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Indian classical and Carnatic music

Re: Indian classical music
February 02, 2014, 07:05:16 PM
I suppose I could link dump a bit here, should all be easy to digest, no hour long khyal performances or anything like that:

aquarius you might like this, a thumri by a very accomplished female vocalist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8urYZ1MehE

This is part of an indian television classical music programme. Starts off with an explanation and introduction which is unfortunately in hindi. This kind of performance is called a jugalbandi, where two performers improvise with each other. Both vocalists are acclaimed greats, recommended, as are the related links (especially Darbari which is a very dark, very difficult raag, this is Shankara): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjdKws4vjOs

A Carnatic music link, a famous religious song, sung by M.S. Subbulakshmi. The raga is Bhairav which is similar to Shankara, the one in the previous link. Shankara can be considered to be derived from Bhairav. Linking this to demonstrate the similarity between carnatic and hindustani music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQHjNqbALB4

Edit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BfnV0HiaVA <-- to drive it home a bit, another Shankara (just 2:31 worth) in hindustani style.

Re: Indian classical music
February 03, 2014, 04:27:37 PM
Thankyou trystero, I am familiar with Kaushiki Chakrabarty. She is probably one of my favourites (and no, not just the pretty face!).

What would you recommend for Khayal. I have a recording of Rajan and Sajan Mishra and it is really something special. Deep meditation in the form of music. In the book that I mentioned, it is said that Khayal singers will generally 'warm-up' for several hours before the performance. The discipline required is phenomenal.

Also what is your opinion on Dhrupad? This is said to be even more formal and rigid than Khayal.

Re: Indian classical and Carnatic music
February 03, 2014, 04:36:49 PM
In Carnatic music, I really like Aruna Sayeeram and Nithyasree Mahadevan. Not really too familiar with much else though.

Re: Indian classical music
February 03, 2014, 04:47:34 PM
Not a big fan of Dhrupad but I think thats because only the Mishra brothers really practice it. The structure of a general Khyal is a beginning portion of elaboration of the notes of the raga to be performed afterwards, without rhythmic accompaniment, generally in the form of what is called Aakaar (expressing notes using only the Aa vowel sound). This is followed by the lyrical portion of the raga, the bandish, the lyrics basically. Each syllable being deliberately chosen to correspond with an underlying note, in hindustani music generally written in the dialect of hindi/urdu called braj or brij basha. A fairly archaic language still spoken in a few villages in India.

The main portion begins usually in a slow portion, the vilambit portion, a lot of performers stay here for a good long time, giving Khyal its droning quality. This is followed by the medium rhythm portion, madhya lay, eventually ending in the fast drut lay.

Some great Khyal practicioners are Ustad Amir Khan, Ustad Rashid Khan, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Pandit Jasraj (he can be a bit needlessly flashy), Bade ghulam Ali Khan (has a lot of more popular stuff, few recordings of serious music) and I suppose Ajay Chakraborty, Kaushiki`s father.

Instrumetal Khyal is broadly similar to the vocal style, but the use of instruments allows some aesthetic differences, the ability to elaborate some phrases that vocals cant. Overall the human voice can approximate more sound than any instrument, so it is favoured. I prefer the Sarod and Sitar.

During a Khyal performance the main vocalist is accompanied by a secondary instrument. This used to be mostly the sarangi, a grossly violin like instrument, but nowadays is increasingly the indian harmonium. A background drone in some notes of the raga is played by one or two tanpuras, large sitar like instruments which are played only by tuning them to the required raga and playing each string in succession repeatedly.

Re: Indian classical and Carnatic music
February 04, 2014, 06:51:23 PM
Thanks a lot trystero, that's given me a lot to work with. You really know your stuff.