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Indian Music


Submitted By Bonizioka
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Classical Indian Music It is undeniable that the music of a people is embedded in their culture and traditions, and so is the Indian classical music. The tones and sounds of the Indian music bear influence from the Hindu religion and their culture. Instrumentation and notation has been quite unique unlike the Western music. Ravi Shankar is among Indian musicians who have revolutionalized the classical Indian music and has won three Grammy Wards. Although Shankar interacted with other artists from other cultures, his music reflects on the Indian musical traditions. The classical Indian music is reputed style of music which even today espouses the aesthetics of the ancient times despite having had influence from other genres of music (Massey & Massey, 1996). The classical music of India is categorized into two; the Hindustani music which is from Northern Indian region and Carnatic music from Southern India. Massey and Massey (1996) argue that a common similarity of the two genres is that they employ one raga per song and the music has heavy improvisation element. Raga is what may be compared to mode or scale in Western music. The difference is evident because Hindustani music has the heavy influence of Persian music as opposed to Carnatic music and vocalist element is emphasized in Carnatic music than in Hindustani music. The Indian music is characteristic of tala which is considered as rhythmic pattern enhanced by drums called the tabla and the accompaniment the stringed instrument, the Sitar, which has been compared with the Western harpsichord. The Indian classical music is also classified as secular music to praise people and the sacred music for worship of the deities. Ravi Shankar has become renowned for his prowess and mastery in the classical Indian music which earned him the coveted Grammy award in the music world. He is the reason why there has been rapport between the Indian music and the Western music by interpreting the classical Indian music. The music and Shankar have also been important in contributing to the Bollywood films industry which relies heavily on the classical Indian music. Although Shankar interacted with Western artists like George Harrison and the western audience, listening to his music is evidently embedded in Indian tradition (Massey & Massey, 1996). In conclusion, classical Indian music has its origin in the culture and tradition of Hindu and has remained unique on its own right despite influences from Western music aesthetics. Not that Indians artists have ignored aesthetics from the West but because they value their cultural heritage and express it in their music.

Massey, R & Massey, J. (1996). The Music of India. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications.

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