- Music history of India
The origins of Indian classical music ("marga"), the classical music of
India, can be found from the oldest of scriptures, part of the Hindutradition, the Vedas. Samaveda, one of the four vedas describes musicat length.
The two main streams of Indian classical music are
Hindustani music, from North India, and Carnatic musicfrom South India.
Hindustani music is predominantly more than its south Indian counterpart. The prime themes of Hindustani music are
Rasa Lila(Hindu devotionals) of Krishnaand Nature in all its splendour. Bhimsen Joshi, Ravi Shankar, Hariprasad Chaurasiaand Zakir Hussain are the arts' most popular living performers. Carnatic music is similar to Hindustani music in that it is mostly improvised, but it is much more theoretical with stricter rules. It emphasizes more on the expertise of the voice rather than on the instruments. Primary themes include Deviworship, Ramaworship, descriptions of temples and patriotic songs. Among the most popular living performers are Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna, T V Sankaranarayanan, Madurai T N Seshagopalanand K J Yesudas.
Indian classical music is monophonic, and based around a single
melodyline. The performance of a composition, based melodically on one particular ragaand rhythmically on one tala, begins with the performers coming out in a ritualized order -- drone instruments, then the soloist, then accompanists and percussionists. The musicians begin by tuningtheir instruments; this process often blends imperceptibly into the beginning of the music. Indian musical instrumentsused in classical music include veena, mridangam, tabla, kanjira, tambura, flute, sitar, gottuvadyam, violinand sarangi.
Carnatic musicis largely devotional; most of the songs are addressed to the Hindu deities. There are a lot of songs emphasising love and other social issues.
As with all
Indian music, the two main components of Carnatic music are " raga", a melodic pattern and "tala", a rhythmic pattern. (One might want to read these pages before proceeding.)
Carnatic music, whose foundation lies as far back as 2000 BC, began as a spiritual ritual of early
Hinduism. It grew, along with Hindustani music, out of the Sama Vedatradition, until the Islamic invasions of North Indiain the late 12th centuryand early 13th century. From the 13th century onwards, there was a divergence in the forms of Indian music — the northern style being influenced by Arabic music (yet there are both Hindu and Muslim songs in Hindustani music.)
"Carnatic music" is named after the Southern region of the
Indian subcontinentnamed by western colonists as "Carnatic". This name was used to refer to the region between the Eastern Ghatsand the Coromandel Coastencompassing much of what is called today as South India. Thus the term "carnatic music" was used to denote "South Indian music."
Carnatic classical music
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