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Indian Classical Music

Indian classical music has a history tracing back over 3000
years (roughly 1700 BC).
Students of Indian classical undergo a type of apprenticeship
with a highly regarded performer know as master-student
The music is learned by ear and performed from memory.

Sitar: a plucked string…

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Tanpura: Similar to the sitar, however it only has 4 strings,
usually tuned to the notes of the raga
the strings are plucked repeatedly to maintain the

Indian classical music usually has:

A single melody line (raga)
A rhythmic pattern (tala)
A drone

The melody is based on…

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Each piece is based on a cycle of beats called a tala
There are hundred of different tala patterns in Indian
classical music
The first beat of the tala is called the sam
The sam is the most important beat. All the
performers in the ensemble will usually come…

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There is no tabla in this section, creating the free
time feeling and ease for the melody instrument to

Gat ­ middle section
o the tabla enters
o tempo increases
o greater sense of metre
o more elaborate improvisations and
Jhalla ­ final section
o the final section…


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