieces. The national anthem of India and national anthem of Bangladesh are Rabindra Sangeets.

11. Rajasthan
Rajasthan has a very diverse cultural collection of musician castes, including Langas, Sapera, Bhopa, Jogi and Manganiyar (lit. the ones who ask/beg). Rajasthan Diary quotes it as a soulful, full-throated music with Harmonious diversity. The haunting melody of Rajasthan evokes from a variety of delightfully primitive looking instruments. The stringed variety include the Sarangi, Rawanhattha, Kamayacha, Morsing and Ektara. Percussion instruments come in all shapes and sizes from the huge Nagaras and Dhols to the tiny Damrus. The Daf and Chang are a big favourite of Holi (the festival of colours) revellers. Flutes and bagpipers come in local flavours such as Shehnai, Poongi, Algoza, Tarpi, Been and Bankia.

The essence of Rajasthani music is derived from the creative symphony of string instruments, percussion instruments and wind instruments accompanied by melodious renditions of folk singers. It enjoys a respectable presence in Bollywood music as well.

Musical Instruments
There are many musical instruments in India. Some instruments are used primarily in north Indian music (Hindustani sangeet), some are used in the south Indian music (Carnatic sangeet), while others are found in folk music. Instrumental music is usually similar to vocal music but sometimes there are distinctive instrumental styles.

There is a traditional system for the classification of instruments. This system is based upon; non-membranous percussion (ghan), membranous percussion (avanaddh), wind blown (sushir), plucked string (tat), bowed string (vitat). In addition to these traditional five classes we have been forced to create a sixth class to accommodate purely electronic instruments.

 Non-Membranous Percussive (Ghan)
This is one of the oldest classes of instruments in India. This class is based upon percussive instruments which do not have membranes, specifically those which have solid resonators.
               These may be either melodic instruments or instruments to keep tal.
  1.   Andelu
  2.   Chimpta
  3.   Ghunghru
  4.   Kartal
  5.   Manjira
  6.   Murchang
Blown Air (Sushir)
  This class of instrument is characterized by the use of air to excite the various resonators.
  1.   Bansuri 
  2.   Bombashi
  3.   Harmonium
  4.   Mukhavina
  5.   Nadaswaram
  6.   Ottu
  7.   Pungi
  8.   Shankh
  9.   Shehnai
Plucked Stringed Instruments (Tat)
This class of instruments is characterized by plucked strings. In ancient times virtually all instruments of this class were referred to as vina.
  1.   Bulbul Tarang 
  2.   Dotar 1 
  3.   Dotar 2 (Dotora) 
  4.   Dramyen
  5.   Ektar 
  6.   Getchu Vadyam (Gettuvadyam) 
  7.   Gopichand (ektar)
  8.   Gotuvadyam
  9.   Katho (Khomok)    
  10.   Rabab (Kabuli Rabab)
  11.   Rudra Vina 
  12.   Santur 
  13.   Saraswati Vina    
  14.   Sitar
  15.   Surbahar 
  16.   Tanpura
Bowed-Stringed Instruments (Vitat)
This is a class of stringed instruments which are bowed. This class appears to be quite old, yet these instruments did not occupy a place in classical music until the last few centuries. The entire class of instruments has a certain stigma attached to it. Even today only the Western violin is free of this stigma.

  1.   Banam  
  2.   Dilruba         
  3.   Pena (a.k.a. Bana) 
  4.   Ravanhasta
  5.   Sarangi 
  6.   Saringda 
  7.   Tar Shehnai 
  8.   Violin 

Membranous Percussive (Avanaddh)
  This is a class of instruments which have struck membranes. These typically comprise the drums.

  1.   Chenda  
  2.   Damaru
  3.   Dhad 
  4.   Dhol    
  5.   Idakka and Udaku (Udakai) 
  6.   Gummeta (Dakki, Budike)       
  7.   Khol (Mridang)  
  8.   Maddal 
  9.   Mridangam   
  10.   Pakhawaj     
  11.   Pungi   
  12.   Tabala


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