Darbar Sangeet

During the Mughal period, and especially under Akbar’s reign, temple music was largely overshadowed by the Darbar Sangeet, in which music was composed mainly to eulogise patrons.

The court of Akbar employed many musicians Indians as well as Persians. The musicians were divided into seven orders. There was one for each day of the week. Headed by the legendary Tansen, there were 19 singers, three who chanted and several instrumental musicians. The main instruments, as per records of Abul Fazal, were the sarmandal, been, nay, karna and tanpura.

The times of Akbar are known for a complete fusion of the Persian and Indian music systems.

Jehangir was genuinely interested in music and generously patronised the art. Same was with Shahjahan. However, puritan Aurangzeb baned the court music. Still, some literary works on music were produced in his times, such as Persian translation of Makutuhal.

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