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:

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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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Rajasree Mukherjee (born July 7, 1959 in Tatanagar, India) is a renowned singer and Music Therapist. Rajasree Mukherjee is an Honors graduate in Zoology from Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata. She trained in Rabindra Sangeet from Padmasree Suchitra Mitra and ranked first class first in her Diploma examination from Rabi Tirtha School of Music, Kolkata. She is a double graduate in, vocalist and leading teacher of Indian Classical and Traditional music. Ranked second in Rabindra Sangeet all India basis, in her Sangeet Prabhakar graduation examination conducted by Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad. In 1975 she toured and performed in the United States and Canada with Suchitra Mitra. She later did her second graduation in Indian music, securing the Sangeet Visharad degree from Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh.

A gifted singer with a melodious voice she has proved to be a very popular performer. Her numerous concerts in Kenya, Tanzania, India, Canada and the United States have all drawn full houses. In addition to being a popular performer she is one of the most reputed trainers in Indian music in East Africa. She has written lyrics for over 120-film and non-film songs and recorded leading playback singers like Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Anuradha Paudwal, Abhijeet, Vinod Rathod, Mohamed Aziz and Shailendra Singh among others. As an experienced Music Therapist she has used Indian Classical music to great effect in meditation techniques. She has conducted several workshops on music over Television and Radio.


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Carnatic music is a system of music commonly associated with the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, with its area roughly confined to four modern states of India: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. It is one of two main subgenres of Indian classical music that evolved from ancient Hindu traditions; the other subgenre being Hindustani music, which emerged as a distinct form because of Persian and Islamic influences in North India. In contrast to Hindustani music, the main emphasis in Carnatic music is on vocal music; most compositions are written to be sung, and even when played on instruments, they are meant to be performed in gāyaki (singing) style.

Although there are stylistic differences, the basic elements of śruti (the relative musical pitch), swara (the musical sound of a single note), rāga (the mode or melodic formulæ), and tala (the rhythmic cycles) form the foundation of improvisation and composition in both Carnatic and Hindustani music. Although improvisation plays an important role, Carnatic music is mainly sung through compositions, especially the kriti (or kirtanam), a form developed between the 16th and 20th centuries by composers such as Purandara Dasa and the Trinity of Carnatic music.

Carnatic music is usually performed by a small ensemble of musicians, consisting of a principal performer (usually a vocalist), a melodic accompaniment (usually a violin), a rhythm accompaniment (usually a mridangam), and a tambura, which acts as a drone throughout the performance. Other typical instruments used in performances may include the ghatam, kanjira, morsing, veena & flute.


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The Royal Musicians of Hindustan circa 1910: Ali Khan, Inayat Khan, Musheraff Khan and Maheboob Khan

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