Indian Music Revision Notes

Good notes for Indian Music

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Rafi GalkoffMusic11NGA
Indian Music Revision Notes
Almost any performance of Indian music will contain Melody (one or more
instrumentalists or singers), a drone, and rhythm (most often played on
The melody is usually accompanied by a drone.
The Drone: A continuous note sounded by the drone strings on the sitar and
also by an accompanying instrument, the tambura.
The keyboard is European, but it has
a number of drone reeds which are
particularly Indian. European models
came in both hand pumped and foot
pumped models. Indian music has no
Body - The body is the box that
houses the various parts of the
Bellows - The bellows are the pumps
which force the air through the
Keys - The keys, known in India as "chabi", are the small wooden controls that
the performer fingers to play the music. There are black keys and white keys.
The keyboard is reminiscent of the keyboards found on pianos and other
Western instruments.
Cover - The cover is a small piece of wood, sometimes with cloth or glass,
which covers the workings of the harmonium.
Stops (main) - The main stops are a series of valves which control the way that
air flows in the instrument.
Stops (drone) - The drone strops are the most distinguishing feature of
Indian harmoniums. These stops control the flow of air over un-keyed reeds.
They simply drone their particular pitch.
Handles - The handles allow for easy transport of the harmonium.

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Rafi GalkoffMusic11NGA
Sitar is said to be one of the prime musical instruments of Indian music and the
most used of all the stringed instruments. It has been almost 700 years since
this music instrument was introduced to India.
Generally sitar is rested on the right shoulder with the right hand plucking
the strings. The index finger of the left hand travels up and down the neck of
the sitar.…read more

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Rafi GalkoffMusic11NGA
of strings:
Four main strings
Six rhythm and drone string
Fifteen sympathetic strings
All the strings are made from metal.
Sarangi is played with a bow and has
four main strings and as many as
forty resonant strings. It is
generally used to accompany singers
but can also be a solo instrument.
Of all Indian instruments, it is said to
most resemble the sound of the
human voice.…read more

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Rafi GalkoffMusic11NGA
Both the drums have a large black spot their playing surfaces. Their primary
function is to bring about a bell-like resonance, which is one of the outstanding
characteristics of this percussion instrument.
The Tabla player must know the names of all the strokes; these are called bols
which literally means `words'
The santur is played like
plucking the inside of a piano.…read more

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Rafi GalkoffMusic11NGA
Jhala: When the Tabla joins in, and the musicians improvise in both rhythm
and melody.
This is how 3 octaves would be written:
. . . . . . .
. . . . . . .
The tala is a repeating rhythm pattern usually played by the tabla (small
drums). There are over 300 different talas in Indian Music. It usually has
between six and sixteen beats. The beats are grouped into small sections
within the pattern.…read more


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