The history of music in the Indian subcontinent is extremely long, and the territory of India so vast, that any representation of it must be understood as the result of draconian choices. Historians and other writers on India have ruminated about the possible nexus between Indian music and the music of other ancient civilizations. One significant example of global encounter that resulted from the dissemination of Buddhism resides in a musical instrument: the ovoid-shaped lute that we know as the oud/pipa/biwa, which originated at the far western end of the Silk Road. Music theory, as developed by Indo-Aryans within a Brahmanic intellectual tradition, became the theory of ancient India, so widespread that it is assumed that musicians and theorists throughout the subcontinent shared one system. In South India, music continued to flourish under the patronage of the Maratha kings in late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Thanjavur, the principal seat of Karnatak music before Madras gained that reputation.