Traces its origin to the Vedic Hymns, sacred Aryan texts. Rig Veda is the earliest surviving example of Vedic Hymn. India, one of the countries in South Asia, was colonized by the British but were able to retain their culture. For them, MUSIC is a SACRED FORM of ART.

The study of Indian music begins with the religious chants called Veda, composed by a tribe of nomadic shepherds. These Hymns are sung without accompaniment.

There are two kinds of Indian Music: a. Hindustani b. Karnatak The art of Indian music has been called guided improvisation, which means that at all times, the musician must be guided simultaneously at all times by the raga and tala.

Belongs to the north and has a Moslem influence

Belongs to the south and is basically Hindu.

There are two song notations from India that can be classified into two forms: 1. Asthai -- movable do is applied. 2. Antara -- the text of the song is about

‡ Tala is the rhythmic time cycle of India, may total from 3 to 128 beats in length though 7 to 16 beat cycles are more common. The tempo is called laya. The laya may vary from

In Hindustani music, the unit of time is called matra and in Karnatak music, it is called akshara. The tala is divided into rhythmic groups called angas. Drone is an important element in their music. X ± represents the accented beat o ± represents an open or empty beat.

The shortest tala is called dradam which is composed of six beats. The tintal is a long tala composed of 16 beats
Drada 1 2 3 x Tintal 1 2 3 4 x 4 5 6 o 5 6 7 8 x 9 o
10 11 1 2 13 14 1 5 1 6


‡ The music of India uses melodies which are based on tone structures called raga. A raga is a combination of a scale and a melody. Each raga has its own mood such as happiness, sorrow, or peace. The different ragas are meant to be played at different times of the day or year.

There are two principal tones of the raga: vadi and samvadi.
‡ Vadi -- is the dominant swara (musical note) of a given raga (musical scale) ‡ Samvadi -- the second-most prominent note of a raga

Tonal System Of India

S Ri G M P D Ni S a a a a h a a the ear is The smallest interval perceptible to called shruti. In western music, it is called D E F microtones. B C D G A +

Indian Musical Instruments

There two basic drums used in Indian music; tabla and bhaya of the north (Hindustani) and mrindangam of the south (Karnatak.)

Tabla is the name for a pair of drums. The larger drum called bhaya, has a metal body while the smaller one, the tabla, has a wooden body.

The mrindangam is a two-headed drum. It is laid across the lap of the performer.

India has a variety of chordophones. In these instruments, three kinds of strings maybe found: melodic strings, drone strings and symphatetic vibrators. Drone is a continous accompaniment sounded throughout.

1. Tambura ± unfretted lute, used as a drone; used by both South and North

2. Sitar ± the most popular instrument in Northern India; in addition to four strings and three drones, the sitar may have as many as 13 strings.

3. Vina ± instrument of the south; with four melody strings and three drone strings

4. Sarangi ± bowed fiddle melodic instruments; a Hindustani instrument

Hindustani Instrumental Ensemble
‡ Basuri ± melody ‡ Tabla ± tala ‡ Tambura ± drone Sometimes, the sarangi plays the melody

Karnatak Instrumental ensemble
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Vina ± melody Violin ± melody Mrindangam ± tala/rhythm Tambura ± drone