Mughal Music

During the Mughal rule in India, Indian Classical music emerged as two separate traditions - north Indian Hindustani and the south Indian Carnatic, mainly because of the Islamic influence.

The Hindustani system may be thought as a mixture of traditional Indian musical concepts and Persian performance practice. Many new musical forms like Khayal and Ghazal, and new instruments like Sitar, Sarod and Tabla emerged under the Mughal Rule. Dhrupad, the earliest form of Hindustani music, which emerged around 13th century, reached its pinnacle during the reign of Akbar. The Khayal form of music can be thought of as the ultimate blending of Indian musical theory and Persian musical expression. The concept of a ‘Raag’ was made popular during the Mughal rule.

Muslim rule also had negative effects on Indian music. Strict interpretations of Islam (as barring music) by some rulers, like Aurangzeb, drove music underground and into realm of social outcasts at times.

Updated on 1st December, 2023

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