Before Muslims Indian music was devotional and mostly confined to particular events, festivals and places of worship. Muslims, however, secularized and popularized music by introducing a good deal of fun and entertainment in it. Thus, its form and spirit both were transformed. A greatly improved school of music came into being by a gratifying blend of Muslim and Indian music. Iltumish was a pious king and tried to preserve austerity at his capital but his successor, Rukn-ud-din Firuz decorated his darbar with musicians and dancers of both sexes. Muhammad Tughluq too had a number of musicians to brighten and cheer up his spirits. Amir Khusrau introduced into Indian music almost a dozen Perso-Arabic airs like aiman. Ghara, sanam, sazgari, ghamam, etc., and is highly regarded as a creative expert in the music of the past and the present. It is noteworthy that the Hindus for the first time acknowledged Amir Khusrau and conferred on him the title of Nayak which was not given even to Tan Sen. Amir Khusrau also developed the form of qawwali that was a source of elation and ecstasy to several Sufis. Music received a great deal of incentive and momentum during the reign of Hussain Shah Sharqi who is regarded as the founder of khayal which was perfected later under the Mughul Emperor Muhammad Shah. Sultan Sikandar Lodhi was also a great patron of music.

This article was last updated on Monday, Jan 03, 2005