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Ancient Music

Music knows no man made boundary. Any music, rhythm or its lyric that touches ones minds and soul propagates through space & time. Eminent creators of music appear and depart in the eternal space and time of the Universe but their creation remains like eternal light to illumine and inspire the mind and soul of the mankind. These creations are immortal and their memories are carefully preserved in the subliminal depths of human consciousness. In mankinds history, India has the longest literary traditions, so ancient that it cannot be illustrated either by contemporary books or from archeological finds. The Rigveda, indisputably the oldest literary work, was written at a time when many a great, old-world civilization lay in the wombs of futurity. Indian music has seen many significant events in its journey from the eternal divine period of Vaydic origin to present day global music community. Mythology refers that music was brought to the people in this subcontinent from a place of Celestial beings. This divine place (Gandharva Desh) is usually equated with heaven. It is believed that the Gandharva systems of music were taught in the hermitage of great Saints (Rishis/Muni). This extensive travel from the Samveda hymns shows evidently the progression of musical concepts from early history (Before Common Era- B.C.E or B.C) to the present day (Common Era- C.E or C.E).

History of Ancient Indian Music

History of music in India needs to be traced through literary works of the period. There is widespread controversy about dating of all these important texts. The right wing re-writers of history would like to place them as early as possible, whereas traditional academician of history, langu ages, philosophy, mythology and cultures of the Indian subcontinent date them to later period. Generally most of the texts were taught in Vaydic Schools/Ashrams (Pathshala) the ancient education system that prevailed or Gurukuls -Guru refers to "teacher" or "master"; Kul refers to his domain. Disciples or the students (Shishya) mostly lived with the teacher until they acquired complete lesson from Guru. Thus is the beginning of Guru -Shishya (Devotional Teacher Disciples) parampara ("Perceptional succession" literally from one teacher to another or continuance). In absence of School /Universities the parampara was important in transmitting knowledge, whether religious or musical, to the next generation. This may be one the reasons why a lot of these were never scripted in any form even after the invention of writing, the oral tradition continued Subsequently Brahman period brought vast changes in the Philosophical, Religious and Music propagation. Though there are much controversy about this period, some articles indicate that earliest Brahman period as per Moon/Constellations & Star in their celestial position, was in 3100 BCE, other mention as 2000 BCE, whereas some Encyclopedia assume the period between 700-

300 BCE. The hymn parts of four Vedas (Sam,Rik, Jaju,Atharba) are called Samhita. All Upanishads were composed by a great number of Saints (Rrishis/Munis) are based on one of the four Vedas. Chandog is the singer of Samans (i.e. the musical hymns of Sam Veda). Chandog Upanishads guided the priests sing the samans properly for ones devotion & dedication to God. The significant aspect of Vedas is that the Vedic hymns should be chanted correctly, no dissimilarity is admitted.

Indian Music Common Era

The first available Sanskrit text, dealing entirely with Ballet /stagecraft (including dance and music) is Bharat Natya-Shastra, the original portions of the revered exposition were written by Saint (Muni) Bharat. Bharat defines Music as the convergence or combination of Swar, Tala, & Pada - all in harmonious blend. Reference of many aspects of Indian classical music of today can be found in Bharat Natya Shastra. The Indian Musical history then takes us to the first Indian epic, Ramayan, composed by the saint Valmiki in sloka form (a particular kind of metrical composition known for its brevity, easy tempo and lilting rhyme) It is dated between 500 BCE and 200 CE Like most traditional epics, it has gone through a long process of interpolations and revision, it is impossible to date it accurately. Valmiki Ramayan narrates that Lord Ram (18th incarnation of Lord Krishna) was born in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh in India. Lord Ram exhibited superhuman powers by controlling the Indian Ocean while commanded his Ape-brigade to build a bridge & then crossing the sea through this bridge annihilated King Ravana, the captor of his wife Sita Devi who was in Sri Lanka. Finally the Ravans empire was set on fire and destroyed by Shri Hunuman (disciple of lord Ram). The term Marga sangeet is also used in the epic to denote the accepted and prestigious mode of music. There were three important features of Marga Sangeet. It was created and propagated by Brahma and other deities. It was not meant for entertainment. It was presented before the Gods to please them. Ramayan, as an oral epic, was also propagated according to the musical norms perfected in the oral tradition. The use of technical terms in popular literature signifies that knowledge in the concerned field of study is widespread in society. Musical terms such as pramana, laya, taa, samatal, kala, matra and shamya regularly feature in the epic. Subsequently Ved Vyas composed another epic Mahabharat in 24000 of shlokas. It is dated after Ramayan. There is less about music in the Mahabharat than in the Ramayan. Mahabharat used the term gandharva instead of sangeet. The epic therefore referred to a more specific kind of music. Musicology or the science of music was called gandharvashastra. Superhuman beings called Gandharvas were the expert practitioners of this music. The names of the seven basic musical notes (shadja) have also been clearly mentioned. The Bhagabat Gita ("Song of the Divine One) is perhaps the most famous, and definitely the most widely read, ethical text of ancient India which is an episode in Vhishma Parvaof the epic Mahabhrat. King Arjun (one of the brothers of Pancha Pandav) expressed his helplessness to Lord Krishna (one of the ten incarnations of Vishnu) to fight the war against his cousins then Lord Krishna , inspired him with these recitaion. Lord Krishna assures the mankind in his Bhagabat Gita that "No matter when and wherever there is a moral/religious degradation of mankind, and a marked rise of sin /cruelty hatred to religion, at that time he would descend himself on this earth

ages after ages, annihilate the oppressors/ miscreants to rejuvenate the mankind." One of the important teaching of The Bhagabat Gita is summed up in the maxim "your objective is with the work and not with the result." The time after the epic period, during which several Puranas were composed, is called the Pouranic period. Puranas are the ancient narratives, abstract of mythology, history, philosophy, ritual and much else. This period is depicted between Manu to the Vakatakas and the Guptas (from the third to the sixth century CE) and Kingdoms and dynasties of the post-Harsa period (c. 650-1200 CE). Thereafter Santa Makaranda (literally means nectar a flower) ascribed to Narad is a Sanskrit work (11th century CE) on Indian music, which seems to be inclined towards the tantric stream of religious rituals. Unlike the other works described here, Geet Govinda, by Shri Jayadev (1153 CE) is not a musical text. It is the earliest example of regular musical composition, each song being set in a particular raga and tala. Jayadev was born in Kenduli Village in Bengal. He was in the court of the king Lakshman Sen. His masterpiece Geet Govinda has immortalized him. It consists of 24 songs, each containing Ashta (8) charanas. Hence the name Ashtapadi. Ashtapadi hymns are the earliest examples of regular musical compositions each song being set in a special raga and tala. Sarangadevs Sangit Ratnakar is considered one of an important work on music, after Bharats Natya Shastra written by Saranga Deva (1210-1247 CE). This is also the last work which both Hindusthani and Carnatic traditions refer to. So we can assume that it is around this time that Carnatic and Hindusthani emerge as two separate streams. According to Sarangadev a Raga is defined as "those swaras that are beautified or decorated by the tonal excellence of swaras and varnas". He mentions 253 Ragas in all. Ragas are classified according to the different seasons and distinct times of the day and the importance of certain notes in the delineation of the Raga (i.e. Vadi and Samvadi). Sarangadev talks about 22 srutis and lists fifteen gamakas. He also explains many varieties of tala. He devotes a whole chapter to the different kinds of musical instruments. Swami Haridas the great saint-musician, poet and composer of Brindavan in the 15th Century had a very strong influence on the style of music in north India. He is especially credited with composing a large number of devotional songs and also the Dhrupad compositions. Swami Haridas is supposed to be the Guru of Mia Tansen a renowned musician and one of the Nine Gems in the court of Emperor Akbar. There are conflicting theories regarding the same among two famous schools of thought. Some say he was born in 1480 C.E in a place called Rajpur near the Brindavan. He is said to follow the Nimbark Sampraday, which is one of the most important fields for Bhakti Most his songs were composed in the Brij dialect. His compositions are classified as Vishnupadas, which are songs in praise of Lord Vishnu and his eighth incarnation as Lord Krishna. Amir Khusru, the renowned 13th Century poet and musician from Delhi, introduced the Persian system of music in the Delhi Durbar. His creative influence was felt to a greater extent in the North than in the South. The consequence of this differing degree of influence ultimately resulted in the divergence of Indian music into two distinct systems, the north Indian Hindusthani

Sangeet and the south Indian Carnatic Sangeet. He composed numerous songs. The Persian system was based on the theory of the twelve Moquamis (Main Ragas, twenty-four Subhas (Raginis) and forty-eight Gussas (Uparagas). Amir Khusru also composed many new Ragas by combining the tunes of India and Persia. Qawwalis and folk songs, the most popular genres in the Khusrau tradition, have kept his name alive amongst the masses for more than seven centuries. Baiju Bawra, (Baijnath Pandit) at the same period (13th century) was musician saint of the Raja of Chanderi (now in District Guna, M.P.). Soon afterward he went to Gwalior & became a leading singer there in the famous school of music established by Raja Mansingh. It is also said that he was patronised by Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujrat. Musical career of Mia Tansen ((15061589) the court singer (one of the nine jewels) of Emperor Akbar the Great (Akbar-e_Azam) is another landmark in the development of Indian Music. He is noteworthy because he symbolizes the maturing of the north Indian system as a distinct entity from south Indian music. During the most glorious period of the Moghul Empire the musical culture of North India rose to the Zenith. Mian Tansen, the greatest disciple of the saint and musical seer, Swami Haridas of Vrindaban, was the central figure around whom a renaissance of Hindusthani music took place. Tansen based his theories of music according to the Shiv Mata and the Hanuman Mata in which the expositions of the characteristics of the six main Ragas namely Bhairav , Malkosh, Hindol,Shree, Megh, Dipak and their Raginis and the Raga Putras were given Some of his noteworthy ragas, e.g. Darbari Kanada, Darbari Todi, Miya ki Malhar, Miya ki Sarang etc. Tansen composed about one thousand Dhruvapadas which are even now remembered not only for the wonderful exposition of the Ragas contained in them but also for their very high poetic value. There are many songs of devotion to the Supreme Divine and also to the Gods. We find also many outstanding songs composed by him in praise of the Kings and the Emperors. And these songs contain remarkable synthesis of the Vedanta, the Bhakti Sastra and the mysticism of the Sufi cult. South India or Carnatic Music: Carnatic music has an extremely developed theoretical system. It is based upon a complex system of raga and tala). These describe the intricacies of the melodic and rhythmic forms respectively.The melodic foundation is the raga. Raga is basically the scale. The seven notes of the scale are Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha and Ni. However, unlike a simple scale there are certain melodic restrictions and obligations. There is however, a major difference. South Indian scales allow chromatic forms that are not allowed in Hindusthani sangeet. It is normal for a particular rag or tal to be called one thing in the North and something totally different in the South. It is also common for the same name to be applied to very different rags and tals. These differences in nomenclature have made any theoretical reconciliation difficult. Some Current South Indian midi files of present day could be heard on various web-sites.

The early part of the 20th century brings the most recent revolution in north Indian music that was made by namely the immortal Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande (August 10, 1860 September 19, 1936) and Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar (1872-1931). Pundit Paluskar songs like Paoji Maine Ram Ratan and Chalu Mana Ganga Jamuna Tir are some immortal one. These two men revolutionized the concept of Indian music. Pundit Paluskar is responsible for the introduction of the first music colleges while Pundit Bhatkhande is responsible for the introduction of an organized system that reflects current performance practice. Both men are also responsible for the development and popularization of a modern musical notation. Pundit Bhatkande established the theories of ten Thats of the Hindusthani Sangit Paddhati. Bhatkhande also became the disciple of Wazir Khan and collected many Dhrupads of the Tansen School He also took initiation from Tansen in Seni


Today with high degree of tension and disturbed mind & soul lesser people enjoy pure classical music be it Western or Indian compared to the various Band/ filmy music. Many youth in present generation enjoy the Western band music, repetitive fast & fixed beats with loud acoustic instrument rather than soft emotional vocal/ instrumental creation. But then, enjoying music is a personal feeling and purely depends on individual moods. However, in keeping with times and demands, today, most music composers have shifted form of classical to newer global forms one may call it fusion or recreation or new stream, whereby they absorb the Indian melody and tunes with the western beats. Another major part is the orchestration/ accompaniment and arrangements of background music, prelude and interludes to the basic melody, which increases emotions to very high level. In the composition of Indian dance music (Ballet Music) one must mention the use of orchestral instrumental music by the pioneers Timir Baran and Pandit Bishnudas Shirali, and in this connection also eminently notable is Raichand Boral, who has been extremely successful in composing background music for movies and in creating melodies combining western and Indian instruments to accompany songs Modern Music with basic Indian Raga/folk (eg. Tum Bin Kaise) and blend with western and Indian Instruments makes it livelier in a shorter span of time.. In the composition of Indian dance music (Ballet Music) the use of orchestral instrumental music by the Timir Baran and Pandit Bishnudas Shirali, and notably Raichand Boral, who has been extremely successful in composing background music for movies and in creating melodies combining western and Indian instruments to accompany songs. Even without amplifying on the topic of the continuous improvement of Indian Orchestral Instrumental Music it may be said that it has developed in response to new needs. And at the root of this innovation and transformation have always been the thoughts of our great Musical Maestros / composers like : Nausad Ali, R.C.Boral, Shankar Jaikishen, C Ramchandra, Salil Chowdhury, Omkar Prasad Nayyar, Madan Mohan Kohli , Laxmikant Pyarelal, Sachin Deb & Rahul Deb Burman, Hridaynath Mageshkar, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia & Pandit Shibkumar Sharma, whom Indian Music of today is much indebted. All of the efforts to maintain the integrity of Indian music and to effect its improvement are a source of continual inspiration to us.

Present Indian music comprises Purely Classical (North Indian Or Carnatic), Re-mixes, where old tunes are blended with faster beats making them popular amongst the younger generation. Fusion is that type of music where Indian classical music is combined with the western music forms to create a musical mix of east and west. Film music like Ajeeb Dastan, Jaye tu Jaye, Bhuli Huien Yade is in fact extremely popular amongst people of all age groups. In fact an Indian film is considered incomplete without songs. Undoubtedly there is a clear distinction between the type of songs that were composed between the 1940s and 1980s and those composed ever since. Indian pop(Gore Gore old hit Fusion) or Band Music which is basically the Indian version of the western pop music. There are number of young artists who sign Indian music will infuse life - by bringing to it a reflection of the soul. Indian music will send a message of peace and tolerance. And this noble responsibility will have to be borne by the modern Indian musiccomposer. The sources of Indian music are endless and its potentials are without limit. In the past Indian music obtained its inspiration and its ingredients from generations of inherited popular and classical music, as well as from western music. Today, as nations have achieved a much greater degree of closeness and cultural exchange has become so much easier, the opportunity for Indian music to disseminate widely and to expand its vision presents itself. The sweet Ghazals have kept their essence alive till date click to listen Ghazal (Salona Sa Sajan Hai) music flavors 1 Ghazal (Nathli Se Tute Motire)music flavor 2