Is that ‘Much Ado About Nothing?’ No certainly not…as both the basic types of Indian Classical Music, i.e. North Indian classical music and Carnatic Classical Music have some fundamental variations. Today, instead of using long-winded narration, I would prefer tabular form to explain the same, which I’m sure, is easier to understand.
Indian Classical Music has two broad classifications: North Indian classical music (Hindustani classical) and South Indian classical music (Carnatic classical), which have only two common factors as Raga and Taal. North Indian classical music has similarity with the music of Afghanistan and Persia and the South Indian music has with the South.
Before the 13th century, India had a unique classical music. Yet, thereafter Classical Music was divided into two different styles. In North India, Persian and Mughal authority started making its place powerfully with Amir Khusro. Tansen and his existing musicians typically presented in Dhrupad style and soon after Khayal singing was made famous by Sadarang-Adarang. And many Gharanas (Schools) in diverse regions of India developed.
In contrast, Saint Purandardas, Tyagraja, Muthuswamy Dikshitar and Shyama Shashtri had a great influence in the development of Carnatic Music. These days, most of the classical training orbits around Kritis by these saint musicians. But it is not sure when and why the Violin was launched in Carnatic Classical Music? Certainly it’s not an Indian instrument, but is very popular complementary instrument with Carnatic Classical singers.
Contrasting North Indian classical music, Carnatic classical music does not stick to Time concepts and as a replacement for Thaats, Carnatic music uses the Melakarta theory. Carnatic ragas vary from Hindustani ragas. The names of ragas are also different. Yet, there are some ragas with the same scale as Hindustani ragas but with the different names; e.g. Hindolam and Malkauns, Shankarabharanam and Bilawal. I think it is very difficult to understand theoretically but I am sure you get it easily with below video. There is same Raga sung in different style one is Carnatic style by Vidvan Balamurali and another is Hindustani style by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. Enjoy it!
Vidwan Balamuralikrishna and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi
You can also read :
- Raga Darbari Kanada – Splendid Raga
- Why Indian Classical Music leaves such a deep impact on our mind?
Following tables may be very helpful to recognize some fundamental difference between North Indian classical music and Carnatic classical music.
|Factors||Hindustani Music||Carnatic Music|
|Raga System||Based on 10 Thaats and 32 Ragang Ragas||Based on 72 Melakarta or Janak Raga|
|Time-Cycle of Ragas||Follws Time Cycle||Doesn’t follow it|
|Taal||Popular 10-12 Taal||Popular 35 Taal|
|Composition or Kriti Forms||Khayal, Dhrupad, Tarana, Thumri, Dhamaar divide into parts like -Sthayi, Antara, Snachari and Abhog||Varnam, Kriti divided into part as Pallavi, Anupallavi and Charnam|
|Composers||Experts from various ‘Gharana’ in different regions of Northern India||Saint Purnadardas, Tyagraja, Dikshitar and Shyama Shastri|
|Area of influence||Famous in North, central, West and Eastern India and also in Pakistan and Bangladesh||Famous in South India (Tamilnadu, Karnataka, AP and Kerala)|
|Shuddha Swara Saptaka (Primary Notes Scale)||Raga Bilawal (Similar to Carnatic Raga Dheer Shankarbharnam)||Raga Maya Malav Gaula (Similar to Hindustani Raga Bhairav)|
|Performance||Improvisation is more valued.||Composition is more valued.|
Difference in Swara or Notes: (if Sa is on Key C in Piano)
|Position||Hindustani Swara||Carnatic Swara||Short name|
|C#||Komal Rishabh||Shuddh Rishabh||Re or Ri|
|D||Shuddh Rishabh||Chatusruti Rishabh /Shuddh Gandhar||Re or Ri|
|D#||Komal Gandhar||Shatsruti Rishabh /Sadharan Gandhar||Ga|
|E||Shuddha Gandhar||Antar Gandhar||Ga|
|F||Shuddh Madhyam||Shuddh Madhyam||Ma|
|F#||Tivra Madhyam||Prati Madhyam||Ma|
|G#||Komal Dhaivat||Shuddh Dhaivat||Dha|
|A||Shuddha Dhaivat||Chatusruti Dhaivat/Shuddha Nishad||Dha|
|A#||Komal Nishad||Shatsruti Dhaivat/Kaishiki Nishad||Ni|
|B||Shuddha Nishad||Kakali Nishad||Ni|
Some Similar Raga with different Names
|Yaman or Kalyan||Mech Kalyani|
|Bhairav||Maya Malav Gaula|
Watch below video for more information. Neela Bhagwat is front-ranking exponent of Gwalior style of singing.
What is Difference between Hindustani Classical and Carnatic Classical music?
Answer by Neela Bhagwat
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