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Indian World Music

Instruments Sitar
      A large long-necked string instrument On a seven-stringed sitar, five of the strings are plucked for the melody and the other two create drone notes. Sitars also have sympathetic strings underneath the main strings. The sympathetic strings vibrate when the main strings are played, creating a thick, shimmery sound. The frets on a sitar can be moved- they’re adjusted for different pieces Sitar players can pull strings to make notes bend or distort. Sliding a finger along a string as it’s plucked gives a sliding glissando sound called meend

Tambura (Tanpura)
   The tambura’s shape is similar to the sitar. It usually has four metal strings but can have up to six. It’s used as more of a backing instrument.

Tabla
         Tabla is a pair of drums. The smaller, right-hand is called the table (also called the duyan) The larger slower sounding drum is called the bayan Sarod-An instrument like a small sitar with fretless fingerboard Sarangi-A small bowed stringed instrument with no frets Bansuri- A flute made of bamboo Shehnai- an instrument with a double reed like an oboe Harmonium- A keyboard instrument powered by air pumping by hand bellows Singers- sometimes perform with instruments as well

The melody is improvised on the sitar
          The sitar is often playing the melody The sitar player improvises the melody. The player chooses a raga and makes up the melody using notes from it There are hundreds of different ragas. Each one is named after a time of day or season Each raga is meant to create a different atmosphere or tension Each raga is a set of ascending or descending notes The notes on the way up can be different to the ones on the way down There are lots of different notes that could have different affects affecting them For example individual notes can be played quickly or be decorated or played slightly sharp or flat

It’s still just the Tambura player and sitar player. The players improvise around the melody The gat or bandish o In the gat the raga really takes off o The tabla player come in at last o The group plays a pre composed piece. improvising freely.it just flows along.this sections called the Vibhag khali. For contrast the Vibhag khali is played on the smaller tabla drum The tabla plays improvisations on top They can vary sounds based on finger positions and by speaking the beat Sometimes the audience joins in by clapping along with the tala The tampura creates the harmony      The tampura’s job in a raga performance is to create the harmony This part is often described as a drone It is quite repetitive The player plays a simple rhythmic pattern based on two notes from the raga all the way through the performance.and it’s the combination of the two that gives the raga harmony A Typical Raga has four sections  The Alap o The sitar player introduces the notes of the chosen raga. the music speeds up a bit. The only accompaniment at this point is the Tambura drone The jhor o In this second section. and feels a lot more exciting than the bits that came before. but the music gets more rhythmic and the melody improvised by the sitar player takes on a steady beat The jhala o This section is much faster than the alap or jhor. It’s called a gat if its for instruments only and bandish if there’s a song o The players also add improvisations to the gat or bandish and pass their musical ideas around in a sort of musical Q&A    . There’s no beat or pulse to the melody at this point. vibhags in a tala have a different sound from the others. The sitar player works their improvisations around the Tambura part. Sometimes the melody is taken by a singer rather than a sitar The Tabla is the rhythm section           The Tabla plays a rhythm called a tala with a set of number of beats (matras) The first beat is called a sam All performers play together on each sam and the whole piece ends on a sam Each tala is split into two groups called vibhags This is like a bar in western music One or sometimes two.

It’s joined by a sarangi then the voice comes in. there is a voice to sing In the alap the sitar improvises using the notes of the raga over a tambura drone. This section is slow and flowing with no pulse In the next section the tabla comes in playing a steady rhythm The bansuri plays another improvised melody. but the melody ismych more structured.starts on a different note then slides to the right. they all come from the same raga Priyagitah was recorded in a studio             It was based around the traditional raga but had some differences to keep the listeners attention On the CD the first track is an alap the other two are gats. There are lots of trills and portamentos. the vocal part becomes more elaborate. It’s quite a short alap. At the beginning of the alap you can hear the tambura drone. It’s now playing a pre-composed melody with lots of runs.Strums.Rag Desh Rag Desh is the rainy season raga     Each Raga is meant to be played at a specific time of day during a specific season. The second gat is a bit faster and uses the 16 beat tintal tala. The singer is male and uses a lot of vibrato. the raga is a lot faster The tabla plays a fast complicated rhythm using the 12 beat ektal tala The bansuri plays over the top of it. Mewar Re Mira has a singer   In Mewar Rre Mira. In the final track (second gat). then the bansuri and esraj (an instrument like the sarangi but with frets) com in. The tempo increases in the next section. Anoushka Shankar. It’s a bit faster than the alap. Hand cymbals are also used towards the end. plucks and bends notes The first gat uses a 10-beat tala called the jhaptal. The Rag Desh is supposed to be played at night during the rainy season It is meant to give the feeling of romance and devotion Even though the 3 pieces sound different. They improvise using the notes of the rag desh. They’re supposed to create certain moods. you can hear the different techniques. Its still based on the Rag Desh Anoushka Shankar Plays the Sitar      It is accompanied by two tablas and there is also a tambura drone It’s made up of an alap and two different gats In the alap. The gat is based on the rupak tala which has 7 beats. He also scoops notes. when there’s just the sitar and tambura playing. and the tabla comes in In the final section (the bandish.like a gat but with a singer).   .