Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Spring 2014

Abstract

Indian music has a rich history, beginning in ancient times with the Aryans who used music as a religious practice. It continued developing through the centuries growing and expanding into a system that has its own unique theory, notation, instrumentation, and vocal style. One of the most dynamic periods in the history of Indian music was during colonization when, as early as the fifteenth century, India was introduced to Western cultures. Even though the cultures refused to mingle at first, an appreciation between them eventually developed, leading to an interesting exchange. Slowly but surely, through the pressures of Western ideals and the introduction to Western musical styles, a hybrid style gradually formed. This progression toward the new blend can be observed through the centuries by examining the genre of Hindustani Airs and the composer Mutthuswami Dikshita during the eighteenth century, through the compositions of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-­‐ 1941) in the nineteenth century, and through the life of the composer and sitar player Ravi Shankar (1920-­‐2012) in the twentieth century. The earlier novel styles, propagated by the British, portray India as a British colony where as later novel styles establish India as an independent country with its own musical sound.

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