Influence of Western Music in India

Topics: Music, Jazz, Music of India Pages: 18 (5710 words) Published: September 28, 2010

1.1Backdrop of the study
The creation, performance, significance and even the definition of music vary according to culture and context. Music can be divided into genres and subgenres, although the dividing lines and relationships between music genres are often subtle, sometimes open to individual interpretation, and occasionally controversial. Within the arts, music may be classified as a performing art, a fine art, and auditory art. To many people in many cultures music is an important part of their way of life. By all accounts there is no single and intercultural universal concept defining what music might be.

Music in India includes multiple varieties of folk, popular, and classical music. India's classical music tradition, including Carnatic and Hindustani music, has a history spanning millennia and, developed over several eras, it remains fundamental to the lives of Indians today as sources of spiritual inspiration, cultural expression and pure entertainment. India is made up of several dozen ethnic groups, speaking their own languages and dialects, having very distinct cultural traditions.

However, over the past few decades, there has been a significant influence of various western forms in India owing to globalization and increase in the use of developed technologies. This research is an attempt to observe this influence over traditional Indian Music and to study whether it has hampered or has added value to Indian music.

1.2Reason for selecting this topic
Music has been an integral part of my life since childhood. I have always been emotionally attached to this form of art. The various compositions, instruments and forms of music have intrigued me immensely. This curiousness has led me to choose this topic for research and has enabled me to understand music, especially Indian music in a better way.

1.3Research objective
oTo study the entry of western music in India.
oTo study the use of western instruments in combination with Indian instruments. oTo study whether the listeners prefer western music over Indian music.

1.4 Research Problem
The main idea of research is to study the entry and influence of western music on various forms of Indian Music namely, folk music, classical music, film music etc. The focus is also on the increasing effect of various western instruments on Indian music and how the traditional form of music has given way to modern sounds through advanced instruments. It also deals with the choice of listeners and whether or not they prefer western form over Indian music.

1.5Scope and Limitations
Like any research project, this research is limited by several constraints that could serve as starting points for further research. While the research report gives an idea about the influence of various forms of Western Music in India, it does not give a thorough indication of which is a better form of music. It only throws light about the preference of the listeners and is completely unbiased in its inference.

A second constraint of this research is the time limitation. The research was carried out within a limited time frame of two months.

The third constraint is the sample size of the study. The primary research was carried out with a small sample size of 50 respondents, majority of which were students in and around the suburbs of Mumbai.

1.6Defining the variables
Independent variable: Music
Dependent variable: (i) Preference of listeners
(ii) Instruments used


2.1Theoretical Literature Review
Indian music unfurls the timeline of that undaunted journey from the Vedic hymns to the music of the contemporary era. Indians were always comfortable in illustrating themselves amidst the artistry of tune; raga, tala and sur. Quite ideally therefore, Indian music has gradually become one of the much acknowledged genres of the varied art form. The rich chronicle of Indian music unveils its voyage from the ancient Vedic...

Bibliography:  Theoretical Literature Review
• Gobind Singh Mansukhani (1982)
• Journal of the International Folk Music Council, Vol. 11, (1959)
• Gerry Farrell
• Don Michael Randel. (1968). The Harvard Dictionary of Music.
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