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Indian Classical Music

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The origins of Indian classical music can be found from the oldest of scriptures, part of the Hindu tradition, the Vedas.

Details

Samaveda, (from sāman "melody" + veda "knowledge"), one of the four Vedas, describes music at length. The Samaveda, one of the four Vedas, helped form the material in Rig-Veda so that its hymns could be sung as Samagana, and thereby establish it as one of its first musical genres.

Meditation tool

Indian classical music has its origins as a meditation tool for attaining self-realization. All different forms of these melodies (Ragas) are believed to affect various "chakras" (energy centers, or "moods") in the path of the Kundalini.

However, there is little mention of these esoteric beliefs in Bharat's Natyashastra, the first treatise laying down the fundamental principles of drama, dance and music.

Musical systems

Indian classical music has one of the most complex and complete musical systems ever developed. Like Western classical music, it divides the octave into 12 semitones of which the 7 basic notes are Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa, in order, replacing Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do. However, it uses the just intonation tuning (unlike Western classical music which uses the equal temperament tuning system).

Indian classical music is monophonic in nature and based around a single melody line which is played over a fixed drone. The performance is based melodically on particular ragas and rhythmically on talas.

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