Songlines | The music of India – Guides, Interviews and Features

India Profile

From classical ragas to the bacchanalias of Bollywood, India is a land of music unlike any other. A vast classical tradition encompasses the Hindustani school of northern India played by the likes of Ravi Shankar and the sarod maestro Ali Akbar Khan and the Karnatic music of the south, played predominantly on the vina, plus violin and wind instruments.

Both traditions also have a strong vocal heritage, from the sacred art of dhrupad to the popular tunes of ghazal.

Folk styles from the Punjab to Rajasthan are rampant – and then there is Indian film music, a world all of its own providing the soundtrack to a billion lives…

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