IAS Prelims 2019: Art and Culture Revision Notes

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Indian Art and culture for UPSC Civil Services Preliminary -2019

Indian Art can be classified under three headings:-

  1. Performing Arts
  2. Visual Arts
  3. Literary Arts
  4. Performing Arts

Performing arts include the various dance forms, music, Indian theatre and puppetry.

Dance forms are further divided into: Classical Dances & Regional (folk) Dances

Classical dance forms of India:-

  1. Bharatanatyam (Tamil Nadu)
  2. Mohiniyattam (Kerala)
  3. Kathakali (Kerala)
  4. Kathak (North and West of India)
  5. Odissi (Odisha)
  6. Manipuri (Manipur)
  7. Kuchipudi (Andhra Pradesh)
  8. Sattriya (Assam)

Regional dance forms of India: There are many folk dance forms in India from different parts. You must learn about the major ones like Chhau, Bihu dance, Garba, Dhamal dance, Dumhal, Chakyar Koothu, Lavani, Bhangra, etc.

Coming to the next topic, i.e., music of India; this can be divided into three styles:-

  1. Carnatic music
  2. Hindustani music
  3. Regional music (folk)

Carnatic and Hindustani are two classical music styles in India. There are some differences and some similarities between these two styles.

Difference between Hindustani and Carnatic music

You must also read about musical instruments in India. There are four basic kinds of instruments. They are:-

  1. Tata Vadya (Chordophones) – stringed instruments like Sitar, Veena, Santoor, etc.
  2. Sushira Vadya (Aerophones) – wind instruments like flute, Shehnai, Nadaswaram, etc.
  3. Avanaddha Vadya (Membranophones) – percussion instruments like Mridangam, Tabla, Dholak, etc.
  4. Ghana Vadya (Idiophones) – solid instruments that don’t require tuning (mostly used as accompaniments for tribal and folk music and dance).

Theatre and puppetry are also important aspects of performing arts in India.

Theatre forms in India – traditional and modern

Puppetry – string puppets, rod puppets, shadow puppets and glove puppets.

Visual Arts

Visual arts can be divided into three:-Architecture, sculpture and painting.

Indian architecture can be studied under the following:

  1. Pre-historic architecture
  2. Indus valley civilization
  3. Temple architecture
  4. Buddhist architecture
  5. Indo-Islamic architecture
  6. Modern architecture

Indian sculpture can be read under the following:

  1. Pre-historic
  2. Indus valley civilization
  3. Buddhist sculpture
  4. Gupta sculpture
  5. Medieval sculpture
  6. Modern India sculpture

Indian painting can be studied under the following:

  1. Miniature paintings
  2. Wall paintings of India
  3. Modern Indian painting
  4. Literary Arts

Literary arts can be studied under:

  1. Vedic literature
  2. Puranas
  3. Classical Sanskrit literature
  4. Early Dravidian literature
  5. Pali and Prakrit literature
  6. Medieval literature
  7. Trends in medieval literature
  8. Women poets in Bhakti literature
  9. Modern Indian literature
  10. Emergence of nationalism
  11. Literature of nationalism, reformism and revivalism
  12. Indian romanticism
  13. Emergence of Gandhi
  14. Progressive literature
  15. Literary scene after independence
  16. Dalit literature
  17. Use of mythology
  18. Contemporary literature

Under Indian culture, you should study religion and Indian philosophy. Apart from that, you should also include while reading history for IAS exam, the ‘culture’ of a particular time period, like the position of women, royal patronages for the arts, etc.

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