Sunday, 22 November 2015

Gaayan Samay of the Raag

Dear Indian Classical Music Lovers,
We are back with our new post- Gaayan Samay of the Raag.
This is very important and many people are not aware of this logic. We have read about Vadi and Samvadi in our previous post (Most dominant Swara of Raag is Vadi and sub dominant swara of the raag is Samvadi). 

Now in Indian Classical Music, each raag is rendered at a specific time of the day. The time of the raag depends on the Vaadi swar of the raag. Whole saptak(octave) Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa (where yellow color Sa is from Taar Saptak) is divided into 2 parts- 1) Sa Re Ga Ma and 2) Pa Dha Ni Sa
Here the earlier part 'Sa Re Ga Ma' is called 'Poorvaang' and the later part 'Pa Dha Ni Sa' is called 'Uttarang'. 
If Vaadi of the raag fell in the 'Poorvaang' then those raags are called Poorvang Vaadi Raag and these raags are rendered between 12AM and 12PM. For e.g Raag Yemen(Vadi 'Ga' and Samvadi 'Ni').
Similarly, If Vaadi of the raag fell in the 'Uttarang' then those raags are called Uttarangi Vaadi Raag and these raags are rendered between 12 PM and 12 AM For e.g Raag Bhairav (Vadi- 'Dha' and Samvadi 'Re').
So if we know the vaadi swar of the raag then we can estimate the gayan samay of the raag. The raags in Indian Classical Music are divided into 3 categories taking their swars and time in account. Read our next blog Categorization of raags.

Also one very important thing to know- the Samwad between Vadi and Samvadi is always either Sa and Ma or Sa and Pa ie if we take vadi as our Sa then Samvadi would be either Ma or Pa.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

What is Raag?

Raag in Indian Classical Music:

A Raag can be defined as a combination of 2 things:
1. Which notes can be used in Aroh ie while going up and which can be used in Avroh ie while coming down to the level of microtones. 
2. And the norms as to how the notes in the raag are combined and how they are related to each other.

Each raag has a 'Dominant' and 'Subdominant' swara called 'Vaadi' and 'Samvaadi'. A note which is strongly emphasized is called 'Vaadi' and the one which is strong but slightly less is called 'Samvaadi'. Also there are note/s which are excluded from that Raag are called 'Vivadi'

There are other characteristics of Raag:

  • Samay (Time)
  • Aroh/ Avroh
  • Pakad
  • Thaat 
Read about Swar, Saptak and Thaat system here-

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Complex Alankar Exercises

Hello Friends,
Once you are done with the Basic Alankar Exercises, you can start with some complex Alankar exercises:
Here Taar saptak is represented by yellow letters and Mandh saptak is represented by green letters.

1. Aaroh: SaGaReSa ReMaGaRe GaPaMaGa MaDhaPaMa PaNiDhaPa DhaSaNiDha
    Avroh: DhaSaNiDha PaNiDhaPa MaDhaPaMa GaPaMaGa ReMaGaRe SaGaReSa

2. Aaroh: GaReSa MaGaRe PaMaGa DhaPaMa NiDhaPa SaNiDha ReSaNi GaReSa
    Avroh: GaReSa ReSaNi SaNiDha NiDhaPa DhaPaMa PaMaGa MaGaRe GaReSa

3. Aaroh: SaReGaReSa ReGaMaGaRe GaMaPaMaGa MaPaDhaPaMa PaDhaNiDhaPa DhaNiSaNiDha NiSaReSaNi SaReGaReSa
  Avroh: SaReGaReSa NiSaReSaNi DhaNiSaNiDha PaDhaNiDhaPa MaPaDhaPaMa GaMaPaMaGa ReGaMaGaRe SaReGaReSa

4. Aaroh: SaReRe ReGaGa GaMaMa MaPaPa PaDhaDha DhaNiNi NiSaSa
    Avroh: NiSaSa DhaNiNi PaDhaDha MaPaPa GaMaMa  ReGaGa SaReRe NiSaSa

5. Aaroh: SaRe SaGa SaMa SaPa SaDha SaNi SaSa
    Avroh: SaNi SaDha SaPa SaMa SaGa SaRe SaSa

6. Aaroh: SaMa RePa GaDha MaNi PaSa
    Avroh: SaPa NiMa DhaGa PaRe MaSa

7. Aaroh: SaPa ReDha GaNi MaSa
    Avroh: SaMa NiGa DhaRe PaSa

8. Aaroh: SaReSaGaGa ReGaReMaMa GaMaGaPaPa MaPaMaDhaDha PaDhaPaNiNi DhaNiDhaSaSa 
    Avroh: SaNiSaDhaDha NiDhaNiPaPa DhaPaDhaMaMa PaMaPaGaGa MaGaMaReRe GaReGaSaSa

9. Aaroh: SaReSaGaGaGaGa ReGaReMaMaMaMa GaMaGaPaPaPaPa MaPaMaDhaDhaDhaDha PaDhaPaNiNiNiNi DhaNiDhaSaSaSaSa 
 Avroh: SaNiSaDhaDhaDhaDha NiDhaNiPaPaPaPa DhaPaDhaMaMaMaMa PaMaPaGaGaGaGa MaGaMaReReReRe GaReGaSaSaSaSa

10. Aaroh: SaReSaGaGaGaGaGaGa ReGaReMaMaMaMaMaMa GaMaGaPaPaPaPaPaPa MaPaMaDhaDhaDhaDhaDhaDha PaDhaPaNiNiNiNiNiNi DhaNiDhaSaSaSaSaSaSa
Avroh: SaNiSaDhaDhaDhaDhaDhaDha NiDhaNiPaPaPaPaPaPa DhaPaDhaMaMaMaMaMaMa PaMaPaGaGaGaGaGaGa MaGaMaReReReReReRe GaReGaSaSaSaSaSaSa

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Basic Alankar Exercises

Here are some basic exercises for practice with shudh alankar:
Here the Yellow Coloured 'Sa' is the 'Sa' of taar saptak.

1. Aaroh- Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa
    Avroh- Sa Ni Dha Pa Ma Ga Re Sa

2. Aaroh- SaSa ReRe GaGa MaMa PaPa DhaDha NiNi SaSa
    Avroh- SaSa NiNi DhaDha PaPa MaMa GaGa ReRe SaSa

3. Aaroh- SaSaSa ReReRe GaGaGa MaMaMa PaPaPa DhaDhaDha NiNiNi SaSaSa
    Avroh- SaSaSa NiNiNi DhaDhaDha PaPaPa MaMaMa GaGaGa ReReRe SaSaSa

4. Aaroh- SaSaSaSa ReReReRe GaGaGaGa MaMaMaMa PaPaPaPa DhaDhaDhaDha NiNiNiNi SaSaSaSa
    Avroh- SaSaSaSa NiNiNiNi DhaDhaDhaDha PaPaPaPa MaMaMaMa GaGaGaGa ReReReRe SaSaSaSa

5. Aaroh- SaRe ReGa GaMa MaPa PaDha DhaNi NiSa
    Avroh- SaNi NiDha DhaPa PaMa MaGa GaRe ReSa

6. Aaroh- SaReGa ReGaMa GaMaPa MaPaDha PaDhaNi DhaNiSa
    Avroh- SaNiDha NiDhaPa DhaPaMa PaMaGa MaGaRe GaReSa

7.  Aaroh- SaReGaMa ReGaMaPa GaMaPaDha MaPaDhaNi PaDhaNiSa
    Avroh- SaNiDhaPa NiDhaPaMa DhaPaMaGa PaMaGaRe MaGaReSa

8. Aaroh- SaReGaMaPa ReGaMaPaDha GaMaPaDhaNi MaPaDhaNiSa
    Avroh- SaNiDhaPaMa NiDhaPaMaGa DhaPaMaGaRe PaMaGaReSa

9. Aaroh- SaReGaMaPaDha ReGaMaPaDhaNi GaMaPaDhaNiSa
    Avroh- SaNiDhaPaMaGa NiDhaPaMaGaRe DhaPaMaGaReSa

10. Aaroh- SaReGaMaPaDhaNi ReGaMaPaDhaNiSa
    Avroh- SaNiDhaPaMaGaRe NiDhaPaMaGaReSa

11. SaReGaMaPaDhaNiSaNiDhaPaMaGaReSa

12. Aaroh- SaGa ReMa GaPa MaDha PaNi DhaSa
      Avroh- SaDha NiPa DhaMa PaGa MaRe GaSa

13. Aaroh- SaReGaGa ReGaMaMa GaMaPaPa MaPaDhaDha PaDhaNiNi DhaNiSaSa
      Avroh- SaNiDhaDha NiDhaPaPa DhaPaMaMa PaMaGaGa MaGaReRe GaReSaSa

14. Aaroh- SaReGaGa ReGaMaMa GaMaPaPa MaPaDhaDha PaDhaNiNi DhaNiSaSa
      Avroh- DhaNiSaSa PaDhaNiNi MaPaDhaDha GaMaPaPa ReGaMaMa SaReGaGa

15. Aaroh- Sa SaReSa SaReGaReSa SaReGaMaGaReSa SaReGaMaPaMaGaReSa SaReGaMaPaDhaPaMaGaReSa SaReGaMaPaDhaNiDhaPaMaGaReSa SaReGaMaPaDhaNiSaNiDhaPaMaGaReSa
      Avroh- Sa SaNiSa SaNiDhaNiSa SaNiDhaPaDhaNiSa SaNiDhaPaMaPaDhaNiSa SaNiDhaPaMaGaMaPaDhaNiSa SaNiDhaPaMaGaReGaMaPaDhaNiSa SaNiDhaPaMaGaReSaReGaMaPaDhaNiSa

Monday, 14 September 2015

Description of Alankars

In this post we will discuss the description of all the Alankars:

1. Meend: Meend is nothing but a smooth glide in a bend manner or in a curve. The touch of the notes lying between the two notes is taken with the meend. Meend can be categorized into 2 parts: Basic Meend and Meend with rest on intermediate notes.

2. Khatka: Khatka is the little jerk or little break that you take.

3. Zamzama: Zamzama is a cluster of Khatkas taken together. Found more in Marathi and Punjabi songs.

4. Murki: Set of notes taken quickly together.

5. Andolan: Andolan is the slow oscillation of notes. It is use to give seriousness to the Raag.

6. Gamak: Gamak is shadowing of notes or giving weight to the notes to give an effect. Karnatic music use 'Kampit Gamak' which is weightage given to the notes with a shake.  

7. Kan or Sparsh Swar: The swars applied in Raag are never static. Each swar has a link with its preceding or succeeding note. These grace notes are called Kan Swars. kan means a small portion of a neighboring note used with the main note. It can be higher or lower than the main note. Sparsh swar is nothing but the movement of notes in ascending.

8. Krintan: The movement of notes in Krintan is descending.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Basic concepts of Taal

We briefly discussed the basic concepts of Taal in our previous post. Now lets discuss the same here in detail.

1. Tali: Each Taal is characterized by a particular pattern and number of claps called 'Tali'.

2. Khali: Khali is the wave of hands. These have a characteristic relationship with the claps.

3. Vibhag: Vibhag is the measure. Each clap or wave specifies a particular section or measure. These measures may be of any number of beats, yet most commonly 2,3,4 and 5 beats are used,

4. Matra: Matra is a beat. It can be subdivided if required.

5. Bol: Bol is the mnemonic system where each stroke of the drum has a syllable attached to it. That syllable is called Bol.

6. Thekka: Theka is a conventionally established pattern of bols, Tali, Khali, Vibhag which define that particular Taal. For eg. Theka for teen taal is

dha dhin dhin dha | dha dhin dhin dha | dha tin tin ta | ta dhin dhin dha

7. Laya: Laya in simple words is a Tempo. Basically it is divided into 3 parts: Slow (Vilambit), Medium (Madhya) or Fast (Drut). It can also be Ati Dhrut, Ati-Ati Dhrut, Ati Vilambit, Ati-Ati Vilambit.

8. Sam: First beat of any cycle is usually stressed and that is called Sam.

9. Avartan: Avartan is the basic cycle which is composed of 'Vibhag' and 'Matras'. Avartan may be of any number of beats. The most commonly used number of beats are 16, 12, 10, 8, 6. 

Monday, 13 July 2015

What is Taal or Tal or Tali?

Taal is the Indian Pattern of Rhythm in which certain beats called 'Bol' get repeated in every cycle. Each cycle has a fixed number of beats. For example Ek Taal has 12 beats, Teen Taal has 16 beats, Keherwa has 8 beats. Taal actually means clap in the performance. It is  an important component of Indian Classical music. Usually Tabla is used to play the taal in different tempos or speed.

Taal can be Fast (Dhrut Laya), Medium (Madhya Laya) or Slow (Vilambit Laya) depending on the composition. Laya can also be Ati Dhrut, Ati-Ati Dhrut, Ati Vilambit, Ati-Ati Vilambit. We will learn more about it in our future posts. Now lets learn the basic concepts of Taal.

Basic concepts of Taal:

  1. Tali or Bhari
  2. Khali
  3. Vibhag or Ang
  4. Matra
  5. Bol
  6. Theka
  7. Lay
  8. Sam
  9. Avartan
These concepts are discussed in detail here-