Indian Music on flights and at airports

Accepting the request of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia advised airlines in India to play Indian music on their flights and at airports in India.

Key Points

  • This decision was taken as music played by most airlines worldwide is quintessential of country to which the airline belongs.
  • For Instance, Jazz in American airline, Arab music in an airline from the Middle East and Mozart in Austrian Airline.
  • But Indian airlines hardly play Indian music in flight even though Indian music has a rich heritage and culture.


The ICCR had submitted a memorandum to the Civil Aviation Minister on December 23, to make it mandatory for every Indian aircraft to play Indian music in a bid to promote Indian music.

Indian Music

Indian Music holds numerous styles in multiple varieties and forms including folk (Bollywood), classical music, rock and pop. It has a history spanning several millennia. The music developed over several geo-locations across the sub-continent. Music in India started as an integral part of socio-religious life.

Classical Music in India

  • There are two main traditions of Indian classical music:
  1. Carnatic music– It is practised predominantly in the peninsular regions. Its history can be traced to the 14th – 15th centuries AD and thereafter. The music originated during the rule of Vijayanagar Empire in South India.
  2. Hindustani music– It is practiced in northern, eastern and central regions. Tradition of Hindustani music dates back to Vedic times when the hymns in Sama Veda were sung as Samagana and not chanted.
  • Basic concepts of the classical music include: Shruti (microtones), Swaras (notes), Alankar (ornamentations), Raga (melodies), and Tala (rhythmic patterns).
  • The tonal system divides the octave into 22 segments. These segments are called as Shrutis. All the Shrutis are not equal but roughly equal to a quarter of whole tone of the Western music.
  • Both the classical music is based on fundamentals of the seven notes called “Sapta svara or Sapta sur” of Indian Classical music. The svaras include- Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha and Ni. These are equivalent to Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti of western music.


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