Thursday, 28 July 2016

Dhrupad Gayaki- Hindustani Music


Dhrupad is the oldest musical form of Indian Classical Music. Dhrupad gayaki comprises of 2 parts namely 'Aalap' and 'Composition or Bandhish'. It is restricted to a relatively smaller audience and is always accompanied by an instrument called 'Pakhawaj'. Dhrupad is performed in 4 styles namely 'Gaurahari', 'Nauhari', 'Dagari' and 'Khandari'. But only 'Dagari' style exists today. Dhrupad are based on themes like Religion, Philosophy, Praise of deities, Celebration of seasons. Dhrupad is the most strict form in terms of grammar and presentation and its musical parts are strongly systematized. It has certain fixed rules for execution. It starts with the aalap (which follows the three stages of Vilambit, Madhya and Dhrut laya) followed by a fixed composition which is divided into 4 parts-

  1. Sthayi- Base or first section
  2. Antara- Intermediate section 
  3. Sanchari- Free flow
  4. Abhoga- Last section or component
The literary meaning of Dhrupad is derived from the words 'Dhruva' and 'PADA'. 'Dhruva' is the steadily directed star that moves through our galaxy and 'PADA' means poetry. However, conceptually, it has a different meaning- It refers to the circulatory construction of our music. 'Dhruva' means a pole, a stand point. It implies the return of the 'Swara' (tonal), 'Kala' (time) and 'Shabda'(textual)  trajectories to a fixed point. All music forms existent today has attained this height of construction because of Dhrupad. That's why, it is called the soul of Indian Classical Music.


Friday, 8 April 2016

Prahars in Indian Classical Music

In Indian Classical Music, whole day(24 hours) is divided into 8 Prahars - 4 prahars of the day and 4 Prahars of the night.

The four Prahars of the day corresponds to-
Pehla Prahar 6:00 A.M. to 9 A.M is called Purvaanha
Doosra Prahar 9:00 A.M. to Noon is called Madhyaanha
Teesra Prahar Noon to 3:00 P.M. is called Aparaanha
Choutha Prahar 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. is called Saayankala

The four Prahars of the night corresponds to-
Pehla Prahar 6:00 P.M. to 9 P.M is called Pradosha
Doosra Prahar 9:00 P.M. to Midnight is called Nishitha
Teesra Prahar Midnight to 3:00 A.M. is called Triyaamaa
Choutha Prahar 3:00 A.M. to 6:00 A.M. is called Ushaa

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Thaat System in North Indian Classical Music

Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande (1860-1936) who was one of the most influential musicologist of North Indian Classical Music has created the Thaat System. He introduced 10 basic thaas in North Indian Classical Music. As per him, each raga is based on or a variation of one of these 10 thaats. These thaats are as follow:


  1. Bilawal
  2. Khamaj
  3. Kalyan
  4. Bhairav
  5. Purvi/ Poorvi
  6. Marva
  7. Bhairavi
  8. Asavari
  9. Kafi
  10. Todi
Each raag is based on one of these several thaats. As per Pandit Bhatkhande only those scales that follow the below mentioned rules will be considered as Thaat-
  • A Thaat must have 7 swars out of 12 swars (7 Shudh, 4 Komal and 1 Tivra)
  •  The swars must be in ascending order (Sa re ga ma pa dha ni)
  • Whether Shudh or altered, both versions of a single swar are not allowed.
  • Unlike Raga, a Thaat does not have separate ascending or descending orders. 
  • A Thaat does not have any emotional quality which the ragas have.
  • Thaats are not sung but the ragas derived from the thaats are sung.
Bhatkahande ji named his Thaats after the most important ragas that were associated with that Thaat. For e.g. Asavari was named after its prominent raag Asavari. Similarly Kafi after raag Kafi, Bhairav after raag Bhairav etc. 

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-  http://indianvocalclassesonline.blogspot.in/p/basic-concepts.html


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