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How did Piano come to India?

Updated: May 12

A question always rings in my mind, How did Piano come to India?

The piano was introduced to India during the colonial period by the British, and it quickly gained popularity among the Indian elite as a symbol of social status and Western culture. The earliest record of a piano being played in India is from 1765 when a piano was sent to the Nawab of Awadh by the British.

History of Piano in India

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, pianos were widely used in Western classical music performances and in colonial schools and churches. Many Indian musicians also began to incorporate the piano into their compositions, and some even traveled to Europe to study piano performance.

One of the most prominent Indian pianists of the early 20th century was Maud MacCarthy, who was born in India to an English father and an Indian mother. MacCarthy trained in Europe and became known for her performances of Western classical music as well as her efforts to incorporate Indian musical elements into her piano compositions.

In the post-independence era, the popularity of the piano in India declined somewhat as traditional Indian music regained prominence. However, the instrument has continued to be used in Western classical music performances and in popular music genres like jazz and blues.

Today, there are several prominent piano teachers and performers in India, and the instrument is taught in many music schools and conservatories across the country. Some Indian musicians have also gained international recognition for their piano performances and compositions.

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