Songs of the Earth: Appreciating Indian Classical Music

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Abstract

Originating from the hymns of the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of the Hindus, Indian classical music holds a tradition of over two thousand years. The heart of Indian classical music are its ‘Raagas’, extended instrumental forms consisting of melodic Raagas and rhythmic Taalas.

A Raaga is an aesthetic melodic form of five to eight pivotal notes upon which artists create, improvise, and perform their music on an instrument to communicate the characteristic mood and specific emotion of the Raaga. Each Raaga is associated with a specific time of the day or a particular season of the year, and, depending on the imagination and creativity of the performing artist, the effect of the Raaga is achieved. The ‘Taala’, which is the rhythmic cycle of a Raaga, is a set of percussive beats that accompanies the instrumental rendition of the Raaga. A Taala is usually recognised by the beats in a cycle and is accordingly named, for instance, ‘Ektaal’, ‘Teentaal’, etc. Both Raaga and
Taala occupy an equal and inseparable position in the Indian Classical music system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages38-39
Number of pages2
No.May 2015
Specialist publicationFine Music 美樂集
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

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