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Chapter 6

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  1. Chapter 6 Indian and South India

  2. Madras • in southern India on the east coast • Chennai means “the city” in Tamil.

  3. Brief History • 2500-1700 BCE—Indus Valley cities • 3rd century BCE—countless kingdoms and emperors such as the Buddhist Asoka • c. 1400-1800 CE—Moguls • c. 1600-1947 CE—three centuries of British colonialism

  4. Hinduism • “the dominant religion of India.” • Caste: “one of the hereditary social classes in Hinduism that restrict the occupation of their members and their association with the members of other castes.”

  5. Islam • Moslems • “belief in Allah as the sole deity and in Muhammad as his prophet.” • About 10%

  6. Palimpsest • “a manuscript parchment written on again and again in which everything written before is never fully erased. Everything written before is somehow still there, visible and readable . . . • ” Similarly in Indian culture old traditions persist and “coexist with the new and innovative . . .

  7. History, Culture, Politics • one billion people—a fifth of the world’s population • an area one-third the size of the United States • “The country hosts fifteen major languages • “Its continuous history . . . stretches back five thousand years and beyond . . .”

  8. Regions • Hindustani -- North • Moslem concentration • Hindus Valley • Carnatic -- South • Hindu concentration • Carnatic Plains

  9. The Taj Mahal

  10. English Influence • railways • democratic systems of government • bureaucracy • universities • European musical instruments

  11. “While Indians adapted European musical instruments to their musical styles, they did not adopt European musical styles. “ violin clarinet piano saxophone Guitar Mandolin European musical instruments

  12. Traditional literature • two Sanskrit epics between 400 B.C.E. and 400 C.E.” • Ramayana • Mahabharata • In Carnatic music many song texts refer to events in these epics.

  13. Important religious works • The four Vedas • Upanishads • Puranas

  14. Hindustani and Carnatic Music • Similarities • ragas • talas • Differences • The Hindusthani north -- expansive improvisations • Carnatic south -- pre-composed devotional songs

  15. Raga • “that which colors the mind and the heart • a collection of notes, a scale, intonation, ornaments, pillar tones, • a precise melody form • sa ri ga ma pa da ni (sa)

  16. Tala • regularly recurring metric cycles consisting of groups of beats.

  17. veena • plucked string instrument with seven strings • three drone strings and four playing strings (for playing melodies).

  18. Mridangam • double-headed, barrel-shaped drum.

  19. Sruti-box and tambura

  20. The Carnatic texture • Melody Layer • vocalist(s)/instrumentalist (veena) • Drone Layer • sustained (continuously sounding) central tone • tambura or sruti box • Rhythm Layer (percussion) • mridangam—multi-timbral, double-headed • tala

  21. Music of India • Pop music • Devotional song • Classical music

  22. Cine Music • Indian popular music • A blend of East and West • Music is reminiscent of early rock and roll

  23. CD 2:20 “Our Wedding” • 0:23 to 0:31—“retro”-sounding guitar solo • language of lyrics (Tamil); • “a love marriage,” more common in Indian movies than in real Indian life, • 0:20, 0:22, 0:50, and 0:52—incongruous “whistle sound” • sudden insertion of Woody Woodpecker theme • (timbre)—flute, clarinet, “retro” guitar • 1:15-1:41 and 2:13-2:35—unique percussion instruments playing heavy rhythmic accompaniments

  24. bhajan • devotional song • sung by a soloist with accompanying instruments • or by a vocal group in a call-and–response manner

  25. chinna melan • “small band,” an ensemble of two or more • A chinna melam is likely to be performed at any auspicious occasion, for example, at temple worship, weddings, the opening a new store, and so on.

  26. Chinna Melam instruments • nagasvaram double-reed pipes, • tavil drums and • sruti-box drone

  27. CD 2:21 “O Devi! with Fish-Shaped Eyes” • Vocal solo • mridangam (Indian drum) • electronic drone

  28. O Devi! • 0:00–0:06—Drone (electronically-produced) • 0:07—singer enters with raga-based solo • glides/slides to and around the important notes of the melody • Raga: a precise melody form

  29. O Devi! • The song text “praises Devi Meenakshi, a beautiful [Hindu] goddess . . . who is worshipped in . . . [a] great temple.” “O Devi! (“Goddess”) with fish-shaped eyes (that is, her eyes are always open) . . . protect me.” • 0:35 to end— • adi tala (an Indian metric cycle of 4 + 2 + 2 beats • Tala: rhythm pattern

  30. Karnataka Sangeeta • Classical Music of South India • in English simply Carnatic music. • It is named after the Carnatic plateau

  31. Transmission • oral tradition passed down by memory. The music is to nudge the memory. • no definitive version of the music exists. • musical renditions may become highly variable

  32. Extra: Kriti by Tyagaraja • Banturiti • Hamsanadam raga • c e f# g b • adi tala • 4 + 2 + 2

  33. Drone srutibox alapana pallavi anupallavi pallavi Niraval vocal violin vocal svarakalpana returns to text pallavi Banturiti - Overview

  34. Banturiti • 0:00 sruti -box • drone • 0:05 alapana • singer explores raga • violin minics • SA range

  35. Banturiti • 0:43 pallavi • listen for “Banturiti” • violin is in unison • 1:30 empty space • 1:34 anupallavi • begins on eduppu • 2:14 pallavi returns - Banturiti • 2:31 caranam begins

  36. Banturiti • 3:00 niraval • vocal improvisation • violin improvisation based on voice • vocal improvisation • 4:28 svarakalpana • vocal improvisation on syllables • 5:14 singer returns to words

  37. Banturiti • 5:25 pallavi returns • listen for Banturiti

  38. CD 3:1 “Sarasiruha” (“To the Goddess Saraswati”) • Kriti in Natai raga and Adi tala. • Performed by veena and mridangam.

  39. Sarasiruha • 0:00-3:15Alapana “free-flowing exposition and exploration of the raga • absence of meter • drone sustains tonal center and the tone a fifth above tonal center • 3:20-8:15 Tanam • “strong sense of beat.” • improvised melody continues

  40. Sarasiruha • 8:25-15:45 Kriti “Sarasiruha” • “centerpiece” of the performance • Pallavi: “O Mother who loves the lotus seat,” • Anupallavi: “Save me who have taken refuge in you!” • Charanam: “Complete Being, who holds a book in her hand which bestows all dominion.”

  41. Sarasiruha • 15:45-18:05 Kalpana Svaras • mridangam continues to accompany • melody played on the veena • 18:06-22:20 The Drum Solo: Tani Avartanam • A long and complex improvised drum solo played on the mridangam accompanied only by the drone being played on the drone strings of the veena • 22:04

  42. Ravi Shankar • virtuoso sitar player • 1960s concerts brought him superstar status in Europe, the United States and India.