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M U S I C …
It is said – “Where there is
there is music…”
(but : what is music?)
M u s i c
Music is an art form
whose medium is sound and silence. Its
common elements are pitch (which
governs melody and harmony), rhythm (an
d its associated concepts tempo, meter,
and articulation), dynamics, and the sonic
qualities of timbre and texture. The word
derives from Greek μουσική (mousike; "art
of the Muses").[
MUSICAL GENRES IN PRESENT DAY INDIA
NON - ART
N O R T H
I N D I A N
•Has a highly formalized grammar,
dictated by textual as well as oral
• Has different genres
•(Vocal – Alap, Dhrupad/Dhamar,
Khayal, Sadra, Thumri, Bhajan, Geet etc
•Instrumental – Alap, Masidkhani,
Rajakhani, Firozkhani, Amirkhani Gat
•Has different styles (called Geeti, Bani
•Has regional schools of presentation
(currently called Gharanas)
•Has regional variations in choice of
Ragas, Talas, etc.
• Hindustani music is raga based while Carnatic is kriti-based.
• Hindustani stresses pure notes versus the gamaka-based Carnatic ragas.
• Raga essays (alapanas) are elaborated from note to note in Hindustani and from phrase to
phrase in Carnatic.
• Hindustani has different shailey and Carnatic music has styles such as that of Madurai
Mani Iyer, G.N.Balasubramaniam and so on.
• Hindustani has a separate repertoire for instrumental and vocal while Carnatic
instrumentalists till recently played the same kriti-based compositions as the vocalists did.
• The concept of upapakkavadyam does not exist in Hindustani music.
• The sarangi is a major accompaniment in Hindustani, while the violin reigns in Carnatic.
• The concept of tani avaratanam is found in Carnatic music, while the tabla player
intersperses the main artist’s rendering with solos.
EXAMPLE OF HINDUSTANI MUSIC EXAMPLE OF CARNATIC MUSIC
The Two Systems of Art Music in India
Meaning Animal Chakra God
Sa Shadja (षड्ज) six-born peacock
(ऋषभ) bull skylark
(गान्धार) sky goat
ma ipūraṇ मिण
plexus and n
(मध्यम) middle dove/heron
(िनषाद) hunter elephant
of the head)
Ornaments (“Alankar”) used in Hindustani
•In India, Alankar or Alankara means ornaments or adornments. In the
context of Indian classical music, the application of an alankar is
essentially to embellish or enhance the inherent beauty of the genre.
•The earliest reference to the term Alankar has been found in Bharata’s
Natyashastra written sometime between 200 BC and 200 AD. This
treatise on dramaturgy mentions 33 types of Alankars. Subsequent
musical treatises like Sharangdev’s Sangeet Ratnakar in the thirteenth
century and Ahobal’s Sangeet Parijat in the seventeenth century
mention 63 and 68 types of Alankars respectively.
•The Shastras or ancient texts have
categorized alankars into two broad
Elements of Music
•Melody – notes sounded
•Harmony – notes sounded
•Rhythm – pulses in time
•Dynamics – intensity (volume)
R A G AR A G A
• A raga (Sanskrit rāga राग, Tamil irāgam இராகம், Telugu
Raagam రాగం, Kannada Raagaರಾಗ, Malayalam rāgam രാഗം l
iterally "colour, hue" but also "beauty, melody"; also
spelled raag, raaga, ragam) is one of the melodic
modes used in Indian classical music.
• A raga uses a series of five or more musical notes upon
which a melody is constructed. However, the way the notes
are approached and rendered in musical phrases and the
mood they convey are more important in defining a raga
than the notes themselves.
• In the Indian musical tradition, rāgas are associated with
different times of the day, or with seasons. Indian classical
music is always set in a rāga.
• Non-classical music such as popular Indian film
songs and ghazals sometimes use rāgas in their
The Beat is the regularly occurring pattern of rhythmic stresses in
music. When we count, tap or clap along with music we are
experiencing the Beat. Try tapping your finger along with different
types of music and see what happens.
Tempo is the speed of the Beat, usually expressed in Beats Per
Minute (BPM). For example, at 120 BPM there will be 120 beats in
one minute. Tempo can also be expressed verbally with such words
as Slowly, Fast, Allegro, or Largo.
If you have a metronome try different settings and tap along. If you
don't have a metronome find a clock that shows seconds. If you tap
along with the seconds you are experiencing 60 BPM because there
are 60 seconds/beats per minute.
The Beat and Tempo
ati-ati-drut - Very Very Fast 640 beats-per-min
ati-drut -Very Fast 320 beats-per-min
Drut-Fast 160 beats-per-min
Maddhya Drut- Medium Fast
Madhya- Medium 80 beats-per-min
Maddhya vilambit- Medium Slow
Vilambit- Slow 40 beats-per-min
ati-vilambit- Very Slow 20 beats-per-min
ati-ati-vilambit- Very Very Slow 10 beats-per-min
T A L A
• 'Tāla, Taal or Tal (Sanskrit tālà, literally a "clap", also
transliterated as "tala") is the term used in Indian classical
music for the rhythmic pattern of any composition and for
the entire subject of rhythm, roughly corresponding
to metre in Western music, though closer conceptual
equivalents are to be found in the older system of rhythmic
mode and its relations with the "foot" of classical poetry, or
with other Asian classical systems such as the notion
of usul in the theory of Ottoman/Turkish music.
• A tala is a regular, repeating rhythmic phrase, particularly
as rendered on a percussive instrument with an ebb and
flow of various intonations represented as a theka, a
sequence of drum-syllables or bol.
T a l a Matra T h e k a
Kaharva 4 Dhage Nati Naka Dhin | |
Dadra 6 Dha Tin Na | Ta Dhin Na | |
Roopak 7 Tin Tin Na | Dhin Na | Dhin Na | |
Jhaptal 10 Dhin Na | Dhin Dhin Na | Tin Na | Dhin Dhin Na | |
Ektal 12 Dhin Dhin | Dhage Tite | Thum Na | Kat Ta | Dhage Tite | Dhin Dha | |
Jhoomra 14 Dha –Dha Tirakita | Dhin Dhin Dhage Tirakita | Ta –Ta Tirakita | Dhin Dhin
Dhage Tirakita | |
Deepchandi 14 Dha Dhin - | Dha Dha Dhin - | Na Tin - | Dha Dha Dhin - | |
Adachoutal 14 Dhin Tite | Dhin Na | Thum Na | Kat Ta | Tite Dhin | Na Dhin | Dhin Na | |
Trital 16 Dha Dhin Dhin Dha | Dha Dhin Dhin Dha | Dha Tin Tin Ta | Tita Dhin Dhin Dha |
… and many more, including fractional Matras (e.g. Jhampak Tala of 8½ Matras)