CONCEPT OF HARMONY IN INDIAN MUSIC
Most of you must be knowing that the use of harmony is very rare in Indian music. This is because in Indian music solo or duet singing is preferred to find the quality of the voice of the singer. This is customary in Indian music that the singer has to undergo special kind of training which is based on 10 Thatts of classical music. The question arises why is it important for the singers of the subcontinent of Indo-Pak to have learned these basic Thatts, it is because the compositions of Indian songs are based on thatts and raags which are extracted from the specific thatts. In harmony the solo or duet performances can not be judged properly. However, as a musician, I know that harmony is very much in practice and demand while composing the introduction and interludes during the songs. Various instruments such as Violin is most used to play the melody, 2nd and 3rd harmonies, this certainly enhances the mood of the song and leaves special effects on the listeners.
In western music the harmony seems to be the order of the day, it can be found in all forms of western music. There is no doubt that the instruments and the voices using the harmony seem to leave soothing pleasures of music to the listeners, specially in Christmas carols, the use of harmony is very much customary. No carol seems to be perfect without harmony. In my opinion every singer or the musician must have the knowledge of harmony, how it is sung, what best techniques can be used to further enhance it to make the Indian music rich and to be recognized internationally. This is the time when most of the Indian films are being exhibited all around the world and being appreciated and liked by millions of people, some new experiments should be applied to the primitive Indian music. In early times, even in Europe the music mostly consisted of melody only and very simple melodies were made and sung by the early people, mostly in the churches and cathedrals, to recite religious texts. these didn’t have huge amount of rhythm involved in them. Then as the time passed the composed thought of doing some experiments beyond the melodies of the songs, so they started adding other notes to the melodies and experimented different pitches and notes, and thats what we call harmony now a days. This actually gives the actual depth and color to the melody. For example if the melody starts from C note, we can change it into harmony by using the notes E and G, so when these three notes would play together it will take the form of harmony, so one note would play the melody while the other two notes would play 2nd and 3rd place.
I firmly believe that Indian composers should now do experiments on harmony, to give the primitive Indian music a new flavor and depth which is well renowned all over the world, I personally love harmony, it also sounds great if the singer is backed up by the instrument playing 2nd or 3rd.