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2404459238 4898d31ea6 Indian Classical Music

 Two thousand years ago, music deemed to be a ritualistic aspect. But, music as a tool of entertainment, evolved much later in the scenario. Another segment of the Indian music is called the folk music. The Classical sect of Indian music is noted to have been evolved from the mixture of the folk music as well as the ritualistic music. Presumably, folk music in India existed with the native inhabitants of the country, popular as Dravidians, before the time of the emergence of Aryans. The art of practicing music in India comprises of special significance. It was developed from the ritualistic association of music coupled with folk music and other musical expressions hailing from neighboring places. Slowly, the blended music matured through the ages and came to be known as the popular Indian Classical Music.

The origin of the Indian Music

Experts have concluded that Indian music emerged from the Vedas. God himself is the sound of music which pervades the entire universe. This concept is known as the Nadabrahma. The origin of the Indian music is, therefore, considered to be something divine. The musicians of the Indian classical music have to follow the ritual of self-abandonment just to fuse his or her existences with the supreme reality known as Brahma. Brahma is considered as he author of the four Vedas, of which, the Sama Veda was said to have been chanted in a definite pattern of music. In fact, the hymns of the Vedas are sung in a plaintive melody with the usage of only three different notes.


What the Classical Music of India is witnessed as of now, has transformed through several hundred years to reach he current stage. It’s said that the most advanced piece of music was created back in the era between the 14th to 18th centuries. In this period, the northern music came in close contact with the Persian music and then it was assimilated with the support of Pathans as well as the Mughals. Due to the blend, two distinctive sects of the Indian Classical music emerged, which are the Carnatic as well as the Hindusthani. The Carnatic music opted to retain the traditional set of the octaves whereas; the Hindusthani sect opted to go with the scales of the Shudha Swara saptaka or the octave of the natural notes of nature. In this period, there were many such traditional classical compositions like the Khayal, Dhamar, Dhrupad, etc. that contributed to the enhancement of the Hindusthani Classical Musical sect, with so many kirtans, bhajans and also hymns.

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 Indian classical music photo

Photo by Rakesh Konni

The tradition of the Classical music

The Indian Classical music has a pervasive influence in the life of each Indian, covering the small events, alongside the big ones. From the birth of an individual to the religious rites, festivals and even after death, the existence is celebrated with the help of the musical notes. Not all sections of the music were not reduced to the writing, rather retain the integrity of the tradition; music was imparted vocally or orally by the experts, known as Guru, to the students, known as Shishyas. The very concept of the Gurukul Ashrama revolved around the idea of students living and learning under the monitor of Guru.


The different segments of the Indian Classical Music

  • The saptaka and the Shruti

The Classical Music of India s said to have been formed from three completely different notes which ranged from the very scale of seven different primary notes, and by separate twenty-two intervals. This very scale is divided into twenty-two different intervals or the Shruti’s which form the basis of the musical notes.  A saptak is nothing but a group of the seven notes which are divided by the Shruti.

  • The Raga

Ragas are considered to be the very soul of the Indian Classical Music. Several musical notes are compiled into significant a composition which sounds pleasant to the ears, and also creates an environment of sentiment and feelings. It must be kept in mind that not just any stray composition of the combined notes can be termed as Ragas. Only a performer with proper knowledge as well as the training can create the emotions through his or her voice to create shrutis or notes. Raga is the backbone of the Indian music, and therefore, laws formed to safeguard the usages of them are to be carefully preserved as well as observed.

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 Indian classical music photo

Photo by Vironevaeh

The aspects of the folk and classical music

Classical music is bound by many specific laws along with many sets of restrictions of having to follow only the proper scales of 22 different intervals. In the case of folk music, the sect has got different forms and mostly the region from which it emerges. The folk music is extremely flexible when it comes to expressing one’s though without the boundary of the law. Folk music comes with its peculiar independence of expressing the emotions of human life like joy, sorrow, loneliness, etc. without any mandatory boundaries of emotions and expressions. Folk music has a tradition of its own. Folk music does not have any set of ragas to be followed. Rather, in the case of the folk music, the poetic rhythm and impact are extremely important to be followed. Folk music is the portrayal of the common life of the rural people mostly.

The aspects of vocal music and the different styles of music

The vocalist of the Indian classical music is always, rather, religiously followed by an instrument which is known as the Tanpura. This instrument comes with the advantage of being set to the tune of the vocalists’ key note. Tanpura must be suitable for the singer’s voice, to suit at least one and a half octave of the entre tone and also one octave below the criterion. Tan range of the vocals has to be used without paying much effort. Indian Classical Music is a concept which even a thousand words cannot cover. Such is the might of this subject.

Featured Photo by souravdas


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