Jonathan Neumann Historic Traditions 3: World Music Final Presentation / Paper That’s The musical tradition of Northern Indian Hindustan music is built on different conceptions of musical components than our traditional Western music. Notation of this music is a relatively new endeavor, starting in the sass’s. Previously the music culture was a tradition passed down orally from a guru or a sashay. The notation of the music today is known a relatively non-standardized process with more emphasis on interval relations than on actual pitches.
For example there is no concept of a “440 A” within traditional Hindustan music, rather, they rely on that’s. These that’s are similar to the notion of scales, with different that’s containing different intervals not unlike our major, minor, and subsequent key signatures. In total up to ten different that’s are identified in Northern Indian Hindustan music. Another shared element is the typical use of seven scale degrees, called sward, and the repetition of the octave.
In this way the that’s can be compared to the Do, Re, MI, process associated with college notation. This is perhaps the best analogy for understanding the fundamentals of Hindustan music from a western perspective. Each of the scale degrees has a name as follows (in ascending order); As, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dad, N’, and then the repetition of As. The fifth scale degree, Pa, is typically held in a standard position much like the dominant in college, with the other notes being mutable in either sharp or flat variations (tibia and kamala respectively).
The extent of these variations is however less typical than the half tone steps in Western music and often are monoclonal variations in either direction, to that effect there are twenty- wow recognized pitches within one octave, all of which may be generated by sharing or flatting one of the seven base notes. As Western music tradition recognized the different registers of a vocalist’s range as soprano, tenor, and bass, the same is true for Indian Hindustan music.
Instead of refereeing too vocal or instrumental range, however, these registers are defined for the piece; Tara being the highest range, followed by Madhya and Amanda as the lowest. The reason for this distinction being held for entire pieces could stem from the limited ranges (traditional Hindustan USIA typically keeps within one octave) or from the nature of the music as being centered on the vocalist’s performance. Indeed the objective of many of the aforementioned instruments is to mimic or embellish the voice. Ragas The that’s that exist in Hindustan music are classified into different ragas.
If a that were to be compared to a scale in western culture, then a raga would be the equivalent off mode. Ragas are made up of unique pitches with musically comprised of between five and seven notes, a seven-tone raga is known as a complete or sampan raga, those with six sward are called shadow, and those with vive, Dave. Being defined by the intervals between the notes as well as the general register used, the same collection of pitches may be used in different ragas and yet each would still sound different due to the differences in the use of the tones.
As previously noted, there is no conception of perfect pitch within this music culture, rather each raga is built upon a tonic note, usually chosen by the lead performer, which becomes a drone. This drone is then used as a reference for the duration of the piece for the musicians to rely upon. A unique feature of the ragas in Hindustan USIA is that their notes or swards do not always follow an ascending or descending order. Sometimes the swards within a raga are altered such that they form a crooked scale, known in Indian music culture as a Vassar raga.
Atlas Ragas in Indian Hindustan music culture express the melodic content of any piece or performance of music. Not addressed is the notion of rhythm or meter. The term tall is used to describe the pulse of the music. The term originates from the Indian word for “clap” so it’s rhythmic implications are apparent from the start. Just as ragas eave no set tonic, rather, one is chosen at the beginning of the piece, the same is true for atlas. No tall has a predetermined tempo and all can be used at any speeds.
Three general tempos are recognized in Hindustan music of India; a slow speed called ability lay, Madhya lay, and the fastest of the three, drum lay. Every tall is subdivided into smaller portions, much like a phrase in Western music is divided into measures. These divisions are known as visages with the first beat of each being the most important and often is accompanied by clapping. We find in the conception f atlas that the first beat is the most important of all and is also the last beat within a piece. This is similar to the cyclical form of rhythm found in Indonesian music.
Both cultures stress the primary beat, or Sam as it is known in India, by coinciding a resolve in the melody as well at the meter at this critical point. Musical form Traditionally, Indian classical music was performed in a style known as DARPA, typically a sung style, featuring one or more male vocalists. A performance off raga in the classical DARPA manner is usually divided into two segments. The first is allied the lap and consists of an improvisation based upon the raga used but not strictly adherent to its rules of note order or pitch.
The performer is generally allowed free reign as it were, with limited if any rhythmic dictation, variations on the pitch order, and even the sharing and flatting of notes to add character and life to the performance, similarly to Jazz improvisation in contemporary Western music. Gradually a slow rhythm will come to light and as it becomes more noticeable, the performance will settle into the rhythm and at the same time will become less literally free, returning to the rules of the raga being performed. After the improvisational lap section the goat, or bandies, of the performance starts. Title room for free embellishment, instead focusing on the beauty of the particular raga being performed. The components within the goat are the raga, or melodic content, the atlas, or rhythmic punctuation, as well as any embellishment used by the performers (always in keeping with the raga form though). This ornamentation is called kamala in Indian culture. DARPA tradition has evolved over the past several hundred years into additional spineless known as shall and Tirana; both primarily vocally based forms of Hindustan music.
Although Tirana is generally set at a fast tempo than shall, both styles of performance concentrate much more vehemently on the aspect of improvisation in the musical performance. This improvisation is used to convey and touch upon an emotional content, similar to the concept of Tartar exhibited in Arabic music tradition. The association can be further seen in that most performances in the shall and Tirana forms contain a decidedly small amount of emotionally charged attic content, instead concentrating on the actual vocal performance of the music.