music of india and its history


Indian classical is very unique and rich in traditIon which is originated in the South Asia and spread to all and different parts of world now Vedic time is the period from where we can find the history of Indian music.

 Natyashastra of Bharatmuni

It is supposed to have been written sometime between 2nd century B.C and in second century is a landmark in the history of Indian music
 Music of India includes variety of folk ,pop music, classical music etc. Carnatic music and Hindustani Music are the two main traditions of classical music in India .In harripala’s “Sangeeta Sudhakara”, written in the 14th century A.D., the terms Carnatic and Hindustani are found for the first time.

1.Carnatic Music

predominantly in the peninsular regions

2 Hindustani music

  • this is famous in the northern and central areas.
  • It was influenced by ancient Hindu musical traditions as well as Persian music due to prevalence of Persian performance practices during the Mughals.
  • The development of two distinct streams is usually attributed to the fact that South India did not absorbed the impact of Muslim rule in it’s culture while the northern India did.

Guru-shishya parampara.

This tradition is central to the classical music tradition in India which literally means the teacher-pupil tradition. The gurus are Discussed Pandit when they are of Hindu religion or Ustaad if they are of Muslim religion.

Basic elements


  • In general sense, swara means pitch or tone. In aggregation there are seven basic notes in scale : Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni
  • Collectively, these 7 swara are called – SARGAM
  • Sa (Sadja),
  • Ri (Rishabha),
  • Ga (Gandharva),
  • Ma (Madhyama),
  • Pa (Panchama),
  • Dha (Dhaivata),
  • Ni (Nishada).


It is the basis of melody. Raga is a inclusion of swaras which,with dashing illuminating graces, which do enlightenment to the mind of people.

Raga Time Season Mood
Evokes sweetness of a young couple
Megh Mid day/ Afternoon Rainy Courage
Shri Evening Winter Gladness
Malkauns Midnight Winter Youthful love

 Tal

It focus the basis of rhythm. It is a time measure. There is a cyclical manner of beats arrangement. The range of tal is mainly from 3 beats to 107 beats. According to natyashastra,32 kinds of tal but presently there are more than 100 tals by musicians .The most popular tal is – Teen Tal (16 beats)


 Origin: 13th and 14th century in North India.
 The Hindustani music major focus on the possibilities of improvisation structure in it and in its music structure.
 The Hindustani branch have a scale of shudha swara saptaka (Octave of Natural notes)
 Influence: The Hindustani music is combination of ancient Hindu tradition, Vedic philosophy and Persian tradition . It has been influenced by various elements such as Arab, Persian and Afghan elements
 It is based on Raga system.
 Music of Hindustani is vocal-centric.
 There are ten main styles of singing in Hindustani music like the Dhrupad, Khayal, Tappa, Tarana, Thumri etc.


o It is the oldest and more surviving classical style of Hindustani ( North Indian) vocal music.
o It has links in vedas.
o Its name is derived from dhruva-pada, simply meaning “refrain,” and today denotes both a form of poetry and a style of music in which the poetry is sung.
o It is presented in a style marked with precise and orderly elaboration of Raga. A dhrupad is introduced by a slow tempo-ed Alap.


o Word ‘Khayal’ is derived from Persian and means “idea or imagination”.
o Origin of this style was attributed to Amir Khusrau.
o Based on the repertoire of short songs ranging from two to eight lines. Is also called a ‘Bandish’.

o This is the most prominent style in Hindustani depicting romantic style of singing. It Is mainly depend on and improvisation and on the imagination of the performer. It is composed of specific raga and tala.
o Themes: It ranges from praise of kings description of seasons, divine love & Sorrow of separation and pranks of Lord Sri Krishna


o It uses many words that are sung at a fast tempo.
o Rhythm plays a crucial teen teen tam tam tanam tanam etc


o Location: Originated in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, mainly in Lucknow & Benares, around 18th century.
o A romantic & erotic style of singing; also called “the lyric of Indian classical music”.
o Themes:
 Usually romantic and religious themes of the compositions: love, separation and devotion; erotic subject depicting various episodes of lives of Lord Krishna & Radha.
o Lyrics are typically in Brij Bhasha
o A Thumri is usually performed as the last item of a Khayal concert.


o In this style the rhythm plays a very important role as the compositions are based on fast, subtle and knotty constructions.
o Developed around the 18th century. It’s meaning is jump in Persian, it is developed in folk songs by the camel riders.

 Hindustani Music Gharanas names , place and founder name

A Gharana is a system of social organisation linking musicians / dancers by lineage Or by apprenticeship, and by adherence to a specific musical way. They function in guru-shishya parampara.

Name of the Gharana Place Founder
Nanthan Khan
Hajisujan Khan
Faiyyaz Khan
Jaipur Atrauli
Alladiya Khan
Abdul Wahid Khan


 Carnatic sangeet (karnatik sangit), is the South Indian system of classical music.
 It has a special history and excellent and huge sophisticated system of theory.
 Area: South Indian states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.
 Purandardas is considered as the father of Carnatic Music: ‘Carnatic Sangeeta Pitamaha’
 Carnatic music acquired its present form in the 18th century under the “trinity” of Carnatic music

o Thyagaraja, Shamashastri, and Muthuswami Dikshitar

 It is also based upon a system of ragam (rag) and thalam (tal).
 Most common musical instruments: ones are the veena (vina), violin, mridangam, nadaswaram, and the tavil.
 The dominant element of Karnatic music is the ‘Kriti’; a form of composition with three parts Pallavi , Anupallavi and Charanam. Here sung first is Pallavi followed by the Anupallavi and the end is also with pallavi. The next sung is charanam and it is linked with the Pallavi before the ending.

Melakarta scheme

is a feature of Carnatic music: It is a highly comprehensive and systematic formula which includes within its fold whole of metgods used in ancient as well as in the modern systems of music in the different and specific parts of the world.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.