Indian classical music is based on the ragas which are scales and melodies that provide the foundation for a performance.Like western classical music, that is deterministic, Indian classical music allows for a much greater degree of "personalization" of the performance, almost to the level of jazz-like improvisation. Thus, each performance of a raga is different. The goal of the raga is to create a trancey state, to broadcast a mood of ecstasy. The main difference with western classical music is that the Indian ragas are not "composed" by a composer, but were created via a lengthy evolutionary process over the centuries. Thus they do not represent mind of the composer but a universal idea of the world. They transmit not personal but impersonal emotion. Another difference is that Indian music is monodic, not polyphonic. Hindustani (North Indian) ragas are assigned to specific times of the day to night and to specific seasons. Many ragas share the same scale, and many ragas share the same melodic theme. There are thousands of ragas, but six are considered fundamental: Bhairav, Malkauns, Hindol, Dipak, Megh and Shree. A raga is not necessarily instrumental, and, if vocal, it is not necessarily accompanied. But when it is accompanied by percussion the rhythm is often rather intricate because it si constructed from a combination of fundamental rhythmic patterns (or talas).
Re: Indian Classical Music 06:37 on Tuesday, May 14, 2013
The style is sometimes called North Indian classical music or Shāstriya Sangīt. It is a tradition that originated in Vedic ritual chants and has been evolving since the 12th century CE, primarily in what is now North India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and to some extent in Nepal and Afghanistan. Today, it is one of the two subgenres of Indian classical music, the other being Carnatic music, the classical tradition of South India