Development of Music in India
The Melodies of Samaveda can be considered to be the earliest examples of Indian music. The science of music called Gandharvaveda, is an Upveda of Samaveda. Bharata’s Natyashastra is the earliest known treatise on dance, drama and music. Even earlier, the statues found from the Indus Valley Civilisation period depict elements of music.
Some of the statues show a performer in a dance form, while some others show a type of musical instrument, which looks like a flute. Even the Rig-Veda contains description of musical instrument like Veena, mridangam and Bansuri.
Some date the advent of the system of classical Indian, music to Amir Khusrau. Muslim rulers and noble men freely extended their patronage to music. In the courts of the Mughal emperors, music is said to have flourished and Tansen was one of the Navratnas (Nine Jewel) of Akbar’s court.
By the 16th century, the division between North Indian (Hindustani) and South Indian (Carnatic) music also being more sharply delineated. Classical music, both Hindustani and Carnatic, may be either instrument or vocal.
Indian Classical Music
Indian Classical music originated form Vedic chants or Sama music. This Music chiefly consisted of chanting of hymns in praise of the Vedic Gods. The Musical structure of the chants was characterised by descending order of nodes. The Raga (structure of melody) and Tal (structure of rhythm) are the two major characteristics of Indian classical music. The melody deals with the rise and fall of sounds and the latter deals with the pattern of time beats of Ragas.
Tala is the pulse of Indian music. The term tala is derived from the Sanskrit word, tala which means to strike with palms. Early musicians may have employed claps or palm strokes to mark time in dance and music which later developed into a complicated system of 108 tals of classical music. It is a time cycle that remains fixed throughout a particular rendering tal, binds music together and offers a regularity that clams the mind. The tala and raga varies in each composition. Sometimes, Tala is more active and controls the other or vice-versa. This depends on the person performing the music. The Nodes are selected from ascending as well as descending progressions. They are as follows.
•Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni, Sa (in the ascending order)
•Sa, Ni, Dha, Pa, Ma, Ga, Re, Sa (In descending order).