Music of India
Indian pop stars now sell records in many countries, while world music fans listen to the roots music of India's diverse nations. American soul, rock and hip hop have also made a large impact, primarily on Indian pop and filmi music.
The biggest form of Indian pop music is filmi, or songs from Indian musical films. Independent pop acts such as Alisha Chinai and rock bands like Indus Creed exist and have gained mass appeal with the advent of cable music television.
Main article: Filmi
Many languages are spoken in India, and there are film industries for each of the major languages (see Indian cinema). The largest regional film center is Mumbai (Bombay); the film industry there is referred to as Bollywood. Bollywood filmi is the best-known film music, and composers (music directors) who succeed in other regional cinemas may eventually be drawn to Bollywood. Today's most popular music director, A.R. Rahman, got his start in Tamil films and then moved to Bollywood. Well-known Bollywood music directors of the past include Naushad and R.D. Burman.
Most Indian films are musicals. The actors generally do not sing, but lip-synch to songs sung by such accomplished playback singers as Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Alka Yagnik, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, and S.P. Balasubrahmaniam.
Filmi songs are extremely popular; they are sold on tape and CD, played on the radio, and featured on television programs. They combine Indian classical music, with its sophisticated, melismatic vocals and traditional instruments, with catchy tunes and stylings from Western pop music. The novel experimentation (resulting in such mixes as 'Indian hip hop') has been received well in India and continues to grow in popularity.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, rock and roll fusions with Indian music were well-known throughout Europe and North America. Ali Akbar Khan's 1955 performance in the United States was perhaps the beginning of this trend, which was soon centered around Ravi Shankar.
In 1962, Shankar and Bud Shank, a jazz musician, released Improvisations and Theme From Pather Pachali and began fusing jazz with Indian traditions. Future pioneers like John Coltrane continued this fusion, called indo jazz. George Harrison (of The Beatles) played the sitar, which he had learned from Shankar, on the song "Norwegian Wood" in 1965. Other Western artists like the Grateful Dead, Incredible String Band, Rolling Stones, The Move and Traffic soon incorporated Indian influences and instruments, and added Indian performers.
Though the Indian music craze soon died down among mainstream audiences, diehard fans and immigrants continued the fusion. In the late 1980s, Indian-British artists fused Indian and Western traditions to make the Asian Underground.
The arrival of movies and pop music weakened folk music's popularity, but cheaply recordable music has made it easier to find and helped revive the traditions. Folk music (desi) has been influential on classical music, which is viewed as a higher art form. Instruments and styles have impacted classical ragas. It is also not uncommon for major writers, saints and poets to have large musical libraries and traditions to their name, often sung in thumri (semi-classical) style.
Main article: Bhangra
Bhangra is a form of dance-oriented folk music that has become a pop sensation in the United Kingdom. The present musical style is derived from the traditional musical accompaniment to the folk dance of Punjab called by the same name, bhangra.
Main article: Dandiya
A form of folk music adapted for clubs is called dandiya. It is based on Gujarati folk music, and includes best-selling artists like Falguni Pathak.
The Bauls of Bengal were a mystical order of musicians in 18th, 19th and early 20th century India who played a form of music using a khamak, ektara and dotara. The Bauls (the word comes from Sanskrit batul, meaning divinely inspired insanity. They are a group of Hindu mystic minstrels. They are thought to have been influenced greatly by the Hindu tantric sect of the Kartabhajas as well as by Sufi sects. Bauls travel in search of the internal ideal, Maner Manush (Man of the Heart).
Main article: Indian classical music
The two main traditions of classical music have been Carnatic music, found predominantly in the peninsular regions and Hindustani music, found in the northern and central parts. While both traditions claim Vedic origin, history indicates that until c. 13th century, there was only one Indian music tradition. From them on, most of north India was under Islamic rule, and Hindustani music is the result of a fusion of Mughal, Arabic and Persian traditions with traditional Indian music. Carnatic music, on the other hand, traces much of its contemporary concert repertoire to a series of composers and musicologists in the 15th and 16th centuries including Govindacharya, Venkatamakhin, Purandaradasa, Tyagaraja and Muttusvami Dikshitar. For more, see Indian classical music, Hindustani music and Carnatic music.
A towering figure of Indian music was Rabindranath Tagore. Writing in Bengali, he created a library of over 2000 songs now known by Bengalis as rabindra sangeet whose form is primarily influenced by Hindustani classical thumri style. Many singers in West Bengal proudly base their entire careers on the singing of Tagore musical masterpieces.
Main article: Qawwali
es:Música India fr:Musique indienne nl:Indiase muziek sv:Indisk musik