Raag in Indian Classical Music

Raag in Indian Classical Music

raag in indian classical music


The question must have arisen in the minds of many people as what exactly is raag in Indian classical music? Well why don’t we take this up today and discuss the matter to make it known to all interested. Many of you might be acquainted with Indian classical music but those who are not acquainted must have at least heard this word of raag many times,well this term raag is very unique and important to indian classical music and it forms its backbone, and you all know that without back bone no structure would be able to have its shape. In Hindi it is called raag, in carnatica it is called raagam and many people also call it raaga, but it all means the same. Now in the simplest term raag is a set of note to express a feeling in the form of melody. Now melody is an ear pleasing combination of musical notes. So raag is not a random combination of melody. In order to understand the
raag you will have to understand the three layers that form the raag, or the three steps in the formation of the raag. The first step is to understand that raag is a set of note in ascending and descending order. Everyone must know that in raag there should at least be five notes in asending and decending order. The ascending order is called aroh while descending order is called amroh. The number of notes in the raag determine the jati of the
raag, so if the raag has 5 notes in the ascending and descending order the raag is called Audav Audav jati raaj.

The example of Audav Audav raag is raag bhoop, it has five notes in the ascending and five notes in the descending order. If there are six notes in the ascending and descending order it is called shadav shadav jaati raag.
If a raag has got seven notes in asencing and decending order, it is called samporan raag. There are some raags that have five notes in the ascending order and seven in the descending order, and still there are many raags that can be discussed at length. The people who are seeking knowledge about Indian classical music basic, they need to have a proper teacher who can explain them the three important layers of raag that form the real structure of raag, this has to be learnt practically however the theory is also important to provide the basic needs of music
lovers all over the globe who wish to explore the secrets of the formation of raags. I hope this short article would give you little exposure to that. In the upcoming articles I will discuss more aspects of classical and light music.

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Indian Musical Instruments

Indian Musical Instruments

indian musical instruments

Indian Musical Instruments
When we talk about the Indian music whether it is classical or light, we always think of kinds of instruments that are used in the performing arts. For ages the Indian music is being sung by the well renowned performers and even in the court of Mughal emperors the music was very popular and they used to call the best performers to
entertain them. When it comes to entertainment, it has been noticed that people seem to be more interested in the instrumental performances, they love to listen to different melodies and raags on the instruments. Not only in sub continent but it has become so popular all over the globe. In recent times the instrument playing performers are being invited in various countries of Europe, Australia, America, Japan and in Mideastern countries. The reason being that the people of sub continent are spread all over the world and they love to see the performers from their country. It has been noticed that many foreigners have started taking interest in Indian music, specially the instrument performances, People love to attend the musical instrumental concerts rather than vocal concerts. Well
there are many many primitive and old instruments in Indian music. If I try to introduce you to all the musical instruments it would require ages to do so, I will tell you about the musical instruments that you are likely to see frequently in concerts and pvt performances. So we can discuss about the classification of types of musical instruments. Well it can be classified in different types and groups. Well there are four categories of
musical instruments they are as follows:
Indian Musical Instruments categories

1. Tantu Vadiya (these are string instruments which are called chordophons in western music)

(Taanpura-which is a drone instrument in Indian music but it is a accompanying instrument which means it can not be used for solo performances) the other string instruments are veena and sitar there are also instruments without frets like sarod, then there are instruments play with a bow, popular examples of these are sarangi and violin, there are instruments that can be played without being played by fingers or struck by nails or without the help of bow and that is santoor, which is played with the help of the hammer like spoon.

2. The second category is sushir vadiya or the wind instruments and in western music they are called aerophons. The most popular is Bansori, it is an Indian flute without reeds, also the shahnai, it has two reeds but sound is produced from the air columns. Then there emerged a below blown instrument to produce sound the best example of this is harmonium.

3. The 3rd category is called Avanad vadya, which is called Drums/memrophons in western music. The contain a layer of animal skin that helps in the production of sound.some of these instruments are played with palm and fingers, for example carnatica music it is mridangam and khanjira. We also have Indian instruments like pakhawaj and tabla. Then there are instruments that are played with the help of the sticks such as chaugadha and the dhol.

4. The final category is that of ghana vadya, they are called ideophons according to Western music. These are made of metal, clay or wood, they don’t need any further tuning these instruments are used as side rhythm instruments. The examples of these instruments in carnatica music is ghatam or moursi, the other examples are manjira and kartaal.
You may ask what about the electric organ or the electric rhythm, well they fall in the category of electronic instruments. Well in the ancient times the melodic instruments were called veena and the human voice was called gatar veena which meant produced by human voice. I hope this article would help the music learners in their research work too.

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Why is Music Considered a Universal Language

Why is Music Considered a Universal Language?


why is music considered a universal language

Well music is a universal language and everyone can relate to this. Let me give you an example which would help you in understanding the fact I just mentioned. The musical notes are the same comprising of seven white and 5 black notes but when they are molded in the composition they are sung in many different ways, like if you take major western scale and ask the people of different nationalities and cultures the interpretation would be entirely different because the basic notes are the same. The way in which the notes were interpreted was entirely different in performance, therefore singing the same song would have distinct difference in all the different cultures. For example, if you listen to the Christmas Carols from different people belonging to different life style and cultural background, in each case you will notice the expression is extremely different. I would say that music and food are so similar in nature, lets take an example if you take rice and give it to a Japanese cook, he would make the rice in the Japanese style and would come up with Asoshi if you give rice to a south Indian cook, he might come up with dosa, similarly an Afghan would cook the rice in his own way so the flavor and recipe changes according to the culture and taste, though the basic element is the same, and it is rice.
Similarly the basic elements of the music are the same as I mentioned above but the interpretation is entirely different. This give it a unique flavor thus we can say the music is a universal language. so to understand the philosophy we need to understand the liking and disliking according to the regions and continents. The international performers have to keep this element in mind while performing in different places around the globe. You must have listened to many Bollywood songs having some western or Arabic flavors but the essential part is that they have to be based on the techniques of the Indian classical music. Which is the traditional or Art music in India but this is unfortunate that most of the common people don’t understand the real essence of Indian classical music, may be they listen to the music just for fun or to entertain themselves and in their conscious they certainly have their liking’s and disliking’s, for example many people would love to listen to classical music while the young generation would go for the light music. So one can say that Indian classical music is much beyond what we know about it but still it receives its appreciation throughout the globe but many people who have musical background and are acquainted with western, Japanese, Chinese or any other form of music can at least make the
difference and comparison of Indian music with other forms of music that are being followed throughout the world.

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