'Rag Desh' - Steve Gorn and Benjy Wertheimer

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  • Created by: esumner
  • Created on: 30-03-15 12:36


- 2004 by 2 American musicians

- Performance style is Raga

- Based on a Rag 'Desh' based on late evenings in monsoon season

- Music is based on improvisations within clear structures and conventions

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Forces and Instrumentation:

- Bansuri - wind

- Esraij - stringed

- Shruti Box - produces a continuous drone, an electronic one is used in the recording

- Tabla - drums

- Tambura - stringed

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- Alap - begins with drone on D and A, bansuri introduces notes and mood of rag, esraj takes over, the 2 instruments alternate improvised phrases, slow tempo with no regular pulse

- Gat 1 - slow in Rupak Tal, begins with Bansuri solo, Tabla enters, Bansuri plays a composed Gat, Bansuri and Tabla imrovise around Gat and Tal, section ends with a Tihai

- Gat 2 - fast in ektal, begins with Tabla solo, improvisation becomes more elaborate, Bansuri plays Tans (fast scales), ends with a Tihai

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- Based on Rag 'Desh':

Sa Ri Ma Pa Ni Sa Ni Dha Pa Ma Ga Ri Sa

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Rhythm, Metre, and Tempo:

- This version uses 2 Tals:

1. Rupak Tal - 7 beat cycle (3+2+2)

2. Ektal - 12 beat cycle (2+2+2+2+2+2)

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Harmony and Tonality:

- A Tambura drone is used playing Sa (C, tonic) and Pa (G, dominant)

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- Melody dominated layered texture

- Rag = melodic layer

- Drone - the notes are usually tonic and dominant, sustained sounds add texture, keep a sense of tuning and intonation as a reference point for the melodic parts

- Tala - rhythm section, Tabla plays rhythms based on repeated rhythmic cycles called Tala

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Dynamics and Expression:

- Reasonably constant dynamics 

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