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Archive for October, 2008

HARMONYOM (N.Y.) presents East Indian Classical Music…

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on October 26, 2008

East Indian Classical Music/2nd Annual Concert…

Lee Torchia and Polash Gomes celebrate the birthday of Lee’s Guru PANDIT PRAN NATH (Nov 3, 1918 – June 13, 1996). Lee Torchia is a Disciple of Pandit Pran Nath, India ‘s acknowledged Master of Kirana Gharana Vocal.

Lee Torchia (Vocalist)

Lee Torchia (Vocalist)

Lee Torchia came to New York as an actress, and was introduced to the Indian Raga Singer, Pandit Pran Nath, and his Disciples, La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and the composer of “In C“, Terry Riley.

For the next twenty years, she studied Raga with Guruji, traveling to India with him many times, teaching and performing with him in Europe, and becoming his Initiated Disciple in January, 1996. She performs at colleges and festivals and lives and teaches in New York City.

Polash Gomes is an accomplished tabla player in New York area. He follows the line of the distinguished Lucknow baj a disciple of Dr. Mrinal Pal a senior disciple of Khanshaib Ustad Afaq Hussain Khan of Lucknow Gharana. He has also studied tabla under Pandit Swapan Chaudhri. He is the founder of Rageshree Music institute ( ), a not-for-profit organization.

Date: 2nd November 2008
Time: 3:00pm – 4:00pm

Location: Manhattan Plaza – Ellington Room (2nd Floor)
Street: 400 West 43 Street (43 Street and 9th Avenue)
City/Town: New York, NY

Price: Free and Open to the Public

More: ( Listen: )


Created by Veronique Lerebours in 2008, HarmoNYom is an organization based in New York and passionately dedicated to the love of Indian classical Music.

HarmoNYom’s aspiration is to promoting and building an awareness of Indian artists in the performing of music in New York and specifically of Indian Classical Music.
HarmoNYom’s mission is also to facilitate musicians, schools, teachers, promoters and organizations related to Indian Classical Music to connect.

coming soon:

Posted in Live around the globe | 1 Comment »

3. International Guitar Festival Münster – VISHWA MOHAN BHATT & SALIL BHATT

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on October 22, 2008

pro Gitarre is a society that features music around the guitar. Diverse artistical and pedagogical events aim at a wide audience. Besides that world-famous guitar soloists are presented by pro Gitarre.
Most likely no other instrument gained so much popularity as the guitar thanks to the 60ies and 70ies rock and pop music. But beyond that there is a great variety of styles and traditions that give the guitar an important role in music. Presenting that variety is one of pro Gitarre’s main purposes.

3. International Guitar Festival Münster

22. Oktober – 9. November
concerts in Münster, Ahlen, Oelde, Rheine und Stadtlohn

From 22 October to 9 November the great variety and versatility of the guitar will resonate in Münster: this instrument’s complete range of historical and contemporary styles, from early music to new music, from jazz to folk, will be represented. A guitar tour of twenty concerts will take us from Europe to South America and India; and since the featured instrument will have the opportunity to show us all its many sides, from solo interpretation to concerted virtuosity, it is certain: the extensive spectrum covered at the Third International Guitar Festival in Münster will now be even more extensive!
Reinbert Evers and the St. Christopher Orchestra will open the festival on October 22th with the premiere of three new compositions. The leading American lutenist Hopkinson Smith will offer a contrast with his fascinating insights into the historical performance style of plucked instruments. Two international ensembles, the Prague Guitar Quartet and the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, will also perform as guests in Münster.

The Joscho Stephan Quartet will dedicate itself to the jazz guitar, and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt will present the Indian slide guitar.

An exhibition of guitars and printed music as well as master classes led by Robert Aussel, Hopkinson Smith, and Jürgen Ruck will round out the festival offerings.

Samira Aly | Roberto Aussel | Vishwa Mohan Bhatt | Salil V. Bhatt | Reinbert Evers | Elena Càsoli | Igor Dedusenko | Reinbert Evers | Vitaly Ganeev | Erhard Hirt | Camilla Hoitenga | Bernd Kortenkamp | Benjamin Kradolfer-Roth | Paul Lovens | Jung Min Lee | Maximilian Mangold | Laurence Maufroy | Nihar Mehta | Wolf Moser | Krisitan Nyquist | Richard Pilkington | Hans Reichel | Sebastian Reimann | Jürgen Ruck | Takeo Sato | Max Schaaf | Stephan Schomaker | Hopkinson Smith | Günter Stephan | Joscho Stephan | Eduardo Swerts | Martin Theurer | Kazuhisa Uchihashi | Gereon Voß | Jens Wagner

Brazilian Guitar Quartet | Guitar Quartet Prague | Joscho Stephan Quartett | St.Christopher Chamber Orchestra Vilnius, conducted by Donatas Katkus

pupils of Musikschule Beckum Warendorf, Städt. Musikschule Hamm, Westf. Schule für Musik, Münster, Musikschule “crescendo” Münster, Musikschule Ahaus, Musikschule Borken and students of music high school Münster

& workshops, exhibition & masterclasses


for all concerts in Münster (except Erbdrostenhofkonzert Oct. 27.)
WN Ticket-Shop Prinzipalmarkt 13-14, 48143 Münster,
phone. 0049 (0)251/690-593, Mo-Fr: 9.00-18.00 Uhr, Sa 9.00-13.00

& local ticket shops

Münster festival pass: 85,- / ermäßigt 45,- EUR
for all concerts in Münster except Erbdrostenhof

Online tickets:

(Source: 10/2008 – pro Gitarre)

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DIWALI 2008… The ‘Row of Lights Festival’ starts 28th October

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on October 21, 2008

Diwali: Festival of Lights

Light Up Your Life!

Deepawali or Diwali is certainly the biggest of all Hindu festivals. It’s the festival of lights (deep = light and avali = a row i.e., a row of lights) that’s marked by four days of celebration, which literally illumines the country with its brilliance and dazzles all with its joy. Each of the four days in the festival of Diwali is separated by a different tradition, but what remains true and constant is the celebration of life, its enjoyment and goodness.


Historically, the origin of Diwali can be traced back to ancient India, when it was probably an important harvest . However, there are various legends pointing to the origin of Diwali. Some believe it to be the celebration of the marriage of Lakshmi with Lord Vishnu. Whereas in Bengal the festival is dedicated to the worship of Mother Kali, the goddess of strength. Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God, the symbol of auspiciousness and wisdom, is also worshipped in most Hindu homes on this day. In Jainism, Deepawali has an added significance to the great event of Lord Mahavira attaining the eternal bliss of nirvana. Diwali also commemorates the return of Lord Rama along with Sita and Lakshman from his fourteen year long exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana. In joyous celebration of the return of their king, the people of Ayodhya, the Capital of Rama, illuminated the kingdom with earthen diyas (oil lamps) and burst crackers.

These Four Days
Each day of Diwali has it’s own tale, legend and myth to tell. The first day of the festival Naraka Chaturdasi marks the vanquishing of the demon Naraka by Lord Krishna and his wife Satyabhama. Amavasya, the second day of Deepawali, marks the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth in her most benevolent mood, fulfilling the wishes of her devotees. Amavasya also tells the story of Lord Vishnu, who in his dwarf incarnation vanquished the tyrant Bali, and banished him to hell. Bali was allowed to return to earth once a year, to light millions of lamps to dispel the darkness and ignorance, and spread the radiance of love and wisdom. It is on the third day of Deepawali – Kartika Shudda Padyami that Bali steps out of hell and rules the earth according to the boon given by Lord Vishnu. The fourth day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya (also called Bhai Dooj) and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes.

The Significance of Lights & Firecrackers
All the simple rituals of Diwali have a significance and a story to tell. The illumination of homes with lights and the skies with firecrackers is an expression of obeisance to the heavens for the attainment of health, wealth, knowledge, peace and prosperity. According to one belief, the sound of fire-crackers are an indication of the joy of the people living on earth, making the gods aware of their plentiful state. Still another possible reason has a more scientific basis: the fumes produced by the crackers kill a lot of insects and mosquitoes, found in plenty after the rains.

The Tradition of Gambling
The tradition of gambling on Deepawali also has a legend behind it. It is believed that on this day, Goddess Parvati played dice with her husband Lord Shiva, and she decreed that whosoever gambled on Diwali night would prosper throughout the ensuing year.

From Darkness into Light…
In each legend, myth and story of Deepawali lies the significance of the victory of good over evil; and it is with each Deepawali and the lights that illuminate our homes and hearts, that this simple truth finds new reason and hope. From darkness unto light – the light that empowers us to commit ourselves to good deeds, that which brings us closer to divinity. During Diwali, lights illuminate every corner of India and the scent of incense sticks hangs in the air, mingled with the sounds of fire-crackers, joy, togetherness and hope. Outside India, Diwali is more than a Hindu festival, it’s a celebration of South-Asian identities. If you are away from the sights and sounds of Diwali, light a diya, sit quietly, shut your eyes, withdraw the senses, concentrate on this supreme light and illuminate the soul.

(Soure: 10/2008 | About Hinduism – Subhamoy Das (Hinduism Guide))

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Konzert für Indische Klassische Musik mit dem Meisterschüler von Ravi Shankar…

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on October 10, 2008

Shalil Shankar / Sitar & Swapan Bhattacharya / Tabla


Termin: Freitag den 10.Oktober 2008 ab 20 Uhr
Eintritt: 10,- Euro

Musikschule Universum Alltona
Amàlia-Rodrigues-Weg 6
S-Bahn Diebsteich – zu Fuss Leverkusenstr.25
Anfahrt über Stresemannstr. – Schützenstr.

Mobil +49 (0) 176 / 871 37 516
Office: +49 (40) / 181 68 255

Live-Konzert von Shalil Shankar & Pritam Singh

Konzert-Teilmitschnitt vom XIII Festival Hispanoamericano de la Guitarra

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SAIFF – South Asian International Film Festival 2008 (N.Y.C.)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on October 9, 2008

SAIFF 2008

SAIFF 2008

NEW YORK, NY – October 9, 2008 – HBO presents the fifth annual 2008 South Asian International Film Festival, SAIFF, with Official Founding Sponsor – SANA, from October 22-28 in New York City.
Featuring 50 of the most dynamic and acclaimed full-length films, shorts and documentaries, SAIFF will not only introduce a variety of ground-breaking independent South Asian cinema, but also discover new South Asian voices and celebrate established filmmakers across India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

This year’s seven-day festival kicks off Wednesday, October 22, 2008 with the feature film premiere of writer/director Nandita Das’ FIRAAQ and an opening night gala at the Ziegfeld Theatre at 141 West 54th Street at 6pm. The film is set over a 24-hour period, one month after carnage that took place in Gujarat, India, in 2002. It traces the emotional journeys of ordinary people – some who were victims, some perpetrators and some who chose to watch silently. FIRAAQ will be accompanied by a special post-film Q&A including Nandita Das, Paresh Rawal, and select members of the cast. And to close the 2008 Festival, SAIFF will screen RAMCHAND PAKISTANI, a true story from 2002 concerning the accidental crossing of the Pakistan-Indian border during a period of war-like tension between the two countries by two members of a Pakistani Hindu family.

Over the last five years SAIFF has surpassed all expectations with its superior track record of quality films and exploding attendance rates, with a record-breaking 8500 attendees in 2007, which is the largest festival of its kind in the US.

(Source: 10/09/2008 – South Asian International Film Festival 2008)

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Moderation Script (10/2008): The Indian Drones in Indian Classical Music… (Raga CDs of the Months)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on October 7, 2008


Posted in DE (German) | Leave a Comment »

Hyderabad: 6th ITC Sangeet Sammelan 2008

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on October 6, 2008


ITC Sangeet Sammelan, Hyderabad (4th-5th Oct 2008)

The 6th ITC Sangeet Sammelan, Hyderabad, was held on 4th and 5th October, 2008 at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Auditorium, Basheerbagh, Hyderabad. This year it was organized as a celebration of 30 musical years of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata. Mr. Pradeep Dhoble, Chief Executive, ITC’s Paperboards and Specilty papers division inaugurated the sammelan by lighting of the lamp. Executive Director, ITC-SRA Dr.Vidyadhar Vyas spoke at length about the activities of the academy and the scholarship scheme of the academy for youngsters who are interested to pursue their learning in classical music in the traditional “Guru-Shishya” parampara.


The festival began with the vocal recital of Jainul Abedin, who has taken rigorous “talim” in the true Guru-Shishya tradition at the ITC-SRA, from the doyen of the Agra gharana, Ustad Latafat Hussain Khan. He is currently working with the Prefect’s Department of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy. Jainul began his recital with khayal in Raga Yaman “ Sumaran Tora Tu Karim Rahim – Rabba Rehman” set to twelve beats Vilambit Ektaal followed by “’Mori Gagari Na Bharan De” in sixteen beats Madhyalaya Teentaal.He then took up a composition “ Durge Jagata Mate, Deena Daya Dani” in Raga Durga set to ten beats Jhaptaal.This composition brought about the Bhakti element in the festival at the apt time of the onset of the Navaratri festival. Jainul concluded with another beautiful composition “Ae Mori Durga Maa, Darashana Deeje Apane Bhagatana Ko” set to Teental. He was accompanied by seasoned Tabla player Anand Gopal Bandopadhyay and the fast moving fingers of Jyoti Guho on the Harmonium.

The next program was the all woman “Stree Shakti” ensemble lead by renowned tabla player Anuradha Pal. This ensemble consisted of Anuradha Pal on the Tabla, Ruchira Kale on the vocals, Anupriya Deotale on the violin, Sukanya Ramgopal on the Ghatam and Ranjani Siddanti on the Mridangam. The invocation song “Mahaganapatim” was sung by Ranjani Sidhanti accompanied by Sukanya Ramgopal on the Ghatam. This was followed by a vocal accompaniment “ Sajana More Ghara Aayo” wherein Anuradha Pal played a few rhythmic structures on the Tabla. After this, came the main item “Raga Taal Yatra” in which Ruchira Kale sang Raga Vibhas, Multani, Bageshree, Adana, Jog and Bhairavi accompanied by Anupriya Deotale on Violin, with the rhythms of Anuradha Pal on Tabla, Sukanya Ramgopal on Ghatam and Ranjani Sidhanti on Mridangam moving in beats ranging from 5 to 8 matras.This was a unique presentation of melody and rhythm.

The next day started with a Flute recital by Pandit Ronu Mazumdar, a disciple of Pandit Vijay Raghav Rao. Ronu Mazumdar started with a very detailed “Alaap” in Raga Marwa. But to everybody’s surprise he moved away from this raga and suddenly started a “Gat” in Raga Yaman Kalyan set to the seven beat Rupak Taal. He then played a composition in Raga Pilu and concluded the recital with the bhajan “Thumaka Chalata Ramachandra”. He was accompanied on the Flute by his disciple Kalpesh Sachla and on the Tabla by Ramdas Palsule.

The concluding recital of the festival was the much awaited Hindustani vocal recital by Ustad Rashid Khan. Ustad Rashid Khan, a torch bearer of the Rampur Sahaswan gharana is an ex scholar of the ITC – SRA and a disciple of his illustrious uncle Padmabhushan Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan. Ustad Rashid Khan began with Raga Bihag which brings the mood of romance and yearning. He started the program with a khayal “Mero Mana Aatako” in the twelve beats Vilambit Ektaal with a very detailed exploration of the Raga Bihag with Shudda Nishad and Shuddha Madhyam phrases being used very prominently. This was followed by ‘Aeri Ma Surajhana’ in ten beats Madhyalaya Jhaptaal.He concluded the raga with “Aali Ri Alabeli”in Drut teentaal. The sargams and taan patterns in the Raga Bihag showed the command of Ustadji over “Shruti” and “Laya”.He then went on to sing a khayal “Dekh bekh mana lalachaye” in Raga Sohini which was set to the sixteen beats Teentaal.The concluding item was a beautiful dadra “Tore Bina Mohe Chain, Brij Ke Nandlala” in Raga Kirwani which had the audience asking for more.Ustad Rashid Khan was ably accompanied on the Tabla by the very soft and sweet playing of Anand Gopal Bandopadhyay and the very apt Jyoti Guho on the Harmonium.

The Artists…

Photo Gallery…

(Source: © 10/2008 – ITC Sangeet Research Academy (promoted by ITC Limited))

Ustad Rashid Khan (Vocal) – Raga Bihag (Behag)… part 1

Ustad Rashid Khan (Vocal) – Raga Bihag (Behag)… part 2

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Raga CDs des Monats (10/08): Sie geben den Ton an! – Die Dronen in der indisch klassischen Musik.

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on October 3, 2008

Die Förderinitiative “IMC – India meets Classic” präsentiert mit IMC OnAir – IMCRadio.Net in seiner Oktobersendung das Thema “Sie geben den Ton an! – die Dronen in der indisch-klassischen Musik“.

In der musikalischen Welt beschreibt der Begriff “Drone” einen harmonischen Effekt und eine musikalische Begleitung, in der eine Note oder ein Akkord beständig über den Zeitraum eines Musikstückes erklingt, wiederholend und durchgängig auf gleichbleibender Tonhöhe.

Sie hören dazu Beispiele original indisch-klassischer Musik, mit dem Swarmandal und der Tanpura, Gesangsbeispiele der Bauls auf der Ektar und dem Dotar, in den Gesangsstilen Dhrupad und Khyal und dem Thumri der leichten Klassik.

Sendetermin: 7. Oktober 2008 – 21:00 Uhr (MESTZ)
(Sendewiederholung: 9. Oktober 2008 – 03:00 Uhr (MESTZ))
broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

In der indischen Musik werden die Dronen funktional eingesetzt. Sie schaffen eine Tonalität, eine Beziehung zwischen Klang, Ton und Akkord, auf die ein musikalisches Werk durchgehend aufbaut.

Die Tonika (Grundton) zu identifizieren, ist für das menschliche Ohr in der modalen Struktur der indischen Raga-s ohne vorhandene Akkorde (Intervalle von Ganz- und Halbtonschritten) nahezu unmöglich. Für eine Ragainterpretation übernehmen die Drohnen diese Funktion. Die Struktur einer Ragaskala wird verständlicher und mit dieser klanglichen Orientierungsebene können komplexe Modi entwickelt werden.
Dieser bedeutsame Effekt der Dronen kann auf ein akustisches Phänomen der Harmonik zurückgeführt werden. Es entstehen unterschiedliche Ebenen von Konsonanzen und Dissonanzen, ein Ergebnis der physikalischen Interaktion der Melodie mit den Tönen der Dronen.

In unterschiedlichen Bauweisen findet man die Dronen in der Indischen Klassik, gleichermaßen in der Nordindischen wie Südindischen. Es werden eine Vielzahl verschiedener Dronen verwendet. Es sind die Tanpura (o. Tambura), Ottu, Ektar, Dutar (Dotar oder Doutar), Surpeti, das Swarmandal (o. Surmandal) und Shank, eine Schneckenmuschel.

Die einfachsten Dronen spielen nur eine einzelne Note (z.B. Ektar), die ständig wiederholt wird. Dieser Ton wird auf die 1. Stufe, dem Sa (Shadaj) des Musikstückes oder eines Ragas gestimmt. Mit zwei Noten (z.B. 2-saitige Dotar) können bereits kompliziertere harmonische Effekte erzeugt werden. Im Gesang der nordindischen Klassik (Hindustani Sangeet) wie auch im südindischen Gesang (Carnatic Sangeet) tendiert man zur Stimmung auf die 1. und 5. Stufe (Sa – Pa).

Ektars und Dotars können sowohl als Dronen wie auch als Rhythmusinstrumente verstanden werden, bilden sie in ihrer Bauart und Spielweise beide Funktionen ab. Bezieht man die Musik- und Perkussionsinstrumente ein, ist die Anzahl der reinen Dronen, wie die Tanpura oder Surpeti viel geringer als die der Instrumente, die beide Funktionen abdecken können.

In der indischen Klassik, ist die Tanpura (o. Tambura) die führende Drone. – Die Tanpura ist das Instrument, das den Ton angibt !

Typisch für die nordindische Klassik, werden die Tanpuras im Miraj-Stile angefertigt. Mit ihrem tiefen Klang verkörpern sie das Männliche und werden zur Begleitung männlicher Gesangsstimmen eingesetzt. Man trifft die kleinere Ausführung in der südindischen Klassik an, als Tambura im Tanjore-Stil (eine Laute mit einer Länge von ca. 3-5 Fuss). Aufgrund ihrer höheren Tonlage werden sie bevorzugt als Begleitinstrument weiblicher Gesangsstimmen verwendet.
Die kleinste Bauart, die Tamburi kann mit einer Länge von 2-3 Fuss auch instrumental gespielt werden. Sie ist heutzutage sehr populär. Die Tamburis gibt es 4-, 5-, 6-saitig oder sogar mit noch mehr Saiten.

Das regulär 4-saitige Instrument kann sehr unterschiedlich gestimmt werden. Männliche Vokalisten stimmen die Tanpura in der Tonika auf die 1ste Stufe “SA”, das dem C# (Cis) entspricht. Sängerinnen stimmen um 1/5 höher. Für alle regulären Raga-s wird im Weiteren eine Saite auf die 5. Stufe “Pa” gestimmt. Die zwei Weiteren klingen auf der um eine Oktav höher liegenden Tonika mit (Pa – sa – sa – SA).
Für Ragas ohne 5. Stufe wird diese ersetzt durch die 4. Stufe “Ma”. Im zweiten Beispiel auf den Grundton “D” gestimmt (Ma – sa – sa – Sa).

Hörbeispiel 1: Grundton C# | Pa – sa – sa – Sa

Hörbeispiel 2: Grundton D | Ma – sa – sa – Sa

Sogar einige der indischen Perkussionsinstrumente werden in einer Weise gestimmt, um einen Droneneffekt zu verstärken. Während dem Spiel auf dem Mridangam und der Tabla klingt durchgehend die Tonika mit.

Die Dronen werden auch in der indischen Volksmusik (Folk), im Filmi Sangeet (Hindi Film Songs), für viele Lieder im indischen Film verwendet, in der leichten indischen Klassik, in Maharati oder Rabindranath Sangeet, also den Liedern im indischen Bundesstaat Maharestra oder des indischen Universalgenies Rabindranath Tagore.

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Raga CDs of the Months (10/08): They define the tone! – The Drones in Indian Classics.

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on October 3, 2008

IMC OnAir – IMCRadio.Net of the promotion initiative “IMC – India meets Classic” presents in October the topic “They define the tone! – The Drones in Indian Classical Music“.

In the musical world the term “drone” describes a harmonic effect and a musical accompaniment, in which a note or a chord is sounding steadily during the period of a music piece, repeating and constantly on a continuous pitch.

In October IMC OnAir presents examples of original Indian Classical music, with the Swarmandal and Tanpura, the Bauls (Indian bards) on the Ektar and Dotar, the vocal styles Dhrupad, Khyal (Hindustani) and Thumri of Indian light classics.

date of broadcasting: 7th October 2008 – 09:00 p.m. (MESTZ)
(repetition: 9th October 2008 – 03:00 a.m. (MESTZ))
broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

In Indian music the drones are used “functionally”. A tonality is set by these instruments on which a musical work (e.g. raga-s) is based, creating a relationship between sound, notes and chords.

To identify the Tonika (basic tone / 1st pitch) in the modal structure of Indian Raga-s is almost impossible for the human ear without existing chords (intervals) of whole and half-tone steps. For a raga interpretation the drones take over this function. The structure of a raga scale will be more understandably and with this reference (melodious orientation) complex modes can be developed.
This important effect of the drones can be led back on an acoustic phenomenon of the harmonics. Different levels of consonances and dissonances arise, a result of the physical interaction of the melody (raga scale) with the sound of the drones.

The drones in Indian Classics exist in different designs of construction, equally in music of North India same of South India. A multiplicity of different drones is used. There is the tanpura (or tambura), ottu, single stringed ektar, two stringed dutar (dotar or doutar), surpeti, the swarmandal (or surmandal) and shank, a snail shell.

The simplest drones only have a single note (e.g. one stringed ektar) only, which is constantly repeated. The tone is tuned on the 1st pitch of the piece of music or Raga scale, the SA (Shadaj). With two notes (e.g. two stringed dotar) harmonious and more complicated effects can be produced. In the singing of North Indian Classics (Hindustani Sangeet) same in South India (Carnatic Sangeet) the tuning is on 1st and 5th pitch (SA – PA).

Ektar and Dotar both can be understood as drones and as rhythm instruments, illustrating in their design and playing techniques both functions. Referring music and percussion instruments the number of pure drones (e.g. tanpura or surpeti) is smaller than those which can cover both functions.

In Indian Classics the tanpura (or tambura) is the dominating drone. – It’s the instrument, which defines the tone!

Typically for North Indian Classics the Tanpura is made in the Miraj style. It’s deep sound embodies the male and is used to accompany male vocalists. One finds the smaller execution in South Indian Classics in the Tanjore style as Tambura (lute with a length of approx. 3-5 foot). Due to their higher pitch the tambura-s are preferred accompanying female singers.
The smallest design is the Tamburi. Nowadays the tamburi with a length of 2-3 foot is very popular as drone. With four, five or six strings (even with more) it can be played instrumentally.

Regularly the tanpura is four stringed and can be tuned very differently. Male vocalists tune the tonika as 1st pitch “SA” corresponding to C# (C sharp). Female singers are tuned around 1/5 more highly. For all regular raga-s one further string is tuned on the 5th pitch “Pa” (G). The remaining two strings are resonating to the Tonika one octave more highly (Pa – sa – sa – Sa).

For raga-s without 5th pitch in the tuning of the tanpura the “Pa” it is replaced by the 4th pitch “Ma” (Ma – sa – sa – Sa). In the following example 2 tuned “D” as tonica.

hearing example 1: basic tone (pitch) C# | Pa – sa – sa – Sa (G – C#’ – C#’ – C#)

hearing example 2: basic tone (pitch) D | Ma – sa – sa – Sa (F – D’ – D’ – D)

Even some of the Indian percussion instruments are tuned in a way to strengthen a drone effect. With the play on the Mridangam and Tabla continuously the tonica is resonating.

The drones are used also in Indian folk music, in Filmi Sangeet (songs of Hindi films), in Indian Light Classics, in Maharati or Rabindranath Sangeet, thus the songs in the Indian Federal State Maharastra and compositions of India’s universal genius Rabindranath Tagore.

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SPICMACY (Cornwell University): Anupama Bhagwat (Sitar) & Samrat Kakkeri (Tabla)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on October 2, 2008


Spicmacay | Cornell University (Ithaka, NY – USA)

Posted in Live around the globe | Leave a Comment »

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