Essay on Indian Music

Submitted By ivyzheng1991
Words: 1407
Pages: 6

World Music
Music of India

Indian music is a classical art music tradition with many similarities to Western classical music:
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it appeals to and is patronized by a small, educated segment of the population it has a body of theory and a formal system of study it is disseminated through public concerts in which there is an expected program order.

There are also significant differences

pieces are mixed pre-composed and improvised material there are different levels of improvisation that occur at specific points in a piece a performer’s skill is measured by the ability to improvise in free rhythm.

“It’s all the same music!”

Western music uses mostly the same two types of scales, major and minor. Indian music uses about 250 different ragas.
Times of day  Seasons

Two major musical systems exist in Indian music
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Karnatak (also spelled Carnatic) in the south Hindustani in the north

Karnatak is the older Hindu tradition

Hindustani has been influenced by the later arriving Islamic culture. Hindustan is the region of North India.

Roots of Indian Music

The Vedas –– a corpus of texts originating in Ancient India; the oldest scriptural texts of Hinduism

Vedic chant–– intoned verses of Vedas performed by Brahmin priests

Indian culture, sometimes translated as “caste” Brahmin or Brahman - the highest varna, or caste, in Indian society North Indian “Hindustani” music
Hindustani music  The Hindustani tradition encompasses Indo-Aryanspeaking areas of North India (including Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sinhalese areas of Sri Lanka). The musician Tansen was brought to the Mughal court of the Emperor Akbar in Delhi. The Mughals were Muslims, as were the Hindustani musicians, so musician families passed their profession through inheritance by tradition while maintaining a low social status. The dissolution of the Mughal court in the 18th century led to a dispersal of musicians to other centers of patronage.

From the thirteenth century, the influence of the Persian and Turkish cultures of Islam became of singular importance for North India when the foreigners established political control over the area from the city of Delhi.

Gharanas –– a school of professional musicians in North India who originally traced their heritage to a family tradition but which now includes non-biological descendants as well. An ustad is a master; a shagird is a student. The gharanas extend from the famous sixteenthcentury musician Tansen, who was brought to the imperial court near Delhi by the Mughal Akbar.

Hindustani Instruments
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Sitar Harmonium Tambura Tabla Pakhavaj Bansuri

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Sitar (Solo Instrument) Tambura (Drone Instrument) Tabla (Percussion, Membranophone)

These are the most important instruments

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Terms Lay – tempo Tal - Meter Raga – A scale associated with musical characteristics Gat-tora – The section of Hindustani inst. Performance accompanied by tabla, in which a short composed melody, the gat, is alternated with improvisational passages, the tora Alap – Raga improvisation at the beginning Jor – After the Alap, introduces a pulse Jhala – The concluding section of instrumental improvisation. Following Jor, includes… Tan – rapid and florid kind of improvisation

This Example will take you through a typical North Indian form. The link below is to your Pearson’s music website. _alg03_ch02-lg

Ghazal, Bat Karane Mujhe Mushkil, by Zasar. Textbook CD1, track 3. Rag: Pahari, a scale similar to the major scale but with occasional accidentals Tala: Keharwa (8 beat)

Karnatac Music

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Tyagaraja –– a Karnatak