The music of India includes multiple varieties of Punjabi Music , 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, 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. Vedas c. Under the Khiljis , there were concerts and competitions between Hindustani and Carnatic musicians.
The ancient panns over centuries evolved first into a pentatonic scale and later into the seven note Carnatic Sargam. There are several references to music and Panns in the ancient pre-Sangam and Sangam literature starting from the earliest known work Tholkappiyam BCE. Among Sangam literature, Mathuraikkanci refers to women singing sevvazhi pann to invoke the mercy of God during childbirth.
In Tolkappiyam , the five landscapes of the Sangam literature had each an associated Pann , each describing the mood of the song associated with that landscape. Among the numerous panns that find mention in the ancient Tamil literature are, Ambal Pann , which is suitable to be played on the flute, sevvazhi pann on the Yazh lute , Nottiram and Sevvazhi expressing pathos, the captivating Kurinji pann and the invigorating Murudappann.
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.
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 13thth centuries CE, primarily due to Islamic influences. 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. 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.
Around ragams are in use today. Annamayya is the first known composer in Carnatic music. 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. Ramani , Umayalpuram K. 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 — years or so. There are many types of music which comes under the category of light classical or semi-classical. These forms place emphasis on explicitly seeking emotion from the audience, as opposed to the classical forms. The present musical style is derived from non traditional musical accompaniment to the riffs of Punjab called by the same name. 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. 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.
Jhumair and Domkach are Nagpuri folk music. 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.
The dance is 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. Rajasthan has a very diverse cultural collection of musician castes , including Langas , Sapera , Bhopa , Jogi and Manganiyar lit. Rajasthan Diary quotes it as a soulful, full-throated music with harmonious diversity. The melodies of Rajasthan come from a variety of instruments. 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. 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. They have distinctive characteristics in the music of Bengal , popular in India and Bangladesh. Tagore wrote some 2, songs in Bengali , now known as Rabindra Sangeet , using classical music and traditional folk music as sources.
Sufi folk rock contains elements of modern hard rock and traditional folk music with Sufi poetry. While it was pioneered by bands like Junoon in Pakistan it became very popular, especially in north India. More recently, the sufi folk rock song "Bulleya" from the film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil became a mammoth hit. This is a genre of Nepali folk song of the Tamang people and popular amongst the Nepali speaking community in West Bengal, Sikkim and around the world.
It is accompanied by Tamang instruments, the Madal , Damphu and Tungna , although nowadays musicians have taken to modern instruments. A Tamang Selo can be catchy and lively or slow and melodious, and is usually sung to convey sorrow, love, happiness or day-to-day incidents and stories of folklore. She has sung nearly songs through her musical career spanning 40 years. 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. Tabla and Harmonium are also sometimes used, especially in recorded folk music from the s onwards. Music composers, like R. Burman , Shankar Jaikishan , S. Nayyar , Hemant Kumar , C. Viswanathan , K. Mahadevan , Ghantasala and S.
Batish employed the principles of harmony while retaining classical and folk flavor. 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 Kishore Kumar , K. Yesudas , Mohammed Rafi , Mukesh , S. Balasubrahmanyam , T. Chitra , Geeta Dutt , S. Rock bands like Indus Creed , Indian Ocean , Silk Route and Euphoria have gained mass appeal with the advent of cable music television.
In the late s and early s, rock and roll fusions with Indian music were well known throughout Europe and North America. Ali Akbar Khan 's 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 sessions for his album Live At The Village Vanguard the track was not released until 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 , 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 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. Though the Indian music craze soon died down among mainstream audiences, die-hard fans and immigrants continued the fusion. Since the s, 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 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. In , the British band Cornershop paid tribute to Asha Bhosle with their song Brimful of Asha , which became an international hit.
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 , 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. Indian pop music is based on an amalgamation of Indian folk and classical music, and modern beats from different parts of the world.
Recently, Indian pop has taken an interesting turn with the " remixing " of songs from past Indian movie songs, new beats being added to them. 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 s; 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. 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. The rock music scene in India is small compared to the filmi or fusion musicality scenes.
Rock music in India has its origins in the s 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.
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Indian rock bands began to gain prominence only much later, around the late s. 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.
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Other bands quickly followed. With the introduction of MTV in the early s, Indians began to be exposed to various forms of rock such as grunge and speed metal, impacting the national scene. 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. From Central India, Nicotine , an Indore-based metal band, has been credited with pioneering metal music in the region.
The spread and following of Western classical music in India is almost entirely non-existent. It is mainly patronised by the Indian Zoroastrian community and small esoteric groups with historical exposure to Western classical music.
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Another esoteric group with significant patronage is the Protestant Christian community in Chennai and Bangalore. Western keyboard, drums and guitar instruction being an exception as it has found some interest; mainly in an effort to create musicians to service contemporary popular Indian music. Despite more than a century of exposure to Western classical music and two centuries of British colonialism, classical music in India has never gained more than 'fringe' popularity.
It is this feeling, assenting, equable marriage between the geographical country and the country of the mind, whether that country of the mind takes its tone unconsciously from a shared oral inherited culture, or from a consciously savoured literary culture, or from both, it is this marriage that constitutes the sense of place in its richest possible manifestation.
Where history had barred Catholic owners from their own property and a sense of belonging, they made use of the only tangible feature that was still theirs — names of places in Gaelic Irish — as a way of identifying with space, marking their territory, and virtually regaining their lost possessions. And this feeling had been further exacerbated by the completion of the Ordnance Survey maps, drawn up between and , and which had chiefly replaced Irish names by English approximations.
In a debate at the House of Lords in , Lord Stanley was thus able to remark:. Cork: Skibbereen. Between and , 9, men, women and children were buried in the nearby common graveyard at Abbeystrewery during the Great Famine. The song was probably written by Patrick Carpenter, and is a bitter and vengeful reminder of those days in the form of a discussion between a son and his father:.
It seems so bright and beautiful, so rich and rare the soil. You say it is a bounteous land wherein a prince might dwell. Then why did you abandon it? The reason to me tell. Later, he or she might also pay for the passage of a second member of a family, etc. Leaving the country was generally regarded on a par with death, as very few exiles ever returned home:. Mayo in , where the keening for the departed took place:. All eyes were fixed on the neighbours who were going away for ever. The last embraces were terrible to see; but worse were the kissings and the claspings of the hands during the long minutes that remained after the woman and children had taken their seats.
In this respect, folklorist John Moulden was able to remark that emigration songs were sometimes more a construct by those who stayed in Ireland than the real feelings of exiled Irish men and women. Musicians and their audiences are, after all, members of a community and should be viewed as such. By comparison, the population of England c. In turn, this amputation of a common memorial legacy led to the feeling that the Irish peasantry had been robbed of its last possessions: the sense of belonging, leading to the worst of sanctions — exile.
Folk Music and Dances of Ireland. Cork: The Mercier Press, , pp. Cronin , Maura.
Crowley , John, Smyth , William J. Atlas of the Great Irish Famine. Cork: University Press, , pp. Flanagan, Thomas. The Year of the French. London: Arrow Books, , pp. Gerould, Gordon H. The Ballad of Tradition . New York: Galaxy Books, , pp. Hughes , Herbert. Irish Country Songs, preface to volume 2. London: Boosey and Hawkes, , pp. Kinealy , Christine.
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Laxton , Edward. Boston: Holt McDougal, , pp. Martineau, Harriet. Letters from Ireland. London: John Chapman, , pp. Moulden , John. Thousands are Sailing: A brief song history of Irish emigration. Portrush: Ulstersongs, , 44 pp. MorasH, Chistopher.
More Than Singing: The Interpretation of Songs
Dublin: Irish Academic Press, , pp. Traditional Music in Ireland. Princeton: University Press, , pp.
Dublin: McGlashan and Gill, , pp. Irish Folk Music, Song and Dance . Petrie, George. The Ancient music of Ireland , Vol. The Great Irish Famine. Music in Irish Cultural History. Island Home: The Blasket Heritage. Dingle: Brandon, , pp. The Companion to Irish Traditional Music. White, Harry and Boydell, Barra eds. Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland.
Dublin: UCD Press, , pp. Woodham-Smith , Cecil. The Great Hunger -Ireland London: Penguin Books, , pp. London: G. The factors that shape the tradition are: i continuity which links the present with the past; ii variation which springs from the creative impulse of the individual or the group; and iii selection by the community, which determines the form or forms in which the music survives. Hutton , London: G.