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All about Indian Classical Music

We all know that Indian Classical Music is worldly acclaimed. People cherish and enjoy the swara, raga and the various notes of Indian Classical Music. The reason behind this popularity is its uniqueness. Moreover, many have found a deep spiritual connection with the Indian ragas. Such belief or feeling is associated with the framing and structuring of the ragas, which has various significances.

All About Indian Classical Music

Indian Ragas or the Indian classical Music exposure started with Ravi Shankar, who took this specialised music genre to the western platform. He collaborated with the Beatles and presented Hindustani Music to the western world. This was the first grand exposure to Indian classical Music. However, Indian classical Music has its own schools or music style. Broadly speaking, those are divided regionally. The northern part of India mostly follows the Hindustani Classical music style, while the southern region generally follows the Carnatic Music style. Before starting with the two different schools, let us know about the history of Indian Classical Music.

History of Indian Classical Music:

Indian Classical Music evolved from the sacred Vedic chants of the Hindi priests. Many music enthusiasts believe that there is a deeper connection between deities and the divine origin of Music. The Vedic chants were considered to be the purest form of Music that releases cosmic energy. Music and religion had a closer and more profound connection. In the Samaveda, the earlier forms of Music can be found, and so this is considered the oldest form of music that is ever generated from the Vedic chants.

The Carnatic music style seems to be the closest one to the Vedic music style between both genres. Drums and various other musical instruments were used in temples and war zones to send messages. Moreover, the Sitar and other musical instruments have a close connection with temples as many of the deities were associated with playing such musical instruments. Damru played by Mahadeb, Sitar by Saraswati etc.

However, Hindustani Classical Music flourished after the Mughals accession over Delhi. Being music enthusiasts, the sultans held regular music concerts and programs on the Mughal courts. So it could be rightly said that Hindustani Classical Music has its style, a fusion between Islamic Influence over Vedic Music. Amir Khusrau is said to be the father of Hindustani Music.

Carnatic Music:

Purandar Das is believed to be the founder of Carnatic Music. The Triratnas of Carnatic Music, Shyama Shastri, Muthuswami Dikhsitar, Tyagaraja is the three most famous musicians of Carnatic Music. All of them are considered to be great exponents of Carnatic Music.

Important aspects of Carnatic Music-

  • Kundali swaras or helical is necessary for Carnatic music.

  • The raga style is free.

  • 'Taanam' and 'Raga' are two important aspects.

  • The swaras are distorted and only named after the shrutis.

  • The pure swar 'thaat' is known as 'mukhari'.

  • The time duration is well planned and structured appropriately; After Vilamba comes Madhya and then comes Dhruta. Madhya is twice Vilamba and Druta is twice Madhya.

Hindustani Music:

Amir Khusrau composed Turkish, Persian, and Braj Bhasha music. He created the systematic structure of Hindustani Music. He introduced various types of Ragas like Zeelaf, Sarpada, Yaman Kalyan etc. Besides, he also created the genre of Qawali, which was fused with Persian melody.

Important aspects of Hindustani Music:

  • Hindustani Music stresses the moral constructions of Nadi and Samvadi swaras of the songs.

  • Joda is the fast-paced clapping that is done while the singer recites. After Joda, Tall is not accompanied.

  • Distorted swars are introduced after the completion of full swars.

  • Tilwal is the name of the pure form of swars.

  • The swars are very flexible and range extensively.

  • Gender-based ragas are another striking feature of this style.

Indian Classical Music Online: Learning Indian classical Music online is as simple as any other form of Music. The most important factors are the right teacher and the proper environment. For basic training, learners must start with regular Riyaz, and once they are capable of understanding the various features of Music, they can explore new branches and forms of Music with the help of the trainer.


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