Music and dance have been the chief forms of religious expression in India. The origin of music is attributed to gods and goddesses and to mythological figures like gandharvas and kinnaras who figure in all the stories and practice of music.
Music and dancing were among the amusements of the vedic age. The Sama veda is a standing monument to the wonderful skill and the originality of the ancients in the science of vocal music. The chanted Veda is the still the oldest extant combination of words definitely intended to be sung. In fact, the classical music of India originates from Vedic chants. There were professional musicians in the vedic age and a great variety of instruments as can be inferred from the frequent mention of veena players, flute players, conch blowers, drummers and so on.
The specially composed Rig Veda, consisting of invocations to the powers that be to be present at the sacrifices, refers to the singing , dancing and to the musical instruments that accompany them.
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While numerous manuscripts have survived into the modern era, many original works on Indian music are believed to be lost, and are known to have existed only because they are quoted and discussed in other manuscripts on classical Indian music.
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These traditions were not distinct until about the h century. During the period of Islamic rule of the Indian subcontinent, the traditions separated and evolved into distinct forms. Hindustani music emphasizes improvisation and exploring all aspects of a raga, while Carnatic performances tend to be short and composition-based. The roots of the classical music of India are found in the Vedic literature of Hinduism and the ancient
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