Iaecm | India Association of East Central Michigan

Music

About Indian Music

The music of India includes multiple varieties of Indian classical music, folk music, filmi and Indian pop. India's classical music tradition, including Hindustani music and Carnatic, has a history spanning millennia and developed over several eras. Music in India began as an integral part of socio-religious life.


Classical music

The two main traditions of Indian classical music are Carnatic music, which is found predominantly in the peninsular regions, and Hindustani music, which is found in the northern, eastern and central regions. The basic concepts of this music includes shruti (microtones), swaras (notes), alankar (ornamentations), raga (melodies improvised from basic grammars), and tala (rhythmic patterns used in percussion). Its tonal system divides the octave into 22 segments called shrutis, not all equal but each roughly equal to a quarter of a whole tone of the Western music.

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Hindustani music

The Hindustani music tradition diverged from Carnatic music around the 13th-14th centuries CE. The practice Vedic times where the hymns in Sama Veda, an ancient religious text, were sung as Samagana 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, historical Vedic philosophy and native Indian sounds but also enriched by the Persian performance practices of the Mughals. Classical genres are dhrupad, dhamar, khyal, tarana and sadra, and there are also several semi-classical forms.


Folk music

Folk music includes both traditional music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th century folk revival. The term originated in the 19th century, but is often applied to music older than that. Some types of folk music are also called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles.

Starting in the mid-20th century, a new form of popular folk music evolved from traditional folk music. This process and period is called the (second) folk revival and reached a zenith in the 1960s. This form of music is sometimes called contemporary folk music or folk revival music to distinguish it from earlier folk forms. Smaller, similar revivals have occurred elsewhere in the world at other times, but the term folk music has typically not been applied to the new music created during those revivals. This type of folk music also includes fusion genres such as folk rock, folk metal and others. While contemporary folk music is a genre generally distinct from traditional folk music, in English it shares the same name, and it often shares the same performers and venues as traditional folk music.

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Bihu of Assam

Bihu is the festival of New Year of Assam falling on mid April. This is a festival of nature and mother earth where the first day is for the cows and buffalos. Second day is for the man. Bihu dances and songs accompanied by traditional drums and wind instruments are essential part of this festival. Bihu songs are energetic and with beats to welcome the festive spring. Assamese drums (dhol), Pepa(horm usually made from buffalo horn), gogona are major instruments used.


Dandiya

Dandiya or Raas is a form of Gujarati cultural dance that is performed with sticks. The present musical style is derived from the traditional musical accompaniment to the folk dance. It is practiced in (mainly) the state of Gujarat. There is also another type of dance and music associated with Dandiya/Raas called Garba.

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Uttarakhandi Music

Uttarakhandi folk music had its root in the lap of nature and the hilly terrain of the region. Common themes in the folk music of Uttarakhand are the beauty of nature, various seasons, festivals, religious traditions, cultural practices, folk stories, historical characters, and the bravery of ancestors. The folks songs of Uttarakhand are a reflection of the cultural heritage and the way people live their lives in the Himalayas. Musical instruments used in Uttarakhand music include the dhol, damoun, turri, ransingha, dholki, daur, thali, bhankora and masakbhaja. Tabla and Harmonium are also sometimes used, especially in recorded folk music from the 1960s onwards. Generic Indian and global musical instruments have been incorporated in modern popular folks by singers like Narendra Singh Negi, Mohan Upreti, Gopal Babu Goswami, Chandra Singh Rahi etc.


Lavani

Lavani comes from the word Lavanya which means love. This is one of the most popular forms of dance and music that is practiced all over Maharashtra. It has in fact become a necessary part of the Maharashtrian folk dance performances. Traditionally, the songs are sung by female artistes, but male artistes may occasionally sing Lavanis. The dance format associated with Lavani is known as Tamasha. Lavani is a combination of traditional song and dance, which particularly performed to the enchanting beats of 'Dholaki', a drum-like instrument. Dance performed by attractive women wearing nine-yard saris. They are sung in a quick tempo. The verve, the enthusiasm, the rhythm and above all the very beat of India finds an expressive declaration amidst the folk music of India, which has somewhat, redefined the term "bliss". Lavani originated in the arid region of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

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