IMC – India meets Classic presents …

… radio shows for Indian (Music) Culture

Archive for June 24th, 2012

CH – Raga CDs of the Months (06/12): Microtones in Hindustani Sangeet – the Microtonal Structure of Indian Ragas.

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on June 24, 2012

IMC OnAir – IMCRadio.Net of the promotion initiativeIMC – India meets Classic” presents for its radio show in June the topic “Microtones in Hindustani Sangeet – the microtonal Structure of Indian Ragas“.

The micro-tonal (interval) structure existed in the medieval Western music and in the age of Baroque till the 18th century – and disappeared after the mathematical discoveries in music by the Swiss physicist and mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707-1783). In 1739 Euler wrote his “tentamen novae theoriae musicae“.

The Indian classical music is connected closest with the term of “micro tones” for more than 2000 years. First Sanskrit text with designation of micro-tonal intervals is the Natya Sastra of Bharata Muni, dated 200 B.C. – 200 A.C..
Bharata describes a Raga not as scale, but as a “tonal colouring”, which affects the heart and human mind. The meaning of the notes is assigned by eight (8) defined emotions (expression of moods). “Santa” = peaceful was added later by AbhinavaGupta as the 9th emotion (rasa). We refer in addition to our broadcasting “Nava Rasa-s – the nine moods of Indian Raga-s”.

date of broadcasting…

 25th June 2012 – 04:00 pm EST (10:00 p.m. MEST) @ Radio RaSA (CH)
(premiere: 4th November 2008 – 09:00 pm CET @ Tide Radio)
InternetStream (Web & Mobile Radio) | PodCasting | broadcasting plan

The microtones have a relevant influence onto the development of Indian instruments for centuries. For the artistic arrangement of a raga in it’s modal form (see Jazz) consciously sound acoustic phenomena are used by consonances and dissonances for offering the listener a referencial level, the tonica as basic tone (1st pitch) on which a raga scale in it’s ascending and descending form is developed. We lit up the sound characteristics of Indian music in our broadcasting “Indian Drones“.
Within a firmly given tonal framework of three (3) octaves the interpreter of a raga  – vocalist same as instrumentalist – arranges this modus (Jati) by a specific ornamentic, Alankar.

The alankars fulfill the structural and aesthetic requirements by two maintypes: Varnalankar – four (4) forms of the note arrangement and Shabdalankar, a classification of singing and playing techniques for the melodic and rhythmic arrangement. The Sangeet Ratnakar of Sharangdev and Ahobal’s Sangeet Parijat – musical treatises of the 13th and 17th century – designate 63 and 68 alankars. This high number of ornamental elements is symptomatic for the complexity of Indian Ragas.

An ascending or descending raga scale can consist of 5, 6 or 7 main notes within an octave. There are thousands of combinations of the ascending and descending scales.

The entire Raga grammar develops on the micro-tonal intervals. The Hindustani and Carnatic Sangeet are based on the concept of “Raga Sangeet“. – Sangeet means “singing together” or “singing with instrumental accompany“. Colloquially one may understand with the terms “Raga music – Raga Sangeet“, “classical music of Northern India” (Hindustani Sangeet) and “classical music of South India” (Carnatic Sangeet).

The main notes of the North Indian Ragas (Hindustani) correspond to the 72 Ragams of the Carnatic Sangeet. Since the 19th century the Ragams are defined in details with their derivatives in the so called Melakarta system. The North Indian Classics (Hindustani) is described inaccurately in the so called Thaat system, with 10 main raga-s (male) and their derivatives, the ragini-s (female).

For the conception of the micro-tonal structure we can orientate us in the Western music system which is named “equal temperament” with a series of equal steps (equal frequency ratios). Visible on the piano keyboard, the octave is divided into twelve half-tone steps, with seven (7) main and (5) half tone steps.
The seven (7) main notes, Sapta Swaras, we regain equally in the raga scales, the Moorchana-s. Five (5) of these seven main notes can be played up to twice increased and up to triple degraded, with exception of the fixed 1st (Sa) and 5th (Pa) pitch.

22 shruti-s in an octave (ascending scale: S (Shadja) – S’ (Tara Shadja))

Altogether 22 so called shruti-s, a kind of “natural scale” of micro-tonal structure with frequency steps smaller than the half-tone steps are still perceptibly and distinguishable for the human ear. Shruti means in Sanskrit: “that which is heard“.


In the November show we present examples on the Santoor, the Sitar and Sarangi, the Indian Fiddel, on the Sarode, the Indian flute Bansuri, the Harmonium and the violin and in the vocal style of Hindustani Khayal and Thumri (Indian Light Classics).

Special developments of micro-tonal structures as exist in the Dhrupad, the oldest vocal style in North Indian Classics IMC OnAir – IMCRadio.Net will treat in details by another broadcasting.

Posted in ENG (English), IMC OnAir - News | Leave a Comment »

The Tribune: India, EU to begin talks on free trade agreement (06/24/2012)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on June 24, 2012

by Ashok Tuteja (Tribune News Service)

(New Delhi, June 24) – Their is still a big question mark on whether the much-anticipated Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and the European Union (EU) will fructify this year. India and the EU will hold talks on Tuesday in Brussels to resolve differences over the pact that is expected to give a major boost to bilateral trade between the two sides.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma will hold substantive discussions with EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht to explore the possibility of signing the accord as early as possible, according to Joao Cravinho, EU Ambassador to India. The two sides would also review the progress made in the talks under way since 2007. The India-EU summit in February this year had set a deadline of the year-end for concluding the pact.

Asked if the accord could come through this year, Cravinho was quite evasive, saying ”both sides will need to make a trade off…I think it is within grasp.”

Indications are that Sharma and Gucht would deliberate on issues like opening of services sector, which still remain unresolved.

Cravinho expressed his disappointment over what he called New Delhi increasing protectionism by raising already high tariff on car import, erratic cotton exports policy and insisting on higher domestic content by foreign telecom manufacture in India.

“The EU is committed as a whole to trade liberalisation. However, there are some protectionist measures like the rising car tariffs in India, the country’s back and forth policy on cotton exports and the domestic content requirement in manufacturing of telecom equipment which need to be resolved,” he said.

As part of the bilateral investment and trade agreement, the EU has been pitching for opening up automobiles, wines and spirits as part of the free trade agreement that is being negotiated between India and EU. However, the two sides are yet to arrive at a consensus on these critical issues as Indian automobile industry feels that this would hurt the domestic manufacturers.

India has, traditionally, kept automobiles in the negative list under free trade agreements with other countries like Japan, Malaysia, Korea, ASEAN and Singapore. The EU, meanwhile, is reluctant to open up movement of professionals from India to the EU under Mode 4 to ensure job creation for its own people. Besides, the grouping has also been raising non-trade issues like human rights, child labour and environment during the ongoing negotiations for a broad based agreement.

According to Cravinho, the European Commission has also mandated that the objective of the negotiation should be to push for a single investor treaty with India, instead of several bilateral investor treaties that India currently has with some EU nations. The European Commission has already indicated to India that it was now looking at a single investor treaty.

“This was not part of the investment agreement when we started in 2007. However, the mandate for a single investor treaty has widened the investment negotiations,” he said, adding that though this will take several years before it comes into practice. This seems to be the fallout of the Indian government’s recent move to retrospectively tax overseas transactions involving Indian assets in the Vodafone tax case.

India and the EU have been negotiating the FTA for the past five years. It was initially expected to be concluded in 2011. But differences on the level of opening of the market have hampered the progress on the negotiations. However, the two partners are now working at concluding a deal by the end of 2012. The EU as an economic bloc is India’s largest trade partner.

The objectives

  • India and European Union will resume talks in Brussels on Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to resolve differences over the pact that is expected to give a major boost to bilateral trade between the two sides
  • The two sides will review the progress made in the negotiations under way since 2007
  • They will explore the possibility of signing the accord as early as possible
  • Will also deliberate on issues like opening of services sector, which still remain unresolved
  • The India-EU summit in February this year had set a deadline of the year-end for concluding the pact

Single investor treaty

The European Commission has also mandated that the objective of the negotiation should be to push for a single investor treaty with India instead of several bilateral investor treaties that India currently has with some EU nations. The Commission has already indicated to India that it was now looking at a single investor treaty.

(Source: 06/24/2012 – The Tribune | Tribune News Service)

Related articles

Posted in Days of India, Economics (news), Politics (news) | Leave a Comment »

CH – Raga CDs des Monats (06/12): Mikrotöne im Hindustani Sangeet. – Die mikrotonale Struktur indischer Ragas.

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on June 24, 2012

Die Förderinitiative “IMC – India meets Classic” präsentiert in seiner Junesendung das Thema “Mikrotöne im Hindustani Sangeet – die mikrotonale Struktur indischer Ragas“.

Die mikrotonale (Intervall-)Struktur war in der mittelalterlichen Musik des Westens und im Zeitalter des Barocks, bis in’s 18. Jahrhundert hinein präsent. – Und verschwand erst nach den mathematischen Entdeckungen in der Musik durch den Schweizer Physiker und Mathematiker Leonhard Euler (1707-1783). Im Jahre 1739 verfasste Euler das “Tentamen novae theoriae musicae“.

Die indisch klassische Musik ist mit dem Begriff “Mikrotöne” seit mehr als 2000 Jahren auf’s Engste verbunden. Der erste im Sanskrit verfasste Text mit Benennung von mikrotonalen Intervallen ist das Natya Sastra von Bharata Muni, datiert zwischen 200 Jahre vor und etwa 200 Jahre nach Christi Geburt.
Bharata beschreibt einen Raga nicht als Skala, sondern als “tonale Färbung”, die das Herz und den Verstand des Menschen berührt. Hier kommt die Bedeutung der Noten mit Zuweisung von 8 definierten Stimmungen zum Ausdruck. “Santa“, d.h. friedfertig wurde später von AbhinavaGupta hinzugefügt. Wir verweisen dazu auf unsere Sendung “Nava Rasa-s – die neun Stimmungsbilder der indischen Ragas“.


25. Juni 2012 – 22:00 Uhr MESTZ (04:00 pm EST) @ Radio RaSA (CH)
(Premiere: 4. November 2008 – 21:00 MESTZ @ Tide Radio)
InternetStream (Web & Mobile Radio) | PodCasting | broadcasting plan

Die Mikrotöne haben seit Jahrhunderten einen massgeblichen Einfluss auf die Entwicklung indischer Instrumente. Zur künstlerischen Ausgestaltung eines Ragas in seiner modalen Form (vgl. Jazz) werden bewusst klangakkustische Phänomene von Konsonanzen und Dissonanzen eingesetzt, um für den Zuhörer die Referenzebene, die Tonika als Grundton verständlich zu machen, auf die eine Ragaskala in ihrer aufsteigenden und absteigenden Form (Modus) aufbaut. Die Ursache für die Klangcharakteristik der indischen Musik haben wir in unserer Sendung “indische Dronen” ein wenig beleuchtet.
In einem fest vorgegebenen tonalen Rahmen – innerhalb eines Tonumfangs von drei (3) Oktaven – bewegt sich der Interpret eines Ragas, Vokalist oder Instrumentalist… und gestaltet diesen Modus (Jati) durch eine Ornamentik, Alankar.

Alankars erfüllen in zwei Ausprägungen die strukturellen und ästhetischen Anforderungen: Varnalankar – das sind vier (4) Formen des Notenarrangements und Shabdalankar, eine Klassifizierung von Gesangs- und Spieltechniken für die melodische und rhythmische Gestaltung. Das Sangeet Ratnakar von Sharangdev und Ahobal’s Sangeet Parijat – es sind musikalische Abhandlungen aus dem 13. und 17. Jahrhundert – benennen 63 bzw. 68 Alankars. Diese hohe Zahl ornamentischer Elemente ist sympthomatisch für die Komplexität indischer Ragas.

Eine aufsteigende oder absteigende Ragaskala kann innerhalb einer Oktave aus 5, 6 oder 7 Hauptnoten bestehen. Es gibt tausende von Kombinationen der aufsteigenden und absteigenden Skala.
Die Hauptnoten der nordindischen Ragas korrespondieren mit den Ragams des Carnatic Sangeet, den 72 Ragams der südindischen Klassik. Die Ragams sind mit ihren Ableitungen im Melakarta-System seit dem 19. Jahrhundert auf’s Genaueste definiert. Dagegen bildet sich die nordindische Klassik (Hindustani) nur ungenau in dem s.g. Thaat-Sytem ab, mit 10 Hauptraga-s (männl. Typus) und ihren Ableitungen, den Ragini-s (weibl. Typus).

Die gesamte Raga-Grammatik baut auf die mikrotonalen Intervalle auf. Dem Hindustani und Carnatic Sangeet liegt das Konzept von “Raga Sangeet” zugrunde. – Sangeet bedeutet “gemeinsam singen” oder “Gesang mit instrumentaler Begleitung”. Umgangssprachlich darf man mit diesem Termini “Ragamusik – Raga Sangeet”, und die “Musik der nordindischen und südindischen Klassik – Hindustani und Carnatic Sangeet” verstehen.

Für die Vorstellung der miktrotonalen Struktur können wir uns der westlichen Musik, der gleichstufigen, gleichtemperierten Stimmung bedienen. Wie es sich auf der Klaviertastatur abbildet, teilt man den Oktavraum in zwölf Halbton-Schritte ein, mit 7 Haupt- und 5 Halbtonschritten.
Die sieben (7) Hauptnoten, Sapta Swaras, finden wir gleichermassen in den Ragaskalen wieder, den Moorchana-s. Fünf (5) dieser sieben (7) Hauptnoten können bis zu 3x erniedrigt und 2x erhöht gespielt werden, mit Ausnahme der 1. (Sa) und 5. Stufe (Pa).

22 Shruti-s in einer Oktave (aufsteigende Skala: S (Shadja) – S’ (Tara Shadja))

Insgesamt ergeben sich 22 s.g. Shruti-s, eine “natürliche Skala” in einer mikrotonalen Struktur mit Frequenzabständen geringer als die uns bekannten Halbtonschritte, für das menschliche Ohr aber noch wahrnehmbar und unterscheidbar. Shruti bedeutet im Sanskrit: “das was man hört” (that which is heard).


In der Novembersendung hören Sie Beispiele auf dem Santoor, der Sitar und Sarangi, der indischen Fiddel, auf der Sarode, der indischen Flöte Bansuri, dem Harmonium und der Violine und in den indischen Gesangsstilen Khayal und Thumri.

Auf spezielle Ausprägungen mikrotonaler Strukturen wie im Dhrupadgesang, dem ältesten Gesangsstile in der indischen Klassik, wollen wir in einer eigenen Sendung näher eingehen.

Posted in ENG (English), IMC OnAir - News | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: