The music of India includes multiple varieties of classical musicfolk music, Filmy, Indian rock, and Indian pop. Indian pop and Indian rock are derived from western rock and roll. India‘s classical music tradition, including Hindustani music, Bhartiya music and Carnatic , has a history spanning millennia and developed over several areas. Music in India began as an integral part of socio-religious life.

Music is a way of expressing the feelings by the medium of rhythms and ragas the formation of both of these important elements makes the music beautiful. It expresses the situation you are feeling or someone else for whom the music is been created. The creation of music is an art it’s an beauty in itself the better the music plays or is created it gives a long lasting impact on the listeners. In India music is a heritage to the people of this country. Indian people have created music to express their feelings for the almighty god at first so that they can tell that how they feel about the god in a beautiful way. It helps to share the feelings in a short way and in a helpful way.

As we all know that India is a holy country a country full of devotees of almighty in every religion. So, the start of the music is also from the prayers or the story telling of almighty in India and then the other forms were discovered or created in Indian music.


Vedas (c. 1500 – c. 800 BCE Vedic period) document rituals with performing arts and play. For example, Shatapatha Brahmana (~800–700 BCE) has verses in chapter 13.2 written in the form of a play between two actors. Tala or taal is an ancient music concept traceable to Vedic era texts of Hinduism, such as the Samaveda and methods for singing the Vedic hymns. Smriti (500 BCE to 100 BCE ) post-vedic Hindu texts include Valmiki‘s Ramayana (500 BCE to 100 BCE) which mentions dance and music (dance by Apsaras such as UrvashiRambhaMenakaTilottama Panchāpsaras, and Ravana‘s wives excelling in nrityageetaor “singing and dancing” and nritavaditra or “playing musical instruments”), music and singing by Gandharvas, several string instruments(vinatantrivipanci and vallaki similar to veena), wind instruments (shankhavenu and venugana – likely a mouth organ made by tying several flutes together), raga (including kaushika such as raag kaushik dhwani), vocal registers (seven svara or sur, ana or ekashurtidrag note, murchana the regulated rise and fall of voice in matra and tripramana three-fold teen taal laya such as drut or quick, madhyaor middle, and vilambit or slow), poetry recitation in Bala Kanda and also in Uttara Kanda by Luv and Kusha in marga style.

Starting from the earliest known work Tholkappiyam (500 BCE), there are several references to music and Panns in the ancient pre-Sangam and Sangam literature starting from the earliest known work Tholkappiyam (500 BCE). Among Sangam literature, Mathuraikkanci refers to women singing sevvazhi pann to invoke the mercy of God during childbirth. In Tolkappiyam, the five landscapesof the Sangam literature had each an associated Pann, each describing the mood of the song associated with that landscape. Among the numerous panns that find mention in the ancient Tamil literature are, Ambal Pann, which is suitable to be played on the flute, sevvazhi pann on the Yazh (lute), Nottiram and Sevvazhi expressing pathos, the captivating Kurinji pann and the invigorating Murudappann.Pann(Tamil: பண்) is the melodic mode used by the Tamil people in their music since the ancient times. The ancient panns over centuries evolved first into a pentatonic scale and later into the seven note Carnatic Sargam. But from the earliest times, Tamil Music is heptatonicand known as Ezhisai (ஏழிசை).

Sanskrit saint-poet Jayadeva, who was the great composer and illustrious master of classical music, shaped Odra-Magadhi style music and had great influence on Odissi Sangita.

Sarṅgadeva composed Sangita-Ratnakara, one of the most important Sanskrit musicological texts from India, which is regarded as the definitive text in both Hindustani music and Carnatic music traditions of Indian classical music.

Assamese poet Madhava Kandali, writer of Saptakanda Ramayana, lists several instruments in his version of “Ramayana”, such as mardala, khumuchi, bhemachi, dagar, gratal, ramtal, tabaljhajhar, jinjiri, bheri mahari, tokari, dosari, kendaradotaravinarudra-vipanchi, etc. (meaning that these instruments existed since his time in 14th century or earlier). The Indian system of notation is perhaps the world’s oldest and most elaborate.

“In India music is now followed and aspired by the bollywood fashion which they have stated for the public to enjoy. Now we are discussing which change are there in the both types of music in the bollywood whether it is old or new and if they have followed any form or way from the Sufi music or the bhakti music it will be concluded later.”


Hindi film songs are present in Hindi cinema right from the first sound film Alam Ara (1931) by Ardeshir Irani which featured seven songs. This was closely followed by Shirheen Farhad (1931) by Jamshedji Framji Madan, also by Madan, which had as many as 42 song sequences strung together in the manner of an opera, and later by Indra Sabha which had as many as 69 song sequences. However, the practice subsided and subsequent films usually featured between six and ten songs in each production.

Right from the advent of Indian cinema in 1931, musicals with song numbers have been a regular feature in Indian cinema. In 1934 Hindi film songs began to be recorded on gramophones and later, played on radio channels, giving rise to a new form of mass entertainment in India which was responsive to popular demand. Within the first few years itself, Hindi cinema had produced a variety of films which easily categorised into genres such as “historicals”, “mythologicals”, “devotional, “fantasy” etc. but each having songs embedded in them such that it is incorrect to classify them as “musicals”.

The Hindi song was such an integral features of Hindi mainstream cinema, besides other characteristics, that post-independence alternative cinema, of which the films of Satyajit Ray are an example, discarded the song and dance motif in its effort to stand apart from mainstream cinema.

The Hindi film song now began to make its presence felt as a predominating characteristic in the culture of the nation and began to assume roles beyond the limited purview of cinema. In multi-cultural India, as per film historian Partha Chatterjee, “the Hindi film song cut through all the language barriers in India, to engage in lively communication with the nation where more than twenty languages are spoken and … scores of dialects exist”. Bollywood music has drawn its inspiration from numerous traditional sources such as Ramleelanautankitamasha and Parsi theatre, as well as from the West, Pakistan, and other Indic musical subcultures.

For over five decades, these songs formed the staple of popular music in South Asia and along with Hindi films, were an important cultural export to most countries around Asia and wherever the Indian Diaspora had spread. The spread was galvanised by the advent of cheap plastic tape cassettes which were produced in the millions till the industry crashed in 2000. Even today Hindi film songs are available on radio, on television, as live music by performers, and on media, both old and new such as cassette tapes, compact disks and DVDs and are easily available, both legally and illegally, on the internet.



Hindi dance music encompasses a wide range of songs predominantly featured in the Bollywood film industry with a growing worldwide attraction. The music became popular among overseas Indians in countries such as South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and eventually developed a global fan base.


In the Indian subcontinent of South Asiadisco peaked in popularity in the early 1980s, when a South Asian disco scene arose, popularised by filmy Bollywood music, at a time when disco’s popularity had declined in North America. The South Asian disco scene was sparked by the success of Pakistani pop singer Nazia Hassan, working with Indian producer Biddu, with the hit Bollywood song “Aap Jaisa Koi” in 1980. Biddu himself previously had success in the Western world, where he was considered a pioneer, as one of the first successful disco producers in the early 1970s, with hits such as the hugely popular “Kung Fu Fighting” (1974), before the genre’s Western decline at the end of the 1970s led to him shifting his focus to Asia. The success of “Aap Jaisa Koi” in 1980 was followed by Nazia Hassan’s Disco Deewane, a 1981 album produced by Biddu, becoming Asia’s best-selling pop album at the time.

In parallel to the Euro disco scene at the time, the continued relevance of disco in South Asia and the increasing reliance on synthesizersled to experiments in electronic disco, often combined with elements of Indian music. Biddu had already used electronic equipment such as synthesizers in some of his earlier disco work, including “Bionic Boogie” from Rain Forest (1976), “Soul Coaxing” (1977), Eastern Man and Futuristic Journey (recorded from 1976 to 1977), and “Phantasm” (1979), before using synthesizers for his later work with Nazia Hassan, including “Aap Jaisa Koi” (1980), Disco Deewane (1981) and “Boom Boom” (1982). Bollywood disco producers who used electronic equipment such as synthesizers include R.D. Burman, on songs such as “Dhanno Ki Aankhon Mein” (Kitaab, 1977) and “Pyaar Karne Waale” (Shaan, 1980); Laxmikant-Pyarelal, on songs such as “Om Shanti Om” (Karz, 1980); and Bappi Lahari, on songs such as “Ramba Ho” (Armaan, 1981). They also experimented with minimalisthigh-tempo, electronic disco, including Burman’s “Dil Lena Khel Hai Dildar Ka” (Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai, 1981), which had a “futuristic electro feel”, and Lahiri’s “Yaad Aa Raha Hai” (Disco Dancer, 1982).

Such experiments eventually culminated in the work of Charanjit Singh, whose 1982 record Synthesizing: Ten Ragas to a Disco Beatanticipated the sound of acid house music, years before the genre arose in the Chicago house scene of the late 1980s. Using the Roland TR-808 drum machineTB-303 bass synthesizer, and Jupiter-8 synthesizer, Singh increased the disco tempo up to a “technowavelength” and made the sounds more minimalistic, while pairing them with “mystical, repetitive, instrumental Indian ragas“, to produce a new sound, which resembled acid house. According to Singh: “There was lots of disco music in films back in 1982. So I thought why not do something different using disco music only. I got an idea to play all the Indian ragas and give the beat a disco beat – and turn off the tabla. And I did it. And it turned out good.” The first track “Raga Bhairavi” also had a synthesised voice that says “Om Namah Shivaya” through a vocoder.

Along with experiments in electronic disco, another experimental trend in Indian disco music of the early 1980s was the fusion of disco and psychedelic music. Due to 1960s psychedelic rock, popularised by the Beatles‘ raga rock, borrowing heavily from Indian music, it began exerting a reverse influence and had blended with Bollywood music by the early 1970s. You can download these songs for free from various sources as well. This led to Bollywood producers exploring a middle-ground between disco and psychedelia in the early 1980s. Producers who experimented with disco-psychedelic fusion included Laxmikant-Pyarelal, on songs such as “Om Shanti Om” (Karz, 1980), and R. D. Burman, on songs such as “Pyaar Karne Waale” (Shaan, 1980), along with the use of synthesizers.


Music directors like Madan Mohan composed notable film-ghazals extensively for Muslim socials in the 1960s and the 1970s. The filmi-ghazal style experienced a revival in the early 1990s, sparked by the success of Nadeem-Shravan‘s Aashiqui (1990). It had a big impact on Bollywood music at the time, ushering in ghazal-type romantic music that dominated the early 1990s, with soundtracks such as DilSaajanPhool Aur Kaante and Deewana. A popular ghazal song from Aashiqui was “Dheere Dheere“, a cover version of which was later recorded by Yo Yo Honey Singh and released by T-Series in 2015.


It represents a distinct subgenre of film music, although it is distinct from traditional qawwali, which is devotional Sufi music. One example of filmi qawwali is the song “Pardah Hai Pardah” sung by Mohammed Rafi, and composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, for the Indian film Amar Akbar Anthony (1977).

Within the subgenre of filmi qawwali, there exists a form of qawwali that is infused with modern and Western instruments, usually with techno beats, called techno-qawwali. An example of techno-qawwali is “Kajra Re“, a filmi song composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy. A newer variation of the techno-qawwali based on the more dance oriented tracks is known as the “club qawwali”. More tracks of this nature are being recorded and released.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and A.R. Rahman have composed filmi qawwalis in the style of traditional qawwali. Examples include “Tere Bin Nahin Jeena” (Kachche Dhaage), “Arziyan” (Delhi 6), “Khwaja Mere Khwaja” (Jodhaa Akbar)[43] and “Kun Faya Kun” (Rockstar).[44]


Indian musicians began fusing rock with traditional Indian music from the mid-1960s onwards in filmy songs produced for popular Bollywood films. Some of the more well known early rock songs (including styles such as funk rockpop rockpsychedelic rockraga rock, and soft rock) from Bollywood films include Mohammed Rafi‘s “Jaan Pehechan Ho” in Gumnaam (1965), Kishore Kumar‘s “O Saathi Re” in Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978), and Asha Bhosle songs such as “Dum Maro Dum” in Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971), “Ae Naujawan Hai Sab” in Apradh (1972), and “Yeh Mera Dil Pyar Ka Diwana” in Don (1978).


Songs nowadays have a soft spot in almost everyone’s heart. People listen different types of music be it a inspirational/motivational, sad, romantic, rocking, Gazal etc. I have been through the answers here some are saying old one’s have the meanings so are the best where as the new ones are shitty except few. Well this questions’ answer will definitely vary as it totally depends upon an individual’s perception.
I agree that old songs does have meanings but many don’t. Songs sung by legendary singers like Kishore Kumar, Gulshan Kumar, Lata Mangeskar etc. have been great no doubt, one of my favorite is zindagi ke safar mein this song is so much meaningful that one can relate it to one’s life. So there are many old ones which have meaning but not every as you all know.

Now coming to the new songs, who says new songs are not better than old one’s? Well many of you out there but let me tell you all, there are good numbers of new songs which have meanings like kal ho na ho, ashayein, muskurane ki wajah, roobaroo and many more. These songs have mesmerized many people. And if you are pointing towards Honey Singh’s songs then guys just tell me what’s wrong in it?  I mean I am not a huge fan of him but genuinely saying there’s nothing bad. His songs are heard just for fun or party. So i think it’s quite okay to enjoy in these kind of songs. Though it doesn’t have meanings at all but somehow it gives a good tune to listen. Not a big deal! Both old and new are best. It depends totally on you. And Indian songs have always been one of a kind because of our talented singers of our country. They have given so much hits and enlighten our mood as well. The ragas in these songs which are discussed in the above articles are a masterpiece of the mixture of the old classical and Sufi form of creating music.