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Indian Music

October 06, 2011  by: raajh07  Points: 12   Category: Music  Earning $0.50   Views: 1025

Natya Shstra is the earliest treatise on music, drama and dance. This shows hat by the time this treatise was composed, India had a fully developed system of arts. Nada or sound is supposed to have been the very basis of creation, according to one legend, sound has evolved from the damaru of lord Siva.

         

Indian Music



Natya Shstra is the earliest treatise on music, drama and dance. This shows that by the time this treatise was composed, India had a fully developed system of arts. Nada or sound is supposed to have been the very basis of creation, according to one legend, sound has evolved from the damaru of lord Siva. The Rig and Yajur Vedas, Brahmanas and the Upanishads have presented a few references of music. Special priests such as advaryas sang the hymns of the Rig Veda especially the Sama veda . The Sama veda consist of hymns that praise gods and are sang in accordance with the right sruti. All the later music that evolved is considered to have developed from the Sama Veda. Gandharva veda the science of music is a upaveda of the Sama veda.

According to one school of thought development of Indian music commenced with the folk idiom. The folk music is said to have a natural origin. Many scholars consider folk music as one source that has influenced the structure of Carnatic music.

Basics

The basic scale of Indian music consists of seven notes or sapta svaras . They are:
[I]1 sadja
2 rishabha
3 gandhara
4 madhyama
5 panchama
6 dhaivata
7 nishada
[/I]

These seven notes abbreviated to sa, ri, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni .(These notes correspond approximately to the European scale)
Matanga's Brihaddesi deals with the concept and practice of raga. A raga is a melody based on five or more notes. Talas ar rhythamic cycles. There is a complex range from the simple 2/4 time that is the aditala and ¾ rupaka tal to the 14 units of ata tala. There are over 120 talas now formed by different combinations.



Hindustani and Carnatic Styles

Indian music is styled Hindustani (North) and Carnatic (South). They have several common features however have distinguished ones.
It's a matter of debate as to how and when they developed as two different streams. It is agreed that it was in the medieval age that the branching became clear. The popular belief that the separate and independent development of Hindustani music was due to the contribution of Amir Khusrau is not accepted by historians. Both may have developed as consequence of regional influence, while the names of ragas remained the same in both styles, the corresponding contents vary in each case. For example: the intonation of notes and the execution of graces.



Time and Mood

The Hindustani school of thought strictly observes a time theory of ragas. This is probably a historical survival of and earlier age when music was used as an accompanying accessory of drama. Ragas are classified in different way in the two systems. The Hindustani Music took six ragas as primary and arranged then in the analogy of family relationships as well such as husband and wife, sons and daughters. The 6 primary ragas were

1 Bhairava; suitable for performance at dawn and associated with the mood and feeling of awe and fear,
2 Kausika at night associated with joy and laughter,
3 Megh in the morning associated with peace and calm,
4 Dipak in the afternoon associated with love,
5 Sriraga in the afternoon associated with love,
6 Hindola at night associated with love.


In Carnatic style though there are indications with regard to time, in practice this rigor is not strictly adhered to.



Melakarta's Sangitasara is regarded as the forerunner of the Carnatic music. It was at the time of Vidyaranya in the early part of 14th century during which time Carnatic music was put on scientific lines.

Compositions

There are two broad categories of musical forms that are recognized in Indian music. They are (1) anibaddha (open) and (2)nibandha (closed). The most important anibadha is the alap. Most Indian classical music begins with the alap presenting the raga without the reference to tala. From the melodic point of view, the alap is the most important part of the performance. It is completely improvised with the musician gradual elaborating the characteristic melodic features of the raga, in its own natural rhythm without the limitations of a fixed time-measure. Within the alap there are stages of development which may lead to a faster section called jod in north India and tanam in south India. In the jod though there is no fixed time measure there is an introduction of a distinct pulse. In the Hindustani instrumental music, the jod often culminates in a section called jhala where the fast rhythms produced on the drone strings and the melody lines weave together. In the nibandha there is a fixed time measure and more or less fixed sequence of notes and a specific relationship with the tala cycle.

In Carnatic music there are no purely instrumental compositions, but in Hindustani system there is a form called gat. Derived from plucked stringed instrumental technique and another called dhun which is apparently derived from folk tunes. Neither of these has text. But in both Carnatic and Hindustani systems importance is given to compositions for vocal delivery and the composition is rarely an end in itself; one f its important functions is to provide a frame of reference to which the performer comes back after an improvisation.

(Referred to various sources on Indian Music)




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