Civil Service Exam Questions on Indian Arts And Culture

1. Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra was
a maestro of which of the following dance forms ?
(1) Kathak (2) Odissi
(3) Kuchipudi (4) Bharatnatyam

2. Match the artists and their artform.
A. Sanjukta Panigrahi
B. M. Gopala Krishna Iyer
C. Pt. Ravi Shankar
D. Palghat Mani Iyer
1. Sitar
2. Mridangam
3. Violin
4. Odissi dance
(1) 3 2 4 1
(2) 4 3 1 2
(3) 2 4 3 1
(4) 1 3 2 4

3. Which was the first talkie feature
film of India ?
(1) Raja Harischandra
(2) Alam Ara
(3) Duniya na Mane
(4) Aadami

4. Yamini Krishna Murthy is famous
for which style of dancing ?
(1) Manipuri (2) Garba
(3) Bharatanatyam (4) Kathak

5. Who amongst the following is renowned in Hindustani Classical
Music (vocal) ?
(1) Shovana Narayan
(2) M.S. Subbalakshmi
(3) Pt. Jasraj
(4) M.S. Gopalakrishnan

6. Which of the following places is
well-known for the embroidery
form of“ Chikankari” ?
(1) Hyderabad (2) Jaipur
(3) Bhopal (4) Lucknow

7. Match the following :
Folk form
A. Heer song
B. Bhatiali song
C. Garba dance
D. Raas dance
States where popular
1. Bengal 2. Punjab
3. U.P. 4. Gujarat
(1) 1 2 3 4
(2) 1 3 2 4
(3) 2 1 4 3
(4) 2 3 4 1

8. Who amongst the following is renowned in the field of painting ?
(1) Parveen Sultana
(2) Prof. T.N. Krishnan
(3) Ram Kinkar
(4) Raja Ravi Varma

9. Which is the most ancient musical instrument of India ?
(1) Flute (2) Tabla
(3) Veena (4) Sitar

10. Who out of the following was not
a great master of Carnatic music?
(1) Swathi Thirunaal
(2) Vishnu Digambar Paluskar
(3) Muthuswami Dikshitar
(4) Shyama Shastri

11. Who among the following famous
danseuses is not an exponent of
the Odissi style of dance ?
(1) Sanjukta Panigrahi
(2) Padma Subrahmanyam
(3) Sonal Mansingh
(4) Madhavi Mudgal

12. Which of the following is a wind
musical instrument ?
(1) Sarod (2) Nadaswaram
(3) Tabla (4) Santoor

13. In which of the following dance
forms Birju Maharaj attained
prominence ?
(1) Bharatnatyam (2) Kuchipudi
(3) Kathak (4) Odissi

14. Mallika Sarabhai is associated
with which of the followings ?
(1) Classical music
(2) Classical dance
(3) Social service
(4) Protection of environment

15. Who is believed to have created
the ragga ‘Miyan Ki Malhar’ ?
(1) Tansen
(2) Baiju Bawra
(3) Amir Khusro
(4) Swami Haridas

16. With which musical instrument
is Hari Prasad Chaurasia associated ?
(1) Flute (2) Sarod
(3) Sitar (4) Veena

17. Match List-I with List-II and select the correct answer from the
code given below the Lists :
List-I (Musician)
a. Asad Ali Khan
b. Mallikarjun
c. Vismillah Khan
d. T. N. Krishnan
List-II (Excellence in)
1. Shahnai 2. Violin
3. Classical music 4. Vina
Code :
a bcd
(1) 2 4 3 1
(2) 4 3 1 2
(3) 3 4 2 1
(2) 1 2 3 4

18. How many strings are on a Sarod?
(1) 7 (2) 19
(3) 5 (4) 4

19. Which of the following pairs is
incorrect ?
(1) Amirkhusro – Sarod
(2) Bhim Sen Joshi – Vocal music
(3) Utpal Dutt – Films
(4) Shambhu Maharaj – Kathak

20. Amjad Ali Khan is a maestro with
which instrument ?
(1) Violin (2) Sitar
(3) Sarod (4) Sarangi
(SSC Tax Assistant (Income Tax &
Central Excise) Exam. 14.12.2008)

Answers: 1. (2) 2. (2) 3. (2) 4. (3) 5. (3) 6. (4) 7. (3) 8. (4) 9. (3) 10. (2) 11. (2) 12. (2) 13. (3) 14. (2) 15. (1) 16. (1) 17. (2) 18. (4) 19. (1) 20. (3)


1. (2) Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra was an Indian classical
dancer, guru and proponent of Odissi dance, who is
credited for the revival of the classical dance form in
the 20th century. He won the Sangeet Natak Akademi
Award in 1966, Padma Vibhushan ub 2000 and Kalidas
Samman from Madhya Pradesh government.

2. (2) Sanjukta Panigrahi was a dancer of India, who was
the foremost exponent of Indian classical dance Odissi.
Sanjukta was the first Oriya girl to embrace this ancient
classical dance at an early age and ensure its grand
revival. Marungapuri Gopalakrishna Iyer was a violinist
of great repute. Pandit Ravi Shankar is an Indian
musician and composer who plays the plucked string
instrument sitar. He has been described as the most
known contemporary Indian musician. Palghat T.S.
Mani Iyer was one of the leading mridangists in the
field of Carnatic music and the first mridangist to win
the Sangeetha Kalanidhi and Padmabhushan awards.

3. (2) Alam Ara (The Ornament of the World) is a 1931
film directed by Ardeshir Irani. It was the first Indian
sound film. Alam Ara debuted at the Majestic Cinema
in Mumbai (then Bombay) on 14 March, 1931. The
first Indian talkie was so popular that “police aid had
to be summoned to control the crowds.

4. (3) Mungara Yamini Krishna-murthy is an eminent
Indian dancer of Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi styles
of dancing. Yamini Krishnamurthy debuted in 1957 in
Madras. She has the honor of being Asthana Nartaki
(resident dancer) of the Tirumala Tirupati
Devasthanam. Her dancing career brought her many
awards, including the Padma Shree (1968) and the
Padma Bhushan (2001), which are among the highest
civilian awards of the Republic of India.

5. (3) Pandit Jasraj is an Indian classical vocalist. He
belongs to the Mewati gharana of Hindustani classical
music. Jasraj created a novel form of jugalbandi, styled
on the ancient system of Moorchana, between a male
and a female vocalist, who each sing different ragas
at the same time. In his honor, this legendary
jugalbandi is known as The Jasrangi.

6. (4) Chikan is a traditional embroidery style from
Lucknow, India. Literally translated, the word means
embroidery. Believed to have been introduced by Nur
Jehan, Mughal Emperor Jahangir’s wife, it is one of
Lucknow’s most famous textile decoration styles.
Lucknow in India grew into an international market
for its renowned Chikankari work. There are references
to Indian Chikan work as early as 3rd century BC. by
Megasthenes who mentioned the use of flowered
muslins by Indians.

7. (3) Heer Ranjha is one of the four popular tragic
romances of the Punjab. The other three are Mirza
Sahiba, Sassi Punnun and Sohni Mahiwal. There are
several poetic narrations of the story, the most famous
being ‘Heer’ by Waris Shah written in 1766. Bhatiali
song is related to West Bengal and modern day
Bangladesh. Garba is an Indian form of dance that
originated in the Gujarat region. The name is derived
from the Sanskrit term Garbha (“womb”). Raas or
Dandiya Raas is the traditional folk dance form of
Vrindavan, India, where it is performed depicting
scenes of Holi, and lila of Krishna and Radha.

8. (4) Raja Ravi Varma was an Indian painter from the
princely state of Travancore who achieved recognition
for his depiction of scenes from the epics of the
Mahabharata and Ramayana. His paintings are
considered to be among the best examples of the fusion
of Indian traditions with the techniques of European
academic art.

9. (3) Veena may refer to one of several Indian plucked
instruments. The veena has a recorded history that
dates back to the Vedic period (approximately 1500
BCE). In ancient times, the tone vibrating from the
hunter’s bow string when he shot an arrow was known
as the Vil Yazh. The Jya ghosha (musical sound of the
bow string) is referred to in the ancient Atharvaveda.
Eventually, the archer’s bow paved the way for the
musical bow. Twisted bark, strands of grass and grass
root, vegetable fibre and animal gut were used to create
the first strings. Over the veena’s evolution and
modifications, more particular names were used to
help distinguish the instruments that followed. The
word veena in India was a term originally used to
generally denote “stringed instrument”, and included
many variations that would be either plucked, bowed
or struck for sound.

10. (2) Vishnu Digambar Paluskar was a Hindustani
musician. He sung the original version of the bhajan
Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram, and founded the
Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in 1901. He is seen as the
musician who brought respect to the profession of
classical musicians and took Hindustani classical music
out from the traditional Gharana system to the masses.
He has written a book on music called Sangeet Bal
Prakash in three volumes, and 18 volumes on ragas
as well.

11. (2) Padma Subrahmanyam, is an Indian classical
Bharathanrithyam dancer. She is also a research
scholar, choreographer, music composer, musician,
teacher and author.

12. (2) The Nadaswaram is one of the most popular classical
musical instruments in the South Indian culture and
the world’s loudest non-brass acoustic instrument. It
is a wind instrument similar to the North Indian shehnai
but larger, with a hardwood body and a large flaring
bell made of wood or metal. In South Indian Hindu
culture, the nadaswaram is considered to be very
auspicious, and it is a key musical instrument played
in almost all Hindu weddings and temples of the South
Indian tradition.

13. (3) Birju Maharaj is currently the leading exponent of
the Lucknow Kalka-Bindadin gharana of Kathak dance
in India. He is a descendant of the legendary Maharaj
family of Kathak dancers, including his two uncles,
Shambhu Maharaj and Lachhu Maharaj, and his father
and guru, Acchan Maharaj. He took Kathak to new
heights by choreographing new Kathak dance dramas.
He is also the founder of kalashram.

14. (2) Mallika Sarabhai is an activist and Indian Classical
Dancer from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Daughter of
Classical Dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai and renowned
Space Scientist Vikram Sarabhai, Mallika is an
accomplished Kuchipudi and Bharatanatyam dancer.

15. (1) The legendary musical prowess of Tansen surpasses
all other legends in Indian music. In terms of influence,
he can be compared only to the prolific sufi composer
Amir Khusro (1253–1325), or to bhakti tradition
composers such as Swami Haridas. Several of his raga
compositions have become mainstays of the
Hindustani tradition, and these are often prefaced with
Miyan ki (“of the Miyan”), e.g. Miyan ki Todi, Miyan ki
Malhar, Miyan ki Mand, Miyan ka Sarang; in addition
he is the creator of major ragas like Darbari Kanada,
Darbari Todi, and Rageshwari. Tansen also authored
Sangeeta Sara and Rajmala which constitute important
documents on music.

16. (1) Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia is an Indian classical
instrumentalist. He is a player of the bansuri, the
Indian bamboo flute. He is considered a rare
combination of innovator and traditionalist. He has
expanded the expressive possibilities of the bansuri
through his masterful blowing technique.

17. (2) Asad Ali Khan was an Indian musician who played
the plucked string instrument rudra veena. Khan
performed in the style dhrupad and was described as
the best living rudra veena player in India. Mallikarjun
Mansur was an Indian classical singer of the khayal
style in the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana. Ustad Bismillah
Khan was an Indian shehnai maestro. He was the
third classical musician to be awarded the Bharat
Ratna, the highest civilian honour in India and gained
worldwide acclaim for playing the shehnai for more
than eight decades. Trippunithura Narayan Krishnan
is a Carnatic music violinist.

18. (4) The sarod is a stringed musical instrument, used
mainly in Indian classical music. The conventional
sarod is an 20-25-stringed lute-like instrument — four
to five main strings used for playing the melody, one
or two drone strings, two chikari strings and nine to
eleven sympathetic strings. Sarod strings are made
either of steel or phosphor bronze. The Sarod has
four melody strings tuned to Sa, Pa, Sa, Ma and it is
played with a triangular plectrum.

19. (1) Amir Khusro is regarded as the “father of qawwali”
(the devotional music of the Sufis in the Indian
subcontinent). He is also credited with enriching
Hindustani classical music by introducing Persian and
Arabic elements in it, and was the originator of the
khayal and tarana styles of music. The invention of
the tabla is also traditionally attributed to Amir Khusro.

20. (3) Amjad Ali Khan is an Indian classical musician who
plays the sarod. Khan was born into a musical family
and has performed internationally since the 1960s.
He was awarded India’s second highest civilian honor,
the Padma Vibhushan, in 2001.

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