The medieval period is considered as an age of great cultural synthesis in India. During this period a new phase of cultural development was initiated. The Turks and Mughals introduced fresh ideas and helped in giving rise to new features in the areas of religion, philosophy and ideas, language and literature, styles of architecture and use of building material, painting and fine arts, music and performing arts.
The important phase in the development of music during medieval India period belongs to the time of Amir Khusrau. It is during this period that the qawwali style is said to have developed. He is also credited for the development of many modern ragas like aiman, gora and sanam. He is credited with the creation of a new musical instrument, the sitar that was a combination of the Indian vina and the Iranian tambura.
The Turks are credited with bringing musical instruments like rabab and sarangi into South Asia. In Vrindavan Swami Haridas promoted music and is considered to have taught Tansen who was at the
court of the Mughal emperor Akbar.
Tansen is regarded as an important exponent of
the Hindustani classical music and is credited with introducing ragas as the Miyan ki Malhar, Miyan ki Todi and Darbari. Raja Mansingh is said to have played an important role in the perfection of the Dhrupad style of North Indian Music.
In the south a system of ragas known as the Janaka and Janya ragas existed during this period. The
Swaramela Kalanidhi by Ramamatya of Kondavidu written in 1550 describes 20 Janan and 64 Janya ragas. By the 18th century several new forms of music like
Tarana, Dadra and Ghazal had come into existence.