Rag Desh

  • Created by: Callum
  • Created on: 26-05-14 11:37


Sitar A long necked plucked string instrument

Tabla A pair of drums

Sarangi A fretless bowed instrument

Sarod A plucked sting instrument

Bansuri An Indian flute

Pakhawaj A two-headed drum

Voice Singers tend to sing in melismatic phrases (singing more than one noter per syllable) and use microtonal (intervals smaller than semitones) ornamentation

Esraj A bowed string instrument

Shruti box An elctronic instrument that plays the drone

Swarmandel A plucked string instrument like a zither

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Structure (progresses from slow to fast tempo)

Alap A slow introductory section

The notes and the mood of the rag are introduced against a drone

There is no regular pulse and no percussion

Gat A fixed composition that is improvised on by the solo instrument

The percussion enters

A clear pulse is introduced


Jhalla A fast final section

The music becomes more virtuosic and decorative

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Key terms

Raga a modal scale

Tala the cycle of beats in Indian music. There are many - most common is tintal (16 beats)

Drone a continuous low humming sound

Microtone an interval smaller than a semi tone

Meend to slide between notes

Tan an improvised vocal or instrumental music phrase

That different indian scales

Rasa a particular mood of an indian raga

Tivra where a pitch is slightly sharp

Komal where a pitch is slightly flat

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Rag Desh is an example of Indian classical music from north India.

It is an improvised form of music learnt through oral tradition.

It is played at night during the rainy season. It is meant to give the feeling of romance and devotion.

The melody is based on a rag. This is a pattern of notes (similar to a scale). Different rags are associated with with certain times of the day and year.

This set work is based on rag desh. The pattern on the way up is different on the way down.

The rhythmic pattern played by the drums is based on a tal. This is a cycle of beats that is repeated and improvised on during the performance.

The first beat of a tal is called a sam. It is often stressed by musicians.

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Tala patterns

The follwing are some common tala patterns:

tintal 16 beats

jhaptal 10 beats

keherwa 8 beats

rupak 7 beats

ektal 12 beats

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