Music in Medieval India

The medieval period witnessed development in Music in India. Music was not a part of the original Islamic tradition but it developed under the influence of the Sufis and became a part of court life. Many new forms and instruments were developed. Mir Khusrau who had contributed to literature and historical writings is believed to have invented some of these musical instruments. He developed the early form of the popular musical style known as Qawwali. Khayal one of the important forms of Indian classical music is also believed to be his contribution. The legendary figures of Baz Bahadur, the ruler of Malwa and his queen Rupmati were accomplished musicians and also introduced many new ragas. The most notable figure in music in Medieval India as Tansen the court musician of Akbar. His attainments in music have become a legend.

The patronage of music continued at the courts of rulers in the 18th century and the traditions evolved through the centuries were kept alive. The contributions of the Bhakti and Sufi saints in the development and promotion of music is very important. The growth of Indian classical music has been a major force of India's cultural unity. Apart from Hindu elements some of the greatest masters of music have been Muslims. The Kitab-i- Nauras a collection of songs in praise of Hindu deities and Muslim saints was written by a 17th century ruler Ibrahim Adil Shah II. Both in vocal and instrumental music two main classical styles evolved -Hindustani and Carnatic. Some of the greatest figures in Carnatic music were Purandaradasa, Thyagraja, Muthuswami, Dikshitar and Syamasastri.