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The music of India is said to be one of the oldest unbroken musical traditions in the world. It is said that the origins of this system go back to the Vedas (ancient scripts of the Hindus). Many different legends have grown up concerning the origins and development of Indian classical music. Such legends go a long way in showing the importance that music has in defining Indian culture.
However the advent of modern historical and cultural research has also given us a good perspective on the field. This has shown that Indian music has developed within a very complex interaction between different peoples of different races and cultures. It appears that the ethnic diversity of present day India has been there from the earliest of times.
The basis for Indian music is "sangeet". Sangeet is a combination of three artforms: vocal music, instrumental music and dance. Although these three artforms were originally derived from the single field of stagecraft. Today these three forms have differentiated into complex and highly refined individual artforms.
Rag may be roughly equated with the Western term mode or scale. There is a system of seven notes which are arranged in a means not unlike Western scales. However when we look closely we see that it is quite different what we are familiar with.
The tal (rhythmic forms) are also very complex. Many common rhythmic patterns exist. They revolve around repeating patterns of beats.
The interpretation of the rag and the tal is not the same all over India. Today there are two major traditions of classical music. There is the north Indian and the south Indian tradition. The North Indian tradition is known as Hindustani sangeet and the south Indian is called Carnatic sangeet. Both systems are fundamentally similar but differ in nomenclature and performance practice.
All of this makes up the complex and exciting field of Indian classical music. Its understanding easily consumes an entire lifetime.
|Pages for "Indian Classical music"|
Dr. N. Ramani performs Rama Kadha Sudha
Indrajit Banerjee: Sitar - Bhairavi Dhun
Sri Thyagaraja Aradhana-Thiruvaiyaru
Sarangi Samrat Ustad Sabri Khan Saheb
Devadhi Deva- M S Subbulakshmi
Carnatic - Chitra Veena Ravikiran - Cleveland ( V - 02 )
Tarana : a technical piece of Kathak
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© 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 David and Chandrakantha Courtney
For comments, corrections, and suggestions, kindly contact David Courtney at [email protected]