Classical Music

Examine the roots of classical Indian music and its evolution into major forms. (200 Words)

There are divergent views about the exact roots and origin of classical Indian music but all of them agree on one single issue that music during its initial years in India was closely associated with prevalent tradition, religious customs and celebrations
and it has continued till now also.
However, the origin of classical Indian Music can be traced mainly to:
  1. Origin of classical music can be traced to Vedas and popular scriptures. The Samaveda contained shlokas chanted in form of hymns with certain pitch and tones.
  2. Some ancient works like Natyashashtra ,compiled by as a sage called Bharat between 2nd BC to 2nd AC contains six chapters on music. In Matang’s Brihaddesi (compiled between 9th and 10th century AD) Ragas were first named and discussed in details. An another text , Sangeet Ratnakara compiled by Sarangdev contains 264 ragas.
  3. Many ancient rulers were patrons of music . The Gupta monarch Samudra Gupta was himself an accomplished musician. Jaydev of Orissa, twelfth century, produced the Gita Govinda, a brilliant composition of songs set in Ragas on the theme of the love of (Radha and Krishna). In medieval period, Sufi and bhakti movement encouraged music.
  4. Hindustani classical music can be traced back to the period of the Delhi Sultanate and to Amir Khusrau(AD 1253-1325) who is believed to have invented the sitar and the tabla and is said to have introduced new ragas.
Various forms into which Classical Indian Music evolved:
  1. Hindustani music(North India music) : founded in north India .Has two main forms, Khyal and Dhrupad. Sarangi ,harmonium ,tanpura, veena, sehnai, santoor and tabla etc are chief musical instruments used.
  2. Carnatic music: founded in south India More rhythmical and structured than Hindustani music. Cheif instruments are veena, mridangam, kanjira, harmonium and ghatam etc.
Similarity between both: both have 12 notes in a scale. Both accepts the relation between ‘Raga’ .
Analyse the major differences between Carnatic and Hindustani
classical music forms. (200 Words)
The major differences between Hindustani classical and Carnatic music forms are:
  1. Region: Hindustani classical developed in north India and Carnatic in south Indian
  2. Influence: Hindustani music has Arab, Persian and Afghan influences while Carnatic is completely indigenous.
  3. Freedom: Artists given freedom to improvise hence variations while Carnatic music   has no such freedom.
  4. Substyles: There are substyles hence ‘gharanas’ present while Carnatic has only one prescribed style of singing.
  5. Instruments: Instruments have an equally important role in Hindustani style while there is more emphasis on vocal music in Carnatic music. Tabla, sarangi, sitar and santoor are essential to Hindustani classical while veena, mridangam and mandolin to Carnatic and flute and violin are common to both.
  6. Type: Hindustani has emotional music while Carnatic is intellectual and spiritual.
  7. Ragas: Six principle ragas in Hindustani while Carnatic has 72 raga- melakarta
  8. Time: Hindustani has specific ragas for specific time while Carnatic does not adhere to such specifications



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top