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Indian Music

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The music of India is one of the oldest unspoken musical traditions in the world. The basis of for Indian music is "sangeet." Sangeet is a combination of three art forms: vocal music, instrumental music (Indian music). Indian music is base upon seven modes (scales). It is probably no coincidence that Greek music is also base upon seven modes. Furthermore, the Indian scales follow the same process of modulation (murchana) that was found in ancient Greek music. Since Greece is also Indo-European, this is another piece of evidence for the Indo-European connection (Dance and music of India).

The vocal tradition is especially strong in Indian music. It is understood that the song is probably the most ancient form of music. Vocal music occupies a considerable part of Natya Shastra (Indian music). The samaveda is the oldest musical text in India. Most of the classical songs of north India are devotional in nature, but there are few genres which are especially oriented toward religion. Most notable is the bhajan, dhun or kirtan for Hindus, the kawali (qawali) for Muslims, and the shabad for Sikhs (Indian music). Not all the music is serious for there are also many popular genres. The gazal is one style, which is known for it rich poetic, and romantic content. The Hindi geet which is basically just a song and undoubtedly the most popular is the film song (Indian music). There are also a few genres which are oriented specifically toward musical education. The most notable example is a genre called lakshan geet. In this style the words of the song actually describe the rag which is being performed (Indian music). India also has a rich tradition of folk music. These will vary from region to region.

Instrumental music occupies an important position in Indian music. It is one of the threefold aspects of sangeet and has a very ancient history. Instrumental music is known as vadhya sangeet (India, dance and music). Over the years they have become formalized into four major instrumental styles known as: alap, jor, gat and jhala (India, dance and music). The alap is a slow rhythm less elaboration upon the rag. The jor is a section that has rhythm but no developed rhythmic cycle (i.e., tal). The gat is the fully developed piece, while the jhala is a fast rhythmic interplay between the drone strings and the main playing strings (Indian music).

The rag is the most important concept that any student of Indian music should understand. The Hindi/Urdu word "rag" is derived from the Sanskrit "raga" which means "colour or passion" (Indian music). It is linked to the Sanskrit word "ranj" which means, "to colour" (Indian music). Therefore, rag may be thought of as an acoustic method of colouring the mind of the listener with an emotion. It is not a tune, melody, scale, mode, or any concept for which an English word exists. It is instead a combination of different characteristics. It is these characteristics, which define the rag. There must be the notes of the rag. They are called the swar (Indian music). There must also be a modal structure. This is called that in North Indian music and mela in carnatic music (Carnatic music). There is also the jati. Jati is the number of notes used in the rag. There must also be the ascending and descending structure. This is called arohana/avarohana. Another characteristic is that the various notes do not have the same level of significance. Some are important and others less so. The important notes are called vadi and samavadi (Indian music). There are often characteristic movements to the rag. This is called either pakad (Indian music).

The Indian rhythm is known as tal. Tal means "clap". The tabla (Indian drum instrument) has replaced the clap in the performance, but the term still reflects the origin. The basic concepts of tal are tali, Khali,vibhag, matra, bol, theka, lay, sam, and avartan.

Tali are a pattern of clapping. In addition to the claps,



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