Music is an art form and cultural activity whose medium is sound organized in time. The pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics (loudness and softness), and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture are the common elements of music. There are multiple varieties of Indian music such as classical music, folk music, filmi music, Indian rock and Indian pop. All the forms of Indian music are listed in two types of music, i.e. Hindustani Music, Carnatic music.
The origin of Hindustani Music can be considered from the Delhi Sultanate and Amir Khusrow (1233-1325 AD), a composer in Persian, Turkish, Arabic, as well as Braj Bhasha. He is credited with systematising some aspects of Hindustani music, and also introducing several ragas such as Yaman Kalyan, Zeelaf and Sarpada. He created the Qawwali genre, which fuses Persian melody and beat on a Dhrupad like structure. A number of instruments (such as the sitar) were also introduced in his time.
Hindustani music is mostly popular in North India. When the Persian elements became popular in medieval India, this led to the emergence of the Hindustani music. Dhrupad is considered as the oldest creation of Hindustani music, which is a creation of Swami Haridas. Over the time Khyal, Thumri, Thappa Tirana etc. developed as the distinct styles of Hindustani music.
The main characteristics of Hindustani style of music are given below:
1. Emphasis on the moral construction of the song (Nadi and Samvadi swars).
2. The singer recites the clap at a fast pace, which is known as ‘Joda’. Taal is not accompanied afterwards.
3. Full swars are considered to be complete, after which the distorted swars are introduced.
4. The thaat of pure swars is called ‘Tilawal’.
5. There is range and flexibility in the swars.
6. Time limits are followed. There are different ragas for morning and evening.
7. Taals are normal.
8. Ragas are based on gender differentiation.
9. There is no ratio in Hindustani music while switching the ragas.
Purandar Das is considered as the founder of the Carnatic style of music. The credit for the development of the Carnatic style goes mainly to three musicians named— Shyama Shastri, Tyagaraja and Muthuswami Dikshitar. They are called the triratnas of Carnatic music. Their period stands from 1700 to 1850 AD. Apart from them three main exponents of Carnatic music were Kshetra Rajan, Swati Tirunal, Subramaniya Bharathi. They all are considered among the seven great exponents of the Carnatic music.
Laya is considered important in playing of the instrument associated with the Carnatic music. Semanguddi, Mallikarjun Mansur, Gangubai Hangal, Ramanuja Iyengar, Shrinivas Ayyar and M S Subbulakshmt are famous musician of this style of music. This style is popular among the South Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.
Characteristics of Carnatic Style of Music
Following are the characteristics of Carnatic style
1. The intensity of sound can be controlled in this style.
2. Use of helical (Kundali) swaras is evident.
3. Free and typical style of raga.
4. The singer recites the ‘aalap' and ‘taanam'.
5. The distorted swars are named according to the shrutis. They are started afterwards.
6. The purity of swars are based on less shrutis, meaning high purity.
7. The thaat of pure swars is called `mukhari'.
8. The time durations are well-defined in the Carnatic music. Madhya is twice of ‘Vilamba’ and the ‘Dhruta’ is twice of Madhya.