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Rag Desh
Style and period Indian music, this is divided in to 2 main musical traditions:
Northern Indian music (Hinduist tradition)
Southern India(Carnatic tradition)

It is passed on by the oral tradition. Families have a master-teaching system known as gharana.
As the generations go along, each family member passes along…

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Alap- Rhythms are fluid and free and sound improvisatory due to lack of pulse.
Gat1- sitar improvises in triplets(chand)
Gat 2: tintal (16 beats)(4+4+4+4)
Sections divided by tihai

Alap- Played only by sitar
Gat1- Tihai heard at the end of first improvisation section between sitar and tabla.

Page 3

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Alap- Bansuri then Esraj
Gat1- when tabla enter, Rupak tal (7 beats) is played.
Gat2- Ektal tal (12 beats)
Sections are sub-divided by tihai


Bansuri- Melody
Esraj- Melody
Tabla -Rhythm
Electric(shruti) box- drone

Melody Rags are associated with different times of day and night…

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Improvised flourishes on prepared melodic

These are the main elements of a raga performance, however, some of these elements can be
emitted. E.g. you can have a performance with just an Alap.

Harmony No sense of harmony in Indian raga music.
The tambura, the drone, often plays an open…


Samuel Richardson


All three variations of the Rag Desh are covered in detail in this set of notes, as is a good deal of background information and context. The notes are presented nicely in table, so try covering some boxes to test your memory. 

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