Area of Study Four - INDIAN RAGA

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  • Created by: Chloe
  • Created on: 24-04-08 11:12

Indian Classical Music

INDIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC IS BASED ON RAGAS.

Raga - set of 5-8 notes - combined to make a particular mood.

Performances are improvised - based on traditional tunes & rhythms - never written down

Scale - similar to western 12 note scale - but intervals can vary

Spirituality - important part of Indian Classical Music

Southern India- long tradition of KARNATIC KRITI- a raga set to wordsin praise of a particular Hindu deity

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Traditional Instruments

TRADITIONAL INSTRUMENTS ARE SITAR, TAMBURA & TABLA

SITAR

  • Large, long-necked String instrument
  • 4 -7 main metal strings
  • 7 stringed - 5 = melody 2 = drone notes
  • 'sympathetic' strings underneath main strings - they vibrate, making a thick, shimmery sound
  • Frets on sitar can be adjusted to different positions for different pieces
  • Players can pull strings to make notes 'bend' or distort
  • Sliding a finger along a string as its plucked - sliding glissando sound called 'mind'
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Traditional Instruments continued

TAMBURA

  • similar shape to sitar
  • four metal strings
  • backing instrument

TABLA

  • pair ofdrums
  • smaller - right handed one - TABLA
  • larger - lower sounding - BAYA

OTHERS!

  • SAROD - mini-sitar with fretless fingerboard
  • SARANGI - small, bowed instrument with no frets
  • BANSURI- flute made of bamboo
  • SHENHAI - double-reeded like oboe
  • HARMONIUM - keyboard - powered with air pumped by foot-pedals
  • SINGERS - often perform too
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Melodies

The melody is improvised on the sitar - or taken by singer

Classical Indian Group - sitar plays the melody

Sitar player improvises the melody - uses raga scale

Hundreds of raga scales - named after season, festial, time of day

Raga scale has ascending & descending notes - notes can be different on way up than way down

Some ragas have rules for individual notes on the scale. There could be notes that are played quickly, decorated or slightly sharp (tivra) or flat (komal)

Notes of raga scale - SA RI GA MA PADHA NI

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TABLA

The tabla is the rhythm section

the main rhythm is played on the tabla

tabla player plays rhythm called TALA - set number of beats (matras)

1st beat - sam - all performers play together on the sam and wholepiece ends on sam

Each tala is split into groups called VIBHAGS - like a western bar - but can have different numbers of beats in each vibhag

VIBHAG KHALI - two different & contrasting bars - played on smaller tabla drum

Sometimes tabla players improvise more complicated rhythms over top of tala. Do this with different finger positions, speaking the beat.

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TAMBURA

Tambura creates the harmony in raga performance

Part is often described as the drone - simple ryhthmic pattern based on two notes

The sitar player works their improvisations around tambura part - combination of the two that gives raga harmony

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THE FOUR SECTIONS

A typical raga has FOUR sections-each flows from one to the next

1. THE ALAP

  • Sitar player introduces notes of chosen raga scale, improvising freely. NO BEAT, NO PULSE YET. only accomp. = tambura drone.

2.THE JHOR

  • music speeds up a bit. still only tambura & sitar. Although the melody improvised by the sitar player takes on a steady beat.

3. JHALA

  • loads faster, feels more exciting. Players improvise around Melody

4. GAT (only instrumenst) or BANDISH (if theres a song)

  • raga really takes off and tabla player comes in
  • group plays a pre-composed piece
  • pass musical ideas round as question &answer
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Comments

Samuel Richardson

A good level of detail is included in these revision cards, and they are presented really well also. 

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