Indian Music of Today

As with any musical style within this vast world, significant changes are expected and do take place which shape and change the tradition over time. Indian classical music is not the exception to this rule; today's "consumer public" is drawn to many aspects of music from different cultures, especially from the West. The advent of mass transportation and communication have contributed to this phenomenon and have resulted in both positive and negative developments of classical Indian music.

Western musics such as jazz and commercial pop have had a great impact on the current trends and attitudes of the Indian listening public. This is especially true with the younger crowd who may not have developed a thorough appreciation for their great classical musical heritage. In addition, the inc orporation of western and European orchestras has made its presence known throughout much of the music with sometimes silly juxtapositions of sitars and tablas intermingled within larger horn and string sections. As a result, a deeper appreciation for the pure classical music has dwindled amongst the masses; left to survive by the older generations and those students who seek to keep the music alive through their own performance practices.

The western invasion transcends all areas of every day Indian life including attire, movies, fast food, etc. (the list is endless). Yet, without a solid education of the classical music, the awareness of today's Indian community has dwindled to a point of near non-existence.

In looking at today's western music, a great deal of variety exists which seemingly caters to all tastes, with jazz - American's only indigenous musical art form - surviving within a small, but strongly appreciative audience. India's attitude towards music is not unlike that in the west with the desire for variety and something new always at the forefront. Music, after all, is not a stagnant or fixed set of rules and regulations. Like Amir Khusrau, people from all over the world will keep an open mind and focused awareness on what suits their ever expanding tastes - hopefully, though, not at the expense of a thousand-year-old tradition.