Portal:Indian classical music

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Indian classical music

Performers of mridangam, violin, vocals, tambura, harmonium and tabla

The two main types of Indian classical music are:

and

Indian classical music's origins can be found in the Vedas, which are the oldest scriptures in the Hindu tradition. Indian classical music has also been significantly influenced by, or syncretised with, Indian folk music and Persian music. The Samaveda, one of the four Vedas, describes music at length. The Samaveda was derived from the Rigveda so that its hymns could be sung as Samagana; this style evolved into jatis and eventually into ragas. Bharat's Natyashastra was the first treatise laying down fundamental principles of dance, music, and drama.

Hindustani classical music is the Hindustani or North Indian style of Indian classical music found throughout the northern Indian subcontinent. The style is sometimes called North Indian Classical Music or Shāstriya Sangeet. It is a tradition that originated in Vedic ritual chants and has been evolving since the 12th century CE, primarily in what is now North India and Pakistan, and to some extent in Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan. Today, it is one of the two subgenres of Indian classical music, the other being Carnatic music, the classical tradition of South India.

Selected biography

Ravi Shankar performs in Delhi with his daughter Anoushka in March 2009
Pictured left: Ravi Shankar performs in Delhi with his daughter Anoushka in March 2009

Ravi Shankar (1920-2013) was an Indian musician and composer who played the plucked string instrument sitar. Shankar was born in Varanasi and spent his youth touring Europe and India with the dance group of his brother Uday Shankar. He gave up dancing in 1938 to study sitar playing under court musician Allauddin Khan. After finishing his studies in 1944, Shankar worked as a composer, creating the music for the Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray, and was music director of All India Radio, New Delhi, from 1949 to 1956. In 1956, he began to tour Europe and America playing Indian classical music and increased its popularity there in the 1960s through teaching, performance, and his association with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison of The Beatles. Shankar engaged Western music by writing concerti for sitar and orchestra and toured the world in the 1970s and 1980s. From 1986 to 1992 he served as a nominated member of the upper chamber of the Parliament of India. Shankar was awarded India's highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, in 1999, and received three Grammy Awards.


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Hindustani classical music is the Hindustani or North Indian style of Indian classical music found throughout the northern Indian subcontinent. The style is sometimes called North Indian Classical Music or Shāstriya Sangeet. It is a tradition that originated in Vedic ritual chants and has been evolving since the 12th century CE, primarily in what is now North India and Pakistan, and to some extent in Bangladesh, Nepal and Afghanistan. Today, it is one of the two subgenres of Indian classical music, the other being Carnatic music, the classical tradition of South India.


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Music ensemble of benares 1983 hp5 009.jpg
Credit: Michael Hoefner

Music Ensemble of Benares, Moers, Germany, 1983

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