Talk:Music of India

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Requesting Clarification[edit]

The section on the Bauls currently reads: "The Bauls of Bengal were a gay order of musicians in 18th,..." which to the modern American reader would indicate that they were a homosexual order of musicians. What little I kind find about them does not mention anything to that point, so most likely this sentence should be revised.

Could a knowledgeable person clarify this, and/or revise the sentence? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:12, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Removed. Probably it was vandalism. --Belasd (talk) 23:17, 11 March 2009 (UTC)


Removed from article:

Might this be better labelled South Asian Music? There are several countries besides India where it is traditional and/or current.

I think there's enough to say about specifically Indian music for it to have a page of its own. --Camembert

From a historical perspective, should not the introduction at least include a mention that Indian music is a term for music within the Indian subcontinent? (i.e. it is not restricted in origin to the current geographical borders - which it currently implies). Gingerzilla (talk) 00:39, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Bhangra modern?[edit]

Is Bhangra really modern music? I've heard that Bhagra's a folk dance of Punjab for quite some time. Or are Bhagra & Bhangra different? -- Paddu

Take a look at Bhangra, this will explain your question -- till we *) 16:14, Aug 3, 2003 (UTC)
Bhangra is actually an old folk *dance* of Punjab and has an associated unique music style to to which it is danced to. Of late this accompanying music has seen commericalization and the music itself has popularly been termed Bhangra. Bhagra is just a typo and means nothing.

Indian classical music[edit]

I don't think the whole section on Indian classical music should have been moved out. I know a link was prominently displayed, but it's still one of the major aspects of Indian music, both today and in the past. There should be brief summaries here with links to the more complete articles. Tuf-Kat 08:06, Nov 22, 2003 (UTC)

Vocal music[edit]

Vocal music seems a misleading name for a section. It talks about only Hindustani vocal music. Why isn't it a subsection of Hindustani music? Better, how about moving Hindustani music out into a separate article? Ambarish 22:09, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

If you'd like to reorganize the article, feel free. Hindustani music shouldn't be moved out, though. It should be summarized here with a link to Hindustani music or whatever, where the details could be located. Tuf-Kat 00:32, Dec 16, 2003 (UTC)
I found someone had created Hindustani music, and I've therefore merged in content from this article and Indian classical music into Hindustani music. As indicated above, I'm summarised classical music, with links to more specific articles. I still think Hindustani music needs *heavy* copy-editing. Interested folks, please take a look at Talk:Hindustani music for TODOs. Ambarish 15:34, 11 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Diacritics or not?[edit]

Hi all. As you know, all the pages associated with Indian music necessarily use Indian words. However, there are great incosistencies in the representation of Indian words. Some pages (admittedly those that I developed) use Devanagari, some use Romanizations without diacritics (e.g. vAtApi gaNapatim bhajEham), and some use Romanizations with diacritics (i.e. they use the letters āēīñōūśḍḷṃṇṭ). We need to agree on a uniform system of representation of Indian words for a. bodies of articles, and b. titles of articles. Here are the

Pros of Devanagari[edit]

  • It is one of the most accurate and representative writing systems for Indian languages, and is supposed to be understood by almost every educated Indian (due to its use in Hindi)
Um, it's not complete; many characters in, say, Tamil, cannot be represented in Devanagari, and vice-versa. Hence my preference for Romanisation with diacritics.

and the Cons.[edit]

  • It is hard to type. In Microsoft Windows, either you have to go to Character Map and laboriously double-click, copy and paste, or you have to install a keyboard layout that takes weeks of practice to use fluently. Don't even mention Linux.
Not really; it took me, like 2-3 hours to become comfortable with the layout I use for Tamil/Devanagari; note that it's an almost phonetic layout, and very different from the default ones in Windows.
Really? What do you use?--Siva 18:21, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I use a layout similar to the Tamil and Devanagari layouts supplied with yudit.
  • Most non-Indians don't understand it, and most won't want to go to the page on Devanagari and take the trouble to learn it, with all of its orthographical oddities.
On top of that, this is the English wikipedia, and I think providing Devanagari terms without Roman transliteration is a no-no.

Pros of non-diacritic Romanization[edit]

  • Really easy to type; you don't have to leave the en-us layout to type it.

and the Cons[edit]

  • Looks amateurish, and is not easily understood by Westerners.
More importantly, IMHO, it's not complete. How would you distinguish, say, ऋ and र् without diacritical marks?

Pros of diacritics[edit]

  • Very representative of actual Indian pronunciation, and easily deciphered by Westerners.


  • See first one of the cons of using devanagari.
BTW, all what I said is relevant only to the article content. The article title obviously cannot be in Devanagari, and any diacritical marks in the title are precluded until the English Wikipedia switches over to Unicode/UTF-8. Ambarish | Talk 06:08, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)
When will en: switch over to Unicode/UTF-8?--Siva 18:20, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)


Even though Ambarish seems to prefer Romanizations with diacritics, I still think it would be wise to give other users a say. Here goes an election!--Siva 18:25, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Body text[edit]

Romanization w/out diacritics[edit]
Romanization with diacritics[edit]
  • --Siva 18:25, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • Ambarish | Talk 06:08, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)
  • I would add, perhaps superfluously, that I would hope Devanagari, Tamil or whatever Indian language is most closely associated with the topic at hand could still be listed. The only requirement would be that one would have to also include Romanization with diacritics.--LordSuryaofShropshire 23:09, Aug 31, 2004 (UTC)


Romanization w/out diacritics[edit]
Romanization with diacritics[edit]
  • After the en Wiki switches to UTF-8. Ambarish | Talk 22:56, 2 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I rewrote the filmi section[edit]

I thought that describing filmi as "romantic, jolly" music was quite misleading, and that some elements, like the mention of Alam Ara and ghazal, were best discussed elsewhere. So I rewrote the section completely. I still need to go back and put in some more links.

Since I'm just a foreigner, I defer to the folks who actually grew up watching Doordarshan :) Please review my changes and correct any inaccuracies. Zora 08:21, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Transliteration of ழ[edit]

Speaking of transliterations, what will we do with the Tamil letter ழ? Most people's reflex is to write it as zh or z, but zh represents the sound of the French j and z represents the sound of a voiced s. Apparently there is an IPA symbol for this sound (an inverted "r") but I don't know how many people would understand it.

(This also seems to be a good place to clear up a misconception that many Tamil speakers have, which is that the ழ sound is unique to the Tamil language. Ask any native speaker of American English to say "terror" and I guarantee you that you will hear ழ at the end.)--Siva 17:36, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

IPA is only for phonetics and not for transliteration, for which there are international standards like the IAST (International Alphabet for Sanskrit Transliteration), and the University of Madras transliteration scheme for Tamil, both of which happily agree on similar sounding characters. In any case, ழ is transliterated usually as ḻa Ambarish 08:13, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The letter is also found in Malayalam, where it retains the original "zha" sound, which has been converted to "la" in modern Tamil (even the name Tamil would be "Tamizh" if zha was used). Also, the specific name for the sound is "retroflex approximant." Lakshwadeep (talk) 06:28, 7 March 2013 (UTC)



Freddie Mercury[edit]

-Mercury's Iranian, not Indian. Why's he on here?

-Freddie Mercury was not Iranian. He was an Indian Parsi from Bombay. While of course Parsis are ethnic Persians to a certain extent, they have lived in India for more than a thousand years and have become distinctly Indian. They are in no way like the modern Iranian people. If Freddie called himself "Persian" he was doing what most other Parsis do, acknowledging that ancestry wise, they are descendants of the Persians and the Persian empire and they of course feel as proud of this as they are proud of being Indians. He probably said Persian and not "Parsi" to hide his Indian background though, at a time when racism against Asians was rampent in the UK. He was known to be very secretive about his past. Calling him Iranian doesnt make any sense, and I think it's rather outright stupid that other sources refer to him as that, particularly VH1 and Biography (Both of which call him Persian in the sense that he is Iranian). -User: Afghan Historian

Material from Indian musicians and their music for merger[edit]

The following material is from Indian musicians and their music which has been proposed for merging for a long time. A lot of the material looks like duplication, but in case some of it isn't, and is useful, it is copied below for inclusion by someone who knows the subject better than me. That page has now been redirected to this article.

Bridging, perhaps, the gap between high classical and more popular songs are many devotional and regional traditions. A national obsession among Hindus are songs known as bhajans, usually in praise of such Hindu deities as Krishna, Rama, or even Shiva. The most popular of the old Hindi devotional poets are Mirabai and Tulsidas. The Qawalli, or devotional Muslim Sufi music that found new expression in India, is also extremely popular among groups of all religions, notable greats including the early Indian native Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and the more recent Pakistani Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The ghazal culture that surrounds the Indian-born language of Urdu (now the official language of Pakistan and one of many in India) is extremely popular, again, among all Indians, especially with the lyrics of old greats like Iqbal, current writers like Javed Akhtar, and the fittingly titled "Ghazal King", the Sikh singer Jagjit Singh.

Regional cultures are also flourish. In West Bengal, for example, the 2,000 plus songs of the national poet, Rabindranath Tagore, known as Rabindrasangeet, have an entire industry devoted to their singing and interpretation. A similar tradition with the devotional songs to the Hindu goddess Kali, called Shyamasangeets, mostly attributed to the Bengali poet-saint Ramprasad Sen is very popular.

Kcordina Talk 11:24, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Bade Ghulam, as far as I know, never performed qawwali. (talk) 00:10, 19 October 2010 (UTC)


A new music stub has been created, kindly add to articles which need to be expanded. IrfanAli 17:20, 28 September 2006 (UTC)


I notice that the article is short on pictures. I've taken quite a few pictures of Indian musicians when they've performed in Greater Seattle. Most of the best can be found at Commons:Ragamala. I suspect that some of those would be useful in this article. In any case, I've now linked a Commons category (from the external links section) that has numerous images that might be worth using. - Jmabel | Talk 19:01, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Needs edit[edit]

"Every film must contain five to six songs which are based either on classical Indian music or light music"

this is pretty much dated. new bollywood movies do not "require" songs. they aren't a "must". i suggest rephrasing this into something like "films often contain five to six..." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:53, 13 May 2008 (UTC) Italic text

External links to be removed, except for DMOZ item[edit]

None of the links other than DMOZ link seems to meet WP:External links. They do not meet What should be linked, but meet at least one of Links normally to be avoided. There are 100s of similar sites to those and there is no special reason to include these 5-or-6. They should be removed. VasuVR (talk, contribs) 04:57, 18 November 2008 (UTC)


This article contains blatant POV. It says that Hindustani classical music has been existing since Vedic times without even mentioning the sources. The section on Carnatic music reads as if Purandara Dasa is responsible for everything in Carnatic music. It does not make even a passing reference to the trinity of Thyagaraja, Syama Sastri and Muthuswami Dikshitar.-RavichandarMy coffee shop 07:20, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Missing Sections: Bhajan and Ghazal[edit]

Two genres need to be added with more information: Bhajan is a form of devotional music associated with the Indian religions Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism. Ghazal is based on Persian form of verse, Sufism, classical music influences, etc., etc. Badsahmukherji (talk) 02:41, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Rabindra Sangeet Categorization Dispute[edit]

I think I saw a previous user make a comment about removing Rabindra Sangeet from the Folk Music category. I agree with that, but I think I should offer more constructive ideas to improve the article with my rationalization:
The author's description of the songs of Tagore is accurate. However, categorizing it in with other truly folk genres is incorrect. Comparing Rabindra Sangeet with Baul, Bhangra etc. doesn't quite make sense. My understanding of truly folk music of India is that it is rooted in the songs of indigenous peoples and/or people involved in physical labor for their livelihood and who usually live off the land: e.g. fishermen, farmers. Of course, others who did not come out of such backgrounds (e.g. Tagore was born into a wealthy zamindari family) incorporated the folk styles and melodies into their own compositions. Still others wrote down & standardized the lyrics in order to record and propagate the original tunes since folk music is not otherwise static (e.g. Bhupen Hazarika, Ramamumar Chatterjee, Amar Paul, Nirmalendu Chowdhury, Runa Laila, and any number of female and male Bangladeshi vocalists).

Given this background, I believe Rabindra Sangeet falls into a separate category that may be labeled "Regional Vernacular Music." In the Bangla language, Tagore isn't the only great songwriter of his time, although he was a phenomenon unto himself. There were others like: Qazi Nazrul Islam, Atulprasad Sen, Rajanikanta Sen. All of them drew from various Indian genres. Nazrul used Hindusthani classical, bhajan, ghazal, folk (palligeeti and lokgeeti), and is famous for his popular tunes based on Arabian sounds. I'm sure you'll find plenty of other examples in other languages. Please take this into consideration when reorganizing this article. Badsahmukherji (talk) 02:42, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

Tagore quite obviously isn't folk music. Sure, he drew inspiration from Baul music (which is one of the actual folk music traditions from Bengal), but he was also influenced by Indian classical as well as European music, even obscure sources like British folk tunes and so on. He also innovated and experimented quite a lot, creating a very distinct identity for his music. I know this will sound strange to a lot of young people, but Tagore is very much a product of modernity. He lived and worked in the modern age. Before Rabindrasangeet became popular as a distinct genre, say during the man's lifetime (he died in 1941), Tagore's songs were simply lumped into the broad category of Adhunik Gaan (literally "Modern Songs", which till the advent of Bangla Rock and other more recent western imports, was the genre label for all new 20th century Bengali music that wasn't either Classical or folk, and continues to be so). It is my opinion that Rabindrasangeet be shifted to the "Popular music" subcategory, since that is what it is, although predating Film music. In any case, it certainly isn't "folk". TathD (talk) 19:35, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

Portal:Indian classical music nominated for deletion[edit]

Portal:Indian classical music has been nominated for deletion, please see discussion at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Portal:Indian classical music. Thank you for your time, — Cirt (talk) 04:20, 17 November 2011 (UTC)


Is this that "indy" music I keep hearing refered to in the media? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:24, 15 April 2014 (UTC)


The individual sections on different genre of music do not say much on what instruments are used to help produce the sound. For example harmonium is an essential part of modern Indian music but there is only one mention of it in the article.Jonathansammy (talk) 21:53, 7 March 2016 (UTC)