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The musical texts and traditions cited above
provided a common root for a Pan-Indian Classical
Musical tradition, setting standards of scale and
rhythm systematization. This allowed Indian music
to develop along very similar lines regardless
of context or sectarian affiliation. Whether they
believed in Nirguna (Absolute without qualities),
Sarguna (Absolute with qualities), Vaishnava,
Saiva, Sakta or other Deities, all musicians drew
from the same evolving corpus of musical genres,
raga patterns, tala structures and assortment of
Just as music in Christian church has strongly
influenced the development of Western Classical
Music, these various traditions of Indian Religious
Music in India, which developed in specific sacred
places and within religious lineages, have been a
rich source of material for Indian Classical Music.
Indian Classical Music is traditionally taught
via oral methods. The rules of Indian Music and
compositions themselves are taught from a guru to
a shishya (student) in person. The concept of a Guru-
Shishya leads to the development of Gharanas.
Indian Classical music remains an extraordinarily
significant component of all aspects of secular
life and religious practice wherever Indian culture
is present. It aids in maintaining cultural ties,
religious faith and moral discipline. Performed by
skilled musicians or lay enthusiasts, Indian Classical
Music continues to serve as both a vehicle for
entertainment and a source of spiritual renewal
and ecstasy.
Sangeetam has travelled from temples and courts
to modern festivals and concert halls, imbibing
the spirit of Indian culture, and retaining a clearly
recognizable continuity of tradition alongside
the modern popular, Bollywood, religious and
devotional music endures in temples, and shrines
throughout India and the Indian diaspora. And
India's Classical Music is steadily gaining world
attention on a serious scale.
Amarjeet-singh Bhamra | Secretariat | All Party
Parliamentary Group Indian Traditional Sciences
Note: All material in this article has been obtained
through historical records.
Guru Nanak Founder of Sikhism accompanied by
Bala on his left and Mardana playing the Rabab.