The Indian music also changed its shape by the external influence. One of the strongest and significant influences on Indian Music was perhaps the Persian music, which brought a substantial change in the Northern style of Indian music. The music at this time started getting royal patronage. In the fifteenth century AD, the devotional Dhruvapad transformed into the Dhrupad or classical form of singing. The classical Indian music was mainly divided into two forms- the North Indian Hindustani classical and South Indian Carnatic music. The Khayal developed as a new form of singing in the eighteenth century AD. The Indian classical music developed from the ritualistic music in association with folk music and other musical forms of India and gradually derived its own musical characteristics. Historical roots of both Hindustani classical and Carnatic music have the same stem- Bharata s Natyashastra. This two traditions of music started to diverge only around 14th century AD. Carnatic classical or kriti is mainly based on the Saahitya or lyric oriented, while Hindustani music emphasizes on the musical structure. Hindustani music adopted a scale of Shudha Swara Saptaka or Octave of natural notes while carnatic music retains the style of traditional octave. Both Hindustani and Carnatic music express great assimilative power, also absorbing folk tunes and regional characteristics as well as elevating many of these tunes to the status of ragas. Thus, these two systems of music have mutually influenced each other. The significance of Indian Classical music is that it is monophonic and is based around a single melody line. When a composition is performed, it melodically bases on one particular raga and rhythmically on one tala . The performer comes in with a ritualize order-the drone instruments, then the soloist, then accompanists and percussionists. The Indian musical instruments used in classical music include veena, mridangam, tabla, kanjira, tambura, flute, sitar, violin, sarangi etc. Carnatic music is largely devotional and most of the songs are addressed to Hindu deities. There are a lot of songs emphasizing love and other social issues. The two main components of Carnatic music are Raga, the melodic pattern and tala, the rhythmic pattern. The foundation of Carnatic music lies back to two thousand BC, which began as a spiritual ritual of early Hinduism. The Sama Veda tradition gave origin to Carnatic classical music also, and flourished until the Islamic invasion in twelfth and thirteenth century. Though the northern style of classical music was greatly influenced by Persian Music, still it was divided into Hindu and Muslim songs.
Carnatic music is a system of music commonly associated with the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, with its area roughly confined to four modern states of India: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. It is one of two main sub-genres of Indian classical music that evolved from ancient Hindu traditions the other sub-genre being Hindustani music, which emerged as a distinct form due to Persian and Islamic influences in North India. In contrast to Hindustani music, the main emphasis in Carnatic music is on vocal music most compositions are written to be sung, and even when played on instruments, they are meant to be performed in gā yaki singing style. Although there are stylistic differences, the basic elements of ś ruti the relative musical pitch , swara the musical sound of a single note , rā ga the mode or melodic formul , and tala the rhythmic cycles form the foundation of improvisation and composition in both Carnatic and Hindustani music. Although improvisation plays an important role, Carnatic music is mainly sung through compositions, especially the kriti or kirtanam a form developed between the 16th and 20th centuries by prominent composers, such as Purandara Dasa and the Trinity of Carnatic music. Carnatic music is usually performed by a small ensemble of musicians, consisting of a principal performer usually a vocalist , a melodic accompaniment usually a violin , a rhythm accompaniment usually a mridangam , and a tambura which acts as a drone throughout the performance. Other typical instruments used in performances may include the ghatam, kanjira, morsing, veena & flute. The most outstanding performances, and the greatest concentration of Carnatic musicians, are found in the city of Chennai.In particular, the six week-long Music Season held in Chennai every December, has been described as the world s largest cultural event.
Posted On : 04/14/09 11:07:16 PM
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An alapana, sometimes also called ragam, is the exposition of a raga or tone - a slow improvisation with no rhythm, where the raga acts as the basis of embellishment. In performing alapana, performers consider each raga as an object that has beginnings and endings and consists somehow of sequences of thought. The performer will explore the ragam and touch on its various nuances, singing in the lower octaves first, then gradually moving up to higher octaves, while giving a hint of the song to be performed. Theoretically, this ought to be the easiest type of improvisation, since the rules are so few, but in fact, it takes much skill to sing a pleasing, comprehensive in the sense of giving a feel for the ragam and, most importantly, original raga alapana. Niraval, usually performed by the more advanced performers, consists of singing one or two lines of a song repeatedly, but with a series of melodic improvised elaborations. The lines are then also played at different levels of speed which can include double speed, triple speed, quadruple speed and even sextuple speed. Kalpanaswaram, also known as swarakalpana, consists of improvising melodic and rhythmic passages using swaras solfa syllables . Kalpanaswaras are sung to end on a particular swara in the raga of the melody and at a specific place idam in the tala cycle. Generally, the swaras are sung to end on the samam the first beat of the rhythmical cycle , and can be sung at the same speed or double the speed of the melody that is being sung, though some artists sing triple-speed phrases too. Kalpanaswaram is the most elementary type of improvisation, usually taught before any other form of improvisation.