Rag Desh (Background Information)

This is a summary of the background of Indian Music and information on all the key instruments used in Rag Desh. 

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  • Created on: 07-05-12 11:27
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Rag Desh Background Information Music GCSE Jessic
Rag Desh Background Information
Indian Music
Background of Indian Classical Music:
The oldest scripture in the religion of Hindu, which is known as the Vedas which holds
elements and hints of the origin of classical Indian music.
One of the books of Vedas mentions music a lot, so was and still is vital to
traditional Indian life.
Indian Classical Music tends to be monophonic and the composition revolves around
a single melody line.
Traditionally Indian music is taught orally and only until the 20th century did people
start to notate the music.
Like in Western Music we have: Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do, in Indian Classical music
they have: Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa.
Elements of Raga:
Raga is a melodic element of Indian Classical music and is a series of pitches (a bit like
a scale)
Dictionary Definition of Raga: A pattern of notes having characteristic intervals,
rhythms, and embellishments, used as a basis for improvisation.
It uses Tala/Talam is the name of the metrical system used, like a time signature in
western music. It is beats in a cycle of, for example 16 counts.
Dynamics usually are quieter as music is played in smaller instrument groups.
Drones are constantly used and they are a constant sounding pitch. It is a harmonic
or monophonic or accompaniment of a chord or note that you can hear throughout
the piece, giving the piece its own distinct sound.
When one improvised with Raga they must follow strict rhythm and follow the tala.
- It's a stringed instrument and is commonly
used in Raga and Classical Indian music.
- Sometimes a single sitar will hold the
melody line whilst other sitars play the
- The strings are sometimes pulled to bend
notes and are vibrated to give the sitar its
unique sound.
- Also a stringed instrument, but without frets.

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Rag Desh Background Information Music GCSE Jessic
- Plectrums pluck the strings of the Sarod.
- A percussion instrument that is widely
popular in Indian music and is a set of two
- By drumming different parts of the
drums, you create different sounds.
- Improvisations are sometimes created with
the skilful players of the Tabla, with precise finger movements.
- It physically looks like the sitar but is used for drones.
- Played virtually and consists of only four strings.…read more


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