Influence of Western Music in India Essay

Words: 5694
Pages: 23


1.1 Backdrop of the study
The creation, performance, significance and even the definition of music vary according to culture and context. Music can be divided into genres and subgenres, although the dividing lines and relationships between music genres are often subtle, sometimes open to individual interpretation, and occasionally controversial. Within the arts, music may be classified as a performing art, a fine art, and auditory art. To many people in many cultures music is an important part of their way of life. By all accounts there is no single and intercultural universal concept defining what music might be.

Music in India includes multiple varieties of folk, popular, and classical music. India's classical
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In the West, the singing of a song is a secular and formal exercise, not involving devotion or piety as in the case of Indian music. The Guru-shishya tradition responsible for the deep attachment and dedication of the student to the teacher. In the West, usually a music teacher is just a person hired for giving lessons and there is no intimacy between the teacher and the taught.
Indian music, like Western music, is based on melody and rhythm, but it has no foundation of harmony and counterpoint so vital to Western music. Indian music is "modal"-based on the relationship between the permanent individual noted called the tonic, with the successive notes. That is why the drone is played in the background of vocal music to remind one of the tonic note. The Indian system is horizontal, one note following the other, while the European is vertical-several notes at a time. Yehudi Menuhin, the noted composer and musicologist, highlights the difference between the two systems by describing Indian music thus: "The appreciate Indian music, one has to adopt a completely different sense of values... one must orientate oneself and at least for the period concerned, forget there is a time-clock ticking away and merely sink into a kind of subjective, almost hypnotic trance. In that condition, the repetitive features of Indian music, both rhythmic and melodic, acquire an extraordinary fascination and charm... despite the domination of this hypnotic mood, a