Indian Classical Music on YouTube

Looking for Indian Classical Music on YouTube? Here are some of the best channels to check out for Indian Classical Music videos.


Indian Classical Music is one of the oldest and most complex forms of music in the world. It is a rich tapestry of different styles and traditions that have evolved over thousands of years.

YouTube has become a go-to destination for fans of Indian Classical Music, with a growing number of channels dedicated to this genre. In this guide, we will take a look at some of the best Indian Classical Music channels on YouTube, highlighting what makes each one special.

The Different Types of Indian Classical Music

Indian classical music is a rich and diverse tradition that has been around for centuries. There are two main types of Indian classical music: Hindustani and Carnatic. Both types are informed by the same spiritual and philosophical traditions, but each has its own unique style and repertoire. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of Indian classical music and their key features.

Carnatic Music

Carnatic music, Karnātakā saṅgītam, or Karnātakā saṅgīta is a system of music commonly associated with the southern parts of the Indian subcontinent, with its area including parts of southern India, especially Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. “Carnatic” is often used to refer to South Indian classical music as a whole.[1][2]

The main emphasis in Carnatic music is on vocal music; most compositions are written to be sung, and even when played on instruments, they are meant to be performed in a singing style (even though they may not always be). Like Hindustani music, it is mainly an oral tradition[3] and stresses improvisation. Other characteristic features of Carnatic music include its use of different melodic modes (called ragas), or scales – often with unusual intervals unlike those found in European classical music,[4][5] its use of tala (rhythmic cycles) and melodic patterns called raga-malika,[6] its ornate and lyrical improvisatory melodies called swara-melakarta,[7] and

Hindustani Music

The Hindustani musical tradition is largely based on the works of the 15th and 16th century composer-poets, known as the Bahgatkavis. It is a highly improvisational style, with influences from Persian and Arabic music. The Hindustani tradition is also very diverse, with regional styles developing over time.

The two main streams of Hindustani music are the Khyal and the Dhrupad. The Khyal is a more modern form, characterized by its intricate melodic structures and complex vocal ornamentation. The Dhrupad is a more traditional form, characterized by its simple melodies and sparse vocal ornamentation.

Other important genres of Hindustani music include the Thumri, Ghazal, and Qawwali. The Thumri is a light classical genre usually sung in a late night setting, while the Ghazal is a lyric-based genre often associated with love and loss. The Qawwali is a devotional genre sung in Sufi shrines.

The Different Forms of Indian Classical Music

Indian Classical Music is a genre of music that has its roots in the Indian subcontinent. There are two main types of Indian Classical Music: Hindustani and Carnatic. Hindustani music is typically played on instruments like the sitar, while Carnatic music is focused on vocal performances. Both types of music are based on a system of Ragas, which are melodic scales that provide the framework for a song.


Khyal is the most common form of Indian classical music. It developed in the royal courts of the Mughal Empire in the 16th and 17th centuries. The word “khyal” means “imagination” or “winged words.” This type of music is characterized by its use of improvisation and embellishment. Khyal music is usually sung in a simple, unornamented style.

Ragas are the building blocks of khyal music. A raga is a melodic framework that uses a specific set of notes to create a unique mood or feeling. Ragas can be classified by their tonality, scale, and structure. Each raga has its own name and associated with certain times of day or seasons. Khyal singers often use several ragas in one performance to create a variety of moods and feelings.

Thumri is a type of khyal that emerged in the 18th century. It is characterized by its use of light, romantic lyrics and its Melodic vocal ornamentation. Thumri songs are often about love, loss, and yearning.

Tappa is another type of khyal that emerged in the 18th century. It was originally performed by professional soldiers called “tappekars.” Tappa songs are known for their fast tempo and complex rhythms.


Dhrupad is a form of Hindustani classical music. It is the eldest and longest surviving form, and is considered to be the “foundational” genre of Hindustani music, as it is the most complete expression of the raga form. Dhrupad developed in Hindu temples in north India around 1500 AD, and flourished under royal patronage throughout medieval India until the 19th century.

Dhrupad consists of four parts:
-Alaap: A slow melodic exploration of the notes of the raga, without any rhythmic accompaniment.
-Jod: A faster melodic section where the rhythm begins to take shape, usually in the form of a simple cycle of 4 or 5 beats (tala).
-Bandish: The main composition, which is set to a specific metre (tala) and often has a religious or devotional meaning.
-Dhrupad concludes with a fast Laya section where the drummer soloistically improvises aroundthe compositional framework set by the bandish.

The dhrupad style is marked by its solemnity, simplicity and meditative character. It is usually performed solo, although some forms are sung as duets or in ensembles. The vocal style is characterized by long meandering phrases (aalap), powerful bol (syllabic utterances) that act as guideposts for improvisation, and strict adherence to Tal (rhythmic cycles). The instrumentation is minimal, typically limited to one or two drone instruments (tambura or tanpura) and one percussion instrument (usually tabla).


Tappa is a fast-paced form of Indian classical music that originates from the Punjab region. It is characterized by its rapid and intricate rhythmic patterns, as well as its use of highly ornamented melodic phrases. Tappa music is traditionally sung by male vocalists, accompanied by a pair of tabla drums.

The Different Instruments Used in Indian Classical Music

Indian classical music is a genre of South Asian music. It has two main subgenres: Hindustani music and Carnatic music. It uses a lot of different instruments, including the sitar, tabla, and sarangi. The music is based on improvisation and the use of melody, rhythms, and harmonies.


The Sitar is a plucked string instrument used mainly in Hindustani music and Indian classical music. The sitar reached the height of its popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries. The word “sitar” comes from a Persian word meaning “three strings.” The sitar is believed to have originated in Persia and was brought to India by Amir Khusrow, a 13th-century poet and musician. The sitar quickly became popular in India and has been an important part of Indian music ever since.

The sitar is usually made of teak wood, with a neck made of rosewood or sandalwood. The body of the sitar is divided into two parts: the resonating chamber (kaddu ka burj) and the gourd-shaped resonator (tuwaen). The resonating chamber is usually covered with goat skin, while the resonator is usually made of gourd-shaped metal. The strings of the sitar are made of steel or brass, and there are typically seven or eight main strings and eleven or twelve sympathetic strings. The main strings are tuned to different pitches, while the sympathetic strings are left untuned but produce sympathetic vibrations when the main strings are played.

The sitar is played with a mezrab, a small plectrum worn on the right thumb. The left hand is used to press down on the frets, which are metal bars attached to the neck of the instrument. The player can produce a wide range of sounds on the sitar by plucking different combinations of strings with different degrees of pressure.


The Sarod is a plucked string instrument used in Hindustani classical music. The sarod is thought to have originated in India in the 16th or 17th century. It is believed to be a descendant of the Afghan rabab, which was introduced to India by the Mughals.

The sarod is played with a plectrum, or pick, and has a resonating chamber that gives it a distinctive sound. The sarod is used in both solo and accompaniment roles in Hindustani classical music.

Some of the most famous sarod players include Allauddin Khan, Ali Akbar Khan, Ravi Shankar, and Amjad Ali Khan.


The santoor is a type of hammered dulcimer or string instrument originating from Persia. It is played with light mallets called mezrab. The word santoor means “100 strings” in Persian. The instrument is found in various forms across Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Bangladesh.

The santoor was traditionally made of walnut wood but now Instruments are also made from other woods such as maple and rosewood. They have a trapezoidal shape with two sets of bridges, one raised and one flat. The raised bridge is used for the playing of the higher notes while the flat bridge is for the playing of the lower notes. The strings run over both bridges which are placed at right angles to the long sides of the instrument.

The santoor is tuned to a variety of scales depending on the region it is played in. In India, it is mostly tuned to major or minor scales while in Iran it can be tuned to a variety of modes including Dorian, Mixolydian, Major and Minor scales. The number of strings also varies depending on the region, but generally instruments have between 30 and 100 strings.

The santoor is played by sitting cross-legged on the floor or on a small stool with the instrument placed in front of the player on a stand or in the lap. The player strike the strings with Mezrab (plectrums) held in each hand to produce sound. The mezrab are made from a variety of materials such as bone, horn, brass, plastic or wood.

Indian classical music has been strongly influenced by Persian music and this can be seen in the use of instruments such as the Santoor.


To conclude, there is a wealth of Indian classical music available on YouTube, from tutorials and performances to recordings of famous concerts. Whatever your level of interest or expertise, you’re sure to find something to suit your needs. So dive in and explore the many riches that await you!

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