Indian music is based on traditional airs that are religious in origin. The Vedic chant that came from sacred literature of Arians that was written in 100 B.C. consists of four books known as Vedas believed to be created by the goddess of knowledge. This is accompanied with string instruments and drums. At times, dances and appropriate movements are used to depict the meaning of the text. They believe that these have the power to melt stones, create fire, rain and cure sick. Giving emphasis to the mood of particular period of time is the goal of music.
Activity # 1
Fill in the blanks with the correct answer.
It is believed that music has the _______ to melt stones, create fire and rain or cure sick.
The music of India is the _______ in Asia.
The _______is known as the principal tone.
A specific arrangement of tones is known as ________.
The _______consists of shrutis ( are the books of authority for Hindus)
The basis for Indian music
is "sangeet". Sangeet is a combination of three art
forms: vocal music, instrumentalmusic and dance.
Although these three art forms were originally derived
from the single field of stagecraft. Today these
three forms have differentiated into complex and
highly refined individual art forms.
Raga - is a specific arrangement of tones.
SA RE GA MA DA DHA TI
Do re mi fa sol la ti
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
The are seven fundamental tones.
The 1 st and 5 th tones are used as pitch centers and is not altered with a # or b. The 4 th tone can be raised and the 2,3,6,7, lowered.
2 important tones
vadi or principal tone
Vadi , in both Hindustani classical music and Carnatic music , is the dominant swara (musical note) of a given raga (musical scale). "Vadi is the most sonant or most important note of a Raga."  It does not refer to the most played note but it rather refers to a note of special significance. It is usually the swara which is repeated the greatest number of times, and often it is the swara on which the singer can pause for a significant time.
Vadi swara, along with the Samvadi swara of a raga, usually brings out the uniqueness of the raga and its bhava (mood) and rasa (emotion).
Samvadi- secondary principal tone
A samvadi is a note of special significance. A performer will typically try to emphasize the samvadi along with the vadi when improvising on a certain raga.
Traditional Music of India
Hindustani means classical music of North India
Carnatic means classical music of South India
Traditional Elements of Indian Music
Both traditions share one of the most complex rhythmic systems in the world. The Indian word for rhythm is TALA .
Rhythm in Indian music performs the function of a time counter. A taal is a rhythmic cycle of beats with an ebb and flow of various types of intonations resounded on a percussive instrument. Each such pattern has its own name.
Compositions are based on 72 types of scales, many of them similar. The Indian word for scale/melody is RAGA . The literal translation of the word Raga is "that which colors the mind." The raga is much more than a scale;it is both a technical collection of notes and can depict aesthetic qualities such as emotions, colors, deities, seasons, time of day, festival events, and can also convey magical properties.
When you listen to the sound of the string of India, you will hear a distinct harmony throughout the composition.
What is the importance of drone in Indian music? It provides the tonal anchor of the melody and it gives unity to the composition. The instrument which performs this function is the tambura