I am always fascinated with the songs which have some elements of Hindustani Classical Music. I want to learn more about the core or the basic elements of the same. I have tried to read them on Internet but being a beginner I get lost in the very beginning of otherwise a detailed article. An explanation in layman terms will be highly appreciated and helpful 😀😀
The raga is one of the fundamental elements of Indian Classical Music as you may have already encountered. To get a feel for this concept, I recommend listening to non-classical / semi-classical songs based on the same raga. In doing this, you will notice similarities and patterns.
Only after this, I recommend looking into the notes of ragas that are now familiar to you. Yaman, Bhairav, Des, Malhar, Bhoop, are some of the most commonly encountered ones. Look at some YouTube videos introducing them.
Overall, listening will help you grasp faster than reading long articles, which may add value at a later stage. Good luck!
Neeraja is right that the Raga is a key part of Hindustani Classical music, but it's only half the picture. The use of tala, or metrical system, gives Hindustani music its sound of rhythmic complexity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tala_(music)
Indian classical music is composed of main three general parts of music i.e. notes(sur), rhythm(laya) and beats(taal). The notes that defines the melodic scales..this melodic scales are called "thaats" in indian classical music, the raga, that is the core element of indian classical music, is the subset of this thaats or scales.The compositions made based on this ragas are set on specific number of beats(16 beats,7 beats,12 beats etc), that defines the rhythm of that composition or how the composition moves and improvises.
In short, The raga defines the constraint that 1.how many notes are going to be used. and 2.How they are going to be used. each raga has different constraints about the number of notes and method of use of notes in higher and lower octaves.There are prominant notes, resting notes and restricted notes in each raga. The composition will be represented with different laya(rytham) and tala(beats) , i.e. slow(Vilambit), medium(Madhya) and fast(Drut).
And based on this above factors the vocalist have to improvise the raga. spontaneity is also one of the key factor in indian classical music.