Chapter – 12 Performing Arts: Music, Dance & Drama: Modern Indian Music, Folk Music and Dances of India

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The compositions in Carnatic music may be attributed collectively to three composers who lived between AD 1700 and 1850. They were Shyam Shastri, Thyagaraja and Mutthuswami Dikshitar.

  • The main compositions are known as kirti and are devotional in nature. The three great musicians experimented with new forms.

  • Some notable musicians of this period are Maha Vaidhyanath Ayyar, and Ramnad Srinivasa lyengar.

  • Flute, Veena, nadaswaram, mridangam, ghatam are some of the instruments to accompany Carnatic music.

Modern Indian Music

  • With the British rule came Western music. Indians adopted some of their instruments such as violin and clarinet to suit the demands of Indian music.

  • Orchestration of music on stage is a new development. Use of cassettes replaced oral transmission of tunes and ragas.

  • Performance which were earlier limited to a privileged few have now been thrown open to the public and can be viewed by thousands of music lovers throughout the country.

  • Music education no longer depends on the master-disciple system but can be imparted through institutions teaching music.

Folk Music

  • Besides classical music India has a rich legacy of folk or popular music. This music represents the emotion of the masses.

  • The simple songs are composed to mark every event in life. They may be festivals, advent of a new season, marriage or birth of a child.

  • Rajasthani folk songs such as Mand and Bhatiali of Bengal are popular all over India. Ragini is a popular form of folk songs of Haryana.

  • Folk songs have their special meanings or messages. They often describe historical events and important rituals.

  • Muslims sing Sojkhwani or mournful songs during Muharran and Christmas carols music are sung in groups on the festive occasions.

Dances of India

  • The Rig Veda mentions dance and danseuse and compares the brilliant dawn to a brightly attrived danseuse.

  • In the Brahmanas, Jaiminiya and Kausitaki dance and music are mentioned together. The Epics are full of references to dances on earth and heaven.

  • Like music, Indian dance has also developed a rich classical tradition. It has a great power of expression and emotions while telling a story.

  • In India, the art of dancing may be traced back to the Harappan culture. The discovery of the bronze statue of a dancing girl testified to the fact that some women in Harappan performed dances.

  • In traditional Indian culture the function of dance was to give symbolic expression to religious ideas.

  • Along with classical dance forms, folk dance also flourished. In most of the regions the local dance form became very popular.

  • Manipuri dance, Rabindranath’s dance, drama, chhau, ras, gidda, bhangra, garba are some of the folk dances that have flourished in India.

  • They are equally popular and have extreme acumen and innovation. Practically every region of our country has developed their own rich tradition of folk dances.

  • Here are some well known dances forms in India.

Image of Well known dance forms in India

Image of Well Known Dance Forms in India

Image of Well known dance forms in India

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