The history of India’s music dates back for thousands of years and indeed is often regarded to be among the oldest “genre” in the world. Experts will claim that the origins of Indian music dates back to the era when the Vedas were created. Regardless of what time and age maybe associated with Indian music’s history, there is little doubt that it has been an important part of the country’s rich cultural and traditional heritage.
India’s music is based on the combination of instrumental music and vocals, and of course, dance. And the combination of these three elements is called Sangeet. According to Indian music’s documented history, performances were complete with the combination of the three. Musical performances in temples, the royal court, festivals and celebrations in the villages as part of their entertainment program, would have been included.
One of oldest music forms known as Sama was developed during the Vedic period, from 1500 to 500 BC. The hymns that were written by the learned men of that age were accompanied by music. Ever since the history of Indian music saw continuous evolution from the devotional folk to the present day structural form based on rhythm the melody, also called Raga and Taal, respectively.
Historic recordings with regards to the India’s music indicates there was just one primary musical form prior to the 13th century but with the invasion of the Mughals, music of northern and central India blended with the Mughal influences of Arabia and Persia bringing into being Hindustani music, however the Carnatic music of the south has remained untouched by any kind of external influences.
India’s music has continued to evolve and develop through the centuries and undoubtedly, forms an essential part of every Indian’s life irrespective of where they live. In fact there are a large number of foreigners who have taken to learning the various forms of India’s music. The history of India’s music clearly shows, music has been the foundation for religious inspiration and rituals, traditional and cultural expression and a source of entertainment.