Hindustani Classical Music…
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last modified 09:14, 6 May 2007
Hindustani Classical Music is an Indian classical music tradition that took shape in northern India in 13th and 14th centuries AD from existing religious, folk, and theatrical performance practices. The origins of Hindustani classical music, the classical music of India, can be found from the oldest of scriptures, part of the Hindu tradition, the Vedas. Samaveda, one of the four Vedas, describes music at length. The Indian classical music has its origin as a meditation tool to attain self realization. All the different forms of these melodies (ragas) affect various “chakras” (energy centers, or “moods”) in the path of the “Kundalini”. There are specific physical, mental, biological and spiritual results associated with activation of these centers.
Indian classical music has one of the most complicated and complete musical systems ever developed. It has the same aspects of Western classical music, as the 8 basic notes(Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa, in order, replacing Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do).
The practice of singing based on notes was popular even from the Vedic times where the hymns in Sama Veda, a sacred text, was sung and not chanted. Developing a strong and diverse tradition over several centuries, it has contemporary traditions established primarily in India but also in Pakistan and Bangladesh. In contrast to Carnatic music, the other main Indian classical music tradition originating from the South, Hindustani music was not only influenced by ancient Hindu musical traditions, Vedic philosophy and native Indian sounds but also by the Persian performance practices of the Mughals.
Hindustani classical music, like Carnatic music, is organized by Ragas (also called raag) which are characterized, in part, by their specific ascent (Arohana) and descent (Avarohana.) The ascent notes may not be identical to the descent notes. King (Vadi) and Queen (Samvadi) notes and a unique note phrase (Pakad). In addition each raga has its natural register (Ambit) and glissando (Meend) rules, and many other specific features. (See Raga)
Hindustani music was structurally organized into the current Thaat scale by Pt. Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande (1860-1936) in the early part of the 20th century. Prior to this, Ragas were classified as Raag (male), Ragini (female) and Putra (children).
When artists, usually performers (as opposed to writers) have reached a distinguished level of achievement, titles of respect are added to their names. Hindus are referred to as Pandits and Muslims as Ustads.
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