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
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
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
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.
The follwing are some common tala patterns:
tintal 16 beats
jhaptal 10 beats
keherwa 8 beats
rupak 7 beats
ektal 12 beats