Origin of Indian Music

Indian music has a very long, unbroken tradition and is an accumulated heritage of centuries it is believed that the sage Narada introduced the art of music to the Earth. The origin can be traced back to Vedic days, neatly two thousand years ago. It is said that the sound that pervades the whole universe, i.e. Nadabrahma, itself represents the divinity. Organized Indian music owes its origin to the Samaveda. The Veda has all the seven notes of the raga karaharpriya in the descending order. The earliest Raga is speculated to be ‘Sama Raga’. Theories and treatises began to be written, how the primitive sound ‘Om’ gave rise to the various notes.

First reference to music was made by Panini (500 BC) and the first reference to musical theory is found in Rikpratisakhya (400 BC). Bharata’s Natya Shastra (4th Century AD) contains several chapters on music. This is probably the first work that clearly elaborated the octave and divided it into 22 keys.

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Published in: on April 26, 2010 at 5:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Concepts of Raaga

The musical scale contains 7 + 5 notes. (7-shuddha & 5 komal and tivra)( flat and sharp).

From these 12 notes selected notes (minimum 5) are used to build up a melodic structure and are called a Raga. It is believed that there are about 300 Ragas. However, only around 50 are heard in performances. The lesser known and difficult to perform Ragas are called “Achhop’ and ‘Anavat’ or ‘Aprachalit’ respectively.

Every Raga has melodic centers, two of which include – one of principal importance and the other a little less important and are called Vadi’ and ‘Samvadi respectively. Notes which support Vadi and Samvadi notes are called Anuvadi notes. Notes that are excluded from the Raga structure are called Vivadi notes.

Ragas with melodic movements centered in the first half of the scale (Sa to Pa) is called “Purvang Ragas and the second half of the scale (Ma to upper octave Sa) are called ‘Uttarang Ragas’.

According to tradition, every Raga has a definite time period for performance during a time cycle of 24 hours. A large section of the music community accepts this concept even at present. Some believe that the concept is scientifically based on an intimate relationship between sound and light.

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Published in: on April 26, 2010 at 2:38 pm  Leave a Comment