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Archive for April, 2023

CH – Raga CDs of the months (04/2023): RAGAS & SAX … Indian Saxophonists

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on April 24, 2023

Out of the series “Ragas on Western Instruments” the promotion initiative IMC – India meets Classic presents in April 2023 @ Radio RaSA via IMC OnAir – IMCRadio.Net the topic Ragas & Indian saxophone players.

In our shows of the past already two instruments of the West were presented, which have found a firm place in (South) Indian Classics: the Harmonium as accompaning instrument and the Violin. This bowed instrument is a component of each performance of the South Indian Classical music (Carnatic). The violin is established as solo main instrument in the North Indian Classical music (Hindustani).

Originally the saxophone was dedicated for symphonic orchestras. It was invented of the Belgian Adolphe Sax in the year 1840 and patented in France.

date of broadcasting…

24th April 2023 – 10:00-10:58 p.m. CEST (04:00 p.m. EST) @ Radio RaSA (CH)
(premiere: 5th August 2008 – 09:00 pm CET @ Tide Radio 96.0 FM)
broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

With the arising of Jazz music the triumphant advance of this instrument began in its most different remarks: as Alto, Tenor, Soprano, Baritone or Bass saxophone

With the implementation of African, Eastern and also Indian influences the Jazz Avantguardist John Coltrane expressed his spiritual attitude in his quartet.



IndoJazz as new genre was justified of the Indian composer John Mayer with the Quintett IndoJazzFusions in the 60’s (20th century). This formation considerably had a major influence onto the establishment of the saxophone in India.

f.l.t.r.: Dr. Kadri Gopalnath, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Prasant Radhakrishnan

Dr. Kadri Gopalnath.Rudresh Mahanthappa.Prasant Radhakrishnan

Particularly the concerts of Prasant Radhakrishnan in India with compositions in a slow tempo and a controlled demonstration of the ornaments of Indian Ragas (e.g. gamaka-s) have contributed that the image of the saxophone in India has changed as a loud and fast instrument, which is suitable at best to practise technical exercises.

The connection between Jazz and Indian Classical music, the interpretation of raga scales on an instrument which is typical for Jazz, lies in the modal structure. To cite the German music journalists and producer Joachim Ernst Berendt (1922-2000), internationally known as ‘Jazz Pope‘:

What all these musicians play – the Asian like the Western – differ of the traditional European music by the fact that it is ‘modal’. This means: it is not based on the constantly changing Accordgerists, which is dominating our occidental music, more it is set up on a scale, a ‘mode’ – finally on only one chord… Want to say: It is much more calmly, very less nervous…

[Book Source: “Die Welt ist Klang – Nada Brahma” (vollst.: Die Landschaft des Bewusstsein”), 1988 ]

Our listening examples: Indian Jazz musician Rudresh Mahanthappa (sax) together with Dr. Kadri Gopalnath (sax) in the Dakshina Ensemble, Dr. Kadri Gopalnath & Pravin Godkhindi (Bansuri – Indian bamboo flute), Prasant Radhakrishnan (sax), the Indian composer John Mayer (violin), John Coltrane (sax), Charlie Mariano (sax) & Indian singer/composer R.A. Ramamani (founder of JazzYatra).

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A – Raga CDs of the Month (04-05/2023): ANGA – Location of a Raga (part 1 and 2)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on April 22, 2023

The promotion initiative IMC – India meets Classic presents its monthly radio programme (and worldwide as webradio) monthly every 2nd and 4th Sunday @ Radio FRO with the topic: “ANGA – Location of a Raga“.

In one of our previous programs, we dealt with the ornamentation of the ragas, ” Alankaras – 10 Types of Raga Ornaments “. The Alankara-s are the core for the development and beauty of a raga. While in modern classical music of the West is the ornament of the decorate the melody line, an Indian music maestro will improvise on the ornaments of a raga. It is a steady flow of the music bending the swara-s (notes) together. This kind of glissando is known as Meend (Alankara type). The oldest written documents with description of 33-s Alankara are being dated back to 100-200 years BC, such as the Natya Shastra of sage Bharata. In the 17th century describes the Sangeet Parijat (written by Ahobal) 63 and 68 types of Alankaras. Until as recently (100-150 years back) it became Shabdalankar as the latest Alankara classification.

dates of broadcasting…

part 1 : 23rd April 2023 – 06:00 – 06:58 EST (11:00-11:58 pm CEST) Radio FRO (A)

part 2 : 14th May 2023 – 06:00 – 06:58 EST (11:00-11:58 pm CEST) Radio FRO (A)

broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

Other classification criteria for the identification of raga-s are the so called Pakad-s. The term Pakad describes the identification of a Raga scale. Pakad should not be confused with the German concept of music leitmotif (guiding motif) or (melodic) phrasing.

Raag Deepak, in Ragamala by Sahibdin 1605.

Raag Deepak, in Ragamala by Sahibdin 1605 (source:

The Pakad-s describe patterns and salient features of each Raga form. This grammar is used in Indian classical music of North and South India not for the technical execution, it is much more an aesthetic description, like a Raga performance always has focus onto a singular emotional expression (rasa). You should refer to IMC’s former radio show “Nava Rasa-s – the 9 moods of the ragas” in our media archive: .

The parameters of Pakad-s include the term Anga. Functionally Anga is the “location of a raga”. In the translation Anga means: A portion of a whole. In Indian classical music with reference to the octave of main seven (7) notes the principal notes are divided into two segments = two Angas. There is the deeper segment of a lower tetrachord* (= poorvanga) … and an overlying tetrachord (= uttaranga) in the higher octave, each with three small musical intervals.
*) In general a tetrachord is of four (4) notes. This term derives from the Greek. The meaning of the word tetrachord means just: four (4) strings … (Rec.: In relation to the ancient Greece harp-like instruments). The interstices of a tetrachord are formed by three intervals. In a Ragaskala these are for the deeper tetrachord from the first four main grades: Sa-Re, Re-Gha and Gha-Ma. In the Western notiation it matches: the first and 2nd pitch: C-D, the 2nd-3rd and 3rd-4th pitch: D-E and E-F. The overlying, second tetrachord begins on the 5th pitch: Pa-Dha, Dha-Ni and Ni-Sa’ accordingly: G-A, A-B, B-C’.

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DE – Raga CDs of the Month (04/2023): Alankaras – 10 Types of Raga Ornaments

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on April 17, 2023

IMC OnAir’s monthly radio show being broadcasted in April 2023 @ (and worldwide as webradio) is concerning the Alankar-s. They can be grouped in four main types (with 10 different characters).

The Indian term Alankar or Alankara originates from Sanskrit, the old science language of India. The meaning is various: decoration (jewelry), literary embellishment or decoration. As Sabda Alankara it designates as ornaments by sound, decorative use of sound or use of decorating words. The last classification in Indian Classics before approx. 100-150 years was known also as Shabdalankar.

dates of broadcasting…

17th April 2023 – 3:00 – 4:58 pm EST (09:00 – 10:58 pm CEST) @ (DE / Hamburg)
(premiere @ radio 17th August/21st Sept 2009 (10:00 pm CET))
broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

Compared with the earlier classification Shabdalankar, in that the Indian schools of music (Gharana-s) exhibited substantial differences. In our current times it is reduced as common clustering to the treatment of the Indian notes, the swara-s. There is:

1. Asthai Alankar – the return to the initial note,
2. Arohi Alankar – a note sequence in the ascending scale,
3. Amrohi Alankar – a note sequence in the descending scale and
4. Sanchari Alankar as a combination of type 1-3.

In the baroque area of Western classics the ornaments served mainly for the decoration of melody lines. Vocalists improvised with the ornaments like we know it till this day from the Irish music tradition. Indian notes are “not static”, here briefly played Staccato notes (in Italian staccare means “tears off”) or single notes played “stand alone” are not audible.

4 examples of Alankara-s (Source: Sitar Technique in Nibaddh Forms (written by Stephen Slawek, 1987))

4 examples of Alankara-s (Source: Sitar Technique in Nibaddh Forms (written by Stephen Slawek, 1987))

The Swara-s are located in constant connection to each other. Each note is linked with the previous one and following. Such ”grace notes“ – Kan-Swara-s – are the basis for each form of ornaments, the Alankara-s. They are the core for the development and beauty of Ragas.

The earliest reference to this term can be found in the Natyashastra with 33 Alankars, an elementar work to the visual arts of acient India written by the sage “Bharata”. It is dated between 200 BC and 200 AC. Further important treatises for the classification of the Alankars are the Sangeet Ratnakar of Sharangdev in 13th century and the Sangeet Parijat of Ahobal in 17th Century, in which 63 and 68 types of Alankars are described.

Alankars Technique for the Sitar (video tutorial @ eHow)
by Amelia Maciszewski (Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology) –

Alankars Technique for the Sitar: How to Play the Sitar...

Kan-Sawra-s in a Classic Raag Bhairavi
by violinist Milind

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17th World Congress of Music Therapy (24-29/07/2023)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on April 11, 2023

The World Federation of Music Therapy (WFMT) is excited to announce it’s next World Congress. Within a total time frame of six years (pre-)planning it will be held in Vancouver, Canada from July 24th till 29th, 2023 in partnership with the Canadian Association of Music Therapists (CAMT).

The World Congress of Music Therapy is held every three years. Music therapy professionals and experts in related fields from around the world gather at the congress to share ideas, experiences, trends, and research outcomes. 

The World Congress of Music Therapy is hosted by a WFMT organizational member in conjunction with a local host. The site of each congress is determined by a bid process undertaken by the WFMT Council six years in advance. The Federation makes an effort to circulate the location of the congresses among the eight regions.

Official website:

Posted in Health Care, Music Paedagogic Work, Music-Human-Medicine, Musik und Public Health | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

CH – Raga CDs of the months (04/2023): Surs(h)ringar… pathfinder of the Sarode

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on April 10, 2023

Sursringar, behind this “exotic term” is an Indian instrument of the family Tata Vadya, so called chordophones*. Tata is derived from “Tan“, in it’s meaning “pulled on tension“.
The Indian violin, the Sarangi, Indian lutes (Veenas), Sitar and Sarod, Santoor, Surbahar (Bassitar), Tanpura or the Sursringar belong all together to the group of Tata Vadya.

The origin of the Sursringar is remarkable. This stringed instrument roots back to Afghan origin. – The instrument of the Pashtuns is the Rabab. The Pashtuns are East Iranian people living all over South and Central Asia. Before approx. 2500 years the Rabab was introduced to Afghanistan. In India the Rabab (Seni Rabab) was used since the 16th century, during the Mogul regency of Akbar.

dates of broadcasting…

10th April 2023 – 04:00 pm EST (10:00 pm CET) @ radio RaSA (CH)
(premiere: 2nd Sept. 2008 – 09:00 pm MESTZ @ Tide Radio)
InternetStream | PodCasting | broadcasting plan

After the use at Akbar’s court the Rabab was modified at round about 1830 by Jafar Khan, a descendant of Tansen, who was a famous musician at the court of Akbar. The play on the Rabab covered with gut strings was particularly in the monsoon time of India problematic in it’s tuning.
Javar added a metallic finger board, a wooden head, metal strings of steel and bronze and a bridge similarly the Sitar. 6 play strings and 2 strings for the rhythm run over a flat horn bridge. It is positioned on the sounding body which is closed with a timber cover.

The Sursringar is developed from three different instruments. Beside the Afghan Rabab there is the Mahati Veena and Kachhapi Veena. – The Veenas, the Indian lutes are one of the oldest instruments of India.

The small gourd as resonator and the string anchorage at the neck are elements of the Mahati Veena. The flat sounding body made of a horizontal cut opened gourd is similarly to the Kachhapi Veena (popular called as Kachhapi Sitar).

All modifications of Jafar Khan became well known as Sursringar and remind very much of the Sarod. The Sursringar is understood today as the forerunner (pathfinder) of the Sarod and named as Bass sarode. The tonal quality of the Sarod on it’s own was improved in recent time by modifications of the living legend Ali Akbar Khan.

*) Chordophones are with strings configured instruments. They can be bowed, picked by fingers or a plektrum, or the chords can be stroken by a kind of hammer or pair of sticks.

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A – Raga CDs of the months (03-04/2023): Ragamala-s – Miniature Paintings (part 2 of 2)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on April 8, 2023

R A G A M A L A (part 1 & 2)
poetry – picture – music … the spoken image of raga paintings.

Beside extraordinary music compositions of North Indian Classic (Hindustani) and South Indian music (Carnatic) the art work on the sub continent is documented by impressive palaces and monumental painting e.g. the frescos from the cave temples of Ajanta, dated back to the 2nd till 1st century. A unique painting art had been developed, too. The hand writing illumination and the Indian miniature paintings, the so called >raga mala-s< were established correlating with the Indian music and corresponding with the raga form directly.

dates of broadcasting…

Sunday, 26th March 2023 (part 1) – 05:00 pm EST (11:00 p.m. CET) @ Radio FRO (A)

Sunday, 9th April 2023 (part 2) – 05:00 pm EST (11:00 p.m. CET) @ Radio FRO (A)
(premiere: 6th March & 3rd April 2007 @ Tide Radio 96.0 FM)

broadcasting plan | streaming (Internet Radio & Mobile Radio) | podCast

Many hundred of years before the >raga mala-s< each raga got its counterpart by a ragini, the female form of a raga, basically male and a form of psyche (rupa). Rupa manifestates itself in two different profiles. By the music scientists of India they have been differentiated as nadamaya-rupa, the pure sound structure of melodies and devatamaya-rupa, the hidden prototype of the devine wisdom. The Indian miniature paintings belong to the second category. They shall awake in the viewers mind and his imagination a kind of „harmony, corresponding with the picture motives. Painted ragas work similar as a Yantra to realise a spiritual status, comparable with the results of Yoga exercises.

Ragini Kamodini Raga Lalita Ragini Danashre Raga Hindol
Indian miniature paintings ragamala-s

In its origin meaning the painting art of miniatures have a religious character. The performance get an illustration of handwritings, less to express the enjoy of art than more to aquire religious earnings.

The music inspired Indian miniature paintings are unique, a complex form of art, nowhere else in any art form of the world to be met. They had their bloom time around the regency of Akbar, one of four rulers of the Moghul time beside Jehangir, Shah Jehan and Aurangzeb, who all have been very important for India. The Mughul style of the raga mala-s is dated between 1556 and 1605.

The period of this kind of painting ended in 1658. Future generations owe to the miniature painting a demonstration with all details of the religious, spiritual and materialistic cultures of that time. Very late the meaning of the illustrations as a music inspired painting has been understood very late. The manuscript of Kalpasutra (Jinacaritra) became public in 1956. It is dated to the end of the 15th century.

The IMC broadcasting show „RAGAMALA … poetry – painting – music … the spoken image of raga paintings is referring to the Western painting style. The Eastern one expired in India when the Bhuddism was destroyed by the Islamic conquest of North India in the 13th century … and survived only in some few schools for painting in Nepal and Tibet.

Whats the interesting aspect of these little formats nowadays ? – As a first impression of Indian miniature paintings, most viewer from Western world experience the raga mala-s with a kind of strangeness. The beauty is locked at first sight by a specific code. For the modern man of the 21st century raga mala-s are fascinating by their shining colours, presented strictly seperated from each other. Red, blue, white, green and black occur mainly.

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