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Indian Music

Music has always been an important part of Indian life. The range of musical phenomenon in India extends from simple melodies to what is one of the most well- developed "systems" of classical music in the world. There are references to various string and wind instruments, as well as several kinds of drums and cymbals, in the Vedas. Some date the advent of the system of classical Indian music to Amir Khusro. Muslim rulers and noblemen freely extended their patronage to music. In the courts of the Mughal emperors, music is said to have flourished, and the Tansen was one of the jewels of Akbar's court.

The great poet-saints who chose to communicate in the vernacular tongues brought forth a great upheaval in north India and the Bhakti or devotional movements they led gained many adherents. The lyrics of Surdas, Tulsidas, and most particularly Kabir and Mirabai continue to be immensely popular. By the sixteenth century, the division between North Indian (Hindustani) and South Indian (Carnatic) music was also being more sharply delineated. Classical music, both Hindustani and Carnatic, may be either instrumental or vocal.


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<Indian Classical Singers>
The art of classical singing is being practiced in the Indian subcontinent since ages. The art is popular, not as a form of entertainment, but as a means of connecting with the Divine Being. Infact, it is considered as one of the basic ways through which a human being can connect with God. The distinct forms of melodies sung by classical singers are known as 'Ragas'. Some of these Ragas are said to have a divine quality in them, which helps an individual in meditating. In this section, we have provided a brief biography of the famous classical singers of India.

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
A distinguished maestro in the field of playing Sarod, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is popularly known as the "Sarod Samrat". He is the sixth generation Sarod player in his renowned family.

Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan
One name that truly epitomizes the 20th century Hindustani classical music tradition is that of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. Often touted as the Tansen of 20th Century, this music maestro has blended the best of classical music and created a unique style of his own.

Dr. Balamuralikrishna
One of the most famous names associated with Classical Carnatic Music is that of Dr. Balamuralikrishna. This legendary musician and Padmabhushan awardee is an able composer, singer, poet and instrumentalist who can sing perfectly in three octaves.

Bhimsen Joshi
One of the most prominent and legendary Hindustani vocalist living today is of course Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. He can very easily be called a living legend and someone who has not just earned true fans but has also won over critics.

Ustad Bismillah Khan
Ustad Bismillah Khan was undoubtedly a gem that India is proud of. This Shehnai maestro of India was a Bharat Ratna awardee and also has been awarded all the top four civilian awards namely Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan along with the Bharat Ratna.

Pandit Kumar Gandharva
One of the most famous classical musicians in India was undoubtedly Pandit Kumar Gandharva. His real name was Shivaputra Siddharamayya Komkali. Pandit Kumar Gandharva was born on 8th April, 1924 in a place called Dharwad located in Karnataka.

M.S Subbulakshmi
M.S Subbulakshmi is a name that is synonymous with the world of Carnatic music. This flawless singer whose voice had a divine power is the first singer in India to be presented with the Bharat Ratna, the highest award given to any civilian.

Pandit Ravi Shankar
Pandit Ravi Shankar is a living legend who is a genius Sitar player. Born on 7th April, 1920 in Banaras, his family was a Bengali Brahmin family who named him Ravindra Shankar. Shyam Shankar, his father, was a barrister.

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma
Pandit Shivkumar Sharma is a very famous classical musician who has acquired international fame by playing the classical instrument, Santoor. The Santoor is a trapezoid-shaped hammered dulcimer often made of walnut wood and has 72 strings, which are struck with two delicate carved wooden mallets.

Tansen
Considered as the greatest musician in India, Tansen (1506 - 1589) is instrumental in the creation of the classical music that dominates the north of India.

Ustad Zakir Hussain
Popularly known as Tabla Maestro, Ustad Zakir Hussain is the son of the renowned tabla player Ustad Allah Rakha. He was born on 9th March, 1951 and showed much interest in tabla since a very young age.

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<Indian Singers>
Indian subcontinent is home to some of the best talents in every field, be it music, singing, painting, acting, and so on. These famous personalities have made the country proud at not only the national, but also international level. They have taken the rich art and culture of India beyond geographical boundaries. Special mention needs to be given in case of Indian singers, who have made Indian music famous throughout the world. Their soothing voice and poignant performance has stirred many hearts. This section gives a list of popular singers of India.

Alka Yagnik
Alka Yagnik is one of the leading singers of the Hindi film industry who has made an indelible mark for herself. In an industry where big and already established names were ruling, it was not easy for anyone to even get noticed.

Asha Bhosle
With versatility as her middle name, the famous Asha Bhosle still sings the way she used to during her prime. Though she is over 70 years of age, she still continues to give stiff competition to singers who are half her age.

Begum Akhtar
Begum Akhtar was born on 7th October, 1914 in Faizabad town of Uttar Pradesh. Her name was Akhtaribai Faizabadi though she was much popular as Begum Akhtar.

Jagjit Singh
Jagjit Singh is one of the most famous Ghazal singers of the modern times. In an era where the current generation is headed towards rock and hip hop music, it is refreshing to see them cherish Jagjit Singh ghazals as well.

Kishore Kumar
Born as Abhas Kumar Ganguly on 4th August, 1929, this great singer known as Kishore Kumar, affectionately called Kishore Da, was one of those very few singers who took risks and experimented with different styles of music.

K.L Saigal
The very name K.L Saigal conjures up an image of a superstar who ruled the screens long before people heard of Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna. Not many are aware of the achievements of this great persona and his contributions to the Hindi film industry.

Kumar Sanu
Kumar Sanu is one of the most popular playback singers of Bollywood. He holds the Guinness Book world record for recording the maximum number of songs in a day, which are 28.

Lata Mangeshkar
Lata Mangeshkar is one of the best singers of the Hindi film industry. She is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recorded artist in the world

Manna Dey
Manna Dey is undoubtedly one of the best singers that India has. This versatile singer has sung numerous songs and shared the limelight with some legends like Mohammed Rafi, Talat Mehmood, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, etc.

Mukesh
Mukesh was nicknamed as The Man with the Golden Voice and his songs are true examples of his inimitable voice. Mukesh was born as Zoraver Chand Mathur in Delhi on July 22nd, 1923.

Mohammed Rafi
One of the greatest playback singers of India, Mohammed Rafi is considered no less than a genius when it comes to varied styles of music. Born on December 24th, 1924, this great soul had the perfect blend of melody, emotions and energy, which reflected greatly in his songs.

Sonu Nigam
Sonu Nigam is one of the most popular singers of Bollywood. He is a teen idol who has inspired thousands of young singers across the country. This talented singer was born in Faridabad district of Haryana on July 30th, 1973.

Udit Narayan
Udit Narayan is one of the most popular singers of the Hindi film industry. This multi talented playback singer has sung in numerous films and in many different languages.

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Hindustani Gharanas | Hindustani School | Music Glossary | Music Instruments | Carnatic Music | Film Music | Fusion | Ghazals | Folk Music | Shayari | Ustad Bismillah Khan | Pandit Ravi Shankar | Pandit Shivkumar Sharma | Ustad Zakir Hussain
Indian Classical Singers
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan | Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan | Dr. Balamuralikrishna | Bhimsen Joshi | Pandit Kumar Gandharva | M.S Subbulakshmi
Indian Singers
Alka Yagnik | Asha Bhosle | Begum Akhtar | Jagjit Singh | Kishore Kumar | K L Saigal | Kumar Sanu | Lata Mangeshkar | Manna Dey | Mukesh | Mohammed Rafi | Sonu Nigam | Udit Narayan


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