Indian Raga Key features
Ragas are 5-8 notes and create a particular mood. Spiritual.
Never written down + improvised. Intervals in a rag vary.
Sitar often plays improvised melody using raga. Sometimes a singer has the melody.
Tabla plays using rhythms called tals. The 1st beat is called the sam.
The tambura creates the harmony with a drone of 2 notes from the raga.
4 traditional phrases/sections:
1. Alap- Sitar improv. No regular beat, No percussion, Slow
2. Jhor- Speeds up, Steady beat, No tabla
3. Jhala- Faster, No tabla
4. Gat- Tabla in, pre-composed, question + answers improvs.
Sitar= Long necked string instrument, 7 main strings + 12 drone ('sympathetic'), Frets can be moved, Plucked
Tambura= Stringed instrument smaller than sitar, 4-6 strings, Backing instrument
Tabla= Pair of drums, Small one is dayan, Large is bayan, Played with fingers
Sarod= Small fretless sitar
Sarangi= Small bowed instrument, no frets
Bansuri= Bamboo flute
Shenai= Double reeded instrument (like oboe)
Harmonium= Keyboard instrument with air pump
Priyagitah: The Nightingale- Steve Gorn + Benjy We
Rag Desh is to be played at night in the rainy season. Gives feeling of romance + devotion. Notes are: C D F G B C Bb A G F E D C
Released in 2004. Improvised in recording studio.
Bansuri, Esraj, Shruti box, Swarmandel, Tabla
Alap: Tambura drone on D + A, Bansuri + esraj set mood, Slow, No pulse
Gat 1: Tabla- steady rhythm, Starts with bansuri solo, Faster, Rupak- 7 beat tal, ends with a tihai (short phrase played 3 times)
Gat 2: Very fast, Starts with tabla solo- plays complicated rhythm, Ektal- 12 beat tal, Pre-composed with lots of runs, Ends with 3 tihais
Raga Desh- Anoushka Shankar
Live at Carnegie Hall in New York, 2001.
Sitar, 2 tabla + tambura
Alap: Sitar + tambura only, Sitar is strummed, plucked + notes are bent (meends) , Slow, No regular pulse
Gat 1: Tabla enters, Jhaptal- 10 beat tal, Pre-composed melody played by sitar at a moderate tempo
Gat 2: Faster, Tintal- 16 beat tal, Pre-composed melody, Sitar strummed
Mhara janam maran from Mewar Re Mira- S.D. Dhandha
Recorded in a studio. Performed by the Indian singer Chiranji Lal Tanwar, and was released in 2004.
Sarod, Sarangi, Pakhawaj, Tabla, Cymbals
Alap: Sitar improv. + tambura drone, Sarangi + male voice come in, voice uses vibrato + portamentos, Slow, No regular pulse
Bhajan: Faster, Tabla comes in with keherwa tal- 8 beat cycle
Bandish: Vocal part is more elaborate- trills, melismas + portamentos used, Hand cymbals used at end