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Indian classical music is one of the oldest art forms of the world. The origins can be found in the Vedas, which are the oldest scriptures in the Hindu tradition, it has also been significantly influenced by, or syncretised with, Indian folk music and Persian music.

Indian classical music can be divided into two broad categories: Hindustani and Carnatic.

Hindustani music is mainly found in North India. Khyal and dhrupad are its two main forms, but there are several other classical and semi-classical forms. There is a significant amount of Persian influence in Hindustani music in terms of the instruments, style of presentation, and ragas such as Hijaz Bhairav, Bhairavi, Bahar, and Yaman.

Carnatic music, from South India, tends to be significantly more structured than Hindustani music. Examples of this are the logical classification of ragas into melakarthas, and the use of fixed compositions similar to Western classical music. Carnatic raga elaborations are generally much faster in tempo and shorter than their equivalents in Hindustani music. .

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