"Indian music" redirects here. For other uses, see Indian music (disambiguation).
The music of India includes multiple varieties of classical music, folk music, filmi, Indian rock and Indian pop. India's classical music tradition, including Hindustani music and Carnatic, has a history spanning millennia and developed over several areas. Music in India began as an integral part of socio-religious life.
The 30,000 years old paleolithic and neolithic cave paintings at the UNESCO world heritage site at Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh shows music instruments and dance.
Dancing Girl sculpture (2500 BCE) was found from the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) site. There are IVC-era painting on pottery of man with dhol hanging from his neck and a women holding a drum under her left arm.
Vedas (c. 1500 – c. 800 BCE Vedic period), document rituals with performing arts and play. For example, Shatapatha Brahmana (~800–700 BCE) has verses in chapter 13.2 written in the form of a play between two actors.Tala or taal is an ancient music concept traceable to Vedic era texts of Hinduism, such as the Samaveda and methods for singing the Vedic hymns.Smriti (500 BCE to 100 BCE ) post-vedic Hindu texts include Valmiki's Ramayana (500 BCE to 100 BCE) which mentions dance and music (dance by Apsaras such as Urvashi, Rambha, Menaka, TilottamaPanchāpsaras, and Ravana's wives excelling in nrityageeta or "singing and dancing" and nritavaditra or "playing musical instruments"), music and singing by Gandharvas, several string instruments (vina, tantri, vipanci and vallaki similar to veena), wind instruments (shankha, venu and venugana - likely a mouth organ made by tying several flutes together), raga (including kaushika such as raag kaushik dhwani), vocal registers (seven svara or sur, ana or ekashurti drag note, murchana the regulated rise and fall of voice in matra and tripramana three-fold teen taallaya such as drut or quick, madhya or middle, and vilambit or slow), poetry recitation in Bala Kanda and also in Uttara Kanda by Luv and Kusha in marga style.
Madhava Kandali, 14th century Assamese poet and writer of Saptakanda Ramayana, lists several instruments in his version of "Ramayana", such as mardala, khumuchi, bhemachi, dagar, gratal, ramtal, tabal, jhajhar, jinjiri, bheri mahari, tokari, dosari, kendara, dotara, vina, rudra-vipanchi, etc. (meaning that these instruments existed since his time in 14th century or earlier).
Main article: Indian classical music
The two main traditions of Indian classical music are Carnatic music, which is found predominantly in the peninsular regions, and Hindustani music, which is found in the northern, eastern and central regions. The basic concepts of this music includes shruti (microtones), swaras (notes), alankar (ornamentations), raga (melodies improvised from basic grammars), and tala (rhythmic patterns used in percussion). Its tonal system divides the octave into 22 segments called Shrutis, not all equal but each roughly equal to a quarter of a whole tone of the Western music.
Main article: Hindustani classical music
The tradition of Hindustani music dates back to Vedic times where the hymns in the Sama Veda, an ancient religious text, were sung as Samagana and not chanted. It diverged from Carnatic music around the 13th-14th centuries CE, primarily due to Islamic influences. Developing a strong and diverse tradition over several centuries, it has contemporary traditions established primarily in India but also in Pakistan and Bangladesh. In contrast to Carnatic music, the other main Indian classical music tradition originating from the South, Hindustani music was not only influenced by ancient Hindu musical traditions, historical Vedic philosophy and native Indian sounds but also enriched by the Persian performance practices of the Mughals. Classical genres are dhrupad, dhamar, khyal, tarana and sadra, and there are also several semi-classical forms.
Main article: Carnatic music
Carnatic music can be traced to the 14th - 15th centuries AD and thereafter. It originated in South India during the rule of Vijayanagar Empire. Like Hindustani music, it is melodic, with improvised variations, but tends to have more fixed compositions. It consists of a composition with improvised embellishments added to the piece in the forms of Raga Alapana, Kalpanaswaram, Neraval and, in the case of more advanced students, Raga, Tala, Pallavi. The main emphasis is on the vocals as most compositions are written to be sung, and even when played on instruments, they are meant to be performed in a singing style (known as gāyaki). Around 300 ragams are in use today. Annamayya is the first known composer in Carnatic music. He is widely regarded as the Andhra Pada kavitā Pitāmaha (Godfather of Telugu song-writing). Purandara Dasa is considered the father of Carnatic music, while the later musicians Tyagaraja, Shyama Shastry and Muthuswami Dikshitar are considered the trinity of Carnatic music.
Noted artists of Carnatic music include Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar (the father of the current concert format), Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Palaghat K.V. Narayanaswamy, Alathur Brothers, MS Subbulakshmi, Lalgudi Jayaraman and more recently Balamuralikrishna, TN Seshagopalan, K J Yesudas, N. Ramani, Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, Sanjay Subrahmanyan, Manipallavam K.Sarangan, Balaji Shankar, TM Krishna, Bombay Jayashri, T S Nandakumar, Aruna SairamMysore Manjunath.
Every December, the city of Chennai in India has its eight-week-long Music Season, which is the world's largest cultural event.
Carnatic music has served as the foundation for most music in South India, including folk music, festival music and has also extended its influence to film music in the past 100–150 years or so.
Light classical music
There are many types of music which comes under the category of light classical or semi-classical. Some of the forms are Thumri, Dadra, Ghazal, Chaiti, Kajri, Tappa, Natya Sangeet and Qawwali. These forms place emphasis on explicitly seeking emotion from the audience, as opposed to the classical forms.
Main article: Indian folk music
Rabindra Sangeet (Music of Bengal)
Main article: Rabindra Sangeet
Rabindra Sangeet (Bengali: রবীন্দ্রসঙ্গীতRobindro Shonggit, Bengali pronunciation: [ɾobind̪ɾo ʃoŋɡit̪]), also known as Tagore songs, are songs written and composed by Rabindranath Tagore. They have distinctive characteristics in the music of Bengal, popular in India and Bangladesh. "Sangeet" means music, "Rabindra Sangeet" means music (or more aptly Songs) of Rabindra.
Tagore wrote some 2,230 songs in Bengali, now known as Rabindra Sangeet, using classical music and traditional folk music as sources.
Bihu of Assam
Bihu (Assamese: বিহু) is the festival of New Year of Assam falling on mid-April. This is a festival of nature and mother earth where the first day is for the cows and buffaloes. The second day of the festival is for the man. Bihu dances and songs accompanied by traditional drums and wind instruments are an essential part of this festival. Bihu songs are energetic and with beats to welcome the festive spring. Assamese drums (dhol), Pepa(usually made from buffalo horn), Gogona are major instruments used. 
Main article: Dandiya
Dandiya or Raas is a form of Gujarati cultural dance that is performed with sticks. The present musical style is derived from the traditional musical accompaniment to the folk dance. It is practiced mainly in the state of Gujarat. There is also another type of dance and music associated with Dandiya/Raas called Garba.
Uttarakhandi folk music had its root in the lap of nature and the hilly terrain of the region. Common themes in the folk music of Uttarakhand are the beauty of nature, various seasons, festivals, religious traditions, cultural practices, folk stories, historical characters, and the bravery of ancestors. The folk songs of Uttarakhand are a reflection of the cultural heritage and the way people live their lives in the Himalayas. Musical instruments used in Uttarakhand music include the Dhol, Damoun, Turri, Ransingha, Dholki, Daur, Thali, Bhankora and Masakbhaja. Tabla and Harmonium are also sometimes used, especially in recorded folk music from the 1960s onwards. Generic Indian and global musical instruments have been incorporated in modern popular folks by singers like Narendra Singh Negi, Mohan Upreti, Gopal Babu Goswami, and Chandra Singh Rahi.
Main article: Lavani
Lavani comes from the word Lavanya which means beauty. This is one of the most popular forms of dance and music that is practiced all over Maharashtra. It has, in fact, become a necessary part of the Maharashtrian folk dance performances. Traditionally, the songs are sung by female artists, but male artists may occasionally sing Lavanis. The dance format associated with Lavani is known as Tamasha. Lavani is a combination of traditional song and dance, which particularly performed to the enchanting beats of 'Dholaki', a drum-like instrument. Dance performed by attractive women wearing nine-yard saris. They are sung in a quick tempo. Lavani originated in the arid region of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
Main article: Music of Rajasthan
Rajasthan has a very diverse cultural collection of musician castes, including Langas, Sapera, Bhopa, Jogi and Manganiyar (lit. "the ones who ask/beg"). Rajasthan Diary quotes it as a soulful, full-throated music with harmonious diversity. The melodies of Rajasthan come from a variety of instruments. The stringed variety includes the Sarangi, Ravanahatha, Kamayacha, Morsing and Ektara. Percussion instruments come in all shapes and sizes from the huge Nagaras and Dhols to the tiny Damrus. The Daf and Chang are a favorite of Holi (the festival of colours) revelers. Flutes and bagpipers come in local flavors such as Shehnai, Poongi, Algoza, Tarpi, Been and Bankia.
Rajasthani music is derived from a combination of string instruments, percussion instruments and wind instruments accompanied by renditions of folk singers. It enjoys a respectable presence in Bollywood music as well.
Main articles: Filmi and Music of Bollywood
The biggest form of Indian popular music is filmi, or songs from Indian films, it makes up 72% of the music sales in India. The film industry of India supported music by according reverence to classical music while utilising the western orchestration to support Indian melodies. Music composers, like R. D. Burman, Shankar Jaikishan, S. D. Burman, Madan Mohan, Naushad Ali, O. P. Nayyar, Hemant Kumar, C. Ramchandra, Salil Chowdhury, Kalyanji Anandji, Ilaiyaraaja, A. R. Rahman, Jatin Lalit, Anu Malik, Nadeem-Shravan, Harris Jayaraj, Himesh Reshammiya, Vidyasagar, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Salim-Sulaiman, Pritam, M.S. Viswanathan, K. V. Mahadevan, Ghantasala and S. D. Batish employed the principles of harmony while retaining classical and folk flavor. Reputed names in the domain of Indian classical music like Ravi Shankar, Vilayat Khan, Ali Akbar Khan and Ram Narayan have also composed music for films. Traditionally, in Indian films, the voice for the songs is not provided by the actors, they are provided by the professional playback singers, to sound more developed, melodious and soulful, while actors lipsynch on the screen. In the past, only a handful of singers provided the voice in Hindi films. These include K. J. Yesudas, Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh, S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, T.M. Soundararajan, Hemant Kumar, Manna Dey, P. Susheela, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, K.S. Chitra, Geeta Dutt, S. Janaki, Shamshad Begum, Suraiya, Noorjahan and Suman Kalyanpur. Recent playback singers include Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu, Kailash Kher, Alisha Chinai, KK, Shaan, Madhushree, Shreya Ghoshal, Nihira Joshi, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Hariharan (singer), Ilaiyaraaja, A.R. Rahman, Sonu Nigam, Sukhwinder Singh, Kunal Ganjawala, Anu Malik, Sunidhi Chauhan, Anushka Manchanda, Raja Hasan, Arijit Singh and Alka Yagnik. Rock bands like Indus Creed, Indian Ocean, Silk Route and Euphoria exist and have gained mass appeal with the advent of cable music television.
Interaction with non-Indian music
See also: Indo jazz, Raga rock, Psychedelic music, Indo-Caribbean music, Asian Underground, and Bhangra (music)
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, rock and roll fusions with Indian music were well known throughout Europe and North America. Ali Akbar Khan's 1955 performance in the United States was perhaps the beginning of this trend.
Jazz pioneers such as John Coltrane—who recorded a composition entitled 'India' during the November 1961 sessions for his album Live At The Village Vanguard (the track was not released until 1963 on Coltrane's album Impressions)—also embraced this fusion. George Harrison (of the Beatles) played the sitar on the song "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" in 1965, which sparked interest from Shankar, who subsequently took Harrison as his apprentice. Jazz innovator Miles Davis recorded and performed with musicians like Khalil Balakrishna, Bihari Sharma, and Badal Roy in his post-1968 electric ensembles. Virtuoso jazz guitarist John McLaughlin spent several years in Madurai learning Carnatic music and incorporated it into many of his acts including Shakti which featured prominent Indian musicians. Other Western artists such as the Grateful Dead, Incredible String Band, the Rolling Stones, the Move and Traffic soon incorporated Indian influences and instruments, and added Indian performers. Legendary Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia joined guitarist Sanjay Mishra on his classic CD "Blue Incantation" (1995). Mishra also wrote an original score for French Director Eric Heumann for his film Port Djema (1996) which won best score at Hamptons film festival and The Golden Bear at Berlin. in 2000 he recorded Rescue with drummer Dennis Chambers (Carlos Santana, John McLaughlin et al.) and in 2006 Chateau Benares with guests DJ Logic and Keller Williams (guitar and bass).
Though the Indian music craze soon died down among mainstream audiences, die-hard fans and immigrants continued the fusion. In 1985, a beat-oriented, Raga Rock hybrid called Sitar Power by Ashwin Batish reintroduced sitar in western nations. Sitar Power drew the attention of a number of record labels and was snapped up by Shanachie Records of New Jersey to head their World Beat Ethno Pop division.
In the late 1980s, Indian-British artists fused Indian and Western traditions to make the Asian Underground. Since the 1990s, Canadian born musician Nadaka who has spent most of his life in India, has been creating music that is an acoustic fusion of Indian classical music with western styles. One such singer who has merged the Bhakti sangeet tradition of India with the western non-Indian music is Krishna Das and sells music records of his musical sadhana. Another example is the Indo-Canadian musician Vandana Vishwas who has experimented with western music in her 2013 album Monologues.
In the new millennium, American hip-hop has featured Indian filmi and bhangra. Mainstream hip-hop artists have sampled songs from Bollywood movies and have collaborated with Indian artists. Examples include Timbaland's "Indian Flute", Erick Sermon and Redman's "React", Slum Village's "Disco", and Truth Hurts' hit song "Addictive", which sampled a Lata Mangeshkar song, and The Black Eyed Peas sampled Asha Bhosle's song "Yeh Mera Dil" in their hit single "Don't Phunk With My Heart". In 1997, the British band Cornershop paid tribute to Asha Bhosle with their song Brimful of Asha, which became an international hit. British-born Indian artist Panjabi MC also had a Bhangra hit in the U.S. with "Mundian To Bach Ke" which featured rapper Jay-Z. Asian Dub Foundation are not huge mainstream stars, but their politically charged rap and punk rock influenced sound has a multi-racial audience in their native UK. In 2008, international star Snoop Dogg appeared in a song in the film Singh Is Kinng. In 2007, hip-hop producer Madlib released Beat Konducta Vol 3–4: Beat Konducta in India; an album which heavily samples and is inspired by the music of India.
Sometimes, the music of India will fuse with the traditional music of other countries. For example, Delhi 2 Dublin, a band based in Canada, is known for fusing Indian and Irish music, and Bhangraton is a fusion of Bhangra music with reggaeton, which itself is a fusion of hip hop, reggae, and traditional Latin American music.
In a more recent example of Indian-British fusion, Laura Marling along with Mumford and Sons collaborated in 2010 with the Dharohar Project on a four-song EP. The British band Bombay Bicycle Club also sampled the song "Man Dole Mera Tan Dole" for their single "Feel".
Indian pop music
Main article: Indian pop
See also: Asian Underground, Bhangra (music), and Bhangragga
Indian pop music is based on an amalgamation of Indian folk and classical music, and modern beats from different parts of the world. Pop music really started in the South Asian region with the playback singer Ahmed Rushdi's song ‘Ko Ko Korina’ in 1966, followed initially by Mohammad Rafi in the late 1960s and then by Kishore Kumar in the early 1970s.
After that, much of Indian Pop music comes from the Indian Film Industry, and until the 1990s, few singers like Usha Uthup, Sharon Prabhakar, and Peenaz Masani outside it were popular. Since then, pop singers in the latter group have included Daler Mehndi, Baba Sehgal, Alisha Chinai, KK, Shantanu Mukherjee a.k.a. Shaan, Sagarika, Colonial Cousins (Hariharan, Lesle Lewis), Lucky Ali, and Sonu Nigam, and music composers like Zila Khan or Jawahar Wattal, who made top selling albums with, Daler Mehndi, Shubha Mudgal, Baba Sehgal, Shweta Shetty and Hans Raj Hans.
Besides those listed above, popular Indi-pop singers include Gurdas Maan, Sukhwinder Singh, Papon, Zubeen Garg, Raghav SacharRageshwari, Vandana Vishwas, Devika Chawla, Bombay Vikings, Asha Bhosle, Sunidhi Chauhan, Anushka Manchanda, Bombay Rockers, Anu Malik, Jazzy B, Malkit Singh, Raghav, Jay Sean, Juggy D, Rishi Rich, Sheila Chandra, Bally Sagoo, Punjabi MC, Bhangra Knights, Mehnaz, Sanober and Vaishali Samant.
Recently, Indian pop has taken an interesting turn with the "remixing" of songs from past Indian movie songs, new beats being added to them.
Rock & metal music
Main article: Raga rock
See also: Psychedelic rock
Raga rock is rock or pop music with a heavy Indian influence, either in its construction, its timbre, or its use of instrumentation, such as the sitar and tabla. Raga and other forms of classical Indian music began to influence many rock groups during the 1960s; most famously the Beatles. The first traces of "raga rock" can be heard on songs such as "See My Friends" by the Kinks and the Yardbirds' "Heart Full of Soul", released the previous month, featured a sitar-like riff by guitarist Jeff Beck. The Beatles song "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)", which first appeared on the band's 1965 album Rubber Soul, was the first western pop song to actually incorporate the sitar (played by lead guitarist George Harrison).The Byrds' March 1966 single "Eight Miles High" and its B-side "Why" were also influential in originating the musical subgenre. Indeed, the term "raga rock" was coined by The Byrds' publicist in the press releases for the single and was first used in print by journalist Sally Kempton in her review of "Eight Miles High" for The Village Voice. George Harrison's interest in Indian music, popularised the genre in the mid-1960s with songs such as "Love You To", "Tomorrow Never Knows" (credited to Lennon-McCartney), "Within You Without You" and "The Inner Light". The rock acts of the sixties both in turn influenced British and American groups and Indian acts to develop a later form of Indian rock.
Main article: Indian rock
The rock music "scene" in India is small compared to the filmi or fusion musicality "scenes" but as of recent years has come into its own, achieving a cult status of sorts. Rock music in India has its origins in the 1960s when international stars such as the Beatles visited India and brought their music with them. These artists' collaboration with Indian musicians such as Ravi Shankar and Zakir Hussain have led to the development of raga rock. International shortwave radio stations such as The Voice of America, BBC, and Radio Ceylon played a major part in bringing Western pop, folk, and rock music to the masses. Indian rock bands began to gain prominence only much later, around the late 1980s.
It was around this time that the rock band Indus Creed formerly known as The Rock Machine got itself noticed on the international stage with hits like Rock N Roll Renegade. Other bands quickly followed. As of now, the rock music scene in India is quietly growing day by day and gathering more support. With the introduction of MTV in the early 1990s, Indians began to be exposed to various forms of rock such as grunge and speed metal. This influence can be clearly seen in many Indian bands today. The cities of the North Eastern Region, mainly Guwahati and Shillong, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore have emerged as major melting pots for rock and metal enthusiasts. Bangalore has been the hub for rock and metal movement in India. Some prominent bands include Dorian Platonic, Nicotine, Cannibals, Phinix, Just, Voodoo Child, Rubella, Crystal Ann, Morgue, Indian Ocean, Kryptos, Pentagram, Thermal and a Quarter, Abandoned Agony, No Idea, Zero, Half Step Down, Scribe, Eastern Fare, Demonic Resurrection, Zygnema, Motherjane, Soulmate, Avial and Parikrama. The future looks encouraging thanks to entities such as Green Ozone, DogmaTone Records, Eastern Fare Music Foundation, that are dedicated to promoting and supporting Indian rock. From Central India, Nicotine, an Indore-based metal band, is widely credited of being the pioneer of metal music in the region.
Main articles: Dance in India, Hindi Dance Music, Music of Bollywood, Goa trance, Psychedelic trance, Charanjit Singh (musician), and Electronica
Indian Hip Hop
Main article: Indian hip hop
Jazz and blues
There are definitely certain moments in one’s life that are characterized by a desire for self-expression. For many people, music offers the best way to achieve this. Often, when a person settles down and listens to his/her favorite music, there follows a temporary feeling in which the world’s hassles are forgotten. Music can also add a sense of excitement and anticipation. Moreover, it can be used to set the mood, such as in a movie scene. It can promote a sense of mystery or foreboding, as well as nostalgia or enchantment. Is there a simple definition of music? Music has been considered a difficult concept to define. It is composed of a number of elements such as rhythm, words, notes, tones, and dynamics.
Furthermore, music can be classified into a number of genres, time periods, and geographic locations.
Each genre is named according to the music type of which it is comprised. Typically, music types include national songs, religious music and secular music, as well as. In secular music, there are numerous sub-types; these are referred to as secular genres. It is important point to note that many music genres have geographic significance.
For others, popularity stems from the rich history associated with the music’s origin.
Similarly, there are certain music genres that have a huge cult following, while others’ roots can be traced back through many centuries.
The most popular music genres include contemporary, like rock, blues, classical music, country music, easy listening music, electronic music, and hip-hop/rap. The list is endless, and each of these genres is composed of numerous other sub-genres. For example, under rock music is hard rock and college rock. Equally, blues includes acoustic blues, country blues, and classic blues. The classical genre, whose popularity has stretched into the modern generation, includes music such as avant-garde, baroque, choral, chant, and opera music.
The knowledge of music genres is vital for people desiring to be employed in the music industry. Many music career paths demand that one should be able to identify each type of music and its characteristics. For instance, music managers need this knowledge to sufficiently convince people that an artist’s music is worth listening to.
Likewise, booking agents should be able to discuss the kind of music to be performed whenever they attempt to book engagements for music bands. Furthermore, knowledge of music genres helps one to understand different audiences, such as their traits or characteristics, what they enjoy, and why they enjoy it.
A number of inferences can be made based on music genres. For instance, it is possible to predict the cultural pattern of a given audience from the genre of music that is prevalent in that community. Similarly, genres speak volumes about the historical background of a given audience. Musicians and other players in the music sector must, therefore, should study the kind of audience for they wish to perform so that they know what that audience is likely to prefer.
Tips on expository essay writing:
In general, there are several points that one should keep in mind when writing an expository essay on music genres. This essay, however, presents one valuable tip, which is to keep in mind that different people enjoy different kinds of music. Since it is impossible to determine what music the reader appreciates, it is advisable to write the essay based on your favorite music genre. This will include a detailed explanation why that particular genre appeals to you. Any writing that involves a detailed explanation of the main topic is considered expository writing.
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