Indian music and movies form two of India’s greatest forms of entertainment. While the former includes classical, folk, pop and, of course, the very popular Bollywood, which can be called a separate genre in itself, the latter is one of the biggest industries in the world.
Music in India
According to the ancient Indians, the origin of music lies in the divine source, and that its purest form can be compared to cosmic energy. As a result, it is closely interlinked with religion, giving birth to music forms like kirtan and bhajan. The classical tradition is believed to have germinated from religious chants and poems of the Vedic era.
The classical music, at present, is divided into two schools, the Hindustani and Carnatic style. While the former is the style of the North, the latter is that of Southern India. Raga arrangements are what the classical traditionis based on. It repeats itself in the various compositions. These arrangements can, however, be improvised by the musicians. The brilliance of a composition lies in these very improvisations of the composers.
India, being a land of diverse culture, also has a rich collection of folk music. While Bengal is famous for Rabindra Sangeet, Assam is popular for Bihu, Gujarat for Garba, Uttarakhand for Uttarakhandi music, Maharashtra for Lavani etc. The state of Rajasthan has castes of musicians called Manganiyar, Jogi, Bhopa, Sapera and Langas. Apart from these, there is the Ganasangeet, which are songs associated with the Indian struggle for independence. Some examples would be Vande mataram, Kadam kadam badhaye ja, Apni azadi ko hum etc.
Indian music and movies go hand in hand. Bollywood songs or Hindi film songs exist in their own right. No matter how much criticized they are, they stand a winner. Like any form of music, that of Hindi films too has evolved quite a lot. While in the past they were more classical based, today, they are more of the Indo-Western type. However, that does not mean that pure Indian songs are no more composed.
Cinema in India
Coming to Indian cinema, it must be said that it is one of the world’s oldest forms of cinema. It was there in the silent era, and it exists even now and how!
With more than 900 films released per year, Hindi cinema or Bollywood, as it is popularly called, is one of the richest film industries the world has ever seen. Apart from having a strong domestic market, Bollywood has a loyal fan base abroad as well. This can be proved from the enormous box office collections that Indian films make in foreign countries.
Though dramas, thrillers, comedy and romance with song and dance sequences define Hindi cinema, art-house cinema on serious and realistic subjects too are widely made in India. While the commercial front was once dominated by Ramesh Sippy, Shakti Samanta, Manmohan Desai, etc. and is now ruled by Karan Johar, Farhan Akhtar, Aditya Chopra and so on, the art arena was earlier ruled by veterans like Govind Nihalani and Shyam Benegal and is presently thriving under Anurag Kashyap, Onir, Kalpana Lajmi etc.
Indian music and movies is actually a potpourri of tradition, modernity and, of course, whole lot of entertainment. These DVDs and CDs are widely available at online Indian stores. Buy them and enjoy!