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Sameer Sudame

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Hi,

I think now its more or less accepted that there are mainly 22 shruti's used in Hindustani Ragas. However not much is available in concise form as to how these 22 shruti's are related to frequency of Sa. There is some work done by Dr. Oke to define precise mathematical positions of these shruti's and their usage in Ragas. However I understand that there are many other theories about these 22 shruti's. Is there any source where I can get Bharat Muni or Sharangdev's idea of 22 shrutis and their usage in Ragas. 

We have provided 22 shruti Raga Riyaz tool in Komal Gandhar App ( http://www.komal-gandhar.com) and I am looking to make it as conformat as possible with presently accepted wisdom. 

Many thanks,

Sameer Sudame

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david

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Why are you bothering? The 22 shruti system was a way to describe the normalisation of instruments of the harp or lyre class which were much used in the past in the old jati style of singing.  When the ragas displaced the jatis, the applicability of the 22 shruti approach disappeared with them.  The applicability to today's music is tenuous at best.
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Sameer Sudame

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Thanks David. I understand usage of 22shruti's in present Raga system is not universally defined or accepted. There must be some notion of 22 shruti's present in todays Raga presentation like komal Re sung in different shruti's in different ragas (which is well accepted). But I guess I will leave it to experts and not bother for the time being.
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Narayana

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 >>The 22 shruti system was a way to describe the normalisation of instruments of the harp or lyre class

Would you elucidate on this or post a reference of expertise?
Normalisation or normalization, and what exactly that means?

>>which were much used in the past in the old jati style of singing. 
Old meaning ...?

 I find the response quite frustrating.
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david

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The raga system is roughly a thousand years old.  Before the ragas, the Jati was the dominant form. This “Jati” was an old modal form of singing which should not be confused with the contemporary use of “Jati” in reference to the number of notes in a raga.

Then as now, musical instruments were pivotal to the way music was conceptualised. Today we use instruments of the lute class to help us conceptualise scales. That is to say that our tonic is fixed, and modes relate to each other by the use of alternate forms of the “Chal Swar” (i.e. which form of Re, Ga, Ma, Dha, and Ni will be used.) However during the Jati period, the dominant instruments for the conceptualisation of music were instruments related to harps. This had a tremendous impact upon the way that modes were considered to relate to each other.

In the old jati system, modes were considered to relate to each other by a process of modulation. This process, known as “murchchanna”, had the position of the notes fixed but varied the tonic. The ramifications of this were quite profound. For instance the concept of a “komal pa” was quite normal and quite acceptable (the classic work of N. A. Jairazbhoy gives a very good discussion of this topic).

The process of modulation is easily demonstrated. One can take a harp (or even a keyboard instrument) and play a particular mode. Now use the same strings but shift the tonic to a different string. This will produce a different mode, even though the strings are the same. With this process, any seven-note mode can be modulated to produce an additional six modes.

But there was one practical difficulty, since the tendency of societies is to develop modes based upon the harmony of its individual tones (i.e., some form of "just intonation”), the modes came out to be somewhat staggered after modulation. Therefore the strings of a harp needed to be slightly retuned to normalise the pitches.

This is what the 22 shruti system was all about. It was a system to describe the normalisation process that was necessitated by modulation on harps.

But time does not stay still. The jati system started to disappear and was replace by the raga system. The death of the jati system spelled the death of the 22 shruti system.

“But wait, what about the different intonations of the notes found in various rags” we can hear people cry.

Yes, there are microtonal variations in the intonation of particular rags. The ati komal Ga of Darbari Kananda is perhaps the most well known. However these microtonal variations are driven by internal harmonic relationships which have virtually no relationship to the old 22 shruti system. (Interested readers can look into the classic work of Hermann von Helmholtz for a discussion of the harmonic foundations of musical pitches. The harmonic muddiness of the minor 3rd is particularly germane.)

 

This is a very deep subject, perhaps too deep to describe in a few paragraphs, but I hope that this clears some things up.

 

 

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