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From the Courts of Mewar


Indian classical music has evolved as a consequence of complex interaction amongst myriad people, races and cultures. The basis for Indian classical music is "sangeet", a combination of three art forms: vocal music, instrumental music and dance.

Music and dance are deeply ingrained in the life of the people of Rajasthan. All the regions of Rajasthan have their distinct style of classical entertainment and the anecdotes of the chivalrous Rajputs are narrated through the medium of music. It is impossible to ascertain the exact time when music in Mewar came into existence.

The Ahar civilisation of Mewar has been accepted as contemporary to the oldest Indus Valley civilisation. In the excavation of Ahar civilisation in Mewar, a ceramic icon of a female dancer and a sketch inscribed in the form of a dumroo (a small drum like musical instrument) of 1800 BC have been found. These indicate a very ancient tradition of music in Mewar.

The correlation between the Ahar civilisation of Mewar and the Indus Valley civilisation also clearly suggests the antiquity of music in Mewar. One can infer that the people of Mewar were probably absorbed in music at the dawn of civilisation. In due course of time, along with the growth of civilisation, the music in Mewar also evolved.

Nature has freely bestowed upon Mewar the invaluable gifts of picturesque geographical surroundings and lively inhabitants.

Music is the best and most effective means of self-expression. At the same time it is a living mirror of civilisation and culture. It is not only a means of entertainment, but also an important part of life. It is a yoga, which helps refine the capabilities of human beings whilst following the direction of Guru Harit Rashi in the form of service to mankind and religion, through the preservation of the culture of Mewar. The royal family of Mewar has always provided patronage and support towards the continuation of the age-old traditions of music. Devoted to music, the Ranas and Maharanas were also well versed in fine arts and literature.

The royal family of Mewar served the cause of Manav Dharma and put a major share of their efforts into the protection and development which resulted in Mewar's rich legacy and tradition of indian classical music.

The Maharanas themselves were passionate lovers of music, art and literature - the softer more gentle pursuits in their warrior lives. They were erudite classicists and music lent an atmosphere of peace and harmony. It developed the sensory perceptions so lacking in the harsh life of a worthy soldier. The Naubat Khana was for the shahanaai players and who performed daily at sunrise and sunset.