Styles and Types of Indian music

Hindustani Music

Hindustani music is one of the two principal types of South Asian classical music, found mainly in the northern three-quarters of the subcontinent. It synthesizes with Vedic chants, Islamic traditions and Persian Musiqu-e-Assil style. Hindustani music comprises of two interdependent elements known as raga and tala. Raga brings out the melody part of the music whereas tala forms the rhythmic element of it. The hindustani music style is mainly found in the Northern part of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. It exists in four major forms: Dhrupad, Khyal, Tarana, and Thumri.

Carnatic Music

Carnatic Music is the classical music of southern India. Carnatic music owes its name from Sanskrit term Karnātaka Sangītam which denotes “traditional” or “codified” music. Different Swaras comprising of Carnatic music are Sa (Shadjam) Do (C), Ri (Rishabham) Re (D), Ga (Gandharam) Mi (E), Ma (Madhyamam) Fa (F), Pa (Panchamam) Soh (G), Dha (Dhaivatham) La (A), Ni (Nishadham) Ti (B). Each of these seven notes scale is simply an outcome of an attempt to arrive at a set of notes that is large enough to allow for a decent number of different combinations to try, but for the notes to still sound good together. Purandara Dasa is referred to as the father of Carnatic music as he formulated the basic lessons in teaching Carnatic music, and in honor of his significant contribution to Carnatic music.  This was taught in the old schooling system known as Gurukulas, but in the current day situation either students will go to music schools or teachers will visit students’ houses and teach the music.

Dhrupad Music

Dhrupad is a one among Hindustani music from the Indian subcontinent. It is one of the oldest styles of major vocal styles associated with Hindustani classical music, Haveli Sangeet, and also related to the South Indian Carnatic tradition. In the late 18th century, Bhattacharya composed and sang the beautiful dhrupad songs in Bangla, which came to be known as the Visnupur Gharana. This can be either sung by an individual singer or a set of singers together along with some traditional instruments like Sitar, Mridangam etc.

Khayal Music

Khayal is Hindustani music, a musical form based on a Hindi song in two parts that recur between expanding cycles of melodic and rhythmic improvisation. The two parts of this music include bada Khayal and chhota khayal. While the bada khayal is sung first in a slow tempo or vilambit taal, then followed by chhota khayal is presented in a fast tempo or drut taal.

Qawwali Music

Qawwali music as I see it is music that is inherited from Sufis to bring up devotional and spiritual flavor to reach sacred almighty. Qawwali songs are sung mostly in Panjabi, the most widely spoken language of Punjab. Qawwali is sung by a group of people, along with some traditional instruments, with good lyrics from religious phrases and poetry. This music has the power or capability of hypnotizing the person who sings the song and also the person who listens to it.

Bhangra Music

Bhangra is a funky, beat-driven folk music. Popular in India and Pakistan and among South Asians in Britain and the United States. These songs were used to celebrate events like weddings, festivals, parties, harvesting, and many of the song movements where a good gathering of individuals will join together. The elements of music heard in Bhangra music are it is conjunct and melismatic, Tones are divided into microtones and simple harmonies are played. it makes you feel your heart rate climb quickly within a minute of dancing Bhangra!