Vocal Music


The basis for Indian music is "sangeet". Sangeet is a combination of three artforms: vocal music, instrumental music and dance. Although these three artforms were originally derived from the single field of stagecraft. Today these three forms have differentiated into complex and highly refined individual artforms. The present system of Indian music is based upon two important pillars: rag and tal. Rag is the melodic form while tal is the rhythmic. Rag may be roughly equated with the Western term mode or scale. There is a system of seven notes which are arranged in a means not unlike Western scales. However when we look closely we see that it is quite different what we are familiar with. The tal (rhythmic forms) are also very complex. Many common rhythmic patterns exist. They revolve around repeating patterns of beats. The interpretation of the rag and the tal is not the same all over India. Today there are two major traditions of classical music. There is the north Indianand the south Indian tradition. The North Indian tradition is known as Hindustani sangeet and the south Indian is called Carnatic sangeet. Both systems are fundamentally similar but differ in nomenclature and performance practice.