Indian history and mythology intertwine harmoniously with the realm of music and musical instruments. Bharat Muni, an ancient sage, is revered as the Father of Indian theatrical forms, which encompassed music as an integral component. Purandara Dasa is hailed as the founding father of Carnatic music, a significant tradition in South India. Tansen, a renowned vocalist, gained prominence during the Mughal era.
Indian mythology also showcases a strong association between deities and musical instruments. Goddess Saraswati, the epitome of knowledge and arts, is often depicted with the Veena. Lord Krishna, the divine avatar, is inseparable from the enchanting tunes of his flute. Sage Narada, the celestial musician, carries a Veena and a karthal, a unique musical instrument. Moreover, bells have long been an intrinsic part of Hindu temples, while conches are intimately linked to religious ceremonies.
Furthermore, music occupies an essential role in all rituals, fairs, and festivals. The energetic folk dance of Bhangra, originating in Punjab, finds its vivacity in the beats of the dhol. In the lively Garba dance of Gujarat, dancers gracefully move to the rhythmic accompaniment of dandiya sticks.
|M.S. Subbulakshmi||1998||Vocalist (Carnatic)|
|Pt Ravi Shankar||1999||Sitar|
|Pt Bhimsen Joshi||2009||Vocalist (Hindustani)|
|Flute||Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pannalal Ghosh, Palladam Sanjiva Rao|
|Ghatam||T.H. Vinayakram, E.M. Subramaniam|
|Guitar||Braj Bhushan Kabra|
|Karthal||Gazi Khan Barna|
|Mohan Veena||Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhat (inventor of Mohan Veena)|
|Mridangam||K.V. Prasad, S.V. Rajarao, Umalayapuram Sivaraman, Tiruvarur Vaidyanathan|
|Nadaswaram (or Nagaswaram)||TN Rajrathinam Pillai, S. Kasim, S. Babu|
|Pakhawaj||Totaram Sharma, Bhavani Shankar, Ayodhya Prasad|
|Rudra Veena||Asad Ali Khan|
|Saarangi||Shakoor Khan, Pt Ram Narayan, Ramesh Mishra, Sultan Khan|
|Santoor||Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma, Bhajan Sopori, Tarun Bhattacharya|
|Sarod||Allauddin Khan, Ali Akbar Khan, Amjad Ali Khan, Buddhadev Das Gupta, Tejendra Majumdar|
|Shehnai||Bismillah Khan, Krishna Ram Chaudhary, Ali Ahmad Hussain, Rajendra Prasanna|
|Sitar||Pt Ravi Shankar, Shahid Parvez Khan, Budhaditya Mukherjee, Anushka Shankar|
|Surbahaar||Annapurna Devi, Budhaditya Mukherjee, Pushpraj Koshti|
|Tabla||Zakir Hussain, Allah Rakha, Sabir Khan, Pt. Kishan Maharaj, Pt. Jnan Prakash Ghosh, Sandeep Das, Anuradha Pal|
|Veena||Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, Ayyagari Syamasundaram, Doraiswamy Iyengar, Suma Sudhindra|
|Violin||M.S. Gopalakrishnan, Smt M. Rajam, N.R. Muralidharan, M. Chandrasekharan, V.G. Jog, Lalgudi Jayaraman, Lalgudi Krishnan|
|Vocalist (Carnatic Music)||S. Radhakrishna Srinivasa Iyer, M.S. Subbulakshmi, M. Balamuralikrishna, D. K. Pattammal, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, S Pinakapani|
|Vocalist (Hindustani Music)||Kumar Gandharva, Mallikarjun Bheemarayappa Mansur, Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj, Gangubai Hangal, Kishori Amonkar, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar, Chhannu Lal Mishra, Ramakant Gundecha, Umakant Gundecha, Rajan and Sajan Mishra|
Allah Rakha and Zakir Hussain: Ustad Allah Rakha (1919-2000) was a renowned tabla player. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1977 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1982. Ustad Zakir Hussain (B. 1951) is his eldest son and also a well-known tabla player. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1988, the Padma Bhushan in 2002, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2023. He was also awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1990, Fellowship of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, Ratna Sadsya in 2018.
Allauddin Khan and Ali Akbar Khan: Baba Allauddin Khan (1862 - 1972) was a renowned sarod player and a multi-instrumentalist. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1958 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1971. His son Ali Akbar Khan (1922 - 2009) was also a well-known sarod player. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1967 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1989.
Ravi Shankar and Anoushka Shankar: Ravi Shankar (1920 - 2012) was a renowned sitar player. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1999, Padma Vibhushan in 1981, Padma Bhushan in 1967, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1962 and Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 1975. His daughter Anoushka Shankar (b. 1981) is also a well-known sitar player. She has been nominated for the Grammy Award several times and is the recipient of many other international honours.
Lalgudi Jayaraman and Lalgudi GJR Krishnan: Lalgudi Gopala Jayaraman (1930 - 2013) was a renowned violinist of Carnatic style. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1972 and the Padma Bhushan in 2001. He became a fellow of the Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2010. His son Lalgudi Gopala Jayaraman Radhakrishnan (b. 1960) is also a well-known violinist. He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 2015. It is noteworthy that his sister, Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi is also a renowned violinist and they both perform together on many occasions.
Rajan and Sajan Mishra: They were brothers and singers of the khyal style of Indian classical music. They were awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2007 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, jointly in 1998. Rajan Mishra died in 2021 during the Covid pandemic.
Nasir Moinuddin Dagar and Nasir Aminuddin Dagar: They were Hindustani classical dhrupad singers. Nasir Moinuddin Dagar passed away in 1966. His younger brother Nasir Aminuddin was awarded the Padma Bhushan in in 1986 and Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1985. He passed away in 2000.
Ramakant Gundecha and Umakant Gundecha: The Gundecha brothers were Indian classical singers of the dhrupad genre of the Dagar vani from 1985 to 2019. They were awarded the Padma Shri 2012 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 2017. Ramakant Gundecha passed away in 2019.
Ganesh Rajagopalan and Kumaresh Rajagopalan: They are an Indian duo of violinists in the Carnatic style of classical music. They were awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2018 for Carnatic Instrumental Music.
Subhan Kasim and Subhan Babu: The Kasim-Babu brothers from Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh are well-known players of Nadaswaram, a traditional classical instrument of South India. They were awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2018.
|Wind Instruments||Percussion Instruments||String Instruments|