Naada Brahma

Music is an essential part of Hindu philosophy and mythology. The first sound in the Universe was OM, also called Naada Brahma (the first note). OM is believed to be the purest sound ever made. Since Brahman pervades the entire universe including the human soul at its core, the notion of sacred sound manifest as chant and music provided a veritable thread binding the human realm to the divine, such that most musicological treatises discuss Nada-Brahman as the foundation of musical sound.

     RigVedic hymns are directed at Gods, to be chanted during sacrifices to please them. It is possible Gods were thought to be fond of music and that it would be easier to please them if the hymns were sung rather than just chanted. Thus, many of the Rig Vedic hymns were set to music and sung. 

    There are two main traditions in Indian classical music, both of which have close relationship with their religious beliefs. The Karnatic is from the south and the Hidustani tradition is from the north. Although both of these use the concepts of ragas (the melodic modes) and talas (rhythmic cycles), there are differences existing between these two styles. Northern style, the Hindustani music tradition, employ instruments such as the sitar, sarod, sarangi and tabla, which were greatly influenced by Persia and other elements of Islam for culturally speaking, northern India has been dominated by Islam since the Muslim invasion in the 13th century. The structure of a composition is also different. With less strict composed sections, the music of broad improvisations shows its brilliant virtuosity. It is this unique improvisation style that serves as a tool for the Indians of the north to meditate about the relationship with gods and the universe.

      Compared with the north, Karnatic in the south is much more orthodox in its Hindusim tie. The music is built around a great repertoire of pre-composed songs, which were done by the musicians who devoted themselves to their gods centuries ago. Most compositions are vocal music with the parts of solo (either vocal or violin) and accompaniment (mridangam). The role of music is to please the gods; and therefore, music is considered a “personal mode of religious expression” (Benary: 1971).The melodic pattern of the solo part along with the ancient sacred text either in Sanskrit or Telegu has a superior position to that of other parts. Kritit, a Karnatic form, is an example of this.

        Religious chant and music occupy a central place within the heritage of the Hindu religion. Unlike some religious traditions in the West, there is no ambiguity about the relationship between music and the divine in Hinduism. Encompassing a broad spectrum from the chanting of ancient Vedic priests to the melodic bhajans of modern day devotees, Hindu religious chant and music are firmly rooted in theological principles of sacred sound found throughout the Vedic and Hindu scriptures and associated with spiritual power and ecstasy from the earliest times. And while there was no single founder of Hinduism who was a musician, as for instance in the case of Sikhism with Guru Nanak, many of the famous rishis or sages in ancient India were, like Narada Rishi, either exemplary musicians or chanters of the Vedic texts. Moreover, most founders of Hindu religious schools or lineages were patrons of music or musically adept, and, conversely, most founders and teachers of Indian musical styles were directly associated with religious lineages. 

Krishna’s Flute 

     Lord Shri Krishna is regarded as complete incarnation of God., full of sixteen Kalas. All the other incarnations that occurred before him were not complete in themselves. Even Maryada Purushottama Lord Shri Rama had only twelve Kalas.

Lord Krishna holds nothing but only a seemingly ordinary flute. Now it is up to the devotees to interpret the meaning of flute with their own view. Even the flute of Lord Krishna is full of all the Kalas and is a symbol of love. In his entire life. Lord Krishna only once raised a weapon, that to in the form of wheel during the battle of Mahabharata, to protect the vow of Pitamaha Bheeshma. Otherwise, only the flute was everything for him. Like a magic stick the flute accompanied Lord Krishna all through his life. With the enchanting tone of the flute, Lord Krishna hypnotized the world. 

Pandit Ravi Shankar 

The sitar maestro was born on 7 April 1920 in Varanasi, UP, India. In his early years he joined his elder brother, Uday Shankar and his troupe and went to Paris in 1930 to experiment with the stage by playing small roles in ballets for the next three years. Pandit Ravi Shankar was trained in sitar under Ustad Allauddin Khan of Maihar for six years (1938-44), a court musician and a disciple of Swami Haridas of the Tansen Gharana. 

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan 

He was all of 6 years old, when Amjad Ali Khan gave his first recital of Sarod. It was the beginning of yet another glorious chapter in the history of Indian classical music. Taught by his father Haafiz Ali Khan, a musician to the royal family of Gwalior, Amjad Ali Khan was born to the illustrious Bangash lineage rooted in the Senia Bangash School of music. Today he shoulders the sixth generation inheritance of this legendary lineage.

Khan is one of the few maestros who consider his audience to be the soul of his motivation. 

Bharata Rathna Smt. M.S. Subbulakshmi 

     Born in Madurai in 1916 as Kunjamma, Subbulakshmi was known as "M S Subbulakshmi" (Madurai Shanmukhavadivu) grew up surrounded and filled by music.
Intrigued by the gramaphone records Kunjamma would roll a piece of paper and sing into it for hours. She cut her first disc at the age of 10. The songs were " maragatavadivu " and " Oothukuzhiyinile " in an impossibly high pitch. It was through the Columbia Gramaphone Company records she was first noticed in the city of Madras before she was in her teens.
When she was 15 or 16, she was invited to sing at a wedding, when she sang for two hours. The audience there sat mesmerised. By 1932 MS had become a sort of "cult figure" for a whole generation of young rasikas .

Subbulakshmi's first movie " Sevasadanam " was released in 1938 in which she acted as a poor girl married to a rich old man As a glamour queen she maintained her image until the release of " Meera " in 1945 and when " Baktha Meera " was released both in Tamil and Hindi, it created a wave of appreciation that gave her an all India status as a musician. It also marked the end of her film career and MS gave up films once for all and turned wholly to concert music. She played a large  role in spreading the concepts of carnatic music to western world where hardly anyone knew the complexities of carnatic music systems.