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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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Blind Lemon Mike

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Reply with quote  #6 
I also find that topic interesting, but I'm far from beeing a professional, so take everything with a grain of salt.


First of all, I bought Mr. Oke's Book, and while it is not bad at all, it does not contain too much that isn't already covered on his website. 

http://22shruti.com/research_topics_list.asp

So everything is there for you, including very precisely stated Frequencies for each swara in different ragas. 

There also used to be a very interesting video on youtube where Ahish Sankrityayan, the druhpad singer, demonstrated the use of shruti. He even stated different Sa's, as far as i can remember, with seemed odd to me. Unfortunately it's no longer online, i already contacted the guy who uploaded it, but he did not respond yet. 

My Plan with that Video was, to put it in a spectrum analyser program, there are very accurate ones for free now. You probably know that better than i do, since you are a IT-Guy. I have done this before with alap sections, since there is less "noise" from the tabla etc, and notes are held clearly. My impression is, that people are very consistent with their intonation, but not necesseraly intonate according to the shruti system. I should to this again, maybe for you it could also be interesting to do that,  

Since a Tanpura produces pretty clear audible overtones, i always assumed that for instance a different shruti-variant of GA would clash totally with the perfect "just intonation" GA produced by the Tanpura. That is what i don't understand about the whole thing. 

I get why the hamonium is "a problem" because it is always tempered, while the tanpura is not. But first of all, you often see singers use the hamonium and the tanpura at the same time, so in the "real world" they might not actually be so concerned about it. 

Clearly though, the just intonation GA is about 14 Cents lower than the tempered third on a keyboard. The Tanpura also produces other Tones trough overtones, for instance the NI that is produced by the PA-String (Ni is the "third" of Pa) etc. The Idea of Oke is, if i did get it right, that all the shruti in a raga have to be intertwined so that those natural GA and Pa overtones  correlate with each other. 

For instance in Rag Yaman since the lower shruti of GA is there, Ni also has to be of the lower variant, so that the interval between GA and NI is a "just intonation" fifth. Tivra MA is then another fifth from Ni therefore also of the lower variant, and so on.... 

So I don't have the historic theory background of @david, but I have a feeling that he is right that it is not so practically relevant toda, and I see problems with this also. His example, of the komal Ga is interesting. The Komal Ga appears rather late in the overtone series and is by far not as clearly positioned as shudda GA, for instance. So for theses Swaras there is probably more "room" to play with the intonation aspect of them. 

But in general I would recommend getting involved with basic physics about overtones etc. I would for instance not advise to tune a Sitar with a tempered tuner app or something along those lines.

Spending a lot of time to get my instrument perfectly in tune helped my improve my intonation a great deal, since the ringing of the sympathetic strings give me the feedback that I'm "right". But therefore they have to be tuned carefully; At first I used to think it takes to much away from the available practise time, but it is actually very beneficial I thin. 

Maybe, @David you might correct this if something is wrong, and if you want to, give deeper insights, I also find this an interesting subject, not so much for practical but also historical reasons. 

regards from germany 
Michael


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Sameer Sudame

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks Michael / David for your detailed replies. In Komal Gandhar App I have used Shruti's and their frequencies given by Dr.Oke. Since my first post, I came across wikipedia article on shruti's by Bharat Muni and Sharagdev (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shruti_(music)). Surprisingly both point to same frequency ratios. Only difference being Naming of shruti's (eg Dr. Oke has 1(sa),4(re),4(ga),4(ma),1(pa),4(dha),4(ni) = 22 shrutis and Bharat Muni / Sharangdev has 
Chatush Chatush Chatush Cha Eva Shadja Madhyama Panchamou Dve Dve NishĀda GĀndharou Tri Tri Rishabha Dhaivatou 
So depending on interpretation its Sa(4), Re(3), Ga(2), Ma(4), Pa(4), Dha(3), Ni(2) = 22 shrutis.

Now coming to which shruti's are used in a particular Raga, Dr. Keshav Ginde renowned flutist told me that it depends on Chalan of Raga. For example Bhoop and Deshkar the approach to Ga (Vaadi )note is different. If you approach Ga from Pa or Ga from Re you will naturally land on different shruti's of Ga. Similarly for Dha (whether you approach from upper Sa or middle Pa).


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JazzMathias

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Reply with quote  #8 
http://www.dharambir.com/indian-classical-music-research/ancient-system-grama/
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Sameer Sudame

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Reply with quote  #9 
Very informative site. I have used some of the software's developed by dharambir ji earlier. I vaguely remember meeting him in London at friend's place but was not aware of his work that time. Missed opportunity.
Will go through the tables and try to understand them.
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westsea

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Reply with quote  #10 
from Suvir Misra...
http://www.beenkar.in/
http://www.mediafire.com/file/5nqd5mshgp4mi78/22+Sruti+Keyboard+Ver+2.5+Vista+setup.exe
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Nick Proctor

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Reply with quote  #11 
Shruti's what - software's what ????
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