The Indian classical music had a divine origin according to the ancient seers of India. Both the vedic and the Gandharva systems of music were nurtured in the hermitage of Rishis. Of course the kings who were the disciples of those great teachers give proper scopes for the demonstrations of their musical teachings.
After the end of Pouranic period a vast culture of music and arts grew up in India as integral parts of the temple worship. The same culture was propagated by the kings in the royal courts as those notable men were devoted to the deity of the temples. Thus the development of the classical music or Marga sangeet of India lay in the hands of the priest classes attached to the temples with the patronage of the kings. The demonstrations took place both in the temples well as in the royal palaces. These temples and palaces contained spacious hall for staging demonstrations of the music, dance and the theatres. The kings used to preserve the lines of top ranking artists attached to the temples and courts by providing fixed allowances and rent - free pieces of lands handed over to them for their hereditary possession and enjoyment. The traditions of Hindu kings partially preserved by the Pathan Emperors and Sultans who used to retain musicians of Indian and Persian culture. Allauddin Khilji had a very famous Darbar of music, in which Nayak Gopal demonstrated his creative qualities in Dhrupad, while Amir Khusroo showed his remarkable genius in the kawali style of music. These demonstrations were done before distinguished' people attached to the court, as well as the eminent people of education and culture. The first North Indian music conference was organised by Sultan Hussain Sarki of Jaunpur, who invited many Dhrupadias, Kawals and musicologists, who certified the Ragas made by the Sultan, namely: Jaunpuri tori and Hussaini Kanada as genuine and authentic.
Raja Man Tomar of Gowalior established aii illustrious musical institution containing four great sangeet Nayakas. Raja Man used to call meetings of the great musicians for demonstrations of music and discourses on musical theories in the presence of the distinguished people. The golden period of the Hindusthani classical music followed the reign of Raja Man, when Akbar the Great invited Mian Tansen to join the court of Raja Ram Baghela to form a musical association containing the nine gems of music. Although Akbar was Mughal by birth, he was a cosmopolitan in his outlook and encouraged all existing religions. He thoroughly revived the temple culture including music and dance and gave the predominant place of Dhrupad in the sphere of classical music. Although the most elevated specimens of classical music demonstrated by Mian Tansen and other gems were conducted in his special chamber, that is Dewan-e-Khus attended by talented personages, yet the public obtained opportunities of listening to some of the top class demonstrations in the great public hall, that is Dewan-e-Um. The ideals of the musical Darbar, were followed by Mahammad Shah, the last great Mughal Emperor, as well as by the famous music loving rulers.
The History of the Darbars of Jaipur, Lucknow, Benares, Betia, Bishnupur, Gowalior and lastly of Rampur containing the golden traditions of Mughal court with regard shows to the high standards of music dissipated by the master musicians, who were patronized by the Kings and Nawabs. With the advent of democracy in India and with the progress of education among the masses, the public of this present century are getting more and more music minded. Unfortunately not only the courts of the ruling princes are in disolution, but many important lines of creative musicians are now non-existent due to lack of encouragement as well as accidents and deaths. It will go for ever to the credit of the immortal Pandit Vatkhandeji in the annals of Indian music for his great attempt to reconstruct the Hindusthani classical music out of the ruins of the first liquidating princely courts of India. He not only established institutions and colleges for the propagation of classical music, but installed many musicians of well known Gharanas in those institutions, which saved those talented people from pecuniary difficulties. His sincerity of purpose inspired those existing ruling princes like Nawab of Rampur, Gaikowar of Baroda, and a few others who have still been maintaining Darbars of music) to give substantial financial aids to Vatkhandeji, to popularize classical music by organizing All India music conferences. These conferences were meant for the mass appreciation and understanding of classical music. The music conferences held in Baroda, Delhi, Benaras and Lucknow, were characterized by very high standards of musical demonstrations. The standard of music of those days, was of course, higher than what is prevailing now-a-days. Although people may differ in their opinions, yet the musical standard set up by the Vocalists like Alabonde Khan, Nasiruddin Khan, Radhika Goswami, Gopeswar Banerjee, Alladia Khan, Faiaz Khan, Abdul Karim Khan, Chanda Choube and the instrumentalists like Fida Hussain, Enayet Khan, Keramatullah Khan, Barkatullah, Jamaluddin and Hafezali and Allauddin in their best form, as well as the form of the female artists like Kersarbai and Hirabai in their prime, will always be remembered by the posterity.
After the departure of Pandit Bhatkhandeji, music conferences in some important centres of India, like Calcutta, Allahabad, Lucknow and Bombay have been organized by the great patrons of music with the donations of rich business men. The people have all along got the chances of listening to the demonstrations of the famous musicians of the day. For some of the musicians there have been extraordinary demands from the box offices as they have earned immense popularity by whatever means. In spite of the desolation of the princely orders and the impoverishment of the music loving Rajas and land holders, the mass contributions and the donations from the businessmen, have maintained the artists of music and even enriched some of the lucky musicians. But there cannot be any standard of public fancy.
During the later days most of the music conferences have given up holding musical symposiums or discussions on the standards of music for the education of the public, who are often led by the fascinations of advertisements.
Recently, during the last few years, the All India Radio has been organizing Radio music conferences in the centre, as well as in different important stations, in which the intellectual and educative elements of music are getting access. Specially in Delhi the annual Radio symposiums are tape recorded and broadcast throughout the country. These records will be of extreme worth for the cultural developments of the future. Demonstrations of the Radio music conferences are scheduled in such a way as to give scopes to many musicians of different schools to show their worth. The Selections were done by rotations in a manner by which no particular set of musicians can get under recognition to the detriment of others. The representative music conferences, which are mostly held in Calcutta, should also give proper scopes to the worthy artists. Specially those, who are the torch bearers of great traditions and who suffer much, due to the lack of publicity as they are ignorant of the arts of self advertisement.