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:


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.

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Mani sir on the Australian Seashore
Pictured left: Mani sir on the Australian Seashore

Karaikudi Mani was born on September 11, 1945 at Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu. He is the son of Late Sri.T. Ramanatha Iyer and Smt. Pattammal. He stepped into Carnatic Music at the tender age of 3. Although he commenced with Vocal training, very soon he realised his special interest was in Percussion and switched over to the Mridangam.

His Gurus were Karaikudi Sri Rangu Iyengar, Sri T R Hari hara Sharma and Sri K M Vaidyanathan. His first stage performance took place when he was 8 years old at Karaikudi. Thereafter his dedication and hard work to excel in the chosen field resulted in the Karakudi Mani Bhani (Style), which won the hearts of many young percussionists and others all over the World.

He was well known as "Master Mani" down south wherein he has shared stage and performed with many local artistes and won many rewards and gold medals.

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A carnatic 8-hole flute, raga mayamalavagowla played

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The origins of Indian classical music can be found from the oldest of scriptures, part of the Hindu tradition, the Vedas. The Samaveda, one of the four Vedas, describes music at length. The Samaveda was created out of Rigveda so that its hymns could be sung as Samagana; this style evolved into jatis and eventually into ragas. Indian classical music has its origins as a meditation tool for attaining self realization. All different forms of these melodies (ragas) are believed to affect various "chakras" (energy centers, or "moods") in the path of the Kundalini. However, there is little mention of these esoteric beliefs in Bharat's Natyashastra, the first treatise laying down the fundamental principles of drama, dance and music.

Indian classical music has one of the most complex and complete musical systems ever developed. Like Western classical music, it divides the octave into 12 semitones of which the 7 basic notes are Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa, in order, replacing Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do. However, it uses the just intonation tuning (unlike most modern Western classical music, which uses the equal-temperament tuning system).

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Asad Ali Khan.jpg
Credit: Vamsidhar Reddy

Asad Ali Khan plays the rudra veena in February 2009. The rudra veena is a large plucked string instrument used in Hindustani classical music. It is an ancient instrument rarely played today. Its use declined in popularity in part due to the introduction of the surbahar in the early 19th century which allowed sitarists to more easily present the alap sections of slow dhrupad-style ragas.

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