All the dance styles of India depend upon music fortheir sustenance. Nada(sound) is believed to be the very process of creation and ancient verses from the holy scriptures were chanted in a special manner, peculiar to India. Indian music has its traditional origins in the Sama Veda, a sacred text. Musical scale, aesthetics, basic rhythm, and a notation system trace back to this ancient exposition of their principles.
Indian classical music is broadly divided into two systems, Hindustani (North India) and Karnatak (South India). Their base and general structure is the same. Their ragas however, are usually different, and they have unique methods of articulation and treatment, even when they present the same raga.
While Karnatak music remains untouched by foreign influences, Hindustani music felt the impact of Persian and Central Asian music after invasions and migrations from those areas.
Indian music is built on a subtle combination of raga and tala. Raga is an aesthetic and emotional rendering of a scale of notes. Ragas have specific moods and flavours and a given raga may be sung only during a particular season of the year, or at a specific time of the day. Tala, on the other hand, binds music together. It is a time cycle that remains fixed throughout a particular rendering. Romantically, it is believed to be the divine fusion of the masculine and feminine forms of dance.
North Indian music :
North India offers a variety of forms of music like :
Each of these has a specific history of development and the listener may not be able to identify the particular form. Such identification requires some familiarity with the school from which the particular vocalist or instrumentalist hails, or at least an understanding of the structure of these forms.
South Indian Sounds :
South Indian music, Karnatak music as it is called, differs from the Hindustani in its stricter adherence to structure, thereby shifting the emphasis away from improvisation within that structure. The musician of the south adheres very firmly to his composition and even more firmly to the tala cycle. Ragas in the south mostly have Sanskrit names, unlike in the north, where their names often come from specific regions or from the dialects of regions.
A certain rigidity marks recitals of Karnatak music, and bhakti or devotion, is its mainstay. Karnatak music is therefore deeply spiritual. It was blessed with a plethora of greatly devoted composers and musicians.