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Area of Study 4: Indian Raga
What is a rag?
A pattern of ascending and descending notes associated with
particular moods and used as the basis for melodic improvisation in
Indian classical music. There are also melodic phrases that are
identified with individual raga.
In Indian music a system known as sargam is used for naming the
notes, comparable to the do, ray, me system in Western music.
The seven degrees are:
o SA RE GA MA PA DHA NI SA
What is a Tal?
A cyclic rhythmic pattern in Indian music that forms the basis for
improvisation. It is played on the tabla, of mostly 6 to 16 beats in
the cycle before repeating.
Each beat is known as a matra.
The matras are grouped into patterns called Vibhags.
The first beat of the cycle is called Sam, and in notation this is
marked as a cross it is an important reference point marking the
beginning and end of improvisations.
It is common to mark tala by handclaps.
Tintal - beginning of the 1st, 2nd and 4th vibhags is weaker:
Each Tal uses different patterns of drum strokes, theka.
The stroke patterns are made up of bols. These can be represented
by syllables that imitate the sounds produced by various strokes.
The theka for tintal
Voice: thought to be ultimate form of musical expression.
In an North Indian classical music ensemble,
there is normally a:
Soloist either a singer or instrumentalist
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Drone either a harmonium or a tanpura.
Structure of a North Indian piece
o Introductory section that establishes the mood.
o The notes of the rag are introduced by the soloist,
o Free rhythm.
o Unaccompanied apart from the drone.
o Improvised section,
o With a regular pulse,
o Still no metre.
o The music continues to get faster.
o The final section,
o Has the tabla and tal.…read more