Indian classical music is a very rich and beautiful tradition of music that goes back over 3, years. Over the millennia, it has evolved into two distinct schools - the Hindustani school, which is prevalent in North India, and the Carnatic school, which is prevalent in South India.

The two are quite similar on a fundamental level, but have evolved to develop distinct styles over the centuries. The idea for this website came to me because I know many people who enjoy Indian music and would love to understand it better, but most of the information available online assumes a certain basic familiarity with Indian classical music concepts to begin with. So I decided to rose neill an effort to explain the basic concepts from scratch, demonstrating through examples with notations both Indian and Western at each step.


Even in simplified forms, Indian music is hard to notate because it uses a lot of ornamentation. Western staff notation, moreover, is not really suited for Indian classical music, because of the many differences between Indian and Western classical music in the way some of the most fundamental concepts are approached. But I think having a score, no matter how partial, is bound to be useful for beginners. The sidebar or menu icon if on a mobile device is for easy navigation. I would recommend reading the pages in the order presented, as the concepts have been arranged to become increasingly clear as you go along, but feel free to go back and forth if you like.

Indian Classical Music Namaste! This website mainly focuses on the North Indian or Hindustani school of Indian classical music.

Debasmita Bhattacharya sarod Raag Bhimpalasi.Music can be a social activity, but it can also be a very spiritual experience. Ancient Indians were deeply impressed by the spiritual power of music, and it is out of this that Indian classical music was born.

So, for those who take it seriously, classical music involves single-minded devotion and lifelong commitment. But the thing about music is that you can take it as seriously or as casually as you like. It is a rewarding experience, no matter how deep or shallow your involvement. Most music has at least three main elements - melody, rhythm and harmony. Because of its contemplative, spiritual nature, Indian classical music is a solitary pursuit that focuses mainly on melodic development.

In performance, rhythm also plays an important role, giving texture, sensuality, and a sense of purpose to melody. Harmony in Indian classical music is mainly the result of the tanpura playing a combination of the tonic sa and the fifth pa or fourth ma in a fixed pattern in the background, somewhat like an arpeggiated chord. Harmony in the Western sense, however, is not a part of traditional Indian music, and it is important not to look for it. One of my favorite things about Indian classical music is that you learn it very much the way you would learn a language.

With language, once you've learned certain basic things like grammar and vocabulary, you start making your own sentences. In Indian classical music, once you have learned the basic notes, you are introduced to ragas which are like musical themesand then you are encouraged to start improvising and making your own melodies. It's really not that difficult to improvise melodies in a raga you're familiar with.

I have nowhere near the level of talent it takes to become a performing artist, but I can make spontaneous music, and that's an inexhaustible source of delight.

So, it doesn't take much to improvise little bits of melody here and there, but it gets more difficult when you try to improvise in coordination with the rhythm, and becoming an artist capable of hour-long extemporaneous performances is a different story altogether. A performance must have a clear structure, it must feature certain elements, it must progress coherently, attain climax, and be brought to a conclusion, and it must measure up to certain standards.

Achieving all that takes many decades of study and training, and only rarely will you find an artist who can be taken seriously before the age of Superficially, a raga can be thought of as a scale — a musical theme created by choosing a specific set of notes from within an octave.

Music has the power to move us because it can speak to our deepest emotions through the moods it creates. Different sets of notes evoke different moods and inspire different feelings.

Here are a few examples. The main thing Indian classical music does is explore the melodic and emotional potential of different ragas. About five hundred ragas are known or known of including historical ragas today. Sometimes ragas die out if people stop performing them, but then new ragas are born all the time, and some of them endure. So, the number of ragas is not fixed. Students first learn all the important ragas, then spend many years mastering the ragas of their choice.

Here is an analogy to help you visualize a raga. If you think of the octave as being like the light spectrum, the musical notes would be like the colors in the spectrum, and ragas would be like color schemes. By restricting yourself to only a few of the colors in the spectrum, you get a ready-made theme to work with. Say you choose a color scheme including violet, indigo, green, yellow, and red. You could come up with any number of creative ideas for how to combine these colors for a beautiful effect.

Every time you paint with this color scheme, the result could be something different. Give the same color scheme to someone else, and they would add their own imagination to the equation and create a whole new dimension of variety. The possibilities of what can be done with any given color scheme are endless, and yet, all paintings in that color scheme would share an easily recognizable underlying quality that is distinct from paintings based on other color schemes.

And that is how it is with a raga. All Indian classical music performances are presentations of one raga or another just search "raag" on YouTube, and it will give you over a million hits, mostly classical music performances. An artist chooses a raga, which is the musical equivalent of a color scheme, and proceeds to paint a musical picture based on that raga for the audience.

A performance can go on for well over an hour and is spontaneously improvised for the most part.The Raaga app is the easiest way to listen.

Download it to enjoy music and audio on the go. Raaga has a huge catalog of songs, from massive hits to rare gems to cult classics, with more added every week. Discover, enjoy, and share the music you love. Accessing your music has never been so easy: simply download the Raaga app on your mobile or go to Raaga.

Say good bye to patchy internet connections and data overages. With Raaga Premium, you can download all your music and listen to them offline. No internet connection required! Your music is always with you. Creat your own playlists perfect for parties, trips, and your workout. Follow your favorite artists or connect with friends to discover more music socially.

Also choose from our artists-based radio channels or a mood-based channel.


Download songs, and listen without Internet. Listen to HD music or download it to your device. Make your commute the best part of the day with daily news, audio stories, podcasts and personalized talk radio for every topic in your regional language.

The Raaga radio experience offers you a wide choice of music to suite your taste. Listen to hours of nonstop music. Discover and enjoy hours of music from all your favorite artists categorized by actors, singers, composers and lyricists. Raaga brings you the right music for every mood and moment.

The perfect songs for your workout, your night in, or your commute to work. Follow your favourite artists, create your own playlists, connect with friends and listen to music all day long.

Access from your computer, your hand-held devices or home entertainment system. When you love something, you want your friends to know about it. Post your favourite tracks on Facebook and Twitter and share your love for music with the world. Raaga offers an unique opportunity to stay connected with all your favorite celebs.

Follow them and stay updated with all the latest music. Listen better with the app. Largest archive of devotional music. Millions of Playlists for every mood. Live radio in 10 regional languages. Available on App Store. Available on Play Store. Unlimted Music Anytime, Anywhere Raaga has a huge catalog of songs, from massive hits to rare gems to cult classics, with more added every week.

Listen Everywhere Accessing your music has never been so easy: simply download the Raaga app on your mobile or go to Raaga. Download all your music Say good bye to patchy internet connections and data overages.

My Music Creat your own playlists perfect for parties, trips, and your workout.The "Most Anticipated Indian Movies and Shows" widget tracks the real-time popularity of relevant pages on IMDb, and displays those that are currently generating the highest number of pageviews on IMDb. Each title is ranked according to its share of pageviews among the items displayed. Pageviews for each item are divided by the aggregate number of pageviews generated by the items displayed.

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Indian Classical Music

A common man who transforms into a gangster revolts against the very system he once obediently followed by declaring war on the police, the government, and the industrialists. Raag Desh brings to life that epic trial which paved the way for India's freedom. Check out the Indian movies with the highest ratings from IMDb users, as well as the movies that are trending in real time.

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Metacritic Reviews. Photo Gallery. Trailers and Videos. Crazy Credits. Alternate Versions. Rate This.To save this word, you'll need to log in. This Weekend," 21 June What raga is to South Asian music — a system of melodic patterns that also serve broadly as a guide — maqam roughly is to Arab, Turkish and Persian music.

Send us feedback. See more words from the same year Dictionary Entries near raga raftsman rafty rag raga ragabash ragamuffin rag-and-bone man. Accessed 17 Apr. More from Merriam-Webster on raga Britannica. Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible. What does capricious mean?

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! We have a hard decision to make. Or 'unessential'?

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Save Word.Hast and others, [ clarification needed ] has its "own unique melodic personality". It is found in Greek, Persian, Khwarezmian and other languages, in variants such as "raxt", "rang", "rakt" and others. The words "red" and "rado" are also related. The Mundaka Upanishad uses it in its discussion of soul Atman-Brahman and matter Prakritiwith the sense that the soul does not "color, dye, stain, tint" the matter.

According to Emmie Te Nijenhuis, a professor in Indian musicology, the Dattilam section of Brihaddeshi has survived into the modern times, but the details of ancient music scholars mentioned in the extant text suggest a more established tradition by the time this text was composed. Bharata describes a series of empirical experiments he did with the Veenathen compared what he heard, noting the relationship of fifth intervals as a function of intentionally induced change to the instrument's tuning.

Bharata states that certain combination of notes are pleasant, certain not so. His methods of experimenting with the instrument triggered further work by ancient Indian scholars, leading to the development of successive permutations, as well as theories of musical note inter-relationships, interlocking scales and how this makes the listener feel.

Bharata states that these have the ability to trigger a certain affection and the ability to "color the emotional state" in the audience. The other ancient text, Naradiyasiksa dated to be from the 1st century BCE, discusses secular and religious music, compares the respective musical notes. Khanp. In the Indian system of music there are about the modes and different rhythms which are used in everyday music. The modes are called Ragas. The specialized sense of 'loveliness, beauty,' especially of voice or song, emerges in classical Sanskritused by Kalidasa and in the Panchatantra.

Classical music has ancient roots, and it primarily developed due to the reverence for arts, for both spiritual moksha and entertainment kama purposes in Hinduism.

The Buddha discouraged music aimed at entertainment, but encouraged chanting of sacred hymns. Among these is the precept recommending "abstain from dancing, singing, music and worldly spectacles".

Music appeals to human beings, according to Hinduism, because they are hidden harmonies of the ultimate creation. Bhajan and Kirtan were composed and performed by the early South India pioneers.

They also picked from the "standard instruments used in Hindu musical traditions" for singing kirtans in Sikhism. During the Islamic rule period of the Indian subcontinent, particularly in and after the 15th century, the mystical Islamic tradition of Sufism developed devotional songs and music called qawwali.

An Overview of Indian Classical Music

After the 16th-century, the system expanded still further. The North Indian system suggests a particular time of a day or a season, in the belief that the human state of psyche and mind are affected by the seasons and by daily biological cycles and nature's rhythms.

The South Indian system is closer to the text, and places less emphasis on time or season. The former is encouraged in Kama literature such as Kamasutrawhile the latter appears in Yoga literature with concepts such as "Nada-Brahman" metaphysical Brahman of sound.Raag is the backbone of Indian Classical Music.

The word raag comes from Sanskrit word "Ranj" which means to delight, to make happy and to satisfy. Here it's necessary to clarify that not all raags project a happy mood. The raag can produce various moods such as Shant serenityShrungaar eroticBhakti devotion to GodVeer gallantry, bravery, aggressive. Raag is neither a scale, nor a mode. It is, however, a scientific, precise, subtle, and aesthetic melodic form with its own peculiar ascending and descending movement which consists of either a full octave, or a series of five or six notes.

An omission of a jarring or dissonant note, or an emphasis on a particular note, or the transition from one note to another, and the use of microtones along with other subtleties, distinguish one raag from the other. Raag has its own principal mood such as tranquillity, devotion, eroticism, loneliness, pathos, heroism, etc. Each raag is associated, according to its mood, with a particular time of the day, night or a season.

Improvization is an essential feature of Indian music, depending upon the imagination and the creativity of an artist; a great artist can communicate and instill in his listener the mood of the raag. Each melodic structure of raag has something akin to a distinct personality subject to a prevailing mood. Early Indian writers on music, carried this idea further and endowed the raags with the status of minor divinities, with names derived from various sources, often indicating the origin or associations of the individual raags.

In theoretical works on music each raag was described in a short verse formula, which enabled the artist to visualize its essential personality during meditation prior to the performance.

There are 3 Raag bhed Types of Raag. Terms describing the properties of a Raag Vaadi : The most prominent note of the raag which gets emphasized in the raag and used very often. Samvaadi : The second most important note of the raag. It used lesser than the vaadi but more than the other notes of the raag. This is the fourth or fifth note from the Vaadi. Anuvaadi : The other notes of the raag other than Vaadi and Samvaadi. Vivadi : The meaning of vivadi is "one which produces dissonance", the note which is not present in the raag.

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