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Indian Music: The Tradition Of Sublimity

Updated on April 1, 2010

“Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life”- Ludwig van Beethoven

Music with its sheer sublimity is indeed a journey to the world of spirituality. Since the long gone days music in India has remained as one of the primary means of assaying refuge from the world of mundane reality to the world of tune, harmony, melody and concord. India, the incredible land thus can be best silhouetted through the rhythm of Indian music. 

Like the land itself, Indian music is vast, varied, significant, historic and indeed unique. With its sublime tradition deeply seated in the antiquities Indian music is known to be the most erstwhile unbroken melodic custom in the world, with its musical traditions utterly linked by charismatic inner threads.

Tradition, legends, lore, tales and fables entwines the history of the origin of the Indian music which goes back to the antiquities of Indian scriptures like Vedas and Upanishads. Indian heritage indicates that the inauguration of Indian music happened with the chanting of the Vedic hymns, where the “Om Mantra” stood as the very first reference of the musical note. However realistically it is even more than probable that the Indus Valley Civilization was not without its musical culture although hardly anything is known.

However, the first significant treatise on the Indian dramatic art, “Natyashastra” written by Bharata Muni sometimes between 2nd and 5th century BC unfolds the verity that Indian music has developed within a very complex interaction between different peoples of different races and cultures. The journey of Indian music is thus the saga of changing traditions in India.

“Sangeet” , is indeed the very base of Indian music, which stands as an eloquent coalesce of two distinct musical art forms like the instrumental music and the vocal music. Indian musicologists opine that once there were fifty known forms of instrumental and vocal music in India , of which now only eight classical and light classical forms are heard. These are “Dhrupad”,  “Dhammar”, “Khayal”, “Tarana”, “Khayalnuma”,  “Chaturang”, “Thumri”, “Tappa” and “Dadra”.  The very circle of Indian music is indeed incomplete without the aura of the South Indian musical tradition and indeed without the artistry of the North Indian musical heritage. 

The North Indian musical tradition is known as the Hindustani music while the term “Carnatic music” stands to define the South Indian musical tradition. Although both the systems are essentially alike however difference in nomenclature and performance practice makes them dissimilar. Whatever the difference may be, ye it is with the emergence of Carnatic and Hindustani musical form the stature of Indian music gained a sublime dimension. Broadly known as the Indian classical music these two genres of Indian music incorporated all the legendary forms of Indian music. 

Laced with its varied element and sublime form, Indian music is much more than just being songs and melody. It is a journey of the soul and perhaps the most durable of Indian melodic edifices. Blessed with its utter rhythm, verve and melody Indian music ideally delineates the heritage of India.

Gayaki, Indian music

Indian Music, when the heart needs more....
Indian Music, when the heart needs more....


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    • cupid51 profile image

      cupid51 7 years ago from INDIA

      This is a unique hub on Indian music. I also found that music specially a good music with good lyric like RabindraSangeet is not less than a prayer!

      Thanks Deepanjana for the great work!

    • catalystsnstars profile image

      catalystsnstars 7 years ago from Land of Nod

      I am a large fan of all things Indian, and the music is one of it. I love the picture at the bottom. Thank you, great hub.