The music of India and its history are too complex to be described briefly. Nevertheless a brief introduction will help
those who are new to Indian music; they will no doubt be more influenced by what they hear than by what they read
but a foreknowledge of certain theoretical points may assist their appreciation.
Indian music has a very long, unbroken tradition - the accumulated heritge of centuries. The origin can be traced back
to Vedic days - nearly two thousand years. The culture of India today is an outcome of the interaction and interweaving
of races and cultures, both indigenous and foreign; and it is the study of the contribution of these various races and
tribes that gives us the picture of the evolution of Indian music. The Negrito, the Mongoloid, the Dravidian, and the
Aryan, have all contributed to the complexity of Indian culture.
North Indian music is popularly known as Hindustani music and South Indian as Karnatic; their origin is the same, only
the approach and style are different. When and how the two main schools crytallized would be an interesting study but
the earliest treatises of Indian music do not make any distinction between Northern and Southern schools.
Musical Instruments Of India
India can be said to be a country of countries; its diversity of languages, religions, cultures, and traditions have no parallel example anywhere in the world. Indian musical instruments in the same manner are very diverse in nature.
Most of the Indian musical instruments have evolved over centuries. Each instrument has its own history behind its evolution. In a culture's early stages, artifacts, musical Instruments, and lifestyles are simple and basic in nature.
As a society progresses, the demands made on musical instruments rise. Thus, most Indian instruments - although having started in simple forms because of a long period of evolution - have now become exquisite instruments capable of producing a varied pitch and range of octaves. Example: Tabla must have started just as a plain drum.
Below is a list of some Indian musical instruments that have gained popularity and acceptance worldwide.