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Indian Classical Music

Indian Classical music usually consists of:

  • a single melody line (based on raga)
  • a rythmic pattern (known as tala)
  • a drone 

A raga is a scale of notes used to create a melody, they are usually associated with a particular time of day or season.

Some notes in a raga are important and so recieve more emphasis than others. Raga melodies are developed by improvisation, patterns become more and more complex as the piece progresses.

A tala is a cycle of beats that forms the rythmic basis of the music. There are hundreds of different tala rythms.


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Indian Classical Music

Indian Classical music usually consists of:

  • a single melody line (based on raga)
  • a rythmic pattern (known as tala)
  • a drone 

A raga is a scale of notes used to create a melody, they are usually associated with a particular time of day or season.

Some notes in a raga are important and so recieve more emphasis than others. Raga melodies are developed by improvisation, patterns become more and more complex as the piece progresses.

A tala is a cycle of beats that forms the rythmic basis of the music. There are hundreds of different tala rythms.


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Music

The first beat of the tala (the sam) is the most important one. All the perfomers usually come together on the sam. Other beats in the tala are weaker or even silent.

Instruments

  • Sitar (melody) 
  • Tanpura (drone)
  • Tabla (rythm) 
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Music

The first beat of the tala (the sam) is the most important one. All the perfomers usually come together on the sam. Other beats in the tala are weaker or even silent.

Instruments

  • Sitar (melody) 
  • Tanpura (drone)
  • Tabla (rythm) 
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Music

Sections:

  • The alap- the sitar player introduces the notes of the raga, there is no beat or pulse at this point, the only accompaniment at this point is the tambura drone.
  • The Jhor- the music speeds up a bit, still just the tambura and sitar player, but the music gets more rythmic.
  • The Jhala- this section is lots faster than the alap and jhor, and feels a lot more exciting than the bits that came before.
  • The Gat or Bandish- in the gat the rythm really takes off, the tabula player comes in, the group plays a pre-composed piece, the players add improvisations to the gat or bandish, and use a musical question and answer.

Gat means instruments only and Bandish is for a song. 

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