The origins of Indian classical music can be found in the Vedas, which are the oldest scriptures in the Hindu tradition. indian classical music has also been significantly influenced by, or syncretised with, Indian folk music and Persian music. The Samaveda, one of the four Vedas, describes music at length. The Samaveda was derived from the Rigveda so that its hymns could be sung as Samagana. These hymns were sung by Udgatar priests at sacrifices in which the Soma ritual drink, clarified and mixed with milk and other ingredients, was offered in libation to various deities. This chanting style evolved into jatis and eventually into ragas. Bharat's Natyashastra was the first treatise laying down fundamental principles of dance, music, and drama.
Indian classical music is both elaborate and expressive. Like Western classical music, it divides the octave into 12 semitones of which the 7 basic notes are, in ascending tonal order, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa for Hindustani music and Sa Ri Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa for Carnatic music, similar to Western music's Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do. However, Indian music uses just-intonation tuning, unlike most modern Western classical music, which uses the equal-temperament tuning system. Also, unlike modern Western classical music, Indian classical music places great emphasis on improvisation.
Indian classical music is monophonic in nature and based around a single melody line, which is played over a fixed drone. The performance is based melodically on particular ragas and rhythmically on talas. Because of the focus on exploring the raga, performances have traditionally been solo endeavors, but duets are gaining in popularity.
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