The Best of Semi Classical Instrumental Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

The Best of Semi Classical Instrumental Music covers a wide range of styles and genres. The music is soothing and relaxing, perfect for any occasion.


Popular instrumental music education dates back to the 18th century. It was only in the late 1970s when Semi Classical genre emerged as a new form of expression in India. Indian semi classical instrumentalists started fusing traditional folk melodies with contemporary Western harmonies to create a new sound which was both Indian and global. The result was a rich tapestry of sounds which appealed to listeners across the world.

Some of the most popular semi classical instrumentalists include Ravi Shankar, Alka Yagnik, Purbayan Chatterjee, and Hariprasad Chaurasia. These artists have created timeless classics which are enjoyed by music lovers of all ages.

The Different Types of Semi Classical Instrumental Music

There are many different types of semi classical instrumental music out there. Each type has its own unique sound and purpose. In this article, we will be discussing the different types of semi classical instrumental music and what makes each one special.

Carnatic Music

Carnatic music is a form of Indian classical music that originated in the southern Indian state of Karnataka. It is based on the melodic foundations of two principal ragas known as Mayamalavagaula and Hindolam, which are further embellished with secondaryragas. Carnatic music is usually performed by a small ensemble consisting of a lead singer (usually accompanied by a tambura), a violinist, a mridangam player, and a ghatam player.

Carnatic music has been one of the most popular genres of Indian classical music since the late 18th century. It is typically performed at festivals and temples in South India, and its popularity has alsospread to other parts of India, as well as to countries such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United States.

Hindustani Music

Hindustani music is a tradition that arose in what is now northern India and Pakistan. It is commonly known as Hindustani classical music or North Indian classical music. The tradition was historically preserved and propagated by the saffron-robed traveling bards, Called the vrakshas or Krishnas, who were hired by wealthy landowners, or Zamindars, to sing at their homes. The tradition of Hindustani music was not confined to the courts of the Zamindars however, but was also popular among the general population.

The two main schools of Hindustani music are the Khyal and the Dhrupad. The Khyal is a more recent style, having arisen in the sixteenth century. It is characterized by its use of intricate melodic patterns, or gats, which are often ornamented with grace notes and improvised variations. The Dhrupad is a more ancient style, dating back to at least the thirteenth century. It is characterized by its simplicity and gravity, with compositions often based on short repeating phrases called stobhas.

Both styles are performed on a variety of instruments, including the sitar, sarod, tabla, and harmonium. The most important element of Hindustani music however is the human voice. Many of the gats and stobhas are designed to show off the performer’s vocal agility, and a good performance will make heavy use of improvisation and ornamentation around the basic melody.

The Various Instruments Used in Semi Classical Instrumental Music

Semi classical music has been around for centuries and is still popular today. It combines elements of both classical and popular music. There are many different instruments that can be used in semi classical music, such as the piano, violin, cello, and flute.

Carnatic Music

Carnatic music, or Karnāṭaka saṃgīta, is a system of music commonly associated with southern India, including the modern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. “Carnatic” is a English cognate of Karnāṭaka saṃgītam. It is also sometimes referred to as Karnatak music or Kanada music.

The main emphasis in Carnatic music is on vocal music; most compositions are written to be sung. Like Hindustani music, Carnatic music rests on two main elements: raga, the melodic framework for a piece, and tāḷa, the rhythmic structure. Carnatic musicians stress the “audible” aspects of the raga (melody and rhythm), rather than its pictorial quality (the notes that make up the raga). However; they rely heavily on improvisation rather than on composition. There are about 350 registered ragas in Carnatic Music, with at least as many more being sung but yet to be registered.

Instrumental music is also performed in Carnatic concerts; however the criticised for not being able reduce the expressive power of ragas as compared to vocalists.

Hindustani Music

Hindustani music is the music of North India, including the modern states of India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. It is commonly performed with instruments such as the shehnai, veena, sitar, bansuri and sarod.

The Different Ragas Used in Semi Classical Instrumental Music

There are different types of ragas that are used in semi classical instrumental music. Each of these ragas has a different effect on the listener. For example, some ragas are used to create a feeling of happiness, while others are used to create a feeling of relaxation.

Carnatic Music

Carnatic music, a system of Indian classical music, is one of the oldest forms of music in the world. It is named after the southern part of India, Carnatic. This type of music includes many different ragas, or scales. These ragas are based on 72 melakarta ragas, which are themselves derived from the 12 chromatic notes. Carnatic music is typically performed with a combination of instruments, including the violin, flute, veena, mridangam and ghatam.

Hindustani Music

Ragas in Hindustani music are unique melodies which use prescribed ascent (arohana) and descent (avarohana) patterns, combined with characteristic note patterns (pakad). Each raga has its own unique feel, and evokes different moods. They are often named after the time of day or season when they are played.

The structure of a raga is based on a scale with a given number of notes (usually between 5 and 7), which may be specified as ascent (arohana) and descent (avarohana). The scale may be linear (all the notes in sequence), or it may have repetitions. The exact notes used vary between ragas, but all ragas within a thaat share the same basic structure.

A raga may also have specific note patterns (pakad), which are usually part of the ascent and descent. These can be seen as “signature phrases” which help to define the character of the raga.

There are many different styles of Hindustani music, each with its own repertoire of ragas. The two most common styles are Khyal and Sarangi. Khyal is a vocal style, while Sarangi is primarily an instrumental style. Generally speaking, Khyal ragas are more complex than Sarangi ragas, with more elaborate note patterns and longer phrases.


We hope you enjoyed our list of the best semi classical instrumental pieces! We encourage you to continue exploring this wonderful genre of music.

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