Indian Classical Music-A Different Approach

Centuries back, ancient Indians believed that there is no other mortal need if the human body is soothed with divine music. The traditional music of India has been used to infuse power into the extremities and intellect to the human brain. The life becomes easy and the body remains in homeostatic state when classical ragas are regularly listened.

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The power of Indian classical music affects individuals listening to it. Backed by the great Pythagoras’ statement that there is geometry in the humming of the strings and there is music in the spacing of the spheres. The history of Indian music is amazing that features legendary Tansen, Baiju Bawra, Tana-Riri’s expertise on classical ragas. Not just to cure and heal human diseases, the classical ragas have been used to nurture the nature too. Raga Malhar was sung to bring rain in any season whereas Raga Deepak was used to lighten the natural light.

The music originally exists from the day humankind came into existence. The first rhythmic thumping of feet could have been identified as music and maybe, from then on, it has become an integral part of the life.

The music is very important in Indian culture. Indian poojas have ragas and used for worshiping Indian gods and goddesses. A bhakti raga (or bhajan) is special music with holy chants sung by professional Indian priests during festivals and other religious ceremonies. Ancestors in India believed that such ragas when sung with all spirit can make your life better. Practicing such music and ragas while in adversity and troubles by Indians is common.

Indian classical music inspires people and keeps them in touch with spirituality and emotions. The mood changes from deep sorrow to zealous state by indulging into delirious happiness. Music can change the atmosphere or better to say can create such. For spiritual gurus, Indian classical music is used to heighten their spirituality and they achieve salvation by spending years in dedicating themselves to holy chants and spiritual music. Indian classical music is recreational and listening to this helps in getting relaxation from cyclostyle mechanical life.

The relation between Indian classical music and brain is interesting. According to raga gurus, certain ragas have specific action on human brain. In fact, some music directly shows its impact on overall development of the human brain. As revealed in a research at Montreal University, all the four cortex’s lobes gets charged and become active when the brain listens to particular frequency music. In addition, cerebellum of the brain also responds to specific ragas, rhythms, timbre and melody.

Coping up with anxiety, depression and stress becomes easy by listening Indian classical music as said by classical raga gurus. Furthermore, the Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse report in 1999 revealed that students studying in secondary schools who actively participated in all music events, bands and orchestra were not that indulged in substance abuse as compared to their counterpart who showed apathy toward music. The brain activity increased and those who went for music classes scored high ranks on SAT as compared to their classmates who did not go. The ancient gurus in India knew all this and hence music as one of the subjects in traditional schools (called as Gurukuls). Even today, there are some gurukuls in India that teach holy music in their classes. Furthermore, there are professional courses to master Indian classical music such as Sangeet Visharad run by many Indian universities.

What happens today?
Like other urban areas in the world, Indian urban areas are too crowded. Audible and inaudible sound frequencies coming from vehicles are actually noise disturbing the human brain equilibrium. There is certainly a need for maintaining a proper ecological balance by replacing these by friendly harmony applying serene rhythmic music.

To combat all these noises, soft and soul soothing music is much needed preferably rich in sympathetic tones that help calming the nervous systems and rejuvenates the internal vital organs. The meditation with soothing music can help influencing endocrine glands for producing quality and adequate hormones, which is very possible listening to Indian classical ragas.

Many believe that not just classical Indian ragas but soothing nature’s sounds too play important role in bringing calming state of mind, body and soul. The natural sounds of birds, wind, spring water, rain, ocean or classical instruments like Sitar, Tabala, Shehnai, Jaltarang, Baansuri (flute) can synchronize with brainwave and can get sure effects to tackle any sort of stress, depression, anxiety or mental disturbance.

The Indian classical ragas or music can be performed during any time of the day but then spiritual gurus believe that certain ragas have certain period to perform. On the other hand, soul soothing Indian instrumentals like Tabla, Shehnai etc. can be played during any time as per listener’s convenience. All they have to do is remain aloof and undisturbed for the whole period of listening music. Nevertheless, music for morning meditation is preferred to be very tender, calming and refreshing. This creates the meditation mood and the body gets into harmonious state of serenity. Music for evening or dusk is practiced to inspire the feelings of happiness, satisfaction and confidence. This is more to relieve the all day stress and prepare for the next working day. The droning sound of Indian classical music (instrumental or ragas) can be played to subtly influence the nervous control of the human body. There are many compositions available that help control anger, anxiety and stress.

Ancient healing science of India, better known as Ayurveda, has described the importance of music in healing the mental stress. Indian classical ragas have been used to treat the patient holistically. Though you may not find such practice in urban areas, traditional rehabilitation centers will certainly have this feature. Nevertheless, looking at benefits of soothing music, most of the corporate hospitals in India (and probably in the world) have started playing soft music that helps recovering the patient faster and reduces the hospital stay.

Author: Dr Maulik Vyas

I am a holistic Doctor with 10 yr of experience in medical/health and wellness industry. Also, I am a professional content writer with 1000s of articles published across the web. I'm available for content writing, natural treatment consultancy, business ideas about healthcare/wellness industry. I am the proprietor of company named Mouls Incorporation.


  1. […] or Music had been integral to Indian cultural heritage. If we consider the origin of Indian music then it is […]

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