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June 29 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm


Indian music has a rich and diverse history that spans millennia, evolving through distinct phases influenced by cultural, religious, and regional factors. From its ancient origins rooted in Vedic hymns to the sophisticated classical forms of today, Indian music reflects a profound cultural heritage and artistic expression. 

Ancient Period (Pre-13th Century) 

Origins and Development 

  • Sama Veda and Early Vedic Influence: 
  • Music finds its roots in the Sama Veda, where sacred chants (slokas) were sung with specific musical intonations. 
  • Initially focused on single notes, Vedic music gradually incorporated two and three-note melodies. 
  • Development of Sapta Swaras: 
  • The concept of sapta swaras (seven basic notes) emerged as a fundamental principle, forming the foundation of Indian classical music. 
  • These notes were integral to religious rituals such as yagas and yagnas, accompanied by string and percussion instruments. 
  • Contribution of Tamil Culture: 
  • Tamil texts like Silappadi Kaaram and Kudumiyamalai inscriptions documented musical ideas and the classification of ragas. 
  • Treatises such as Karunamrita Sagara explored musical scales (sthayi), microtones (srutis), and note positions (swara sthanas). 

Medieval Period (13th to 18th Century) 

Unified System and Regional Diversification 

  • Unified Musical System: 
  • Until the 13th century, India maintained a cohesive musical system grounded in sapta swaras, octaves, and microtones (sruti). 
  • This period saw the formalization of musical principles across the subcontinent. 
  • Introduction of Hindustani and Carnatic Music: 
  • Haripala introduced terms distinguishing Hindustani (North Indian) and Carnatic (South Indian) musical traditions, reflecting regional diversity. 
  • Influence of Muslim Rule: 
  • Islamic influences brought Arabian and Persian musical elements into Indian music, enriching its repertoire with new instruments, scales, and compositions. 
  • Despite cultural exchanges in the north, South Indian music retained its distinct character and patronage under Hindu monarchs and temples. 
  • Impact of Bhakti Movement: 
  • The rise of saint singers and poets during the Bhakti movement contributed to devotional music, emphasizing emotional expression and vernacular languages. 
  • Saint composers like Purandara Dasa systematized talas (rhythmic cycles) and contributed significantly to musical compositions. 

Modern Period (19th Century Onwards) 

Innovation and Preservation 

  • Emergence of Musical Forms: 
  • New forms like Khayal, Thumri, and Tarana gained prominence, diversifying the Hindustani classical repertoire. 
  • Each gharana (musical tradition) developed unique stylistic elements, such as Agra, Gwalior, and Jaipur gharanas. 
  • Legendary Musicians and Innovators: 
  • Icons like Ustad Alladiya Khan, Pt. Omkarnath Thakur, and Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan revolutionized Hindustani music with their virtuosity and innovations. 
  • Their contributions enriched classical music with new compositions and improvisational techniques. 
  • Systematization and Education: 
  • Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande systematized Hindustani ragas under the ‘Thaat’ system, facilitating structured education and performance. 
  • Notation systems were introduced to preserve compositions and facilitate learning across generations. 


Indian music has evolved dynamically over centuries, blending ancient spiritual practices with regional influences and modern innovations. From its humble origins in Vedic rituals to the sophisticated classical forms of today, Indian music continues to inspire and resonate globally, reflecting the country’s cultural diversity and artistic expression. 


June 29
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category:
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