Music Of India The Hindustani and Karnatic Musical Traditions
Indian Classical Music <ul><li>The music of India can be divided into two unique traditions, the Karnatic (folk) and the Hindustani Vedic (religious). The Hindustani tradition which dominates the northern half of the Indian subcontinent largely developed in the courts of the major centers for Indian music such as Delhi, Lucknow, Benares, Calcutta, Varanasi and Farrukhabad. This tradition has been heavily influenced by Aryan peoples from the middle east and neighboring countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. </li></ul>
Indian Classical Music (cont.) <ul><li>The Karnatic tradition with its main musical center located in Chennai (previously named Madras) can be found in the southern part of the country. It is considered by many to be a more pure form of Indian music with less influence from the migrating peoples the north, however it has integrated many European musical concepts and instruments into its practice largely due to the British occupation of India for over 100 years. </li></ul>
Sangeet <ul><li>The basis for Indian music </li></ul><ul><li>is "sangeet". Sangeet is a combination of </li></ul><ul><li>three art forms: vocal music, instrumental </li></ul><ul><li>music and dance. Although these three </li></ul><ul><li>art forms were originally derived from the </li></ul><ul><li>single field of stagecraft. Today these </li></ul><ul><li>three forms have differentiated into </li></ul><ul><li>complex and highly refined individual </li></ul><ul><li>art forms. </li></ul>
Musical Elements <ul><li>These two distinct traditions do however share some similarities when comparing basic musical elements: </li></ul><ul><li>Medium Both traditions commonly use small ensembles consisting of one or two melodic instruments and one or two percussion instruments. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Rhythm </li></ul><ul><li>Both traditions share one of the most complex rhythmic systems in the world. The Indian word for rhythm is TALA . </li></ul><ul><li>Melody </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Harmony </li></ul><ul><li>Chord structure in the Western sense does not exist. </li></ul><ul><li>The drone sound (audio) supplied by the string instrument called the tambura or the electronic equivalent called a sruti box provide background harmony. </li></ul><ul><li>Texture </li></ul><ul><li>The music is organized into 3 layers or functions: </li></ul><ul><li>A. Melodic soloist/accompaniment </li></ul><ul><li>B. Drum accompaniment </li></ul><ul><li>C. Drone-static accompaniment </li></ul>
Three Important Musical Elements: <ul><li>The Drone/ Harmony </li></ul><ul><li>Since Indian music is modal music, based on the relations between a permanent fixed sound, the tonic, and successive notes, it is the independent relationship that each note has with the tonic that determines the meaning of the particular note. The tonic, therefore, needs to be repeated and constantly heard, as is done in a vocal or instrumental recital, where the tamboura provides the tonic note in the background. Thus, the sounding of a constant melodic pitch that provides the basis for the notes, the melody and the melodic improvisations, is important in Indian music. It provides for tonality by providing a basis for comparison and contrast for the different notes in the piece. Although the ear unconsciously analyzes the notes being sung or played into its constituent partials, even without accompaniment, it is the sustained accompaniment by the tonic that makes this analysis a conscious exercise and allows the singer to check the voice to avoid dissonance. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Raga/Melody </li></ul><ul><li>Raga refers to a “scale” or collection of notes and is the discernable melodic form underlying all classical Indian music. These raga , which are based on the ancient Vedas ( religious chants), are highly ornamented by intricate glissandi or slides called Gamaka. </li></ul><ul><li>This practice of sliding between notes in a Raga is what gives Indian music its unique sound. Many musicologists have described Indian music as being “micro tonal.” In fact, these scales that both Hindustani and Karnatic Ragas use are comprised of smaller intervals (22 steps to an octave) when compared to the12 step octave of a western scale. Since each note is, in terms of frequency, either higher or lower than another, movement from one note to the other in any melody involves either ascent or descent. The movement which results when one ascends from one note to the next is known as aroha , while a descending motion is known as avaroha . While we can conceive of other types of melodic movement, the aroha and avaroha are of great importance as they provide the basis for the raga form. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Raga(cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>Every raga, in fact, consists of a fixed and unchangeable set of notes, presented in the form of an ascending or descending scale. At the simplest level, this defines the raga as a melodic form and tells us that there are specific notes, also called “pillar tones” forming a particular raga and the basic shape of the raga is determined by their inter se arrangement within the ascending or descending order. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Raga (cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>The term Raga is also however much more than a technical collection of notes. Its literal translation which means “that which colors the mind”implies that the raga itself has some metaphysical and non-musical attributes as well. It is the intent of these ragas to invoke certain feelings and emotions from the listener. These emotions can range from amorous love and happiness to great sadness and melancholy. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Raga (cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>A raga can also describe a certain part of the day such as with a morning raga or an evening raga or be intended to be performed only during certain seasons of the year such as the spring or summer. There are devotional ragas as well which are used to praise various deities in the Hindu pantheon of gods such as Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. </li></ul>
Tala/Rhythm <ul><li>Tala is the rhythmic time cycle of India. Tempo/Laya may vary from </li></ul><ul><li>fast – druta </li></ul><ul><li>Medium – madhya </li></ul><ul><li>Slow - vilambitaIn </li></ul><ul><li>dadratala (6 beats) rythmic subdivision: 3+3 used in: thumri , bhajan </li></ul><ul><li>X O - stress </li></ul><ul><li>I I I I I I – beat </li></ul><ul><li>Dhin Dhin Dha Dha Tin Na - bol </li></ul><ul><li>1 2 3 4 5 6 - beat-counter </li></ul>
<ul><li>X - sam , the main stress of the tala, showing by clapping hand </li></ul><ul><li>O - khali , "empty" beat, showing by waving hand </li></ul>
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