The two main traditions of classical music are Carnatic music, found predominantly in the peninsular regions, and Hindustani music, found in the northern, eastern and central regions. The basic concepts of this music includes shruti (microtones), swara (notes), alankar (ornamentations), raga (melodies improvised from basic grammars), and tala (rhythmic patterns used in percussion). Its tonal system divides the octave into 22 segments called shrutis, not all equal but each roughly equal to one quarter of a whole tone of Western music.
The Hindustani music tradition diverged from Carnatic music around the 13th – 14th centuries AD. The practice of singing based on notes was popular even from the Vedic times where the hymns in Sama Veda, an ancient religious text, were sung as Samagana and not chanted. Developing a strong and diverse tradition over several centuries, it has contemporary traditions established primarily in India but also in Pakistan and Bangladesh. In contrast to Carnatic music, the other main Indian classical music tradition originating from the South, Hindustani music was not only influenced by ancient Hindu musical traditions, historical Vedic philosophy and native Indian sounds but also enriched by the Persian performance practices of the Mughals. Classical genres are dhrupad, dhamar, khyal, tarana and sadra, and there are also several semi-classical forms.
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