India Music Always been Instrumental in Defining Indian Culture

Music has always been instrumental in defining Indian culture. Form of music in India like classical, folk and tribal are indispensably linked to Indian way of life. Here is brief information on various styles of music in India.

Classical Music
Indian classical music can be segregated into two parts : Hindustani and Carnatic. It is considered one of the most complex and complete musical systems ever evolved. Origin of Indian classical music goes back to the vedas. Samaveda, one of the vedas, describes music in detail. Hindustani classical music is related to north India, while Carnatic music has its roots in southern part of the country.

Hindustani Classical
Hindustani classical music is based on 8 classical notes: Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa. It can be divided into two types: instrumental and vocal. Outside the Indian subcontinent instrumental classical music is more popular. Dhrupad, khayal and thumri are some major vocal forms-cum-styles related to Hindustani classical music.

In any signature performance of Hindustani Music, the musician usally begins with a slow raga, known as alap. Once the raga establishes itself, the ornamentation around the mode becomes rhythmical. And then, the tal comes on the stage.

Carnatic music is the classical music of southern India. Different schools of Carnatic music are based on the same ragas, numbering around 300. Instruments mainly used are the veena, flute, violin and for rhyth, the mridangam and the ghatam. In comparison to Hindustani classical music, the Carnatic music is more influenced by theory and has follows the rules strictly. It lays stress on the richness of voice rather than the instruments.

Folk Music
Thanks to extreme cultural diversity, India has an array of folk music styles. This type of music is essential component of social events such as weddings, birthdays and engagements. Plethora of songs are used on such occasions. Instruments like dholak, ektar, dotar, saringda and santur are used. Dance is often associated with folk music. Bhangra, Lavani, Dandiya and Garba are few more popular forms of dance-oriented folk music. These are associated with the states of Punjab, Maharashtra and Gujarat respectively.

Movie Music
Movies are very popular with Indian masses. And large number of music lovers in India are fond of Indian film music. Few Indian films are without songs which play to the preferences of the common people. Some well-known playback singers on Indian movie stage are Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh and Asha Bhonsle.

Tribal Music
The tribal music is associated with the tribals living in the hilly and jungle regions. It is different from folk music, and shows tribal culture as it was even thousands of years ago. It is sung mainly in the tribal areas of Indian like Orissa and Chhatisgarh.