Frequently Asked Questions
Indian or Hindustani music?
The classical music of North India is
called Hindustani Classical Music.
What is North
North and South Indian music are
based upon common concepts such as raga and taal. North Indian
music, also known as Hindustani sangeet and has many elements in
common with the Persian music.
is South Indian music?
The South Indian
music, known as Carnatic Sangit, shows many regional influences
peculiar to the deep South. Now there has been a lot of mixing of
ragas and other musical elements. In Carnatic musicthe names of
ragas are also different. However, there are some ragas which have
the same scale as Hindustani ragas but have different names; such as
Bilawal, Malkauns and Shankarabharanam. South Indian music does not
adhere to time concepts and instead of thaats, South Indian music
follows the Melakarta concept.
Indian music different from Western music?
Melody and rhythm are the common grounds
for music in Western or Indian music systems. Indian music is in
single melody format while Western music is polyphonic and
multiple notes are played in a way that harmony is produced.
Swar and Taal are the two basic components of Indian classical music
while Western music is based upon equal tempered scale and rest upon
harmony. Western music produces harmony and Indian music produces
What is a
Thaat is known as the parental scale
in Indian music and many ragas are categorized under them. There are
ten thaats under which most of the Indian ragas can be categorized.
These Thaats have the names of ragas and they are Khamaj,
Poorvi, Bhairavi, Bhero, Kalyan, Marwa, Asavari,
Bilawal, Kafi and Todi.
How important is
'Thaat' in classical music? Is it relevant in other types of music
Thaat has a great significance for a
student of Indian music whether it is classical or filmi. Student
get a great help to understand the classification of different
ragas. On the other side thaat has a little significance for a
What is a
E very Raga has its own scale consisting
of minimum five and maximum seven notes. A raga has specific
ascending and descending movements. Its dominating notes are called
vaadi and less dominating notes are called samvaadi. Pakad is the
characteristic phrase of a raga and it establishes raga mood and
identity. Ragas are used in semi-classical and light music as well.
ragas are developed?
Originally, there were six ragas and
thirty six raginis. A ragani is female while raga is male.
With these six ragas and thirty six ragnis hundreds of ragas were
created many of which have become obsolete now. These days
there 120-130 ragas in use.
helps classical singers?
Tanpura is a drone instrument and consists
of four to six strings tuned to pa, ma, ni and sa. The tanpura sets
the scales of the singers and it resonates to create a musical
Why Harmonium is a popular instrument as
compared to other instruments.
The origin of Harmonium is from the
West. The Harmonium is easy to master because all the notes are laid
in front of performer. Its sound touches the heart and due to this
reason became very popular in the sub-continent. It is not very
ancient instrument and usually ghazals, geet and qawalis are
performed with it.
What are the
main percussion instruments used for accompaniment in Indian music?
Tabla is used in all forms of Indian
music. Tabla was invented by Hzrat Amir Khusro. Tabla is the most
popular percussion instrument in Indian music. All other forms of
Hindustani classical music use tabla, which came into being with the
evolution of Hindustani classical music. Tabla is very popular in
Indian film songs. Indian music is essentially, solo music. The
training of a tabla player is not complete till he masters the art
of accompaniment. Tabla provides support by keeping the beats
Tabla player follows the mood of the performer.
What is a
There are two forms of Khayal, bada khayal
and Chhota-Khayal . Bada khayal is in slow tempo while chota khayal
is in fast tempo. Khayal is a form of rendering a ragas. The
essential component of a khayal is bandish and the expansion of the
text of the composition within the framework of the raga.
Indian music have chords?
The answer is no for
Indian classical music. However, in Indian film songs chords are
being used with western instruments. These days Indian film music is
the mixture of classical and western. Presently most of the
Indian film songs rely on chords because chords produce harmony.
western musical notations is there any Indian music notation?
classical music resists notation for the same reasons that Western
jazz music resists it. Since the classical music of North and South
is so heavily dependent upon improvisation, then a strict notation
is somewhat irrelevant. Indian music is always said to be an
oral tradition; this is not hundred percent true. Indian
musical notation stretches back to the Samaveda, which is several
thousand years old. We can say that Indian music has one of the
oldest traditions of music notations but not like staff notations
like western music.
a key note in Indian music?
Every songs is composed
from a specific key note or starting note and every vocalist pitch
is different. Vocalist can sing by changing the key note of the
music according to his own voice pitch. Vocal pitch varies from
artist to artist and artist can also change his pitch according to
mood of song.