Indian classical music has been closely associated with the culture, heritage and rituals. This distinguished blend has evolved over thousands of centuries in the Indian subcontinent representing varied genres and regions of the country. Until the 16th century there wasn’t any distinction in the Indian classic music, but soon after Islamic invasion the tradition got separated. It has two major traditions which includes Hindustani and Carnatic.
The roots of the classical music of India are found in the Vedic literature of Hinduism and the ancient Natyashastra, the classic Sanskrit text on performance arts by Bharata Muni. The 13th century Sanskrit text Sangita-Ratnakara of Sarangadeva is regarded as the definitive text by both the Hindustani music and the Carnatic music traditions. While Hindustani music emphasizes improvisation and exploring all aspects of a raga, while Carnatic performances tend to be short and composition-based.
In Indian classical music, has two fundamental elements, the raga and the tala. The raga forms the fabric of a melodic structure, and the tala keeps the time cycle. Both raga and tala are open to creativity and allow a very large number of possibilities. Raga is intimately related to tala or guidance about "division of time", with each unit called a matra which is beat, and duration between beats.
It is the most important aspect of Indian music. It is a predominant feature in Indian music. Raga is described as a musical entity that includes note intonation, relative duration and order, in a similar manner that words flexibly form phrases to create an atmosphere of expression. A raga is not a tune or scale but the same raga can yield a very large number of tunes. It is neither scale, because many ragas can be based on the same scale. The goal of a raga and its artist is to create essence, feeling, atmosphere with music, as classical Indian dance does with performance arts.
The tala forms the metrical structure that repeats, in a cyclical harmony, from the start to end of any particular song or dance segment. It makes it conceptually analogous to meters in Indian classical fusion songs. However, talas have certain qualitative features that classical European musical meters do not.
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