History of Indian Music has followed a rather long course of development, right from its divine origin till the modern times.
It was mainly due to Persian influence in the medieval period that Indian Classical music branched off into two separate streams of Hindustani and Carnatic music.
History of Indian music has its origins in divine tradition. The rich history of Indian music unveils the fact that the divine sage Narada introduced the art of music to the Earth from heaven.
History of Indian music unfolds the verity that music gradually changed in shape and form. In the beginning the music was devotional in content and was restricted to religious and ritualistic purposes and was purely used in temples only.
Music in Ancient India : All organised music traces its origins back to the Sama veda which contains the earliest known form of organised music.
The epics were narrated in musical tones called 'Jatigan.' Between the second to the seventh century AD, a form of music called 'Prabandh Sangeet', written in Sanskrit language became very popular.
This form gave rise to a simpler form called Dhruvapad, which used Hindi language as the medium. The Gupta period is considered as the golden era in the development of Indian Music.
Music in Medieval India
In the medieval period, the nature of Indian music underwent a change due as a result of the impact of the Muslim invasion.
At this time, Indian music slowly started branching off into the two distinct forms of Hindustani and Carnatic music.
In the fifteenth century AD, the devotional Dhruvapad transformed into the Dhrupad or classical form of singing. The Khayal developed as a new form of singing in the eighteenth century AD.
Music in Modern India
With the advent of the British in India, the court arts underwent a decline.
Since most of the nawabs and noblemen no longer had lost their wealth and did not have the rewards to lavish on performers, most of the musicians had to move over to other occupations.
Apart from these western forms of music, traditional forms of Indian music, such as Khayal, Ghazal, Geet, Thumri, Qawwali etc.
Some of the most common instruments are piano, guitar, drums, violin, trumpet, mouth organ etc.
These instruments are widely used in Classical music, such as the use of violin in Carnatic music, as well as in other popular musical forms such as the use of the drums in film music.
The history of Indian music, thus, murmurs the rich saga of the journey of changing ritualism in India.
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