'Rag Desh' - Anoushka Shankar

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  • Created by: esumner
  • Created on: 30-03-15 11:39

Background:

- 2001

- Anoushka Shankar is a famous Sitar player

- Performance style is Raga

- Based on a Rag which is based on a particular time of day

- Rag is associated with late evenings in Monsoon season 

- Based on improvisations, but take place within well defined and clear structures and conventions

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Forces and Instrumentation:

- Sitar

- Tabla - pair of drums called Dayan (right drum) and Bayan (left drum)

- Tambura

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Structure:

- Alap - slow, no regular pulse, played by Sitar, outlines notes, phrases and establishes mood of rag, melodic line decorated with slides and pitch bends (meends)

- Gat - tabla enters, sitar plays fixed composition (Gat) at moderate tempo, sitar and tabla improvise based on Gat, Tabla is based on the Tal, improvisation ends with a tihai and music gets faster

- Jhallah - faster, sitar strings are strummed to create rhythmic excitement signalling the end of the piece

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Melody:

- Based on rag 'Desh':

Sa Ri Ma Pa Ni Sa Ni Dha Pa Ma Ga

- Different rags are based on different times of year

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Rhythm, Metre, and Tempo:

- Uses 2 Tals:

1. Jhaptal - 10 beat cycle (2+3+2+3)

2. Teental - 16 beat cycle (4+4+4+4)

- Tal = rhythm in Indian music

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Harmony and Tonality:

- A tambura drone is used

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Texture:

- Melody dominated layered texture

- 3 main layers:

1. Melodic line played on a solo instrument

2. Rhythmic pattern played on drums

3. Drone played on stringed instrument

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Dynamics and Expression:

- Widely controlled by the number of instruments

- Reasonably constant

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