Hindustani Classical Music
“If in every home one child was taught Hindustani classical music this country would never have been partitioned.”
– Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan
Hindustani classical music (Hindi: हिन्दुस्तानी शास्त्रीय संगीत, Urdu: کلاسیکی موسیقی) is the Hindustani or North Indian style of Indian classical music found throughout the northern Indian subcontinent. The style is sometimes called North Indian classical music or Shāstriya Sangīt. It is a tradition that originated in Vedic ritual chants and has been evolving since the 12th century CE, primarily in what is now North India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and to some extent in Nepal and Afghanistan. Today, it is one of the two subgenres of Indian classical music, the other being Carnatic music, the classical tradition of South India.
The tradition was born out of a cultural synthesis of several musical traditions: the Vedic chant tradition, dating back to more than three thousand years ago the ancient Persian tradition of Musiqi-e assil, and various folk traditions prevalent in the region.
It is traditional for performers who have reached a distinguished level of achievement to be awarded titles of respect; Hindus are usually referred to as Pandit and Muslims as Ustad. An aspect of Hindustani music going back to Sufi times is the tradition of religious neutrality: Muslim ustads may sing compositions in praise of Hindu deities, and vice versa.
Around the 12th century, Hindustani classical music diverged from what eventually came to be identified as Carnatic classical music. The central notion in both these systems is that of a melodic mode or raga, sung to a rhythmic cycle or tala. The tradition dates back to the ancient Samaveda, (sāma meaning “ritual chant”), which deals with the norms for chanting of srutis or hymns such as the Rig Veda. These principles were refined in the musical treatises Natya Shastra, by Bharata (2nd–3rd century CE), and Dattilam (probably 3rd–4th century CE).
In medieval times, the melodic systems were fused with ideas from Persian music, particularly through the influence of Sufi composers like Amir Khusro, and later in the Moghul courts. Noted composers such as Tansen flourished, along with religious groups like the Vaishnavites. After the 16th century, the singing styles diversified into different gharanas patronized in different princely courts. Around 1900, Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande consolidated the musical structures of Hindustani classical music, called ragas, into a number of thaats. Indian classical music has seven basic notes with five interspersed half-notes, resulting in a 12-note scale. Unlike the 12-note scale in Western music, the base frequency of the scale is not fixed, and intertonal gaps (temperament) may also vary; however, with the gradual replacement of the sarangi by the harmonium, an equal tempered scale is increasingly used. The performance is set to a melodic pattern called a raga characterized in part by specific ascent (aroha) and descent (avaroha) sequences, which may not be identical. Other characteristics include “king” (vadi) and “queen” (samavadi) notes and characteristic phrases (pakad). In addition each raga has its natural register (ambit) and portamento (meend) rules. Performances are usually marked by considerable improvisation within these norms.
The major vocal forms or styles associated with Hindustani classical music are dhrupad, khyal, and tarana. Other forms include dhamar, trivat, chaiti, kajari, tappa, tap-khyal, ashtapadis, thumri, dadra, ghazal and bhajan; these are folk or semi-classical or light classical styles, as they often do not adhere to the rigorous rules of classical music. —wikipedia
My purpose of making this list is mainly due to my deep admiration for this musical form. I hope mubi members(both initiated as well as non-initiated in classical) enjoy this kaleidoscope of colors (raagas) from arguably the greatest musical tradition in the history of mankind.
Film songs based on raaga’s