Music is more than just a collection of sounds put together to make a tune out of it; itâ€™s a feeling, an emotion that touches billions of hearts in the world. Music has absolutely no boundaries, which makes it one of the most universal forms of art ever. It has always managed to occupy a highly essential place in the hearts and imaginations of Indian as well. Now, like everything that changes with time, the concept and culture of music in India has also witnessed its share of evolution. So, letâ€™s start from the start shall we?
With the dawn of various civilizations marked the dawn of music culture in India. There was no era and no generation that remained untouched with the magic of great music. But, the initial journey began in the Vedic period with the chanting of Vedic hymns.
And never did those Vedic maestros would have ever imagined in their wildest dreams that those hymns would one day reach the heights where it has right now!
When Raga Made Its Way
And then came the era of raga! Raga, the very foundation of Indian music culture, a concept that wasnâ€™t introduced until the late 10th century. It didnâ€™t find its place in the historical documents until 13th century as well. However the latter 13th century was the period when the 264 ragas were finally listed.
The Mughal Influence
Indian music scene was almost on its own until the Mughals came by. But the Islamic influence on Indian music is probably the best thing that might have happened back then. Mughal courts were where the music really flourished as we have known from the fables of Tansen, one of the jewels in Akhbarâ€™s courtroom.
Two Pillars Of Indian Classical Music: Carnatic And Hindustani
The arrival of various cultures in India didnâ€™t just influence the basic livelihood in India but also influenced the art and traditions. Soon the Sanskrit compositions were translated and weaved in languages including Urdu, Persian, and Bhojpuri. But what was prominent was that this influence was contained in North India and the musicians in South India were on their own. And hence, there stood two very distinct genre of music namely Hindustani north Indian music and Carnatic south India music.
The Arrival Of Fusion
The perception of music was changing pretty quickly in India and this was also the time when Indian musicians were taking in great inspiration from the west. They were not only learning the basics of western music but were also mastering the art of playing western instruments as well as inculcating these instruments in the Indian classical music that latter inked the dawn of fusions. Now fusion sounds familiar right? I bet almost all of us belong to the era of fusion. The perfect blend of soulful Indian classical and upbeat western music is something no-one could listen just once.
Be it Hindi, Marathi or Tamil, music in movies has really influenced the way people perceived this century old art. Moreover hindi film industry or popularly known as Bollywood has played a huge role in bringing a whole bunch of different genres together under the same roof. Right from ghazals, Qawalis, poetic compositions to Rock & roll and jazz there was no genre that failed to be a part of this extravagant industry.
In addition, Bollywood has opened a million doors for young and budding artists to make a career in the music industry.
Present Day Scenario
Right now, I donâ€™t think there is any form or type of domestic as well as international music that hasnâ€™t made its way in India. From the very soulful Sufi to EDM, trance to punk and classical to dubstep there is something for every artist and every listener. With time it is only expected to grow wider and better. Soon weâ€™ll move on from one genre to another but the basic concept of music will always remain unchanged in our hearts and minds forever!
- Princey Wilkins