India's musical history begins as far back as the prehistoric times. It is regarded as one of the oldest in the world. Many experts believe that the origins of Indian music dates back to the time when the Vedas was created. Regardless of when it originated, there is no doubt that it has been an important part of the country's rich cultural and traditional heritage.
India's music is based on vocal music, instrumental music, and dance together. These three things combined is what is known as sangeet. According to the documented history of Indian music, performances were complete with the combination of the three. Musical performances were held in the royal court, in temples, during celebrations and festivals, in the villages as part of their entertainment program, and more.
Sama, one of the oldest known forms of music, developed during the Vedic period. The Vedic period lasted from 1500 to 500 B.C. Hymns written by the scholars of the Vedic period were put to tune. Ever since then, Indian music experienced constant evolution from religious fold to the modern structural firm based on the melody and rhythm, otherwise known as raga and taal.
Before the 13th century, there was mainly one type of musical form. However, when the Mughals invaded India, north and central Indian music blended with the Mughal influences of Arabia and Persia, therefore creating Hindustani music. Unlike north and central India, the Carnatic music of the south has been unaffected by such outside influences.
Indian music has continuously developed through the ages. It definitely forms an important part of every Indian's life whether they are in India or living in other countries. Also, there are a great many foreigners who have decided to learn the many different forms of Indian music. The history of Indian music shows that it has been the foundation for religious inspiration and rituals, cultural and traditional expression, and has of course served as a source of entertainment.